Danseur (euse) ou troupe de danse de l'année
Vanesa G.R Montoya, of Spanish and Equatorial Guinean origin, is a multidisciplinary artist in Montreal. She completed her dance studies at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid. Shortly after obtaining her diploma she worked in Europe at Compañia Nacional de Danza in Spain, and later on at Ballet National de l’Opera du Rhin in France. She joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens of Montreal in 2006 where since then she has performed multiple classical and contemporary ballets from various renowned world choreographers, and also has toured extensively the world. In addition, Montoya was promoted to the role of Principal Dancer in 2018 becoming the first Black female dancer to obtain this title in the history of Canadian Ballet companies. Parallel to her artistic career as a dancer, Montoya is also a dance teacher in ballet and contemporary dance at L’Ecole Supérieure de Ballet du Québec and she is also choreographer in Montreal.
She has created multiple dance pieces for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and presented her work in numerous festivals like Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Fall For Dance North Festival, Kuopio Dance Festival. Also, Montoya has collaborated with several musicians like Martha Wainwright, Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida, The Yemen Blues, Alexandra Stréliski, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Metropolitain, amongst others.
Vanesa has experience creating dance for film and TV, some of her work was presented at Festival International du Film sur l’Art 2020, “The Challenging Dance” a documentary by Alexandre Paskanoi giving an insight into one of Montoya’s creations and her choreographic process.
Also “Le Vol de l'Épervier” was a dance film directed by Louis Martin Charest, presented at Festival des Arts de Saint Sauveur in 2020.
Some of her recent choreographic works are:
“ From the Sun to the Moon” created for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in collaboration with singer Moonlight Benjamin and that will be premiered in early 2022 by the company.
“Poema Iberico” piece that was created during the Pandemic for FFDN in collaboration with National Ballet of Canada. Her latest work, called “Crepuscular” was also premiered by National Ballet of Canada in the Summer of 2021.
In 2021 Vanesa also collaborated with other black artists from Montreal and participated in a dance film by Matthew Richardson, “Reflexion”. The film was made on support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and standing against racism.
Currently Montoya continues to perform, teach dance, as well as collaborating and creating with other Montreal artists.