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The artistic vision of the co-directors

We believe that the worldview of an artist is a vital and catalytic force in society, and that at the heart of contemporary dance and those who practice it lies the most important and significant moment: the staging and presentation of the piece before a live audience.

The living arts must be deemed a cultural, artistic and social phenomenon. They allow us to collaborate with all parties involved: the creators, the performers, the creative designers, the audience members, the technical and production teams, the subsidizers, the artist’ agents, the critics and researchers, the teachers, the students and other presenters. Indeed, it is in the interaction between all these participants that a “dance event” takes form and fulfills its meaning.
Our undertakings aim to encourage aesthetic innovation and choreographic visions where powerful form and content become instrumental witnesses of the present, offering us a glimpse into what lies in the future. Strong and lasting ties are formed with the artists. At whatever step of their career, they will always be welcome on our stage. Our tradition has always been to present burgeoning artistic forms, singular and eccentric ideas, and opening our doors to established artists seeking to regenerate themselves.

To ensure that the best choreographic works may evolve and have an extended lifespan, as well as reach a new and larger audience, we have put in place and actively participate in many circuit projects, thus creating tours as well as exchanges between artists and presenters throughout the world. (see our section “Outside Tangente”)

Since this is still a little-known field, we are also preoccupied with the artistic development of the public both young and old. We have put in place our “Student Activities”, our “Friday Discussions”, our “Choreographic Territories”, and we are forever seeking new ways to enrich the experience of watching a contemporary dance show.

Biography of Stéphane Labbé, general and artistic director

Stéphane Labbé first studied applied and pure sciences, then visual presentation design in Quebec. Settling in Montreal after having traveled the world with American organization Up With People, he began a Bachelor’s Degree in contemporary dance at Concordia University before completing his training as a dancer at LADMMI in June of 2002. He danced in the musical Man inc., written by Jacques Languirand and choreographed by Laurence Lemieux. Between 2001 and 2003, he was featured in three Cine Qua Non films productions choreographed by Estelle Clareton, Hélène Blackburn and Danielle Tardif. He joined the Tangente team in 2004 as production manager and, in 2006, became a programming associate. Stéphane was a member of the Board of Directors for La Danse sur les routes du Québec and contemporary dance company Mandala Sitù, as well as a member of the artistic and studies commission of LADMMI. He acted as President of the Chantier Relève disciplinaire : continuité et mutations, in preparation for the dance community’s Second General Assembly, held by the Regroupement Québécois de la danse (RQD) in April of 2009. As of early 2010, he has shared with Dena Davida the artistic and executive direction of Tangente.

Biography of Dena Davida, co-founder, curator and educator

Dena Davida was born in the United States to a family of artists and started studying performing arts from a very young age. She moved to Canada in 1977 and co-founded Tangente in 1980. Also founder and head of programming of the Festival international de nouvelle danse (FIND) from 1985 to 2001, she furthermore organized public development projects. In parallel to her career, she has gradually joined academic dance circles as a teacher and theoretician. In 2006, she completed a doctorate at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in a program called “Études et pratiques des arts" (Art studies and practice), an anthropological examination on the nature of contemporary dance events in Montreal. From 1985 to 2010, she lectured on composition, improvisation, aesthetics and anthropology of dance at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She has published many pieces in periodicals specializing in dance research. Her first publication as an editor will be an international anthology, conceived in collaboration with 28 authors and focusing on the subject of ethnology and dance. A first publication Fields in Motion: Ethnography in the worlds of dance, which she intiated and edited, was published in 2012. An international anthology at the crossroads of ethnography and artistic dance forms, this collective work brings together the writing of 28 dancer-researchers. After having functioned as artistic director since Tangente’s inception, she has now adopted the title and role of dance curator and educator. Her engagement in the professionalization of the artistic community, and principally in the realm of dance presentation, in 2012, she cofounded ACAQ (Association of Curators of the Arts of Québec) along with Dominique Fontaine and Jane Gabriels. ACAQ is organising in April 2014, ACAQ will present Envisioning the Practice: International symposium on performing arts curation, which will engender a book publication and in parallel, a masters’ level seminar on the subject at the Université de Québec à Montréal.