Established in 2014, Danse à la Carte (DAC) was born as a response to the necessity for an organisation capable of supporting, bridging and connecting professional dancers and choreographers in the ballet, contemporary dance and urban dance communities through research in creation, professional development, and production.
Driven by research, DAC’s activities are funnelled through 3 core channels : Creation - Development - Production
These 3 core channels of activity enhance and contribute to the evolution, growth and influence of the Montréal dance community by connecting professional artists from of a diversity of dance practices and providing them with unique opportunities for enriching activities and exchanges. Our three core channels : creation, development and production, are consistently present throughout all of our programs.
The DNA of DAC is varied and diverse but it serves a common goal : to offer support to all of the Montreal dance community, regardless of any affiliations, by providing platforms for research in creation, development and production. DAC utilises a broad range of methods and activities in order to address the issues and needs within our milieu. These needs and issues are complex, there are no simple solutions therefore this is why DAC operates with varied core channels of activities. It is also a priority to ensure we maintain flexibility within our planning so that we can adapt quickly and efficiently as these needs of the milieu evolve.
EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
TransFormation Danse, our annual Flagship event, unites over 150 local, national and international artists for two intensive weeks of creation laboratories and professional development workshops exploring the spectrum of current contemporary dance trends. We welcome professional artists from throughout Montréal, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel, South America and the United States. These artists dive directly into the studio and into creations with local Montréal choreographers (Frédérick Gravel, Danièle Desnoyers, Paul-André Fortier, Benoît Lachambre, Victor Quijada, Alexandra Spicey Landé) as well as in research and development workshops with a renowned International faculty such as Eric Beauchesne (Crystal Pite | Kidd Pivot), James O'Hara (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui), Shamel Pitts (Ohad Naharin | Batsheva Dance Company), Laura Aris Alvarez (Ultima Vez), Kristina and Sade Alleyne (Akram Khan Company).
The DAC Creation and Research Program has provided studio residencies, research bursaries and mentoring to over 40 Montréal choreographers and 4 international artists in the research and development of 45 creations. These new works have been presented in the programming of Danse Danse, Festival TransAmérique, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Joyce (NYC), Agora, Tangente, Danse Cité, Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, Fall For Dance North (Toronto) and Théâtre Hector Charland as well as in our own annual gala Carte Blanche.
Carte Blanche is an annual celebration of dance, a window into the professional Montréal dance community highlighting the rich diversity of dance artists and creators. Hosted at the Rialto Theatre since 2015, this performance is a culmination of choreographic works by our artists in residency, choreographers of our creation laboratories of TransFormation as well as other local creators sharing their work on stage for 400 spectators and presenters from throughout the Montréal area. Each year between 40 and 50 Montréal artists perform in creations of 15 to 20 choreographers, exploring contemporary dance, contemporary ballet, urban dance, classical ballet and circus.
Since 2014 DAC has offered masterclasses and workshops on a year long basis in our Professional Development Program. The only non profit organization in Montréal to provide ballet classes for professional dancers, and with a renowned faculty, DAC also offers workshops and masterclasses in contemporary dance. Upon establishing this program, a consistent and loyal following of independent artists and dancers from Les Grands Ballets, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, La La La Human Steps, Rubberbandance Group, O’Vertigo, 7 doigts de la main, Cirque Eloize et Cirque du Soleil was quickly cemented and demonstrated the necessity for this organisation within the Montreal dance community. The diversity of the composition of these classes is unique asset and source of wealth for DAC. Presented in a supportive environment the Professional Development Program aides dancers in maintaining an optimal physical performance level while instigating exchange and skill sharing amongst the artists. This in itself is a catalyst for innovative employment opportunities and work situations.
Since the establishment of our Professional Membership program in 2015, and through various fundraising initiatives and partnerships, we have supported 250 members by providing thousands of dollars in rebates, scholarships and bursaries for their research in creation, development and production.