FAQ – OBOC MONTRÉAL 2020
As we are operating on a very small team, we will be unable to answer all of your questions individually. For that reason, we’ve compiled an extensive FAQ page, with literally all the questions we thought you might have. Please make sure to carefully read the information on this page, to find an answer to any question you might have. It’s your responsibility to be aware of all the conditions that apply. In the rare case where a question would go unanswered, you can email us at the email address at the bottom of this page. Questions sent via Facebook or Instagram will go unanswered.
1. CONTENT OF THE PROGRAM
1.1 What is the Countertechnique?
Countertechnique provides tools for body and mind to deal with the demanding dance practice of the 21st century. It is a movement system to help the dancer think about the dancing body, focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. Within a clear structure of exercises, the Countertechnique class thoroughly prepares the body for rehearsal and performance, enabling dancers to move bigger, more fluidly and more spatially, while becoming stronger and more flexible.
By continuously and sequentially directing and counter directing parts of the body through space, Countertechnique allows the moving dancer to work with an ever-changing dynamic balance. This dynamic balance reduces the pressure on the overall body structure and can be changed at any given moment. The consistent use of the counter direction in all movements is key to the technique; both the awareness and application of this principle is trained throughout the Countertechnique class.
The Countertechnique theory is organized around two principal notions: the ‘toolbox’ and ‘scanning’. The toolbox is the systematically organized collection of tools for body and mind with which Countertechnique works, often visualized as a virtual map that dancers carry with them. Scanning defines the process of dancers continuously and actively observing their mindset and body in order to choose the most appropriate tool(s) from the toolbox for the situation they find themselves in. Scanning allows dancers to make active use of the toolbox in their daily practice of training, rehearsing and performing.
Countertechnique was developed by Anouk van Dijk throughout her twenty-five year career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Over the last twenty years, the knowledge and experience she gained – in constant dialogue with her dancers – was gradually transformed into a detailed theoretical system and a teaching method, which now together form the Countertechnique system.
Countertechnique is taught all around the world by 32 Teachers, trained and certified by Founder Anouk van Dijk and Master Teacher Nina Wollny in the biennial Countertechnique Teacher Training.
1.2 What is the OBOC?
Working for ten full days with Countertechnique Founder and former Chunky Move Artistic Director Anouk van Dijk, Senior Teacher Niharika Senapati and Alexander Technique expert Tom Koch, will give you an all-encompassing view into the theory and application of Countertechnique into your dance practice.
The OBOC encompasses a variety of programs, that all look at different aspects of your daily life as a dancer, and help you understand and apply Countertechnique to these different situations. You will take Countertechnique classes with Founder Anouk van Dijk and Senior Teacher Niharika Senapati, but also work on improvisation, partnering, creation, theory and analysis, performance practice, presentation. And – last but certainly not least – you’ll be doing group and individual sessions with legendary Alexander Technique Teacher Tom Koch, who’s had 30 years of experience working with dancers, amongst others with William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt.
Countertechnique Founder Anouk van Dijk will share her love for space, improvisation and the creative process. Senior Countertechnique Teacher Niharika Senapati will offer insights in Anouk van Dijk’s repertory for Chunky Move and strategies for performance practice, and Tom Koch will introduce his specific approach of Alexander Technique for dancers in plenary and individual sessions. The intensive will conclude with a shared presentation of the various workshops.
Through these programs of physical practice, theory and discourse and creative workshops, participants will gain a set of practical tools that they will be able to draw from and apply in their daily dance practice and through performance seasons.
1.3 Who will be participating?
The OBOC Intensive is aimed at professional dancers and advanced dance students interested in pursuing a long, healthy and successful career in dance. First time participants will gain a detailed introduction to the distinct elements and methodology that form Countertechnique, while returning participants will have the opportunity to deepen and expand their understanding.
We’re always very careful to select a balanced mix of experienced professionals and dancers in the earlier stages of their career. Similarly, we make sure to select a group of participants that have no or limited Countertechnique experience, and those that have already taken frequent Countertechnique classes, or done OBOC’s before.
