Since 1983, Hélène Blackburn has been bringing her bold choreographic voices to Canada and abroad. After studying ethnography and theatre, it was finally the exploration of the dancing body, a passion that she had been pursuing since the age of five, that proved to be the best way to express her thoughts on human behaviour, a subject that seemed inexhaustible to her. She received her professional training at Linda Rabin’s studios (now the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal) and at the Université du Québec à Montréal (bachelor’s degree in 1984, master’s degree in 1996). At UQÀM, she met Jean-Pierre Perreault with whom she collaborated as an interpreter in the creation of JOE.
She then danced with the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault from 1983 to 1989 in the works Stella, Nuit, Les lieux-dits and Piazza.
An artist committed to the advancement of her discipline, a sought-after choreographer and a renowned teacher, Hélène Blackburn also distinguished herself outside Cas Public. She is regularly invited to create for various companies, including Bare Bones and Diversions in the United Kingdom and Panta Reis in Norway, for which she has choreographed works for both young and old audiences. She also collaborates, as a teacher or choreographer, with the main professional dance training centres in Canada and Europe, including the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, Concordia University, UQÀM, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, the École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, the École de Danse de Québec, the Centre Laban in London and the Accademia di Danza in Venice.
The originality and quality of Hélène Blackburn’s approach earned her the 1990 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts. In 1999, she received the Bonnie Bird Choreographic Award for North America from the prestigious Laban Centre in London. Cas Public receives the OFQJ creation prize at RIDEAU 2001 and the RIDEAU 2002 tour prize.