In January 2014, Lisa Davies founded Danse à la Carte (DAC) with the members of the board of directors Robin Mathes and Véronique Giasson. The Professional Development Program was then established and DAC became the only non-profit organization in Montreal that offered professional dancers of all disciplines ballet classes, in addition to offering master classes and workshops in contemporary dance offered by renowned teachers.) The need for such a variety of classes has enabled DAC to quickly gather and retain independent dancers and dancers from several companies (Les Grands Ballets, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, La La La Human Steps, Rubberbandance Group, O'Vertigo, 7 fingers of the hand and Cirque Éloize). This diversity in the composition of classes is a great wealth of DAC. Since 2014, DAC has offered 800 master classes and workshops taught by 80 faculty members to over 100 professional artists. The faculty of the Professional Development Program includes renowned professors such as Marc Boivin, Lisa Davies, Sylvain Senez, Anne Plamondon and Ami Shulman. DAC has also hosted more than fifteen guest international artists, including James O'Hara (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui) and Kim Kohlmann (Hofesh Shechter Company).
In October 2014, the artistic director, Lisa Davies, became the director of TransFormation Danse, a major annual event for the contemporary dance community in Montreal, founded in 2007 by Catherine Viau and David Pressault. Since its integration into DAC's main activities, TransFormation has brought together more than 400 professional artists from 24 countries for nearly 800 hours of creation and professional development workshops. During this event, the artists go to the studio and participate directly in the creation of works with local choreographers from Montreal (notably, Frédérick Gravel, Danièle Desnoyers, Paul-André Fortier, Benoît Lachambre, Victor Quijada and Alexandra Spicey Landé) as well than research and development workshops with internationally renowned teachers such as Eric Beauchesne (Crystal Pite | Kidd Pivot), Shamel Pitts (Ohad Naharin | Batsheva Dance Company), Laura Aris Alvarez (Ultima Vez), Kristina and Sade Alleyne (Akram Khan Company).
Since its inception, DAC has also presented Carte Blanche, which is an annual celebration of dance, a showcase for the Montreal professional dance community that highlights the rich diversity of artists and creators in the field. This show, which takes place at the Rialto Theater, is the culmination of the choreographic work of our artists in residence, choreographers from our TransFormation Danse creation laboratories, as well as other local creators who present their work on stage in front of 500 spectators. and broadcasters in the Montreal region. Each year, between 40 and 50 Montreal artists perform in works created by 15 to 20 choreographers who explore contemporary dance, contemporary ballet, urban dance, classical ballet and the circus.
DAC received its first grant from the Canada Council for the Arts in February 2015 and offered its first studio residencies in August 2015. The DAC Residency Program was officially established in January 2016. Its residencies supported 32 Montreal choreographers and four international artists in the research and creation of 32 new works and distributed $ 8,000 in research grants. These works have been presented as part of the program of Danse Danse, the FTA, the Agora de la Danse, the Danse Cité, the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur and the Hector Charland Theater, as well as at the occasion of Carte Blanche, our annual gala.
In October 2015, the DAC Professional Membership Program was established thanks to funds raised during Carte Blanche. Since the inception of the Program, we have been able to support 250 members with thousands of dollars in rebates and grants for creation, development and production.
DAC has established partnerships with important members of the Montreal dance community. Consequently, institutions such as Danse Danse, the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, Les Grands Ballets, Kinatex Sports Physio, the École supérieure de ballet du Québec, Circuit-Est center chorégraphique, the Festival TransAmérique, the Académie du ballet métropolitain, the Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur, Les 7 frères de la main and the Hector-Charland Theater generously offered funds and their services to support and improve the activities offered by DAC to the community. The support of the Canada Council for the Arts since 2015 has proven to be essential to gain public recognition.