Artistic Director

« There is a time for everything, a time to dance, and a time to sing, a time to compose and a time to act, a time to choreograph, and a time to write. I guess being an artist is being aware of those times.... and learning new skills! » - Ghislaine Doté

Originally from the Central African Republic, Ghislaine Doté grew up in Ivory Coast where she trained in Dance, Choral singing and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. She moved to Montreal in 1997 where she completed a double BA in Contemporary Dance Creation and Performance. She went on to found her company, Virtu’O Danse, while performing for different companies. Her performance credits include Van Grimde Corps Secret, Flak, Sinha Danse, Cirque du Soleil, So you think you can Dance Canada. As a choreographer, she created Toronto’s critically acclaimed piece L’âmentation (2002) which also won her an award in Montreal. Performance (2004) and Mâle de femme (2006) were particularly appreciated by Montreal critics. Variations sur L’âmentation (2007), toured with the support of the Montreal Arts Council.

Ghislaine’s love for music and expression led her to Musical Theater.

In 2008, she was cast in Berger / Plamondon’s acclaimed musical Starmania and fell in love with Musical theater. She has since been involved in the Musical theater scene both as a performer and choreographer: On Second Avenue( Dora wasserman Yiddish theater),The Virgin Courtisan ( Mc Carthy/Thomson),Godspell ( comissioned by BCT), Forever Broadway (Lyric theater singers), Next to Normal ( comissioned by BCT)

Her latest work entitled Merry Age, is a combination of Musical Theater and Contemporary dance, and marks the beginning of a new tangente for her company.

A first version of Merry Age was presented at l’Agora de la danse in the 2012 winter season. While continuing to work on Merry Age, Ghislaine is pursuing a degree in Classical singing, Musical Theater and Composition. Ghislaine artistic work has been supported by the Canadian Arts council, as well as the Quebec arts council. Her work was rewarded with a nomination from The Black History Month, and the Gloria Mitchell-Aleong Award.


L’âmentation is based on the African and Jewish traditions of lamenting. I wanted to find a vocabulary that could depict human sorrow. Looking for that human or universal language brought me to what I call a dialogue of art forms, as I combined Afro percussive dances with contemporary dance and sign language. It created an emotional and musical language that touched the public and critics alike.
« In a ritual for modern times, they stamped, clapped, jumped and slapped themselves in an intricate rhythm of collective thunder that was as mesmerizing as it was compelling. How the dancers learned the closely choreographed routine and kept the count is a marvel, as was Doté’s contemporary spin on African ritual. » - Paula Citron, The Dance Current.
Mâle de Femme
Mâle de femme is about women’s identity. The piece is based on my experience growing up in Africa and observing how women were treated. I didn’t want to bring my sole vision though, so I specifically sought a multicultural cast to bring the audience and myself a worldwide perspective on women. I also did some research on the treatment of women around the world.
« Intense, Rhythmic and expressive. » - Marites Carino, The mirror .
Merry Age
Merry Age brings the question of the validity of marriage in a society where it is in decline. I wanted to paint a broad picture of marriage by interviewing different couples from different age groups, cultures and religion. It is my hope that through those different perspectives, the audience will be brought to reflecting on the issue of marriage.
« The strength of Merry Age comes from the humorous moments that come throughout the piece, which allow the audience to deal with the heavy issue of marriage, lightly. » - Musical Avenue.