© Fabbrica Europa

Andréane Leclerc — Contortion: opening, amplitude and spinal movement

Jan. 8th to 12th, 2024 – 9:30 am to 12:30 pm (Mon.-Fri.)
Full week rate : $85
Drop-in class rate : N/A
Language of instruction : mix of French and English
Questions can also be asked in : French and English
Open to artists of all disciplines


The mask could be mandatory for some activities as an accessibility measure for our teachers or participants. For more information, click here.

Contortionism doesn’t signify “being flexible.” It is a physical technique that one learns and works with. There is no secret. Contortion is a corporeal technique, in a constant dialogue with one’s own body, and is looking for openness rather than wanting to bend. Never pushing the boundaries, we learn to collaborate with them in total respect of the body – your tool, your partner. Contortion is also a hyper consciousness of the sensations of the body’s interior and a dialogue between its limits and its aides. This workshop is about demystifying contortion and making it accessible to everyone by sharing a technique that avoids possible injuries. This technical workshop (specific warming up, alignment, endurance, specific reinforcement followed by cool-down exercises) is based on active flexibility exercises and deep stretching of the hips and the back. We will work the body’s awareness, breathing, posture and endurance. This workshop addresses all body artists who wish to improve, use, or control their flexibility; to discover a new approach to the body; to open itself to new tools to work in better ways; to develop confidence and knowledge about its own body limits that allows them to venture into a specific and particular work with the spine; to dip into the interior sensation of the body and to open a new approach using this knowledge.

Andréane’s approach does not work at all with form. During her workshop, Andréane offers a personal journey and a dive into the heart of one’s inner sensations. Personal limits become allies, guiding us in a process of the opening of the body. There is absolutely no goal to reach “tricks” such as: “we will touch our feet to our head”. It is a space of sensitive dialogue between oneself and one’s body. The participants, guided by Andréane’s exercises, are free to follow their own personal path in full respect of their own physical and mental abilities. Participants will be asked to sit on the floor for extended periods of time, with some exercises also done standing. Visual demonstrations are offered, but explorations are mainly guided by verbal indications.

Conceptual and performance artist Andréane Leclerc is interested in human encounters that guide her towards interdisciplinary and interartistic processes. Today, she draws on her 20 years of circus practice to reflect on contortion as a philosophical posture and to develop her stage language. 

Trained as a contortionist (ÉNC, 2001), she completed a master’s degree in the theatre department at UQAM (2013). That same year, she co-founded the Nadère arts vivants company with Geoffroy Faribault and her work was presented in Tokyo, Florence, Cairo, Sao Paolo, Chicago, Rouyn-Noranda and Tiohtia:ke – Moonyiang, on contemporary stages, in museums and in galleries.

Since 2015, Andréane has been teaching and offering workshops in contortion and interdisciplinary dramaturgy. In 2017, she participated in the creation of Cirque OFF (Studio 303). She occasionally acts as a dramaturgy and movement consultant and performs for various international projects. 

This workshop has opened up a whole new way of engaging in my own practice! Has helped me find more gratitude for my body on this movement work as well. Recognizing I can ask permission to explore limits rather than see these extremes as challenges I must complain or attain.

– Raven See

Andréane Leclerc — Contortion: opening, amplitude and spinal movement