The aim of The Creative Gesture is to create a rare space in the dance world for today's curious and elite dance artist. Under the artistic direction of Emily Molnar, it is a space for research, sharing, and the posing of questions around topics such as creation process, daily training, somatic practices, and the future of contemporary dance.
Led by an outstanding international faculty of dance and physical theatre artists, the first four weeks of the five-week program will operate in a “company” environment. Exploration of various training methods and techniques will take place alongside the creation and performance of an original dance theatre work. The diverse backgrounds and experience of the faculty will present participants with a unique opportunity for networking and personalized career development. The fifth week of the program then moves into a week-long choreographic lab where the participating dance artists work with six selected choreographers, focusing on the development of improvisation as a choreographic tool.
What does it offer?
This particular stream of The Creative Gesture is specific to emerging artists. Participation in the creation of an original dance theatre commission will be at the heart of the first four weeks, culminating in three performances of the work. Participants will then continue for an additional week to work with six invited choreographers in a moderated choreographic lab.
Creation & Training (July 4 - July 30)
The initial four weeks of The Creative Gesture will be devoted to the creation of an original dance theatre work, with daily exploration of compositional tools and training methods that contribute directly to the ongoing creation process. Participants will include a group of twelve emerging dancers, as well as a company of ten mid-career dancer artists. The emerging artists will shadow the primary company in the creation process, fully participate in the daily training program and the choreographic lab, and perform an additional new work created specifically for them.
Program Head and faculty member, Stephan Laks (GöteborgsOperans Danskompani) has assembled an extraordinary international faculty to work on this portion of the program. Chosen for their wide range of working methods from the dance and physical theatre world, the faculty includes Ellen Lauren (co-artistic director of the SITI Company), Fernando Melo (GoteborgsOperans Danskompani), Tilman O’Donnell (formerly of the Forsythe Company), Adi Salant (co-artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company), and Jermaine Spivey (Kidd Pivot). The diverse backgrounds and experience of the faculty will present participants with a unique opportunity for networking and personalized career development.
Choreographic Lab (Aug. 1 - 6)
All participants will move on to working as interpreters for six invited choreographers in a weeklong intensive with a focus on improvisation. Moderated by internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer Michael Schumacher, the course will provide a positive and concentrated research space, where both choreographers and dancers can learn more about the discipline of improvisation and how to enhance their own creativity with its use. These sessions will include the study of pre-existing methods of improvisation and composition, as well as exercises and tools that will help the participants develop new systems and modalities of their own. The six choreographers will be guided through tasks and scores that enhance their memory and composition skills; bringing chance, adaptation, and repetition into a unified field of study.
If you are interested in applying for the choreographic lab as one of 6 selected choreographers, click here.
Who should apply
Emerging dance artists who are passionate about deepening their understanding and mastery of contemporary dance methods and techniques and broadening their professional dance experience. Applicants should be at a point of transition into the professional dance field, as recent graduates either of a professional dance program, or in the early stages of a professional performing career. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are invited to apply.
If you are interested in applying to be part of the company of mid-career artists, click here.
Your program fee includes a shared bedroom on Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.
Single rooms may be available upon request for an additional fee. Please contact the Office of the Registrar.
Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.
Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.
The Full Flex meal plan includes $38 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.
This program culminates in a series of professional performances on Banff Centre's main stage as part of the Banff Summer Arts Festival.
Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open 6 days a week.
Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.
Fees & Financial Assistance
Application fee: $60
A non-refundable fee of $60 will be charged upon application.
*Financial assistance is available to cover up to 56% of the total program fee.
To be considered for financial aid, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials to SlideRoom.
How to Apply
Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program.
Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete.
Applicants to the emerging artists stream of The Creative Gesture must be at a point of transition into the professional dance field, as recent graduates either of a professional dance program, or in the early stages of a professional performing career. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are invited to apply.
Note: All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of Banff Centre.