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.

RESIDENCY QUEBEC 2022-23 | Call for proposals

New Creative Residency at Agora for Quebec’s dance artists
Une première fois

The pandemic has increased the need for and relevance of artistic residencies to support dance creators. With a track record of 30 years of supporting Quebec choreographers, Agora de la danse is thus launching a call for proposals for two artistic residencies for professional dance artists who have not previously received support from Agora or had their shows presented in its venues. Each residency consists of two weeks working in our Espace blanc venue.

By means of these two residencies, Agora aims to:

  • reinforce its commitment to the dance community
  • encourage in-person, back-and-forth contact and artistic exchange
  • give voice to a diversity of dance and movement practices.

Deadline: May 27, 2022 at 4 p.m. Applications are now closed for 22-23

International Residency

Cross-residency Project Italy / Quebec

Agora de la danse, Le Teatro Pubblico Campano and TAN Teatri Associati di Napoli are proud to collaborate in this first cross-residency project between Italy and Quebec, initiated by CINARS  and the NID (New Italian Dance Platform).

Creation, discovery, sharing and cultural exchange between dance professionals are at the heart of this bilateral residency project for the next 3 years.

Montreal is the starting point of this exchange.

Indeed, from April 10 to April 30, 2022, Agora de la danse is pleased to host the Italian choreographer Francesca Pennini, accompanied by the artists Alberto Favretto and Angelo Pedroni, as they  initiate the creation of their new project Abracadabra in Espace blanc.

This residency is made possible thanks to the support of Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal.

Agora de la danse would also like to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Quebec as well as Delegation in Rome for their support.

FRANCESCA PENNINI (Ferrara, 1984) starts off as a gymnast and then devoted herself to contemporary dance. She studied at Balletto di Toscana, Laban Centre in London and she explored a broad range of disciplines: from butoh to free diving, from martial arts to disco-dance competitions. She worked as a freelance dancer for Sasha Waltz & Guests. In 2007 she founds the company CollettivO CineticO as a flexible net of artists: more than 50 members from different disciplines focusing on movement and keeping the structure of the company itself in constant dynamic. Her work crosses genders and codes reformatting the rules of the performative event, challenging the relationship with the spectator, meeting different kinds of bodies and spaces with a rigorous yet ironic approach. She gives lectures and seminars in museums and arts centers. and she is a guest professor of “Theatre and performing arts” at IUAV University in Venice.

CollettivO CineticO is an experimental performing arts group founded in 2007 by the choreographer Francesca Pennini. Their work crosses genders and codes reformatting the rules of the performative event, challenging the relationship with the spectator with a rigorous yet ironic approach and shifting in the interstices between dance, theatre and visual arts. They developed devices and didactics for a broad range of bodies and spaces, from the theater stage to urban complexity, from mimetic missions in daily life to virtual spaces. Until now the group created 60 productions, winning many awards.

CollectivO CinecticO Alerto Favretto, Angelo Pedroni, Francesca Pennini

I’m traveling to Montreal to look for my childhood penpal.

A stranger that could be anyone. A stranger I shared intimacy with, the kind of closeness that originates from distance.

A stranger who spoke the language of handwriting, whose voice chromatics is made by by ink and graphy.

A stranger shaped by mystery and now transformed by 30 years of life.

This stranger could be anyone. This stranger is in every spectator.

And everyone I meet on the plane, in the streets, at the café can be my spectator, could be my old penpal and may become my accomplice in a new form of connection.


I’ll start the creation of my new piece from this wish, trying to design an environment for metamorphosis.

A place where different languages and different bodies can mix reality and perception in a   constant transformation. A small world for alternative states of presence, to disappear between reality and virtuality, to appear in the polarization of words and flesh.

Some kind of daily life magic.

We’ll meet in the silences between words, in the pure sounds of foreign language, in the infinite translations of the body.

I’m waiting for you.

I’ll build a small house for us and you’ll be welcome.

It is going to be our stage, our letter, our secret.

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

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