MO is a multi-year post-secondary program that provides relevant contemporary dance development to 30 aspiring professionals between the ages of 18 and 25. Each year of the program runs from September to June and is divided into three terms that are separated by winter and spring breaks. While every term incorporates all aspects of the curriculum, the central focus of the program evolves from foundational technique to creative practice and performance. Students train an average of 33 hours per week, with additional hours devoted to mentorship meetings and dialogue. The daily schedule includes one to two technique and conditioning classes followed by one to two complementary classes in performance and creation studies.
Because the student body is composed of dancers with a wide range of expertise and backgrounds, a core value of the program is that students at all levels continue to train together. In the first term, students are divided according to their needs and work in small groups for three to five hours per week. Although mentorship and assessment is ongoing throughout, the end of each term provides a period for reflection in which mentors and students can reassess development and objectives.
The Public Performance & Practice and Dance on Screen courses operate year round. Each year, MO students perform at a selection of community events including Discover Dance, Vancouver International Dance Festival, and Dance in Vancouver. End of year performances share three to four new creations along with selections of Dance on Screen works, with the remaining film projects shared at the annual Sunset Screening.
From January to June, the Focus Group offers additional development hours for third- and fourth-year students. Activities are planned in collaboration with students and are designed to support their individual interests and needs through demanding professional practicum. Each year the Focus Group shares selections of their own work at the Focus Group Showing and Reception.
Rigorous & Diverse Foundational Training and repetition are the backbone of the curriculum, along with the development of sophisticated physiological understanding across multiple contemporary dance languages. We prioritize foundation classes, which are taught by core faculty and are programmed frequently. Twice a week the student body is divided to receive targeted lessons. Bodywork and somatic practices, including Movement Patterning, Body-Mind Centering, Pilates, Gyrokinesis, and Yoga, ensure that our students graduate with exceptional, relevant technical training.
MO is hailed for the spectrum of methods and perspectives that we present to our students. Our program offers an intensive series of Unique Contemporary Dance Methods, including Hip Hop, Classical Indian, African Dance, Martial Arts, and Butoh, to further the relevance and adaptability of our students’ skillsets. Interpretation & Transformation, Theatre, and Voice introduce students to new interpretive territory and provide them with the tools to broaden and deepen artistic and technical skills, perspective, endurance, and connections between traditions.
We believe that Dance Making & Improvisation are critical tools for innovative independent artists and collaborators. These skills are incorporated into technique classes and also programmed separately, in dance making and improvisation classes.
Partner Work is offered in several sessions in the form of technique classes and contact improvisation as well as diverse repertoire and within students’ own choreographic development.
Choreographic Workshops bring the processes of active professional choreographers into experimental labs. Students engage with an assortment of creative perspectives, approaches, and environments, and are asked to contextualize their training, offer their perspectives, and contribute to momentum. In addition, students are involved with three to five New Creations for Performance each year.
Repertoire includes the study of 10-20 excerpts of diverse and demanding solo, partnering, and ensemble work, and has recently included work from Kidd Pivot, Company 605, Serge Bennathan, Tentacle Tribe, Out Innerspace, Radical System Art, Justine A. Chambers, and Compagnie La Mer Noire.
Public Performance & Practice offers a breadth of performance experience in a variety of public locations. Students are introduced to the possibilities of outdoor performance and gatherings, and together with professionals, stage their own experiments, using content drawn from the professionals’ experience and the students’ own creativity and desires.
Dance on Screen has been a part of the MO curriculum since its inception and offers a new platform for students to explore and refine their creative interests. Students work individually and collectively behind and in front of the camera and with editing programs. They work with a variety of directives as well as create their own works supported by professionals. They learn new ways in which to collaborate and to disseminate their ideas, and come to consider sound, space, and dance in new ways. Each year a selection of dance on screen projects are shared at the year end performances and MO Sunset Screening.
Mentorship, Assessment & Career Navigation are ongoing activities that incorporate group dialogue, meetings, written assignments, and directed study. Each student receives a minimum of three individual meetings with the Directors in addition to group meetings, and personal feedback from faculty who watch class and who integrate feedback into their classes. Students learn to understand the demands inherent in each course and to relate them across their multi-year development. Students develop their goals, personal regimens, and critical self-assessments alongside their mentors. Dialogue, writing, and creative tasks empower students to take charge of their own progress through productive self-assessment.
