Photo: Julie Artacho | Dancer: Jérôme Zerges
Specializing in contemporary dance training, the École de dance contemporaine de Montréal (EDCM) has positioned itself as a centre of excellence in the Canadian performing arts community. Recognized for its leading-edge, rigorous training, the EDCM is fertile ground for research and artistic development as well as for the emergence of new trends. Since its founding in 1981, it has trained over 350 professional dancers, who have gone on to earn national and international recognition. The EDCM is an educational institution that is affiliated with the Cégep du Vieux Montréal and accredited by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’enseignement supérieur.
The École de danse contemporaine de Montréal trains future generations of contemporary dance artists. It is a place for learning, creation, research, innovation and development, based on human values, and a meeting point for key trendsetters in the field.
The School's particular approach is defined as the union of two essential components in the make-up of the dance artist: a profound search for his/her own creative uniqueness combined with the mastery of the dancer’s rigorous technique. This technique is acquired through an understanding of the body as well as intense and disciplined work with guest teachers who share a similar vision. Another essential focus of the training is reflection on the art, the movements made and their significance. The school’s objective is to bring out each individual’s uniqueness and help them realize their full artistic and technical potential for entry into the job market.
A DANCE TRAINING LEADER
The École de danse contemporaine de Montréal is a creative and innovative school that offers the highest standards of training for emerging dancers. It has a reputation on the international scene as a centre of excellence for professional contemporary dance training.
- The School’s faculty, which is made up of 40 instructors, choreographers, musicians and guest teachers, has distinguished itself for its quality and expertise;
- The national and international reputation of its 400 graduates attests to the consistency of the quality of the dancers that it trains, its essential contribution to the contemporary dance community and its role of dance promotion in Quebec, Canada and abroad;
- In tune with the evolution of the dance profession, the School includes choreographic creation and research in its education in all areas that influence dance practice. It aims to remain a laboratory that encourages experimentation with new aesthetics and artistic approaches and the integration of performing arts technologies.
The École de danse contemporaine de Montréal is the first Quebec institution to professionally train non-classical dancers.
In 1981, Linda Rabin and Candace Loubert founded the school Linda Rabin Danse Moderne in the Belgo building in Montreal. They worked with many professionals in the field, using an approach based on physical training, the creative process and somatic techniques.
The soul of the institution is thus influenced by the techniques developed by masters such as Martha Graham, José Limon, F. Mathias Alexander, Elaine Summers, Irene Dowd, Frau Thiele, Richard Pochinko, and Ann Skinner. When they left the directorship of LADMMI, they left an immense legacy behind them. It is also since that time that the school welcomes internationally renowned guest teachers.
Following the departure of the founders, the School’s successive Artistic Directors were Tassy Teekman (1996-1998), Robin Colyer (1998-2005) and Lucie Boissinot, who has held the position of Artistic and Studies Director since 2005. Linda Rabin continues her association with the School as part of the teaching team. Sadly, Candace Loubert passed away in 2011.
Evolution of the program
- In 1981, Linda Rabin and Candace Loubert founded the Linda Rabin Danse Moderne school in the Le Belgo building in Montreal.
- In 1984, the School changed its name to Les Ateliers de danse moderne de Montréal Inc. (LADMMI) and was mandated by the Ministère des Affaires culturelles to develop professional training.
- In 1991, the School received professional college status from the Ministère de l’Éducation and three years later implemented a program leading to an Attestation of Collegial Studies.
- Since 1999, the School has been offering a Diploma of Collegial Studies in contemporary dance, in affiliation with the Cégep du Vieux Montréal.
- In 2002, the Candace-Loubert media library was inaugurated.
- In 2012, LADMMI adopted the new name École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, a name that better reflects its primary mission of training professional contemporary dancers.
- In 2014, the School offers a Teacher Training Program in Contemporary Dance which leads to an Attestation of Collegial Studies.
- In 2017, the School occupies new premises that are better suited to professional training, thanks to the Wilder Building renovation and expansion project, located in the heart of Quartier des spectacles on Place des Festivals. The School will be a part of Edifice Wilder-Espace Danse along with Les Grands Ballets, Tangente and Agora de la Danse.
Linda Rabin, co-founder and former co-artistic director of LADMMI, now the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, has been teaching movement for over 40 years. A graduate of the Juilliard School (BFA in dance, 1967), she has worked as rehearsal director and company teacher with Israel’s Batsheva Company and England’s Ballet Rambert; has taught and choreographed extensively across Canada for many of the country’s major dance companies, schools and university programs, including Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Montréal Danse, Dancemakers. As a Canadian dance pioneer, Linda has contributed to the emergence of several generations of dancers in this country. In 2018, Linda Rabin was awarded as a Distinguished Member in the Order of Excellence in Education by Québec government. She was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2019. In 2020, she received an honorary Award from Les Prix de la Danse de Montréal, recognizing her invaluable contribution to the art of dance through patronage.
Candace Loubert co-founded LADMMI (now the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal) with Linda Rabin, where she was the artistic director until 1996. Prior to this, Loubert enjoyed a career as a performer in Europe, as well as dancing for Montréal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens for five years, putting to use her extensive training in ballet. She also danced in Linda Rabin’s groundbreaking work The White Goddess (1977) alongside a group of other young dancers including Margie Gillis and Stephanie Ballard. While artistic director of and teacher at LADMMI, Loubert found time to pursue creative research specifically on body work, while also tackling her interest in masks and other diverse visual arts practices. Loubert died on October 28th, 2011.