For morning classes, groups will be split based on their prior experience with Countertechnique, and in most afternoon works participants with and without prior Countertechnique experience will be mixed, based on their choice of workshop. Other parts of the program have both groups together in one big group.
Participants in previous editions have come from all over the world, adding the additional benefit to the OBOC of building an international professional network for yourself.
1.4 What will I get out the OBOC?
You will be gaining a set of practical tools that you will be able to draw from and apply in you daily dance practice as well as your performance seasons.
Countertechnique does not teach you to imitate and it is not tied to any particular style, it empowers dancers by providing them with tools that they can apply themselves in their own daily practice. These tools will help you to become less judgemental about yourself, to take more initiative in your own development and to realize your potential. The OBOC will also help you prevent and manage injuries. The OBOC will bring fun to your life as a dancer, and a strong sense of purpose and control.
1.5 How is it different from taking a regular Countertechnique class, or a workshop?
A regular Countertechnique class is aimed at warming up your body and preparing it for rehearsal or performance. The information, analysis and modes of application that you get provided with during the OBOC will give you extensive additional knowledge that will help you to work on a much more refined and deeper level in a regular Countertechnique class or workshop.
1.6 How is it different from taking one of the many other summer workshops in North-America?
As one of the very few workshops in the world the OBOC will not give you a taster of different styles and techniques, or practicing someone’s repertoire, it’s aimed at delving in deep into the Countertechnique movement system for two weeks, and will send you home with practical tools that you can apply in your own daily practice. Countertechnique is about empowering dancers, and the information and practice you gather during the OBOC is guaranteed to be of great benefit to your own career.
1.7 Is it different being taught by these specific Countertechnique teachers than by other Countertechnique teachers near me?
All of our Countertechnique teachers have been trained and certified by Founder Anouk van Dijk herself, so the classes that they teach offer information in line with the Countertechnique methodology. Working with Founder Anouk van Dijk herself for two weeks, as well as Senior Teacher Niharika Senapati, will give you access to a very different level of knowledge, expertise and experience. Anouk van Dijk has developed the system over the last 20 years, and trained all 32 certified Teachers. Niharika Senapati has been a core Chunky Move ensemble member and since 2012 featured in almost all of Anouk van Dijk’s creations for Chunky Move; she will be able to share her knowledge and experience of applying Countertechnique at the highest professional level.
1.8 Where can I find more information about the faculty?
Please find more information about Anouk van Dijk’s work as a choreographer online. To get an impression of her work, we recommend watching trailers of An Act of Now (2012), Complexity of Belonging (2014), Depth of Field (2016), Rule of Thirds(2016), Common Ground (2018). She’s currently creating the new work Distant Matter for Staatsballet Berlin, which will premiere in a double bill with Half Life by Sharon Eyal in February. Niharika Senapati performs in An Act of Now, Depth of Field (2016), Rule of Thirds, as well Anti-Gravity (2017) and Accumulation (2018). Tom Koch has more information about his practice on his website Tomsterdam.
1.9 Will I get to work with all the different faculty members?
Yes, during the two week OBOC everyone will be able to work with all the faculty members in various settings.
1.10 Will there be a presentation at the end?
The OBOC will have a presentation moment of the creative workshops at the end of the second week. This will be an internal presentation, although some members of the local community can be invited.
1.11 If I do the OBOC, will I receive a certificate?
No, there is no certificate at the end.
1.12 Do I get to take something home after the OBOC?
Besides the experience from the Intensive itself, you will be taking home a written summary of all the information that has been shared with you during the OBOC. This is for personal and private use only, and you are not allowed to share, multiply or publish these materials or their content with others in any shape or form, or through any platform.
1.13 After I complete the OBOC, can I share my experiences with others?
We encourage all participants to share their experiences and insights, but we’re very strict in allowing only teachers who have successfully completed the Countertechnique Teacher Training to teach Countertechnique to others. Teaching Countertechnique requires very specific teacher perspective on Countertechnique, as well as a detailed pedagogical understanding of what happens during class – neither of which are taught during the OBOC in any way. The OBOC is exclusively aimed at learning to understand and applying Countertechnique as a dancer, and after completing the OBOC you therefore can’t claim for any of the classes you teach yourself that you are teaching or incorporating Countertechnique in any way.
