Paige Culley of Rossland is this year’s recipient of the “DÉCOUVERTE” award at the prestigious Prix de la danse de Montreal 2017.
The award, which was presented this past month, is given to an exemplary emerging artist (choreographer, dancer or a collaborator in lighting, sound, set design, etc.) who stands out as a revelation within the dance milieu, and comes with a prize of $5,000 plus a one week creative residency. Culley’s work as interpreter/soloist in POUR garnered her much attention, both locally and internationally. This year was the first time this award has been given to an “interprete” and not a choreographer.
Culley began her pursuit of dance at the age of 10 when she joined STEPS under Rhonda Michallik. She also received extensive private instruction from Carol Bonin, and later, from Renée Salsiccioli of Kootenay DanceWorks. By her last year of high school, Culley was dancing seven days a week. During her early dance career, Culley represented the Kootenays in dance at the BC Provincial Dance Festival five different times, culminating in winning Gold in the Modern Dance category in 2007.
Upon her graduation from Rossland Secondary in 2007, Culley entered the professional training program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, where she was awarded the Hnatyshyn Developing Artist Grant (of $10,000) for contemporary dance. Upon her post-secondary graduation in 2010, Culley worked as part of Toronto’s Dancemakers, performing work by Antonija Livingstone, Martin Belanger, and Ame Henderson.
Residing in Montreal since 2011, Culley performed extensively as part of Compagnie Marie Chouinard, and continues to work with Le Carré des Lombes as well as with independent artists including Daina Ashbee, Doris Uhlich, and Marten Spangberg.
In 2012, Culley represented Canada in the “danceWEB” scholarship of imPulsTanz in Vienna, Austria.
Additionally, Culley has worked in film and musical theatre, and over the past 10 years, as a guest teacher throughout Canada and the United States. Classes led by Culley range from classical modern and contemporary technique to sensorial and repertoire based company master classes, as well as experimental and inclusive “soft punk,” which was offered as part of Toronto Love-In’s 2014 “making space” teaching directive.
While with Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Culley performed in cities across the USA and Canada, as well as cities throughout Europe, Great Britain, Japan, and Israel. As an international soloist, she has performed in Montreal, Paris, Marseille, and Helsinki, and is scheduled to perform this February in Victoria and Vancouver.