Danse-Cité wishes to offer additional support to dance artists leading change by offering research and creation residencies. Offered in conjunction with the MAI | Montréal, arts interculturels, the Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, Par B.L.eux and Studio 303, a contemporary creation company, the residencies include an artist fee. In the fall of 2020, Jordan Brown, Justin de Luna, Marie-Reine Kabasha, Soleil Launière and Nasim Lootij will participate in this new initiative. Other research and creation spaces and times will be offered in the winter of 2021.

For this first year, artists have been selected by the Advisor, Programming and Artistic Activities and the Artistic and General Director.


Justin de Luna is a queer second-generation Filipino-Canadian from Toronto, currently based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. He identifies as a millennial and participates in the world as a dance artist. As a dancer, he has had the opportunity to work with such artists as Dana Gingras, Ame Henderson, Jeanine Durning, Francesca Chudnoff, Sasha Kleinplatz, Simon Portigal, and Sébastien Provencher. Between 2015 and 2017, he danced with the Toronto Dance Theatre for two seasons. Justin de Luna has participated in several choreography-related gatherings, including 8 DAYS and the CLEaR Forum (Choreographic Lab, Exploration and Research), a collective research lab organized by Nova Scotia’s Mocean Dance. His work and collaborations have been presented and/or supported by the CanAsian KickStart Festival, Dance Matters, the Love-In ps:we’re all here, FLOWCHART, the Céline Bureau, Studio 303 and the Centre de création O Vertigo. In the spring of 2020, he participated in Studio 303’s web-based project Queer Body Politic, curated by Aaron Pollard. In 2015, he travelled to Vienna to participate in the ATLAS programme at the Impulstanz festival, with the support of the Hnatyshyn Foundation. Justin de Luna holds a BFA in dance.

Active on the Montreal dance scene since 2013, Marie-Reine “MQueen” Kabasha combines her love of movement of all kinds with her pleasure in sharing in all her practices. Whether she is working freestyle or in the theater, every opportunity for expression nourishes her. Her collaborations have led her to work with leading figures in urban dance in Montreal and internationally. She joined the company EBNFLOH (founded by Alexandra “Spicey” Landé) as a performer in 2014, and became a part of the company Tentacle Tribe in 2016. In 2019 she also collaborated with the Parisian waacking collective Ma Dame Paris. Marie-Reine Kabasha has an ever-growing interest in research and creation. With Christina Paquette, she co-created the piece TNM  in 2013, which was presented at the Festival de danses urbaines 100Lux, and Orbite in 2018, presented as part of the OFFta festival. She is currently undertaking a research project on her own language called Trigger point

Soleil Launière is Pekuakamiulnu from Mashteuiatsh, and she lives and works in Tiöhtià:ke (Montreal). As a multidisciplinary artist working with voice, movement, theatre and performance art, she intertwines the presence of the two-spirited body with experimental audiovisual elements. Her inspiration is drawn from the cosmogony and the sacred spirit of animals of the Innu world.

Since 2008, Soleil Launière has performed at Indigenous and non-Indigenous artistic gatherings and events, both inside and outside the conventional networks. She has explored physical theatre, dance and traditional and contemporary song in Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

In 2019, her first production, Umanishish, was presented at Usine C. She was stage director for Nikamotan-Nicto, presented as part of Présences autochtones, and has performed on the stages of the National Arts Centre and Le Diamant. She will soon unveil her second production, Sheuetamu, the product of a two-year residency at the National Theatre School of Canada.

Nasim Lootij is a choreographer, performer and teacher. Her initiation into dance began in Iran, where the art has been prohibited since 1979. After practising Iranian dance in clandestine classes in Tehran, she moved to Paris in 2006, where she studied contemporary dance at the Université de Paris 8, the RIDC and the Jean Wiener conservatory, before specializing in Labanotation at the CNSMDP. She worked with Odile Duboc, Christine Gérard, Natalie Pernette, Dominique Dupuy, Alban Richard and Nawel Oulad. She also created two pieces: Lalaï (2012) and Bouyé Jouyé Mouliân (2015). In 2014, she moved to Montreal with her partner in life and in art, dramaturge Kiasa Nazeran. Between 2017 and 2019, the duo created two solos: Moi-Me-Man and La chute,  and founded their collective, Vâtchik Danse. Their next solo will be entitled L’inconsistance. Nasim Lootji has also choreographed for Damascus Dreams (feature/Émilie Serrie/2019) and will do the same for Nowhereland (short film/Parisa Pajoohandeh/2020) and Black Balloon (play/Sophie El Assad/2020). She has also performed for France Geoffroy (Raconte-moi un souvenir/2016) and Su-Feh Lee (Dance Machine/2017).

Kiasa Nazeran is a mime by training and a researcher, stage director and dramaturge. He began his career in Iran as a translator of theatrical works. After working as a stage director and actor in Iran, he moved to Paris in 2009, where he attended the École Jacques Lecoq and Ella Jaroszewics’s Académie européenne du théâtre corporel. He completed a master’s in theatre studies at the Université de Sorbonne Nouvelle, where he has been teaching since 2014. He is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the history of organic unity in the work of European actors from Stanislavski to Grotowski. Since 2015, he has been working in Montreal with his partner Nasim Lootji, for their company Vâtchik Danse. Their inspiration is drawn from the art and sociopolitical history of their home country and modern artistic currents of the early 20th century, in particular German expressionism.

Jordan Brown is an artist working in various media, including performance, sculpture and text. They are interested in processes of recombination and continual reconstructions of spirit, body and family as informed by an ongoing decolonial praxis. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Jordan’s work has been shown in residency and performance contexts in Berlin, Lisbon, Toronto, and Tokyo, as well as locally in Montreal.