1.14 Is the OBOC getting documented?
Elements of the OBOC will be recorded on video and through photography. By confirming your place in the OBOC, you consent to these registrations and any use for future marketing purposes. We do not provide materials to any of the participants, other than what is published online through our website or social media. Participants will not be allowed to make audio or video recordings of (parts of) the OBOC for any purposes.
2. DATES, REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT
2.1 When does the OBOC 2020 in Montréal take place?
The OBOC 2020 in Montréal takes place from Monday 22 June to Friday 3 July. The program consists of ten full days, running from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, with a lunch break in the afternoon. Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June are free.
2.2 How many places are available?
We will accept a total of 55 applicants.
2.3 How can I apply?
You can only apply until Sunday 12 January midnight (EST) using our online registration form: https://participant.springboarddansemontreal.com/en/ctregistration. We will not accept registrations sent to us by email or post.
To be included in the selection process, you will be required to complete the registration form online and pay your registration fee. We will not accept payments of the registration fee via other ways other than what’s offered on the registration page.
The questions on our registration form are in both English and French. However, all questions need to be answered in English. As the selection of the participants will be done by our exclusively English-speaking faculty, information submitted in French can unfortunately not be accepted.
Once you have completed your registration, you will receive an automatic email confirmation that your application will be included in the selection process.
You will hear about the outcome of the selection procedure by 12 February at the latest.
If you’ve been selected, you will need to confirm your participation, pay your deposit and decide on your payment plan by 19 February.
If you’re on the waitlist: first invitations to people on the waitlist are sent out on 21 February.
Please do not send enquires about the status of your application; as we work with a very small team, no individual status updates can be provided until 21 February. We will not be providing any individual feedback on applications of participants who haven’t been selected, or who first end up on the waiting list.
- Fri 6 Dec – Registration opens
- Thu 26 Dec – last day Early Bird offer
- Sun 12 Jan – Registration closes
- Wed 12 Feb – Invitations are sent out to selected applicants
- Wed 19 Feb – Deposit needs to be paid to secure spot
- Fri 21 Feb – First invitations to waitlist applicants are sent out
- Mon 16 Mar – first payment is due (all payment plans)
- Mon 20 Apr – second payment is due (two and three instalment payment plans)
- Mon 25 May – third payment is due (three instalment payment plan)
- Mon 22 Jun – start OBOC Montréal
- Fri 3 July – finish OBOC Montréal
2.4 How much does it cost to participate and what’s the payment process?
For all applicants, there is an application fee of $39 CAD. The fee for participants in the OBOC is $1,725 CAD. For applicants applying before Thursday 26 December, there is an Early Bird rate available at $1,695 CAD.
After the selection process has been completed, on Wednesday 12 February, the selected applicants will be offered a spot in the OBOC. They will have to pay a $350 CAD deposit by Wednesday 19 February to confirm their participation. At that time, you will also be able to select a payment plan.
From Wednesday 6 March, applicants on the waitlist might be provided with an invitation to attend. They will also need to confirm their participation and pay their deposit within one week after notification. Invitations to people on the waitlist can continue to roll out until May.
2.5 What payment methods and payment plans are available?
You can pay via credit card or your Paypal account.
After you’ve paid your deposit, we offer the option to pay the remainder of your fee in one, two or three further instalments – as per the schedule above – spread over almost equal payments.
If you complete your full fee in one instalment, no additional fee is charged. For all additional instalments in the payment plan, an additional administrative cost of $15 CAD per payment is charged (e.g., two instalments attract one $15 CAD charge, three instalments attract two $15 CAD charges.)
The options in the payment plan will be presented to you when you pay your deposit. Give this some thought therefore before making your payment.
When deciding on your payment plan, it’s good to be aware that if you’re not making your instalments according to the agreed timeline, your place might be offered to other applicants.
First payment after your deposit is due on Monday 16 March. Final payment in a two instalment plan is due Monday 20 April, final payment in a three instalment plan is due Monday 25 May.
