Born in Montréal, Sylvain Lafortune begins his professional career with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (GBC) in 1979, having studied with its affiliated school. This first experience allowed him to dance classical and modern choreography, works by Kudelka, Taylor, Limón, MacDonald and Lubovitch among many others.
In 1984, a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Jacqueline Lemieux Award allowed him to study dance and theatre in Europe and in New York. Remaining in New York until 1990, he became a member of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company as well as dancing for the Susan Marshall & Co. and in the Martha Clarke Off-Broadway production of The Garden of Earthly Delights.
Back in Montréal, he again joined the GBC, this time as a principal dancer, and danced a repertory that included revivals and creations from choreographers such as Joss, Tudor, Balanchine, Kudelka, Duato, Kylián and Godden. In 1995, he joined O Vertigo, directed by choreographer Ginette Laurin, and, in 1998, Montréal Danse where he danced the works of Navas and De Vasconcelos.
Sylvain Lafortune was also part of numerous independent dance projects, most notably Monsieur from Estelle Clareton, and numerous dance films, such as Narcissus by director Norman McLaren, Fandango and Romeos and Juliets by Barbarra Sweete, La nuit du déluge by Bernar Hébert and Le violon magique by Raymond St-Jean.
A freelance artist since 1999, he shares his activities between dancing, teaching dance and working as an artistic adviser to students of the National Circus School. He created two circus shows at the National Circus School: Faërie in 2007 and Répétition avec orchestre in 2008. Also in 2008, he helped the French company 2 rien merci in the creation of their street performance Gramoulinophone.
In addition to his professional career, Sylvain’s interest in choreographic duets led him to pursue graduate studies at UQAM. He deepened his theoretical and practical understanding of partnering by doing a Master's degree (The classification of lifts in dance, 2003) and a Ph.D. (The learning of a duet by expert dancers, 2010). The workshops he holds, the conferences he presents and the articles he publishes make him an authority on the subject.