Dancers' Studio West Society (DSW)

In the 2014-15 season, DSW launched the Dance Action Group (DAG).  DAG is a small ensemble of aesthetically diverse performer/choreographers under the direction of Artistic Director Davida Monk, committed to, and experienced in, DSW’s approach to artistic rigour and critical dialogue.  In addition to forming the artistic core of the Dance Action Lab, the members of the Dance Action Group co-operate to fulfill opportunities for community development and organizational support.  Throughout the season, the members of DAG will be active in organizing and leading of Critical Dialogue Series, in co-curating and co-hosting of community work in local studios, and in offering outside eye services.

Dancers’ Studio West Society Season:

  • Undressing the Dance Dialogues – Between September and March, DAG members animate a series of six public discussions of specific works seen in Calgary, or selected topics of dance aesthetics and creative practice.
  • Annual Alberta Dance Festival (September): DSW’s annual favourite, the two-weekend festival features fresh contemporary dance created by Alberta choreographers.The artistic purpose of the Annual Alberta Dance Festival is to provide a range of aesthetically diverse choreographers, including emerging artists, with creation and performance opportunities; to integrate the outside eye services of DAG in the development of the work; to engage the public in discussions around the work, and to build artistic relationships among artists of all levels of experience. The Festival productions are very popular with our contemporary dance audiences.
  • Cross Fertilization Informal Co-Presentations  (February): In collaboration with the Artistic Director of a local dance studio, members of DAG engage in a month long outside eye process that culminates in two evenings of in-studio showings and conversations between dance artists of different levels of experience and different aesthetics.  The aim to this program is to build critical facility among the youngest creators in all dance disciplines and to stimulate interest among these young artists in further artistic development and in DSW opportunities.
  • Dance Action Lab (June) The Dance Action Lab is a model of complete professional engagement and is highly rewarding for the artists and audiences.  The Dance Action Lab provides 10-week contracts for a company of eight dancer/choreographers The Dance Action Group. The Lab focuses on choreographic responsiveness and productivity, accelerated mentorship, sustained professional experiences, and the development of artistic critical facility and articulateness. The Dance Action Lab provides a much needed professional opportunity, brings the creative process to audiences in public presentations, stimulates discussion about dance making and seeds work destined for presentation opportunities beyond Calgary, including the Prairie Dance Circuit. Two dancers supported by the Royal Bank of Canada Emerging Artists Award program will complement the artistic core. Additional members of the community may be engaged by DAG to participate as dancers, may make application to the Dance Action Group, or apply to the Young Artist Exchange program.
  • Classes and Workshops (September and April – June): Lead by Artistic Direcor, Davida Monk, classes emphasis choreographic sensibilities, musicality, expression and performance.
  • Outside Eye Service Throughout the year, DAG members offer a free outside eye service to interested choreographers.

FOR ARTISTS  DSW emphasizes the quality of the creative process and invests in the growth and development of contemporary artists through residency programs, classes, and critical dialogue.

  • Classes This somatic, easeful approach is open to all levels of experience and fitness levels. All paid events can be pre-purchased online in advance, or you can drop in and register at the door at the time.
  • Critical Dialogue This Series promotes deep consideration, dialogue, thought, articulation, and questioning of artistic practice in a unique system, centred around the creator. This process immerses the choreographer in another side of the creative process with the opportunity to talk about the work in three primary areas of exchange: 1) mentorship; 2) facilitation; and 3) audience engagement.
  • Outside Eye Services because sometimes you just need some fresh eyes. DSW’s Dance Action Group members provide this free service to choreographers in Calgary and Edmonton. Any interested choreographer may apply online at

1. Support DSW with an annual membership DSW Membership Link Here.

2. Come to a performance: DSW’s upcoming DANCE ACTION LAB – June 25, 26 ,26 2015 at the Victor Mitchell Theatre, Pumphouse Theatres – DSW Dance Lab Link Here.

3. Attend an ‘Undressing the Dance’ Dialogue – DSC connections on Facebook Link Here.

4. Donate or Sponsor an Event – Sign up for DSC News & Events Here.

5. Volunteer – Contact DSW here


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Dancers' Studio West Society (DSW)

Davida Monk



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