2.6 Are there any scholarships available?
Limited scholarship opportunities will be offered for the OBOC. All applicants will be notified on Monday 13 January what information is required, which can then be provided online within one week. As only a small number of scholarships will be available, applying for financial support does not guarantee receiving it, and we therefore strongly encourage applicants to seek funding from multiple sources, independently from their scholarship request. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of a combination of artistic excellence, financial need and cultural diversity. Partial scholarships (25% and 50%) will be considered in order to assist as many dancers as possible.
2.7 Do I get a discount as a return OBOC participant?
As the partnership between Countertechnique and Springboard Danse Montréal is unrelated to previous OBOC’s in Amsterdam and Melbourne, no discounts can be provided to attendants of previous OBOC’s.
2.8 What is your refund policy?
All payments are strictly non-refundable. If you withdraw before your final payment is concluded, no further payments are due. If you withdraw after you’ve paid your full fee, your $39 Application fee will be reimbursed.
2.9 I’m not sure yet if I’m free / have the money / etc. Should I apply anyway?
We appreciate that there are many reasons why you might not yet be able to 100% confirm your participation at the moment of registration. However, we encourage everyone with interest in the OBOC to at least apply. Final confirmation and payment will not be required until Monday 19 February, so everyone has until then to figure things out. If you have to drop out, at least your profile is on our radar, and we’ll take that information into our consideration when processing applications in future years.
2.10 What should I do if I’ve accepted my spot, but find out later that I can’t attend after all?
You should notify us immediately via email, email@example.com, so that we can possibly find another applicant to take your spot. Participants who withdraw after they’ve paid their full fee, will receive their registration fee back.
2.11 Do I get a discount if I attend both Springboard Danse Montréal and OBOC?
Although we highly recommend attending both, these events are unrelated and no discount is available for participating in both.
2.12 Are there other OBOC’s taking place in 2020?
No other OBOC’s have currently been scheduled.
3. SELECTION AND PARTICIPATION
3.1 Do I need prior experience in Ctech to be selected?
There’s no formal requirement to have prior experience with Countertechnique. Each year, about half the group has limited or no experience with Countertechnique, and half has moderate to extensive experience with Countertechnique.
3.2 How will you be selecting participants?
We’re always very careful to select a balanced mix of experienced professionals and dancers in the earlier stages of their career. Similarly, we make sure to select a group of participants that have no or limited Countertechnique experience, and a group that has already taken frequent Countertechnique classes, or done OBOC’s before.
Within those categories we will select candidates on the basis of their motivation letter, CV and video, as well as their level of education and professional experience. As best we can, we look to put together a group that’s balanced and diverse in terms of gender, age and cultural background as well.
We will always prioritise the most talented dancers in our selection process, in any category. Countertechnique was originally developed for highly motivated professional dancers operating at the top of their game, so the bar for selection will be high.
3.3 What kind of video would you like to see from me?
Please send us a dancer’s reel, which clearly shows you dancing. Please make sure you include footage of yourself dancing in a studio setting, be it improvised and/or set choreography. If you’re sending us excerpts of a performance, please send us material that shows you individually, not as part of a group. If you’re sending material that has you in a duet or trio, make sure to supply information that allows us to identify you easily in the video (e.g. costume colour). Selecting material that is easy for us to assess is your responsibility; if we need to make significant effort to identify who you are in the videos you have sent, we will simply not include the video in our selection process.
3.4 How do I send you my video material?
We only accept video material via links on Youtube or Vimeo. We do not accept links to materials that need to be downloaded, or viewed on non-mainstream platforms.
3.5 How do I send you my photo material?
We ask that you send us JPG’s, with a maximum size of 5 MB per photo. Send us one headshot, and one dance photo – please do not send us more.
3.6 How do I send you my CV and motivation?
We ask that you send us a Word document or PDF only, with a maximum file size of 5 MB.
3.7 Will other considerations be taken into account?
Other than the above criteria, we have few other considerations. We will reserve ten spots for dancers from Canada, of which five for dancers from Montréal. These dancers will still need to meet all of the criteria, but if they do they will get a preferential treatment in the selection process for those particular spots. If insufficient applications have come in for these spots, they will be made available to all other applicants.