The Graduate “Focus Group” offers programming for the third- and fourth-year students to further develop their own practice and amplify the practicum to match professional process. Activity is planned in collaboration with the students and designed to support their individual interests and needs. They prioritize their resources, drive their own process, bring their questions together for peer research, facilitate their own showings and feedback, and select their own mentors. Upon graduation, students’ portfolios include four to eight video projects, substantial solo and group material created by themselves, over 15 excerpts of professional repertoire, and over ten creations by professionals including solos, duets, ensemble, improvised, and evening-length works. A large collection of written work span their four-year development. With the assistance of mentors, they develop their choreographic voices and tools as well as their own regimens in physical therapy, improvisation, movement generation, and reflection. Collective writing, artistic statements, developmental questions, and dialogue help students to build a verbal and written language to support their physical one.
1st Year Students
- Develop foundational technical and artistic skills
- Analyse and reflect upon their own approach, progress and challenges
- Have their fundamental challenges and learning needs identified by faculty and mentors
- Participate in career navigation activity through exposure to a broad range of contemporary dance with follow-up discussion
- Gain an understanding of personal goals and the work required to reach these goals
- Are introduced to the standards and expectations of professional-level practice
- Participate in improvisation, dance-making, choreographic workshops, dance on screen, and movement repertoire
2nd Year Students
- Strengthen their technical and artistic skills
- Take greater responsibility for their learning and progress
- Deepen their connection between daily work and professional ambition
- Gain greater knowledge of and appreciation for the dance community
- Build a stronger relationship between short-term and long-term goals
- Take more risk in every aspect of their learning
- Take on new challenges in class, creation and performance
- Participate in career navigation based on the understanding of their own personal practice within the breadth of possibilities in professional practice
- Build their self-assessment, reflection, writing and dialogue skills
3rd Year Students
- Develop a level of sophistication in a multitude of methods and approaches
- Experiment with what they are learning and find their own unique point of view
- Connect their dancing to the way they see the world
- Use their growing skill-set in diverse creative processes
- Use their growing skill-set to dialogue, write, make dances and interpret the work of other artists
- Develop their own practice and expectations, drive their own progress
- Enjoy a more self-directed, critical engagement with the form of contemporary dance
- Strengthen relationships with the greater dance community
- Gain a deeper awareness of the demands and expectations of becoming a professional dance artist and are able to assess and communicate their personal challenges in meeting these demands and expectations
4th Year Students
- Develop a mature and diversified technical and artistic toolkit
- Take responsibility for their developing dance practice
- Employ productive critical self-assessment
- Have a self-practice and a collaborative practice
- Respect and support their peers
- Possess connected, strong, articulate and sophisticated bodies and minds and are eager and able to express complex ideas in dialogue, writing and creative process
- Have a deep appreciation for and interest in the existing community and respect for all dance forms and approaches
- Develop multiple meaningful relationships with dance professionals that will help to bridge the gap between training and independent career
- Build an insatiable hunger for learning, approach daily work with joy, rigour, purpose and contemplation
- Know how to use the skills they have learned
- Cultivate the confidence to challenge themselves, others and current expectations and structures thoughtfully and with respect
- Are invigorated by their artistic questions are innovative problem solvers
- Participate in intimate creative process and performance experiences that challenge them to work at a professional standard
- Learn to manage all aspects and responsibilities of being a professional with clear career goals related to their own interests, capabilities and practice
Modus Operandi operates out of Out Innerspace’s Q7 Studios
77 East 7th Avenue
September – June
Mondays – Thursdays 9am – 3pm
Fridays 9am – 2pm, 2:30pm – 4:30pm students’ own work time
Focus Group January – June
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 3pm – 5pm
The basic daily schedule includes 1-2 technique or conditioning classes followed by 1-2 performance and creation classes and incorporates a lunch break and small breaks between classes. The program runs from September – June with a 2-week spring break and a 2-week winter break.
