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The Creative Gesture - Preparing the Ground

A research lab with Medhi Walerski and Pierre Pontvianne

Program archived

Program Information

Ballet BC in Prelude by Medhi Walerski. Photo Michael Slobodian.

Program Overview

Explore the beginning stages of the creative process in this two-week research lab for professional dancers. Part of The Creative Gesture suite, this program focuses on preparing the ground and diving into various ideas and perspectives.

Guided by international choreographer Medhi Walerski and dramaturge Pierre Pontvianne, 16-20 participants will create content for a dance production through improvisations, researching physical material, and collecting content to support and nurture the development of a choreographic work. 

The filtering and extracting of conceptual viewpoints from week one will influence week two, when the group will work on composition. Participants will discuss and develop a selection of research ideas, and extend them through the lens of the faculty’s experience.

What does the program offer?

  • Daily training with faculty tailored to deepen conversation with the body and mind as well as the individual and collective, using the studio experience as a living laboratory.
  • Physical activities, improvisations, site specific research, knowledge sharing, discussions, play, and other activities that relate to the different aspects of the creative process. 
  • Constructing, deconstructing, puzzling content.
  • A studio showing where participants will informally share excerpts from the research lab with the general public. 

Who should apply?

We invite applications from professional contemporary dancers who wish to participate in a collaborative experience, and who are curious and interested in researching the creation of a future choreographic work. Applicants must be 18 years of age or above.


What's Included

Shared RoomRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes a shared bedroom on the 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.

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Full Flex Meal PlanRead MoreClose

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 $40 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

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Showcase Your WorkRead MoreClose

This program culminates in a series of professional public performances on Banff Centre's main stage.

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Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym, and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music, and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open six days a week.

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Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

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Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee (Shared room)*
$1 816.19
Program Fee with Financial Aid (Shared Room)

Application fee: $65

*Financial Aid up to 100% of the program fee is provided

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre! View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

How to Apply

It is important to be aware of all steps included in submitting your application.
Learn more.


A one-page resume describing your professional training and experience, as well as other relevant experience.


A recent digital photograph (size: 8x10) with your name in the file title.

Artist Biography

Provide a 100-word artist biography. This will be used as a narrative for administrative and public use.

Work Samples

Please upload three samples of your recent artistic work.

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section to be eligible for financial assistance.


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.

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.

Contact the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)