3.8 How good does my English need to be?
Having a decent understanding of English is an important criteria. During the OBOC, a lot of detailed information will be shared, exclusively in English. It is important that you are able to understand and process that information, and are able to ask questions in English when you need to.
3.9 I can’t make it to one / more day(s) of the OBOC. Is that a problem?
Yes, it is. We will prioritize applicants that commit to being present for the whole duration of the OBOC Intensive. If you can’t please feel free to still apply, and we can put you on the waitlist for if any spots become available. Please be upfront about your availability; we reserve the right to deny access to those who show up at the OBOC and turn out not to be able to meet their full time commitment.
3.10 I can attend the full two week period, but I’d like to attend (part of) the OBOC as an observer. Is that a problem?
Yes, it is. We do not allow observers in the studios. All attendants will be required to fully participate as a dancer in the OBOC, or otherwise leave the space.
3.11 I’d like to make video / audio recordings of (parts of) the OBOC, is that a problem?
Yes, it is. We do not allow the OBOC to be recorded by participants in any shape or form. We will make video and photographic recordings ourselves, for archival and marketing purposes, which will be published online and through social media, and which can be shared by participants.
3.12 I would like to receive a confirmation letter, for the purpose of a funding application – is that possible?
Upon making your deposit, you will be provided with a confirmation letter.
4.1 What are the studios like, in which the OBOC will take place?
We will be using three spacious studios, measuring 17.25 m x 13.25 m (57 x 44 ft), 14.5 m x 13.25 m (48 x 44 ft) and 9 x 19 m (30 x 62 ft). They all have good day light as well as airconditioning.
4.2 Where are the studios located in Montréal?
They are located in the centre of town, at the Université du Québec à Montréal – Dance Faculty, 840 Rue Cherrier.
4.3 What’s the connection to public transport?
The studios are easy to reach by public transport or bike.
4.4 What’s facilities are around?
The studios are located in the centre of town, and there are cafes, restaurants and supermarkets in the area.
5. HOUSING AND LIVING IN MONTREAL
5.1 What’s Montréal like?
Montréal is a very cosmopolitan, lively, affordable and safe city. It has a culturally diverse and progressive population, with a strong arts community, in particular in dance, circus and theater. It’s easy to travel, either by public transport or bike, with affordable housing and cheap living costs compared to other major cities in North-America. Montréal has a beautiful river and gorgeous nature closeby. It consistently ranks amongst the most liveable cities in the world.
5.2 Do people speak English in Montréal?
Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with 60% of the population able to speak both English and French.
5.3 Will you assist in finding housing?
All participants in the program must arrange for their own accommodation.
Generally, it’s best to look for apartments in the neighborhood of “Place des Arts”, “Le Plateau” or close to McGill University, “The McGill Ghetto”. Other options might be in “Mile End” or looking further north towards “Villeray”. As long as you are close to a BIXI station or on a metro line getting around Montréal is easy.
The following sites below have proved to be useful in years past:
McGill Off-Campus Housing
Concordia Off-Campus Housing
or a range of short term rental sites such as HomeAway and many others you can find through a simple Google search.
Sharing an apartment is a fun and economical way to live for the month. Sublets in Montréal tend to be spacious and affordable. It is not uncommon for large groups of dancers to share an apartment with multiple bedrooms.
As soon as invited applicants confirm their application, we’ll be setting up a closed Facebook-group where you can connect to other participants to discuss housing options in advance of the OBOC.
5.4 What are the public transport options?
OPTION 1: Bus and/or Subway (STM)
Regular fare (for 120 min): $3.50 (1 trip) / $6.50 (2 trips) / $29.00 (10 trips)
Other fare options: One day $10.00 / Three day pass $19.50 / Weekly unlimited pass $26.75
OPTION 2: Bike (BIXI)
BIXI is a self-service bike system in Montreal. BIXI is a true means of urban transport. BIXI bike is accessible to everyone, 24/7. It is inexpensive and saves you commuting time. After paying your registration fee, you will receive a BIXI key by mail.