IMPORTANT DATES *subject to change
Start Date: Sept 6th, 2022
End Date: June 10th, 2023
Winter Break: Dec 20th, 2022 – Jan 2nd, 2023
Spring Break: 2 weeks end of March/start of April *to be confirmed
* Program delivery is in person and in English
Our policy is to provide professional-level quality education for an affordable price that is inclusive of young dancers who are dealing with diverse kinds of transitions into post-secondary education. MO tuition is a scholarship rate based on the regular membership and enrolment fees for local classes and comparable institutions. Through scholarship level prices, MO seeks to support a wider range of young people looking to pursue a professional dance career and also offers work exchange and partial scholarships. Additionally, MO helps students apply to provincial scholarship programs which results in an average of one-quarter of the student body receiving full scholarships. Our program administrators are also able to arrange alternative payment plans to support students and payees who are experiencing financial difficulties.
|Students Supplies, Equipment & Reading Materials||$250|
|Mentorship and Studio Usage Fees||$450|
|Project and Performance Fees||$450|
MO offers 3 ways to audition for the Full-Time Program; by attending an intensive in-person, attending an audition day in-person, or sending a video application. Ideally, applicants attend the Spring or Summer intensive in order to have substantial time to work with the directors. The Spring and Summer Audition is intended for anyone who cannot attend an intensive and video applications are possible for those who cannot travel to Vancouver. Before and beyond the pandemic, MO offers workshops and auditions in Toronto and Montreal. Each year, approximately seven to ten new dancers are enrolled in MO.
There is no fee to audition for MO. Applicants who are serious, advanced dancers between the ages of 17 and 25 are requested to complete an application form prior to the audition date. They will be contacted by email regarding the outcome of their audition as early as two days after the audition.
Modus Operandi Full Program Audition via Video: Deadline anytime before and no later than March 17th, 2023.
*It is highly recommended that serious applicants audition for the full program by attending the spring or summer intensive in Vancouver. For those who cannot, see below for the requirements to apply via video.
* All applicants will be notified audition results as early as 2 days following video submission and no later than April 30th, 2023.
MO Full Program Audition Video Requirements:
1. Material that demonstrates the depth and breadth of your physical skills. We will be looking to see examples of athleticism, precision, flow, strength, dexterity, dynamic range, nuance, coordination, commitment, endurance and overall physical awareness and technical sophistication. We do not have a specific genre/category of dance that we expect. Your physical skill can be demonstrated through set exercises, pre-existing foundational syllabus, improvisation, free style, performance, or set choreography.
2. Material that demonstrates your artistic interests and expressiveness. We will be looking for examples of what kind of dance interests you, the ways that you love to move, your expressive openness and range, your commitment. We do not have any specific genre/category we expect. Your artistic interests and expressiveness can be demonstrated through improvisation, exercises, performance… It can be something you made and/or something someone else made that reflects your interests and taste.
3. The central video submission must have been made within 6 months of the application deadline (March 17th, 2023). Videos up to 2 years old can be included to demonstrate past experience and your own choreographic material. However, there must be substantial footage that presents your current interests and abilities.
4. At least 5 minutes of current examples of the requirements above and no more than 10 minutes of footage.
Examples of ineligible video audition content:
1. A video where we cannot distinguish who you are.
2. Videos that are too dark, low digital quality or present any other issue with visibility.
3. Submissions that are less than 5 minutes of fully committed technical and artistic dancing.
4. Videos that are out of date and no longer reflect your current interests and abilities. The central video submission must have been made within 6 months of the application deadline. Videos two years old are allowed to be included to demonstrate past experience and your own choreographic material. However, there must be substantial footage (at least 5 minutes) that presents your current interests and abilities.
5. Videos submitted without an application form and/or submitted after March 17th, 2023.
Vancouver Full Program One Day Audition
May 25, 2023, 3:30pm – 7pm
Location: Q7 Studios, 77 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver BC V5T 1M4
Note the One Day Vancouver Full Program Audition is Free to attend. If possible, we strongly recommend attending a multi-day audition or intensive in addition, as it offers participants a deeper understanding of the MO style and values.
Vancouver Summer Intensive / Audition
July 31 – August 4, 2023, 10am – 3pm
Location: Q7 Studios, 77 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver BC V5T 1M4
Vancouver Full Program Spring Audition via Spring Intensive
March 15 – 18, 2023 (4 days), 10am – 2pm
Location: Q7 Studios, 77 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver BC V5T 1M4
Montreal Workshop / Audition
February 23, 2023, 2:30pm – 5:30pm
Location: The Wilder, 1435 De Bleaury St., Montreal, QC H3A 2H7, Métro Place-des-Arts (Agora de la Danse)
Toronto Workshop / Audition
February 23, 2023, 1pm – 4pm
Location: The School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, 509 Parliament Street, Toronto, ON M4X 1P3
Full Program Audition Application via Video
Due anytime before March 17
*Only for those who cannot attend an intensive or audition in person.