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Repercussion Theatre


MONTREAL,  JUNE, 6, 2008 –  Cellist Denis Brott,  one of Canada’s finest performing musicians, is bringing his new program called Breakdance with Brott to Coronation Elementary School (4810 Van Horne) in Côte des Neiges. He will next be there on Wed. June 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Meanwhile, on Friday, June 13 at noon legendary pianist and composer Oliver Jones will visit the school to talk to Cycle III students.

Mr. Brott  is a professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and founder and artistic director of the prize-winning Montreal Chamber Music Festival.  His career has taken him to four continents, as soloist, chamber musician and as a member of Canada’s renowned Orford String Quartet.  He has appeared as soloist with every major Canadian orchestra and performed under the batons of many prominent conductors.  Mr. Brott played a pivotal role in the creation of the Instrument Bank of the Canada Council, which gave him a magnificent 1706 Tecchler cello for his lifetime use.  The Montreal Board of Trade paid homage to Mr. Brott in October 2004 by naming him a “Great Montrealer,”  an award given to four individuals each year who have made their mark on the history of Montreal, one each in the cultural, economic, scientific and social spheres. 

Working with him on this project are Jonathan Emile,  JoDee Allen and Helen Simard. Mr. Emile is founder of Mindpeacelove Records where he unites mind (the intellect), peace (balance) and love (emotion), allowing delivery of conscious and free art with respect and relevance.  Ms. Allen is an accomplished dancer with the breakdance crew DysFunkShn.  She   brings a contemporary perspective to this project, engaging students to apply breakdance movements to classical music as played by Denis on the cello.   Ms. Simard is a member of Solid State Breakdance.

The objective of Breakdance with Brott is to give students more than a cursory knowledge of classical music and the relationship of the classics to current music.  This project renews an appreciation of the classics, all the while addressing the needs of students in modern society.   

Teachers are always searching for ways to engage students, address issues of interest, promote the arts, and help students discover relevance in what surrounds them and what came before.  Music is one way that joins all and helps to foster understanding amongst people.  Though the written word carries power it does not stand alone.  Students are faced with a variety of literacies, whether media, spoken, visual or auditory.  Breakdance with Brott adds another dimension – a dimension that is promoted by MELS (Ministère de l’Education, du Loisir et du Sport) and is sure to appeal to students.

Each step of the project is being documented in digital and/or film.  This  allows students to see the fruits of their labor.  Each student will maintain a running journal of their experiences and observations of the project.  It is possible that some may choose to prepare a short film clip or sound track of their learning outside the time frame, create illustrations of their learning, or prepare a creative journal – this is also one benefit of the project as it allows students to make decisions about how to present their work.

Oliver  Jones grew up in Montreal, just a few doors down from the late and great jazz musician Oscar Peterson. A child prodigy who at age three could play from memory songs he had heard once on the radio, Jones made his debut as a pianist at age five at Union United Church in Montreal. He subsequently studied classical piano and went on to enjoy a stunning career, touring around the world.


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213