Vermont Performance Lab Raises Visibility of Local Dance Artists through new SEED Program

on .

Guilford, Vermont – On the cusp of its 10th Anniversary Season, Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is expanding its creative residency program to provide resources and support for local choreographers. VPL has long prided itself on its model of creative residency that positions artists as vital and inspiring presences in community life. Over the last nine years VPL has supported over 350 artists working in dance, theater, music, and film with residencies that range from focusing on the earliest stages of research to the latest stages of production.

“As VPL turns 10, we are establishing multiple ways to address a growing need in New England for more robust creation support and visibility for our local choreographers,” says VPL Director Sara Coffey.

Through a series of local dance mixer events, one-on-one mentoring of New England-based dance artists, and new funding from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Arts Endowment Fund, VPL established The SEED Program. Developed as part of a residency exchange between New England and Quebec, VPL’s SEED Program will partner with the performance incubator Studio 303 in Montreal to support the creation of new adventurous dance works, build visibility for that work and help artists with small-scale touring.

To participate in the 2015-2016 SEED Program, local choreographers submitted project proposals in October. “The choreographers selected by VPL and Studio 303 are experimenting with the form of contemporary performance in unexpected and intriguing ways,” says Coffey. VPL and Studio 303 are pleased to announce the choreographers selected to participate:

Aretha Aoki based in Northampton, MA will investigate her Japanese heritage and use family stories and memories to develop a new solo; Michael Bodel based in Putney, VT will experiment with scents and perfumes to create a multi-disciplinary dance rooted in a 1966 radio essay by Michel Foucault; Audrée Juteau based in Montreal will collaborate with dancer Nathan Yaffe and composer Mathieu Noury on a new work that uses hypnosis techniques as a way to generate movement; and WIVES, a three-woman performance collective based in Toronto and Montreal that includes Julia Thomas, Emma-Kate Guimond, and Leah Fay Goldstin, will create a multi-media performance that is both decidedly feminist and shamelessly sensational.

The SEED artists will be in residence in Vermont during the Summer and Fall of 2016. They will receive commissioning money, studio space, and additional resources to support the development of their new performance projects, and share their work in Southern Vermont and in Montreal. For more information on open rehearsals, artist talks and work-in-progress showings featuring their work, please join VPL’s monthly email newsletter and visit the website for upcoming news on the full 10th Anniversary Season at

The 2015-2016 SEED Program is a partnership with Studio 303 in Montreal as part of a dance residency exchange between New England and Quebec, and is made possible in part with support from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Arts Endowment Fund, the Vermont Arts Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Quebec Delegation to Boston.


Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Since 2006, VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to the grange halls, studios and classrooms of rural Vermont through its innovative artist residency program. Last year VPL’s community and education programs served more than 1,700 students, young professionals, families and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences. VPL often partners with local organizations to host such residencies and create meaningful connections between artists and communities.
Follow Vermont Performance Lab on Facebook and Twitter.

Founded in 1989, Studio 303 supports live art, prioritizing the development of emerging practices in contemporary dance and interdisciplinary performance. Serving as both an incubator and a catalyst, the organization has a unique structure combining creation/production, professional development, and presenting activities. As a hub for experimental and outspoken performance, Studio 303 often works with artists who escape definition and who seek new models for artistic creation. Studio 303 programs artists (for residencies, presentation or workshops) through an open call for submissions by a selection committee composed of staff and artists, or by invitation from the Artistic Director. Most foreign artists come to Studio 303 through a partnership between organizations. Studio 303 advocates, facilitates discussions and hosts innovative networking events with the goal of helping creators locate and develop interesting opportunities to better support their practice. More than a simple doorway to the professional milieu, Studio 303 is one of the most creative, multifunctional, affordable and welcoming artistic centres in Canada.