WHAT DOES SPRINGBOARD OFFER A DANCER?
- 10 Principal Companies from around the world, including Canada, USA, Germany, Sweden and Israel
- 2 Resident + 5 Emerging Choreographers from North America and Europe
- 54 hours of rehearsal
- 6+ weekend auditions with companies looking to hire
- 30+ potential employers
- 5 days of 3-hour workshops with the Principal Companies during Week One
- 15 morning classes with 5 teachers (ballet, contemporary, Gaga and Flying Low)
- 1 evening at Usine C with:
- 15 stage works
- 2 Installations
- 450+ invited guests including Presenters, Agents, Managers, and Artistic Directors from companies in Canada, the United States and Europe
- 150+ hours of dance, art and culture in the vibrant cultural Montreal community
Springboard Danse Montréal is a nonprofit organization that connects leading contemporary companies, choreographers, and dancers in a dynamic artistic ecosystem. The 3-week festival in Montréal cultivates a shared language of professionalism that values the creative process and connection above all else. Through workshops, classes, creations, the restaging of celebrated repertory, international auditions, installations, and pop-up performances, Springboard is recognized worldwide as a destination for career development. Since the organization’s inception in 2001, Springboard has curated artists from over 40 countries, and directly connected more than 500 dancers to paid jobs.
Springboard aids the professional dancer at various stages of their career. Through our stimulating environment, dancers are given the opportunity to network with world-renowned companies, choreographers, producers, directors, and casting agents. Springboard is designed as a platform to facilitate major transitions in an artist’s career, whether between jobs or in their very first job search.
Principal Companies are curated annually from the leading contemporary dance companies worldwide. During the first week of the project a hand-selected casting team observes the participants in a various workshops encompassing repertory and creative process, before placing them with a company that is most beneficial for their career. Each Principal Company has the rare opportunity to witness a dancer’s work over a three-week period. In this way, a working relationship is established between the dancer and the company that cannot be found in a traditional audition setting. Not only does this mutually-beneficial relationship create an invaluable global network of artistic peers, it also provides working opportunities and future collaborations.
The Emerging Choreographer Program provides five curated makers with elite dancers, studio space, and the opportunity to present work alongside Springboard’s Principal Companies. In a rich cultural exchange, the choreographers build lifelong relationships with both their colleagues and mentors. Dancers cast in these processes often become future collaborators, furthering the potential for employment. Past Emerging Choreographers have continued on to become leaders of the contemporary dance scene. Alumni include Kyle Abraham, Danielle Agami, Bryan Arias, Adam Barruch, Sidra Bell, Banning Bouldin, Melanie Demers, Shannon Gillen, Loni Landon, Austin McCormick, Robyn Mineko-Williams, Freya Olafson, Zoe Scofield, Helen Simoneau, Spenser Theberge, Kate Wallich, Tom Weinberger, and Yin Yue, among others.
The Resident Choreographer Program was developed in 2018 in partnership with Place des Arts and Agora de la Danse to recognize and support mid-career makers. Springboard provides these exceptional artists with residencies, opportunities to network with producers and venues, as well as informal showings of their work at Place des Arts and Usine C. Our inaugural Residents, former Emerging Choreographers Jasmine Ellis and Michael Getman, have been commissioned internationally and have employed Springboard dancers as their collaborators.
In a privileged partnership with Place des Arts established in 2015, PLATFORM showcases our Resident + Emerging Choreographers at the l’Espace Culturel Georges-Emile-Lapalme each year during the Project. This is a rare opportunity for these artists to present their work in one of North America’s most prestigious arts venues, and gives the Montréal community a rare peek into progressive, international choreography free of charge.
Springboard selects advanced and professional dancers, age 21 and up, through a rigorous annual audition process held in Montréal, Toronto, and New York in February and March. If selected, the dancers and emerging choreographers live a unique and intense experience, working closely with as many as 10 Principal Companies and 7 Emerging Choreographers. During these three weeks, dancers are provided with the rare opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in the context of a professional rehearsal and creative process rather than a traditional audition. The artists not only engage in exchanges with the other participants of Springboard, who consist of their peer group and colleagues, but they have the chance to be seen by many choreographers and company directors. For a participating Principal Company, this process provides an Artistic Director with the rare opportunity to witness a dancer’s work over an extended period of time. This structure is highly unusual in the context of an audition and allows for an in-depth evaluation of a potential future company member’s employment.
THE PROJECT ITSELF
The three-week program takes place in June. The dancers participate in a rigorous schedule composed of five-day weeks of nine-hour days. The day consists of contemporary dance classes, workshops, rehearsals and creations. Each day, morning technique classes are offered, ranging from classical ballet to many forms of contemporary dance. Throughout the three weeks, the dancers explore different artistic approaches and choreographic processes. This schedule fosters each individual’s professional development by encouraging the development of new skills and the confirmation of known strengths. Saturdays are filled with auditions, supplementary workshops, outreach performances, and showings. During the first week, the dancers are immersed in five different workshop experiences as well as their daily technique classes. During the second and third weeks, the dancers are cast with one Principal Company and one Emerging Choreographer.
ADDITIONAL AUDITION OPPORTUNITIES
In addition to the program schedule, Springboard facilitates auditions outside of our Principal Company roster as a way to provide as many employment opportunities as possible. To read more, please visit the Weekend Auditions page.
On the final day of the project a showing of “works in progress” is presented at Usine C for an invited audience. Members of the Montréal dance community, as well as presenters, agents, managers, choreographers, and artistic directors from companies in Canada, the United States, and Europe, are invited to this annual presentation.
PREVIOUS PARTICIPATING COMPANIES
Principal Companies of the past and present include Aszure Barton and Artists, Ballet BC, BJM Danse, Le Carré des Lombes, Cas Public, chuthis., Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Christopher Roman (assistant to William Forsythe), Groupe RUBBERBANDance, Kidd Pivot, Ohad Naharin of Batsheva Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Johannes Wieland of Staatstheater Kassel, Stephan Laks of GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Gallim Dance, Margie Gillis/The Legacy Project, Maxine Doyle of Punchdrunk, L-E-V, VIM VIGOR DANCE COMPANY, among others.
For a detailed list of our previous companies, choreographers, and participants, click HERE.
Springboard Danse Montreal Promo Video by DORIAN NUSKIND-ODER