Montpellier Danse is one of the most prestigious contemporary dance festivals in Europe. It was founded in 1981 in a joint effort by the city of Montpellier and the Centre Chorégraphique, led by Dominique Bagouet. In 1983 Jean-Paul Montanari was appointed as the director of the festival.
Since 1996 Montpellier Danse offers a full year program in addition to its activities surrounding the summer festival, including performances, screenings, meetings, talks and conferences. Furthermore it invites internationally renowned artists and companies to create their new works in Montpellier Danse’s spacious studios, located at the Agora – Cité internationale de la danse since 2010.
Through his continuous dedication and his deliberate choices in programming the most relevant, sought-after as well as controversial artists, Jean-Paul Montanari has managed to build a very curious, dance-loving audience that follows the festival’s activities from the beginning. Moreover, by embracing and celebrating all kinds of dance, from ballet to hip hop and by bringing live performances to the streets of Montpellier he is constantly opening doors to invite and include younger generations.
Since more than thirty years, Montanari has secured Montpellier Danse’s position as one of the leading dance festivals in the world, attracting thousands of spectators each year. Montpellier Danse is a dynamic festival that challenges boundaries through powerful choreography, using the expression of the body to break down barriers.