The sheep will not believe it! The bizarre Canadian dance troupe that baffles audiences by impersonating SHEEP for half an hour
- Toronto-based dance group presents live pastoral performance in the streets
- The group says its aim is to present a ‘surreal insight into sheep behaviour’
- They have performed in China, Israel, India, South Africa and the Arctic Circle
A bizarre spectacle greeted the people of Shawinigan, Quebec over the weekend.
A shepherd could be seen leading a flock of creatures with farm bells swinging around their necks, filling the air with the sound of baaaaa and chew green vegetables when they arrived at their enclosure.
But it wasn’t a flock of sheep that had come to graze the streets of Quebec City, but a Toronto-based group carrying out an immersive art project called “Les Moutons.”
In the show, actors dressed as sheep are driven around town by their shepherd, who takes them to a pen before “shearing” them.
There he could feed the “sheep’s lettuce” which they greedily chew, lapping the vegetables from the hands of onlookers.
It also “treats” the sheep — via a mechanism that remains secret from the public.
A Toronto-based dance group called ‘Les Moutons’ is often seen grazing the streets of Canada, where actors dress up as sheep and perform a live pastoral performance
The band say their goal is to present audiences with a “surreal insight into sheep behavior”
“We do half an hour in the life of sheep, without any commentary,” said the artistic director and co-founder of the company, David Danzon, who formed the dance group Corpus in 1997 with her artistic partner Sylvie Bouchard.
‘Les Moutons’ does not claim any particular ethos on its website, focusing solely on performance for artistic purposes.
The band says their goal is to present audiences with a “surreal insight into sheep behavior”.
That’s certainly what the band does, with the band finding audiences around the world to watch the eerie performances.
Passers-by have been recorded saying the children will stand for hours watching the band.
On some occasions, a “wolf” appears – scaring the sheep – and stalks one of their own before the shepherd chases it away.
Sheep can be seen shaking after coming close to death.
In the show, actors dressed as sheep are driven around town by a Shepard, who takes them to a pen before “shearing” them.
On some occasions a “wolf” appears – scaring the sheep – and stalks one of their own before the shepherd chases it away
“I was immediately drawn to the humor and the absurdity,” said actor and dancer Jolyane Langlois, who plays one of the sheep.
Other actors expressed interest in the “sheep technique” and the performative side of the dance.
The group holds auditions before each show, looking for actors with dance training before they can join the herd.
Les Moutons have performed hundreds of times in over 30 countries including India, China, Israel and the Arctic Circle.
The performance was nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2003.
The ‘Sheep’ took their digital performance with the farmer chasing the wolf via a Zoom link this time
Ditching Zoom, the band plans to perform live in Germany, the US and Japan for the rest of 2022
When the pandemic hit, sheep performers were undeterred. They took their performance digital – with the farmer chasing the wolf via a Zoom link this time.
The group has expanded to include a more diverse range of shows, creating a new performance at Edinburgh cravings this year called ‘La Bulle’.
Many actors come from abroad and come to settle in Canada from countries like Germany.
The group plans perform in Germany, the United States and Japan for the remainder of 2022.