AGORA, international city of dance
First an Ursuline Convent dedicated to the education of the poor girls of the city, then a women’s prison, and finally a garrison, the history of Agora, international city of dance begins in 1990, when Georges Freche, then the Mayor of Montpellier, consented to Dominique Bagouet’s desire to establish the Choreographic Centre in this old building downtown.
Since 1986, Montpellier Danse has already built a stage and bleachers for the performances invited to the festival in the heart of the rotunda, then named the Ursuline Court, now the Agora Theatre. It was in 1994 that a first part of the building was completely restored to shelter the National Choreographic Centre of Montpellier, now directed by Mathilde Monnier. In 2001, Montpellier Danse set up its offices in another wing of the building. Finally, in 2010 was born Agora, international city of dance. The last leg of work, in effect funded by the Montpellier Agglomération community, allowed the complete restoration of the building, presently devoted exclusively to dance through its two dance studios, the Maurice Feuret and Cunningham studios, the latter offering also the option of receiving the public, a fully restored open-air amphitheatre and Salle Béjart – former chapel now used to organizing conferences, film showings, performances… thus Agora, international city of dance, brings together all aspects of the choreographic effort: the creation, dissemination, welcoming public, accommodations for artists in-residence … making the whole a place unique in Europe.
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