Announcing 2020 EMERGE Awardee: La Tresse

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 EMERGE choreographic commission has been suspended indefinitely out of concern for the health and safety of our artists, audiences, and staff.

Gibney Company is thrilled to announce LA TRESSE as the 2020-2021 Gibney Company/Springboard EMERGE Awardee

As the third annual Gibney Company/Springboard EMERGE Awardee, LA TRESSE, which includes Canadian dance makers, Erin O’Loughlin, Laura Toma, and Geneviève Boulet, will receive commissioning support to create a new work for Gibney Company in Fall 2020*.

“As we deepen our partnership with Springboard and its ever-growing roster of artists, we’re thrilled to celebrate the choreographic collective LA TRESSE,” say Gibney Company Directors Amy Miller and Nigel Campbell. “When we witnessed their work as 2019 Springboard Resident Choreographers, we were gobsmacked by the rich environment that they created their dance in. Their transportive power not only pertains to movement creation but speaks to their beautiful ability to create an inclusive experience in and outside of the studio for anyone who crosses their path.

LA TRESSE will receive mentorship through the creative process and opportunities to teach classes and share with the Gibney community. Previous EMERGE Awardees include Micaela Taylor and Mark Caserta.

“We’re overwhelmingly honored and excited to be the recipients of the 2020-2021 EMERGE Award and the first international company to create a new work for Gibney Company,” says LA TRESSE. “Our working values are rooted in intuitive listening and creating a nurturing environment where creativity can flourish. Gibney Company shares these values of collaboration and provides a space where artists can thrive and be heard. We couldn’t think of a better fit and can’t wait to carry forward our relationship with this ambitious and truly special company.”

“We are thrilled with the selection of LA TRESSE as our third EMERGE Awardee,” says Springboard Danse Montréal Founder & Artistic Director Alexandra Wells. “Springboard’s rich history with LA TRESSE began in 2017 when they were selected as Emerging Choreographers. The trio hired Springboard dancers from their cast following the project which speaks to the fruitful relationships they cultivate in the studio, as well as their company’s infrastructure and presence in Montréal. It was an organic choice to invite LA TRESSE as Resident Choreographers just two years later in 2019. Geneviève, Erin, and Laura’s work continues to feature their signature fantastical sensibilities and pop-culture inspirations. Their touch, their heart is unmissable.”

The EMERGE Award is a partnership between Gibney Company and Springboard Danse Montréal which aims to cultivate, mentor, and actualize the burgeoning visions of today’s young artists toward becoming tomorrow’s creative leaders in the field.

*Due to COVID-19, the 2020 EMERGE choreographic commission has been suspended indefinitely out of concern for the health and safety of our artists, audiences, and staff.

La Tresse


After the three dancers’ serendipitous meeting in Tel Aviv, Erin O’Loughlin (Calgary) and Laura Toma (Ottawa, the first certified Gaga teacher in Canada) decided to relocate to Montréal and formed the collective LA TRESSE together with Geneviève Boulet. Their first work, Beauté Brute has been shown at numerous festivals and venues including Zone Homa, Vue Sur La Relève, OFFTA (Montréal), Dance Matters (Toronto) and La Rotonde (Quebec City). Created during a residency at Arsenal Gallery, their second trio Volume II premiered in 2016 at Festival Quartiers Danses where they were awarded the “Prix Coup de Coeur du Public” (Audience Choice Award) and has been presented at VALSPEC (Valleyfield) and The Grand YYC (Calgary). Their piece A Walkabout is a work developed for outdoor, public performance, and was premiered at the 2017 edition of Festival Quartiers Danses.

LA TRESSE has been awarded creative residencies from: La Rotonde, Shawbrook Dance (Ireland), Agora de la Danse, Danse Danse/Arsenal Art Contemporain, and CCOV. They have received support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal. LA TRESSE was featured as Emerging Choreographers in the 2017 edition of Springboard Danse Montreal and returned in 2019 as Resident Choreographers. They were invited choreographers for the Winter 2019 session at the École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal where they created a new work, World was on fire; l’ère du Verseau, for the second-year students. Their new creation and first full-length piece L’Encre Noire was presented at Agora de la Danse in November 2019. They continue to collaborate with other Montreal artists on various projects, including the creation and performance of promotional material for the Fall/Winter 2018 campaign for local fashion brand Sokoloff. In 2018 they were also featured in a photo essay titled Inviting Contradiction in The Dance Current, Canada’s premiere dance magazine.


Gibney Company, led by Artistic Director Gina Gibney with Directors Amy Miller and Nigel Campbell, is Gibney’s acclaimed resident dance ensemble. Company members are full-time Artistic Associates who contribute not only as performing artists, but also as activists and cultural entrepreneurs. With an unrelenting focus on artistic excellence and social integrity, Gibney Company co-creates an environment where dancers are activated towards their full artistic, entrepreneurial, and socially minded selves through rigorous physical, intellectual, and interpersonal practices. In addition to creation and performance, the Artistic Associates are highly engaged in the organization’s Community programs and are cultivated as entrepreneurs and leaders in the field.


Springboard Danse Montréal is a nonprofit organization that connects leading contemporary companies, choreographers, and dancers in a dynamic artistic ecosystem. The 3-week festival in Montréal cultivates a shared language of professionalism that values the creative process and connection above all else. Through workshops, classes, creations, the restaging of celebrated repertory, international auditions, installations, and pop-up performances, Springboard is recognized worldwide as a destination for career development. Since the organization’s inception in 2001, Springboard has curated artists from over 40 countries, and directly connected more than 300 dancers to paid jobs.

Springboard aids the professional dancer at various stages of their career. Through a stimulating environment of workshops, classes, auditions, repertory, and creative processes, they are given the opportunity to network with world-renowned companies, choreographers, producers, directors, and casting agents. Springboard is designed as a platform to facilitate major transitions in an artist’s career, whether between jobs or in their very first job search.

An integral component of its mission, Springboard is committed to advancing the next generation of choreographic artists. The Emerging Choreographers Program provides five curated makers with elite dancers, studio space, and the opportunity to present work alongside Springboard’s Principal Companies. In a rich cultural exchange, the choreographers build lifelong relationships with both their colleagues and mentors. Dancers cast in these processes often become future collaborators, furthering the potential for employment. Past Emerging Choreographers have continued on to become leaders of the contemporary dance scene. Alumni include Kyle Abraham, Danielle Agami, Bryan Arias, Adam Barruch, Sidra Bell, Banning Bouldin, Melanie Demers, Jasmine Ellis, Shannon Gillen, Loni Landon, Austin McCormick, Robyn Mineko-Williams, Freya Olafson, Zoe Scofield, Helen Simoneau, Spenser Theberge, Kate Wallich, Tom Weinberger, and Yin Yue, among others.