human sheep toronto

Toronto-based sheep people confuse and fascinate the internet

A group of performers from Toronto have been stopping people in their scrolls all over the web this week with an uncanny impression of sheep doing regular sheep things, such as saying "baa" and staring blankly into space.

CORPUS, a dance troupe focused on "precise and surrealist humour that combines movement with theatrical imagery," is perhaps best known among members of the general public for something called "Les Moutons" ("the sheep," en français.)

Members of the Toronto-based group have been staging performances of the award-nominated piece for more than a decade, travelling (as human sheep) to more than 100 festivals in at least 25 different countries.

They've gone viral before, multiple times, though millions of people seem to have been unaware of this fact when footage of the troupe doing their sheeply thang started blowing up on Twitter this weekend.

"The Sheep human Contest in France. This is the festival I need right now," wrote Twitter user @emikusano when sharing a brief clip from a recent outdoor performance of Les Moutons.

Neither Emi nor Youri were correct when stating that this footage came from a "sheep human contest" or, in Youri's case, a "sheep imitation contest."

The former Twitter user was also wrong in assuming that this little pasture-dressed stage was in France. It was not.

That video, uploaded on Aug. 12 by French Twitter user @Youridefou, has now been viewed more than 8.4 million times.

CORPUS explained on Instagram Wednesday, as yet another clip from Les Moutons went viral, that they had performed as part of an arts and culture festival in Shawinigan, Quebec, earlier in August.

"It's been a while; did you miss Les moutons? They were in Shawinigan, Quebec, last weekend. And they had a blast!" reads the post, which contains several photos from the street performance and shouts out two new performers.

"So stoked to have joined the flock this past weekend. Thank you to @corpusdanceprojects and the whole team for welcoming us with warmth, laughter, care and a grand old time," wrote one of the dancers in a post of their own. "I've been reminded why I love theatre! Once again in the most strange and unsuspecting way."

While the performers from CORPUS do travel frequently for their work, the human sheep can be spotted in Toronto from time to time.

A few Christmas seasons ago, the barnyard cosplayers performed socially-distanced Christmas carols around the city for free. As sheep.

There was no singing (at least from the animal holding pen) at the group's recent Quebec performance, though videos show some pretty impressive sheep-like bleats and plenty of humans with bells around their necks, following one another like horn-blaring transport truck drivers on a jam-packed Canadian freeway.

The irony!

Lead photo by

Youri


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