Toronto Premiere
February 20-22, 2020
Choreographer: Sébastien Provencher
Presented by Citadel + Compagnie through Bright Nights Performing Arts Series


Interrogating toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes with comedic humour: Citadel + Compagnie presents the Toronto premiere of Sébastien Provencher’s Children of Chemistry

Exploring definitions of “manliness” through sports and pop culture, Provencher asks audiences to question hypermasculinity from February 20-22, 2020 at The Citadel

TORONTO, ON  From a fashion show to a football field, from femininity to hyper-masculinity, Montreal-based Sébastien Provencher both confronts and questions the notion of manliness in the Toronto premiere of Children of Chemistry, at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance from February 20-22, 2020.

“Sébastien plays with pop culture and gender expression in this poignant and hilarious interrogation of masculinity,” says Citadel + Compagnie Artistic Director, Laurence Lemieux. “I am thrilled to be presenting his work to Toronto audiences at The Citadel.”

Having grown up playing sports, Provencher examines how clichés of hyper-masculine athleticism have been built into his own notions of masculinity, particularly, the social and symbolic codes surrounding “maleness” in American football. Through a colourful and comical, yet touching universe, he explores what it is to embrace diversity of gender.

With an exceptional cast of five queer emerging dance artists, Provencher explores bullying and tenderness and toxic masculinity, while providing audiences with permission to question gender stereotypes through this humorous and touching work.


This project has been made possible (in part) by the Government of Canada.


From a fashion show to a football field, from femininity to hypermasculinity, Children of Chemistry both confronts and questions the notion of manliness. In a repetitive dance with popular and sporting references, Provencher tackles stereotypes of masculinity. Hailed as “poignant performance” this Toronto premiere is a captivating piece that invites audiences to imagine the masculine through a different lens. 

Miguel Anguiano
Jean-Benoit Labrecque
Louis-Elyan Martin
Alexandre Morin
Simon Renaud

Lighting designer: Nancy Bussières
Music composition: Hani Debbache
Rehearsal director: Helen Simard
Executive Producer: Lorganisme

“Provencher takes a fresh look at the notion of social identification of the sexes (and) denounces it while sending an optimistic message against a cultural closure of minds still very significant in our time.” – DF Danse



Lindsay Zier-Vogel

Alexandre Morin / Photo by Justine Latour


Sébastien Provencher is a graduate from the Université du Québec à Montréal, where he received the William Douglas grant during that time. In Summer 2016, he has been granted by the Canada Art Council to complete the choreographic ATLAS program at the Impulstanz Dance Festival in Vienna. His last works have presented at l’Agora de la danse (Deux Squelettes, 2019), Tangente Danse (Children of Chemistry, 2017). He is currently working on a new coproduction Canada-Germany with Julia B. Laperrière that will premiere in fall 2020.

Using a multidisciplinary approach in his works, Sébastien focuses his performances around the questions of gender, identity and political issues. The first version of Children of Chemistry, presented at Quartiers Danses, has recently won the Coup de Coeur Prize from the public. As a performer, he is dancing in Montreal and toronto for established and emerging choreographers such as Emmanuel Jouthe, Sasha Kleinplatz, Manon Oligny, Louise Bédard, George Stamos, Helen Simard, Dietrich Group/DA Hoskins, Social Growl Dance/Riley Sims and Marie Lambin.

High-res photos: right-click to download

Alexandre Morin, Simon Renaud, Jean-Benoit Labrecque, Miguel Anguiano, Louis-Elyan Martin/ Photo by Vanessa Fortin

Jean-Benoit Labrecque, Miguel Anguiano, Alexandre Morin, Louis-Elyan Martin and Jossua Collin / Photo by Justine Latour

Miguel Anguiano, Jossua Collin, and Louis-Ealyan Martin / Photo by Antoine Poursuibes

Sébastien Provencher / Photo by Alain Wong


Citadel + Compagnie is a Toronto-based professional dance organization with a mission to have a significant and lasting artistic impact on our society. Under the directorship of Laurence Lemieux, Citadel + Compagnie creates, curates and cultivates dance works and community collaborations on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto.

The company purchased The Citadel in 2007, and renovated it into studio, office, and theatre space. The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance opened in 2012, providing a home for resident choreographer, James Kudelka, and artistic director, Laurence Lemieux’s creative processes and intimate performances, while creating an open and welcoming space for artists to rehearse, create and perform and where the community can learn, communicate, and share. These strategic actions have re-energized both its neighbouring community of Regent Park, and the dance community at large.

C+C encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, late-night showcase, Night Shift, and additional collaborations, and delivers accessible works of contemporary dance when touring outside The Citadel itself.

After nine years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005), James Kudelka was named C+C’s resident choreographer in 2008. With C+C, he has revisited some of his greatest works and developed challenging new contemporary creations. Kudelka’s presence at C+C has elevated the company’s profile, and offered audiences a new platform to experience the work of one of the country’s finest choreographers.

Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux continues to refine her choreographic vision, having created over twenty-five works including Interiors, Les Paradis Perdus, and Looking for Elvis. From explosive, intimate pieces like Love me out of it (which she performed with iconic Canadian punk band Teenage Head), to large scale works like Jusqu’a Vimy, that toured to France for the 100th anniversary of the battle, Lemieux continues to explore the extraordinary range of her choreographic voice through the company.

Under Lemieux’s leadership, C+C has had a marked impact on the local community, offering free studio access to key neighbourhood initiatives: Toronto Police Force 51 Division’s youth and hip-hop program, the Regent Park School of Music, and Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous dance program, First Fire. These collaborations have built lasting ties within the community, and as a result, The Citadel has become a sought-after safe space for youth to gather and explore their creativity.