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.

Call for proposals 2024-2025


This cross-residency project between Quebec and Italy, initiated by Agora de la danseCINARS and NID_New_Italian_Dance_Platform in 2022, offers a choreographer and two performers from Quebec the opportunity to explore a research and creation project for three weeks at Sala Verdi in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

For the third edition, the residency will be held at Sala Verdi in Reggio Emilia, with the support of La Fondazione I Teatri, a major presenter in the italian landscape.

Dates of the residency :  October 17 to November 3, 2024 (3 weeks)
Deadline to apply: May 20, 2024


This exchange project is made possible thanks to the support of the MiC (Ministry of Culture – Italy), the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Délégation du Québec à Rome.


Agora de la danse is launching its call for proposals for three artistic residencies for Quebec’s 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 accompanied by a contribution of $5,000.

Deadline to apply:  May 24, 2024 at 5 p.m. (Eastern daylight savings time)

RESIDENCY QUEBEC | Une première fois

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, In spring 2022, Agora de la danse has launched a call for proposals for new artistic residencies for professional dance artists who have not previously received support from Agora or had their shows presented in its venues. We are delighted to continue this project for our 2023-2024 season.

Each residency consists of two weeks studio time in Espace blanc , as well as 5000$ to support their research.

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.

Agora is pleased to announce that the following dance artists have been selected for our 2022-23 season, and will benefit of two weeks of residency in Espace blanc as well as 5000$ to support their research.

Maria Kefirova
Marie-Reine Kabasha
Mecdy Jean-Pierre
Simon Renaud | Amour Amour
Soraïda Caron| Mars elle danse

Maria Kefirova © Grigor Kouzmanov
Maria Kefirova © Grigor Kouzmanov
Marie-Reine Kabasha © Eddy Lee
Marie-Reine Kabasha © Eddy Lee
Mecdy Jean Pierre © Do Phan Hoi
Mecdy Jean Pierre © Do Phan Hoi
Simon Renaud | Amour Amour | © Pierre-Olivier Cadieux
Simon Renaud | Amour Amour | © Pierre-Olivier Cadieux
Soraïda Caron | Mars elle danse | © Yvan Couillard
Soraïda Caron | Mars elle danse | © Yvan Couillard

Agora is pleased to announce that the following dance artists have been selected for our 2023-24 season, and will benefit of two weeks of residency in Espace blanc as well as 5000$ to support their research.

Soleil Launière
Annie Gagnon
Nubian Néné

Soleil Launière ©Lucile Parry-Canet
Soleil Launière ©Lucile Parry-Canet
Annie Gagnon ©Llamaryon
Annie Gagnon ©Llamaryon
Nubian Néné ©Jerick Collantes
Nubian Néné ©Jerick Collantes

International Residency

Cross-residency Project Italy / Quebec

Agora de la danse is 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 projectbetween Quebec and Italy for the next 3 years.

Italy in Quebec

For the second year of this exchange, Agora de la danse hosts the Italian choreographer Luna Cenere, From April 24 to May 10, 2023, where she pursues the research and creation of Vanishing Place in Espace blanc.

LUNA CENERE Luna Cenere is a dancer and choreographer born in Naples (IT), associated artist of the Körper National Center of Production.

In this new project, Vanishing Place, that will be presented at the Venice Biennale next July, Luna’s intention is to dig deeper in the practice of hiding and reveal, experimenting the use of objects such panels and start a chromatic research. Manipulating this setting, the performers will also move/manipulate the space. Working mainly with nudity and experimenting new postures/architectures of the body putting them in dialogue with the surrounding space, objects and movement. While in Montreal, Luna will pursue her research with two performers, Ilaria Quaglia, Davide Travaglini.

© Luna Cenere Vanishing Place
© Luna Cenere Vanishing Place

April 10 to April 30, 2022, Agora de la danse hosts 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.

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.

CollectivO CinecticO Alerto Favretto, Angelo Pedroni, Francesca Pennini

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.

Each 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 Quebec Delegation in Rome for their support.

