Artists in Residence

Time and space to create. A veritable incubator for the creation of new contemporary dance works, Agora de la danse welcomes a number of artists throughout the year to its Montreal studios for residencies of one, two or more weeks, an opportunity for them to explore new dance ideas, workshop choreography with collaborators and polish technical aspects of their pieces. This support is the cornerstone of an ever fertile and innovative dance milieu.

Associate Artists

Long-term, supportive partnership. Artists make themselves at home at the Agora in a long-term residency (2 or 3 years), receiving support throughout the process of creating a new work. In return they contribute to the dance milieu and to audience outreach activities (mentoring, workshops, open rehearsals, etc.).

Catherine Gaudet

Catherine Gaudet is interested in the transformations of the body generated by the ambiguity that animates human activity. She approaches choreography as a study of the unconscious, elusive aspects of the human being and hopes to bring to light what is being camouflaged. She has developed a physicality where the body becomes a resonator of complex, contradictory sensations simmering under the surface. Her dance vocabulary is characterized by subtle changes in muscular tension that reveal the entanglement of many different ideas, states and impulses. The body is both transmitter and receiver of invisible forces, witness to an existential history that is both personal and universal. The raw aspect of body states is intermingled with precise lines and set to a finely written score. Deeply committed to the work, the dancers rise to the challenge of precise control over the form, plus its deconstruction by open performative states.

Catherine Gaudet © Caroline Désilets

© Caroline Désilets

Daina Ashbee

Daina Ashbee is an artist, performer and choreographer based in Montreal, known for her radical works at the edge of dance and performance, which intelligently approach such complex subjects and taboos as female sexuality, Métis identity, and climate change.

Considered to be one of the most promising choreographers of her generation she was a double prizewinner at the Prix de la danse de Montréal, winning both the Prix du CALQ for Best Choreography of 2015-2016 for her choreographic installation WHEN THE ICE MELTS, WILL WE DRINK THE WATER? , and the Prix Découverte de la danse, presented by Agora de la danse and Tangente, for Unrelated. Also, Daina was named by the prestigious German Tanz magazine as one of 30 promising artists for the year 2017 and named one of 25 to watch by the American publication, Dance Magazine in 2018.

Her work is being presented in some of the most prestigious festivals and on the stages of the world while creating a new group piece and a solo set to premiere in 2020 and 2021.

© Patrice Mathieu

Isabelle Van Grimde

A choreographer, founder and artistic director of the Montreal dance company Van Grimde Corps Secrets, Isabelle Van Grimde has had an international career marked by interdisciplinary collaborations that expand the horizons of contemporary dance while multiplying possible perceptions of the body and the piece being staged. Her work is characterized by the quality of the dialogue she encourages between dance and music and, since 2008, by the harmonious integration of new technologies. Open to the world, she conducts theoretical and basic research on the body, research that nourishes and supports her artistic approach. She has been moving away from theatre venues in favour of presenting dance in galleries, public spaces or on the Web. In 2011 the Canada Council for the Arts awarded her the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize for her contribution to enriching artistic life in Canada and abroad.

© Michael Slobodian

Mélanie Demers

A multi-platform artist, Mélanie Demers founded her company MAYDAY in 2007, and her work explores the powerful link between the poetic and the political. It was from that perspective that she created Les Angles morts (2006), Sauver sa peau (2008), Junkyard/Paradis (2010) and Goodbye (2012). With MAYDAY remix (2014), she pushed even further the blending of genres and hybridization of forms. Her fascination for combining word and gesture was crystallized in WOULD (2015), which received the Prix du CALQ award for best choreography at the 2015 Prix de la danse de Montréal. In 2016 she began a new creative cycle with Animal Triste and Icône Pop. Both pieces toured internationally. She was recently invited to work abroad at the Skånes Dansteater in Malmö, Sweden, for the creation of Something About Wilderness.

© Sabrina Reeves

Jacques Poulin-Denis

Jacques Poulin-Denis is a true artisan of the performing arts. A composer, choreographer and performer, he embarks on projects that blur the boundaries between dance, music and theatre. His works have been presented in some twenty cities in Canada, and also in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He collaborates closely with the choreographer Mélanie Demers, with whom he has worked as a performer and composer since 2006.

© Hugo B. Lefort

Technical and Creative Residencies

Agora makes its studios available to several artists as they research a creative project, and develop or fine tune the set design and technical aspects.

The creative art of today is the heritage of tomorrow!Francine Bernier