BIXI Fares: One way: $2.95 / 24h: $5.00 / 3 days: $14.00
If you are ordering a BIXI key, it is recommended that you make this request at least one month in advance to ensure your key is available upon your arrival. Please have your key mailed care of CT/Springboard Danse Montréal to the following address to ensure timely delivery:
CT/Springboard Danse Montréal
Usine C | 1908 rue Panet #304
Montreal, QC H2L 3A2
5.5 How will I get to Montréal?
OPTION 1: By air
You will arrive at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau/Dorval Airport .
From the airport, the most convenient transportation into the city is by taxi. The journey from the airport to downtown Montréal should cost around $40.00 CAD.
A more affordable option is the #747 bus to downtown Montréal. This service operates 24/7 between the airport and Le Gare d’autocars de Montréal Terminal (near Berri-UQAM métro station). The fare is approximately $10.00 and also serves as an unlimited metro pass for 24 hours from the time of purchase. Tickets can be bought at the airport at designated pay stations or with exact change on the bus (payable only in coins, no bank notes). For the complete #747 bus schedule, visit the STM website.
You will arrive at Le Gare Centrale in downtown Montréal (near Bonaventure and Square-Victoria-OACI métro stations).
E.g.: The trip from New York Penn Station to Montréal is 11 hours and the fare is around $70.00. Prices may vary by month, day, and time.
OPTION 3: By Bus – Greyhound
You will arrive at Le Gare d’autocars de Montréal Terminal (near Berri-UQAM métro station)
E.g.: The trip from New York Port Authority to Montréal is 8 hours and the fare is around $65.00 if bought online. Prices may vary by month, day, and time.
5.6 Do I need a visa to get into Canada?
If you are traveling from outside of Canada, your passport will need to be valid for 6 months or more when you present it at the border.
Unless you have an USA passport, all other nationalities require a visa before arrival. For most countries, the process is very simple and can be done online, click on this link. The eTA is an electronic visa, and would usually be processed within days. Some countries might require a more extensive visa application process. In all cases, please make sure to do your research on time therefore! On applying / entering the country, you can select the ‘visiting a conference’ option.
5.7 What’s the weather like in July?
The month of July in Montréal is often hot, humid and sometimes rainy. You may want to think about bringing regular rain gear as well as rain gear for biking around the city.
5.8 How will I stay in touch with the other participants during and after the OBOC?
As soon as applicants start confirming their spots, we’ll set up a closed Facebook group which will allow participants to connect. During the OBOC, this Facebook group will also serve the purpose of sharing information about the day to day program.
6. OTHER PROGRAMS
6.1 How does the OBOC relate to the Countertechnique Teacher Training (CTTT)?
The OBOC and the CTTT are entirely separate programs, containing different information. The OBOC is exclusively developed for dancers, the CTTT is a program developed for those considered eligible to become Countertechnique teachers themselves. As participating in the CTTT requires, however, to be able to apply the Countertechnique principles comfortably in your own dancing, attending the OBOC is a prerequisite to applying for the CTTT. If, therefore, you intend to apply for the CTTT in future years, the OBOC in Montréal is the ideal opportunity to meet that requirement..
6.2 Once I’ve done the OBOC, will I automatically qualify for participation in the CTTT?
No, you will not. There are a number of selection criteria in place for the CTTT, which can be found on the webpage about the CTTT. Attending the OBOC is one of them.
6.3 When will the next CTTT take place?
The next CTTT will take place in 2020, but all further details won’t be announced until the second half of 2019.
6.4 Is there any relationship between the OBOC and Springboard Danse Montréal’s annual program?
Springboard Danse Montréal champions development opportunities for dancers to have long, healthy and successful careers. As the OBOC offers the tools to do exactly that, the partnership between Springboard Danse Montréal and Countertechnique is a very natural one. The OBOC is, however, unrelated in any way to Springboard Danse Montréal’s regular program, and offers a very different experience to professional dancers.
7. CONTACT INFORMATION
I’ve read all the information above, but my question is not answered anywhere. How can I reach you?
If your question is urgent, relating to our program and you’ve read all the information above to verify it is not answered on this page, then you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.