Springboard was one of the most transformative, challenging, and rewarding experiences of my life.
Shelby Terrell, Springboard alum 2015

AboutProject Description and Special Events

WHAT DOES SPRINGBOARD OFFER A DANCER?

  • 10 Principal Companies from Canada, USA, Europe, Northern Europe and Israel
  • 7 Emerging Choreographers from Canada, USA 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

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Springboard Danse Montréal is a not-for-profit organization that connects hand-selected, elite performers with influential and renowned companies and choreographers from around the world in Montréal. Springboard aids the professional dancer at various stages of their career by providing the skills necessary to transition between school and a first job, by developing broader career opportunities, and by enriching an already burgeoning career with new contacts and exposure. In addition, the project facilitates current and future artistic endeavours between countless dancers and choreographers by nurturing an invaluable network of professional peers. Each company that participates in this unique project is in the position to collaborate with, and potentially hire, the highest calibre of dance artist available. As such, Springboard’s unique value proposition lies in the artistic expertise of its dedicated and experienced faculty in addition to its mentorship opportunities, creating a true ecosystem and global network of artistic peers over a lifetime.

Springboard is committed to facilitating and showcasing the work of today’s up-and-coming choreographers. The Emerging Choreographers Project provides selected artists with elite dancers, 26 hours of studio space, and the opportunity to present work alongside our Principal Companies. Candidates are selected based on experience and the quality of their previous work. In addition to this unique professional development, Springboard provides each Emerging Choreographer with the opportunity to engage with talented dancers who may become future collaborators as well as mentors who facilitate the creative process.

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 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.

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.

Over the past 16 years more than 200 participants have been offered contracts with outstanding international companies including Aszure Barton and Artists (US), Ballet Hispanico (US), Bare Bones Dance Company (UK), BJM_danse (CAN), Brian Brooks Moving Company (US), Cas Public (CAN), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (US), Cirque du Soleil (CAN), Compania Nacional de Danza (Spain), Compagnie Flak (CAN), Company XIV (US), DanceMakers (CAN), Gallim Dance (US), GöteborgsOperans Danskompani (Sweden), Helen Simoneau Danse (US), Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion (US), La La La Human Steps (CAN), Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (CAN), OUI Danse (US), ProArteDanza (CAN), RUBBERBANDance Group (CAN), Sacramento Ballet (US), Sidra Bell Dance NY (US), Sinha Danse (CAN), Sylvain Émard Danse (CAN), Toronto Dance Theatre (CAN), and VIM VIGOR DANCE COMPANY.

For a detailed list of our previous companies, choreographers, and participants, click HERE.

WEEKEND AUDITIONS

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.

SPRINGBOARD SPECIAL EVENTS

  • EMERGING CHOREOGRAPHER PLATFORM
    In a special partnership with Place des Arts established in 2015, Platform showcases our Emerging Choreographers at the l’Espace Culturel Georges-Emile-Lapalme. This is a rare opportunity for these artists to present their work in one of North America’s most prestigious arts venues.
  • THE LEGACY PROJECT
    In 2015, the evolution of the 14-year relationship between Springboard Danse Montréal and the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation gave birth to The Legacy Project. Springboard curates a new generation of dancers to participate in this special initiative, ensuring the creative legacy of Margie Gillis.


Springboard Danse Montreal Promo Video by DORIAN NUSKIND-ODER