Quebec in Italy

August 9 to 30, 2023, Compagnie Virginie Brunelle will be in Sardinia for a creative residency. The choreographer, accompanied by two dancers, Sophie Breton and Alexandre Carlos, is undertaking new choreographic research at the Teatro Verdi in Sassari, thanks to support of the RTO (temporary grouping of organizations) and AGIS (Associazione Generale Italiana dello Spettacolo), organizer of the (NID 2023 Platform).

Compagnie Virginie Brunelle is a choreographic creation company that has worked under the artistic direction and general management of choreographer Virginie Brunelle since it was founded in 2009. Its repertoire includes some 10 contemporary dance works, which have been presented in more than 50 Quebec cities and on international stages.

The choreographer draws her creative inspiration from music to generate distinctive stage imagery. These images are then transposed onto the work like musical scores. Virginie Brunelle first composes the primary physical elements before turning her attention to the dynamic gestural language. It’s here that her focus shifts to highly detailed work, combining rhythms, suspensions, ferocity, delicacy, gazes, breathing, and brutality to bring out the evocative power of gesture. Behind this formal research process lies a poetry of vulnerability that gives rise to poignant and visually stunning stage experiences.

© David Wong

September 20 to October 8, 2022, the dance company Andrea Peña & Artists is in a creative residency in Italy. The first Quebec artist to benefit from this cultural exchange, the choreographer Andrea Peña, accompanied by the dancers Frédérique Rodier and Jean-Benoît Labrecque, embarks on new choreographic research at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples, thanks to support of Teatro Pubblico Campano and TAN Teatri Associati di Napoli.

Andrea Peña & Artists is a company renowned for creating critical, alternative and spatial worlds that break with our notions and understanding of a sentient humanity. Intrigued by the depths of individuality, a theme rooted in her bi-cultural origins, Peña’s choreography is imbued with vulnerability, complexity and dynamic physicality, extending beyond simple movement by means of conceptual research. With a background in industrial design, her works are influenced by the visual arts and spatial qualities, focusing on the body as matter that exists in relation to time and space.

© Andrea Peña

This residency is made possible thanks to the support of the Conseil des arts et lettes du Québec.

Agora de la danse would also like to thank the Quebec Delegation in Rome, the Italian Ministry of Culture as well as the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal for their support.

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 | © Julie Artacho
© Julie Artacho

Out Innerspace Dance Theatre

Out Innerspace is a Vancouver based Contemporary Dance organization founded in 2007 by directors David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen. OIS has dedicated over 10 years to creating extraordinary and integral dance experiences through uncompromising rigour and unreserved ingenuity. Full-length works Me So You So Me (2012), Vessel (2010, 2013) and Major Motion Picture (2015) have enjoyed 5 National Tours and performances for 23 schools through ArtStarts. Major Motion Picture is the 2014 recipient of the CanDance Creation Fund commission. OIS was a featured company at the 2017 MilanOltre Festival in Italy and celebrated as “One of the most beautiful and interesting works of the entire festival.” ( Their latest creation, Bygones is co-produced by  Agora de la danse, La Rotonde and Dance Victoria and was awarded 2019 Chrystal Dance Prize and Dance Centre Artistic Residency.  An initiative of Out Innerspace, Modus Operandi offers pivotal post-secondary contemporary dance education to young aspiring professionals and is grounds for some of Canada’s most exciting new dance artists.

David Raymond
© Michael Slobodian
© Michael Slobodian

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.

IVG © Monick Lanza
© Monick Lanza

Mélanie Demers

A multi-disciplinary artist, Mélanie Demers founded her company MAYDAY in Montreal in 2007. Exploring the powerful connection between the poetic and the political, she deepened her commitment to her art with work that took on hybrid forms. Her fascination for words and gestures crystallized in WOULD (2015), which received the CALQ Award for best choreography. Combining theatricality, literature, music and the visual arts, she embarked on a new cycle in 2021 with La Goddam Voie Lactée and Cabaret Noir. She has a repertoire of more than 30 dance pieces, which have been presented in theatres and at festivals in Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

Mélanie Demers | © Julie Artacho
© Julie Artacho

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.

Jacques Poulin-Denis | © Hugo B. Lefort
© 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