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.


  • World Premiere of Lovetrain2020 @ Montpellier Danse

    A thing of beauty

    I'm not quite sure how we managed to pull this off during a global pandemic, but we had a great world premiere of LOVETRAIN2020 at the 40th Montpellier Danse Festival in France. Many thanks to the amazing festival team for making this whole adventure possible...
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  • Journal de Creation Preview

    Journal de Creation

    After a long forced break and two cancelled residency periods LOVETRAIN2020 is finally taking up speed again. I just finished a three week creation period with Emanuel Gat Dance at the Agora - Cité internationale de la Danse...
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  • Sowing the seeds of love

    LOVETRAIN2020 is the new production by Emanuel Gat Dance, which is set to premiere at the 40th edition of the acclaimed french festival Montpellier Danse in June 2020. Here are some first impressions from the studio, photographed by Emanuel Gat during the first two creation periods...
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  • From Montpellier to Paris

    SUNNY, like all of Emanuel’s work, is continuously evolving, changing and growing. The piece we premiered at the Venice Biennale in June 2016 surely looks very different from the piece we’re currently performing. The choreographic material, our set of rules and the framework in which we move stayed exactly the same but our choices and...
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  • Sexy, yummy, wonderful!

    Thank you for a totally awesome, exciting, inspiring, sweaty, sexy, adventurous, challenging, insane, fun, groovy, yummy, bold, wonderful 2017! I was absolutely lucky to perform and create with such a bunch of inspiring artists, and teach my classes and workshops for so many talented young dancers. I performed 36 shows in 7 countries, spent 9...
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  • WORKS by Emanuel Gat

    S’il pleut, c’est qu’il va pleuvoir

    Emanuel Gat’s latest creation TENWORKS (for Jean-Paul) premiered during the prestigious festival Montpellier Danse in June 2017. A revised and shortened version of this show will start touring from spring 2018 under the name WORKS. If you couldn’t make it to our premiere and you can’t take waiting until next year, have a look at the...
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  • Duo #5 by Emanuel Gat

    Oh the pinkness!

    Julia Gat made this gorgeous trailer of Duo #5, a site specific project created for and performed during Montpellier Danse 2017. Working with a clear framework of rules and tasks, the idea of Emanuel Gat’s DUOS was to place real time choreography in a public space. It was an opportunity for the audience to catch...
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  • Tenworks by Emanuel Gat

    It’s done!

    It’s done! We premiered Emanuel Gat’s new full length creation TENWORKS (for Jean-Paul) at Montpellier Danse 2017 together with the dancers of the Ballet de Lyon. If you speak french (or know how to use Google Translate) check out a few of our reviews:
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