Andrea Peña receives 2018 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award

BANFF, AB, November 29, 2018 – Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is thrilled to announce Andrea Peña as winner of the 2018 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award. Peña will receive a cash prize of $14,000 CAD for the commission of a new work and the support of two residencies at Banff Centre.

“As the first Latin American choreographer to receive this prestigious award, I am sincerely grateful to Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for the recognition of my alternative choreographic universes,” said Peña. “This opportunity allows for myself and my collaborating artists to further challenge and explore our physical, visual, and social imaginaries, while developing this new creation to its fullest potential within a powerful environment.” 

Called “6.58”, Peña’s new work presents an unusual, sensual, and rhythmic exploration of artificiality within contemporary society, composed through three disarticulated tableaux. Five dancers in conversation with the hegemony of a machine, opera singer, and DJ face artifice as a seductive force that wraps our experiences, interactions and notion of humanity.

Peña was selected from an impressive shortlist of applicants that included Daina Ashbee (Montreal), Sara Coffin  (Halifax), Vanessa  Goodman (Vancouver), Margaret Grenier (Vancouver), Kyra Jean Green (Montreal), Lesley Telford (Vancouver), and Natalie Tin Yin Gan (Vancouver).  

Presented by Banff Centre, the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award was established in 1978 by the Clifford E. Lee Foundation to encourage the development of Canadian choreographers. After a short pause, the Award was revived in 2018 by Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Dance at Banff Centre.

“With the renewal of the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award, Banff Centre is eager to be supporting the development of our talented Canadian emerging artists in dance,” said Molnar. “Now open to any emerging Canadian dance artist or company, we are thrilled to focus on fostering a more inclusive opportunity that celebrates new and diverse voices in dance throughout the country. We are proud to announce Andrea Peña as the 2018 recipient and delighted to be contributing assistance to her work and company over the next two years. We thank and applaud the many inspired artists who applied.”  

Past recipients include: Allen Kaeja, Andrew Giday, Bengt Jörgen, Benjamin Hatcher, Christopher House, Constantine Patsalis, Crystal Pite, D.A. Hoskins, David Earle, Donald Sales, Edward Hillyer, Gabrielle Lamb, Gaetan Gingras, Gioconda Barbuto, Heather Myer, Howard Richard, Jennifer Mascall, Joe Laughlin, Judith Marcuse, Lola MacLaughlin, Mark Godden, Martine Epoque, Mauryne Allan, Michael Downing, Peter Quanz, Randy Glynn, Renald Rabu, Robert Glumbek, Robert Stephen, Sabrina Matthews, Shaun Hounsell, Simone Orlando, Stephanie Ballard, and Wen Wei Wang. 

For more information about Andrea Peña, visit

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. In 2018, Banff Centre celebrates 85 years of creative practice. 

About Andrea Peña: The works of Andrea Peña, Colombian multidisciplinary artist, are anchored amongst choreography and design as mediums to trigger new social imagery. She focuses on the creation of alternative, spatial, and performative universes that challenge our vulnerability as individuals within society. Peña's company, Andrea Peña & Artists, founded in 2014, is recognized both in Canada and internationally, supported by various international festivals and residencies abroad.