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The BNP Paribas Foundation is offering 12 young girls from Montreal the opportunity to present a dance performance at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal with choreographer Abou Lagraa

From October 11 to 28, 2017, Stabat Mater is on the program of Les Grands Ballets de Montréal.

For this occasion, Les Grands Ballets, a partner of BNP Paribas Canada and the BNP Paribas Foundation, will offer a group of young girls from the Calixa-Lavallée Secondary School the opportunity to participate in dance workshops in the framework of Dream Up, its international project for social inclusion and education through practising an artistic discipline. Les Grands Ballets has invited choreographer Abou Lagraa, ambassador of the Dream Up program, to direct the workshop. Drawing inspiration from watching the performance of Stabat Mater, the girls will create their own choreographic interpretation of this mythic sacred music composition. The Studios des Grands Ballets will also give them the opportunity to present their own show on the evening of October 20, 2017.

Founded by Ludmilla Chiriaeff in 1957, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal is dedicated to the development of all forms of dance, with an emphasis on the discipline of classical ballet. In 2017, Les Grands Ballets opened a new space for dance, where four studios are dedicated to recreational dance classes for the public, as well as dance therapy, in close collaboration with schools, hospitals and prisons.

In these studios, a group of twelve girls between twelve and seventeen years of age from the Calixa-Lavallée Secondary School will participate in three-hour dance workshops over a period of four days under the direction of choreographer Abou Lagraa, after attending the performance of Stabat Mater interpreted by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. On October 20, after a dress rehearsal of their show, these girls will present their creation at Les Grands Ballets. This project in the framework of Dream Up, an international initiative sponsored by the BNP Paribas Foundation to promote social inclusion and education through practising an artistic discipline, enabling these girls to become more aware of their own abilities and experience success.

Located in the north Montreal district where the school dropout rate is higher than the Montreal average, the Calixa-Lavallée Secondary School has an enrollment of 1,400 students between the ages of twelve and seventeen. It offers special education programs for students with learning difficulties as well as language classes for young people who have recently arrived in Canada.

For Monique Vialatou, President and CEO of BNP Paribas in Canada, this partnership is perfectly aligned with the commitments of the Dream Up program: “The whole BNP Paribas Montreal team is especially proud to participate in this ambitious project alongside Les Grands Ballets, the artist Abou Lagraa, and the Calixa-Lavallée School. It shows that together, we can help these girls, for whom creating a show will be an ambitious challenge and an unforgettable experience that will help shape their futures.

About the BNP Paribas Foundation

Under the oversight of the Foundation of France, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been a major player in

corporate philanthropy for 30 years. It is also encouraging and contributing to the BNP Paribas’ philanthropic policy growth in all parts of the world wherever the Bank operates.

The BNP Paribas Foundation’s activities are aimed at multidisciplinary philanthropy, supporting innovative projects dedicated to culture, social inclusion and the environment. It pays close attention to the quality of its commitment to its partners through a long-term commitment. Since 1984, over 300 cultural projects, 40 research programs and a thousand social and educational initiatives have earned its support in France and around the world.

About Dream Up

In the fall of 2015, for its 30th anniversary, the BNP Paribas Foundation launched Dream Up, an international education and social inclusion program. The aim of this ambitious project is to support children and youth on five continents who are economically underprivileged, or living in a context of social or academic exclusion or a specific handicap, giving them the opportunity to practice an artistic discipline. The program has a budget of over 1.5 million euros and provides support for a three-year period in 26 countries to local organisations selected for the compatibility of their activities with the Dream Up goals. Abou Lagraa is one of the ambassadors of the Dream Up program. This role is close to his heart, both because he entirely supports the ideas behind Dream Up and because it strikes a chord with his own life story as a French dance professional who was born into an Algerian family of modest means.

About BNP Paribas in Canada

BNP Paribas in Canada is one of the dominant foreign banks in the country. Since 1961, it has supported Canadian corporations and financial institutions in their business development by offering a complete range of specialized financial services and investment products. With its headquarters in Montreal and an office in Toronto, BNP Paribas offers a combination of clear understanding of the Canadian landscape and the international expertise of a major group present in 74 countries, with over 190,000 employees.

About Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal

Yesterday, a young ballerina by the name of Ludmilla Chiriaeff, the daughter of Russian immigrants, left Berlin and settled in Montreal to fulfill her dream: to teach dance and share her love for dance. In 1957, she whom we called Madame Chiriaeff created Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the very first professional ballet company in Quebec. 

Today, the heart of Montreal beats to the rhythm of dance. 

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal has become a world-renowned creation, production and performance company dedicated to the development of ballet in all its forms, while remaining faithful to the spirit of classical technique. It connects with audiences at home and abroad, spurring discovery, stirring emotion, stimulating the imagination and conveying the passion for dance. 

Les Grands Ballets strives for excellence and embodies openness, creativity and audacity in an inspired and generous vision of society.