D – Useful French terms

This is a special reference feature especially for the Anglophones of Montréal who haven’t yet picked up all the words essential to navigate comfortably in a francophone theatre environment. Without going into much detail, there are also a few useful technical terms defined.

Attaché de presse, relationniste: publicist or press agent, a person who informs journalists and solicits media attention.

Autodidacte: self-taught, having never undertaken a professional training program.

Billets de faveur: complimentary or free tickets (comps).

Billetterie: denotes both a ticket outlet and the box office.

Caisse: refers to a float (a sum of money in coins and small bills used for giving change) or a cash box.

Communiqué de presse: a one-page press release written for the media.

Concepteurs: light, sound, video, set or costume designers who collaborate with the choreographer.

Console d’éclairage: lighting board, a control panel used to adjust the light, usually located behind the audience.

Démarche artistique: your artistic process and vision, in a nutshell.

Démontage: strike, the act of taking down lights and emptying the theatre of all items that have been brought in.

Dossier de presse: press kit, folder containing information and photos for journalists.

Directeur/trice de production: production manager, person responsible for the overall coordination of a production.

Équipe d’accueil: front of house staff responsible for greeting and seating the audience.

Extraits de critiques: dated press clippings or quotes from reviews, with the name of the critic and of the publication.

Gélatines: gels are filters that give colour to the stage lights.

Générale: a dress run where the piece is performed with full costumes, lights, sound, etc., but without an audience.

Gradateurs: dimmer channels which enable technicians to accurately control the intensity of a given light.

Grille: grid, a framework of bars from which the technicians hang the lights.

Interprète: dancer, interpreter.

Loges: dressing rooms for the performers.

Mise en scène: the general staging of a production by a director (mostly used for theatre).

Montage: the act of putting up lights and cables.

Œil extérieur: outside eye, a person who gives constructive feedback about the piece.

Placeur: usher, person who helps seat the audience members.

Plancher flottant: sprung floor which protects the dancers body from harsh impact when landing from jumps.

Plateau, scène: stage or performance area which can be lit by stage lighting.

Relève, émergence: ‘la relève’ refers to a younger generation of artists poised to replace the old guard, whereas ‘émergence’ refers to new art practices and artists in the early stages of their practice.

Répétiteur/répétitrice: rehearsal director, a person who helps the dancers clarify and perfect the movement.

Répétition technique: tech run, technical rehearsal when technicians learn their sequences of cues.

Subventions, bourses: ‘subventions’ refers to grants for organizations, while ‘bourses’ refers to grants for individuals.

Tapis de danse: marley or dance floor which comes in wide strips and needs to be taped together (never use duct tape!).


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