Côté Danse


Côté Danse’s mission is to create and present original dance works and experiences in collaboration with various and diverse designers, artists, and partners with the goal of providing performance excellence.
We continue to offer accessible and scalable productions for a multitude of audiences and venues within Canada and abroad, fostering a new generation of dance and theatre goers.

Informed by his classical ballet vocabulary, Guillaume Côté’s choreography contours space with resonant geometries and fervent human connections. Contemporary lines and forms with a sleek edge and refined athleticism give his work a profound vitality.

Côté Danse acknowledges the remarkable opportunity to reside and work on this land which is the territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat peoples, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Today, the meeting place of Tkaronto (which signifies “where the trees stand in the water”) is also home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. We are grateful to be able to live, and dance on Turtle Island; a sacred land that has been a site for human activity for over 15,000 years. We extend our deepest respects to all First Nations people, their ancestors, past and present, and future.


Our Vision

We strive to bring together the various worlds of dance by creating imaginative works wide-ranging in style, aesthetics, themes, and concepts.

We aspire to consistently evolve and adapt as the dance world shifts and to encourage a culture of creativity and inclusion for all of our artists and audiences.

We imagine inhabiting a space within dance without presentation limitations, offering a spectrum of works and engagements that bridge the boundaries between performers and spectators.

We hope to actively participate in a world of dance that appeals to a multitude of audiences from a variety of backgrounds, environments, and interests.

Guillaume Côté

Artistic Director

Headshot by Matt Barnes

“One of the finest male dancers in the world.”
– The London Times

“Côté assembled a team of creatives whose own dynamic energies help drive the artistic process towards a goal of dance innovation. But it’s the dancing, showcasing a blend of classical and contemporary idioms, that’s the star of the show.”
– Deirdre Kelly, Canadian Stage

“Guillaume Côté elaborates and evolves his style by blending classical and contemporary techniques, which brings out a gesture that is both aesthetically and theatrically significant. His powerful choreographic language allows the dancers to intensely express the depth of the emotions at stake.”
– Antonella Poli, Chroniques de danse

“The interesting research of movements, which often flirts with the beautiful lines of classical ballet, is notable. Technique and virtuosity are at the rendez-vous.”
– Léa Villalba, Le Devoir

Guillaume Côté is a native of Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec. He studied at Canada’s National Ballet School and joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1999. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2004.

Since then, Mr. Côté has danced most of the major classical roles with the National Ballet of Canada and has been the leading male figure of the company. He has had several lead roles created on him notably the role of Romeo in Alexei Ratmansky’s new Romeo and Juliet, Prince Charming in James Kudelka’s Cinderella, and the role of Gene Kelly in Derek Deane’s production of Strictly Gershwin, for the English National Ballet. He has also worked closely with such dance icons as Roland Petit, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon and Crystal Pite.

As a guest artist, Mr. Côté has danced with The Royal Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, English National Ballet, the Mikhailosky Theater of St-Petersburg, Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, Berlin’s Staatsoper, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Stuttgart Ballet, Hamburg Ballett, the Alberta Ballet, Verona Opera and the South African Ballet Theater. Mr. Côté has also performed in numerous international galas.

In 2012 he launched with fellow dancer Etienne Lavigne, Anymotion Productions, with the mandate to produce high quality independent dance works and events on stage and on film.

In 2013, in addition to his position as a Principal Dancer, Mr. Côté assumed the role of Choreographic Associate with The National Ballet of Canada and today eight of his works are part of the company’s repertoire. In 2012, his work Enkeli won the Audience Choice Award for Best Choreography at The Tenth International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize. That same year, his work for ProArteDanza, Fractals: a pattern of chaos, was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography. In 2013, his work Being and Nothingness entered The National Ballet of Canada’s repertoire and after its initial success, the work was extended and presented in 2015 and again in 2019 during an international tour ending in Russia.

Mr. Côté’s first full-length ballet, Le Petit Prince, was presented during the National Ballet’s 2016 season in front of sold-out houses.

In 2017, Mr. Côté was chosen to participate in the National Arts Centre’s landmark Encount3rs commission, which combined the talents of three choreographers with those of three Canadian composers. His work Dark Angels, set to music by Kevin Lau, performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, was thus presented on one of the country’s most prestigious stages.

In 2018, Mr. Côté created Frame by Frame, in collaboration with renowned director Robert Lepage. Inspired by the life and work of filmmaker Norman McLaren, Frame by Frame was presented at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto.

Created in 2019, his independent multimedia work Crypto toured nationally for 20 performances.

In 2014, Mr. Côté was named the Artistic Director of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, the largest summer dance festival in the country.

In 2021, Guillaume Côté founded his own company, Côté Danse, focused on the multidisciplinary creation of innovative works with the mission of making dance seen and experienced differently. In the summer of 2021, he created X (Dix), presented at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur and then at the Fall for Dance North in Toronto. Also in 2021, he created Touch with Thomas Payette, an immersive multidisciplinary work that was presented 83 times in Toronto to sold-out houses.

Guillaume Côté’s career has been marked by numerous awards and recognitions, including the médaille de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec for his work in the arts in 2011. In 2021, he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec, the highest distinction awarded by the Quebec government.

Etienne Lavigne

Executive Director

Headshot by Karolina Kuras

A native of Montréal, Québec, Etienne Lavigne trained at l’École supérieure de ballet du Québec, San Francisco Ballet School and the National Ballet of Cuba. He joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1997 where he rose through the ranks and was promoted to First Soloist in 2007 and to Principal Character Artist in 2015. He danced a number of lead roles with the company and after more than 1500 performances in front of 3 million people, he retired from his full-time position at The National Ballet of Canada in 2017. He was then named Guest Principal Character Artist, and it is in this capacity that he occasionally returns to the stage with the company.

During his dance career, M. Lavigne studied business management at Toronto Metropolitan University (previously Ryerson) and took an active role in the administrative side of dance. Since 2009, he has managed many of the leading dancers in Canada and in 2013, he created with Guillaume Côté, Anymotion Productions with the mandate of producing dance on stage and on film. They also created together Côté Danse where Mr. Lavigne has produced over a dozen different works on stage and on film in many Canadian cities.

In 2016, he was named Executive Director of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, the largest summer dance festival in Canada. Since the beginning of his tenure, the Festival has experienced a remarkable revival, doubling its ticket sales and its visibility. In 2020 FASS received the Prix Opus for Specialized Presenter of the year in Quebec and in 2022, it received the Prix Ambassadeur des Laurentides at the Grands Prix de la Culture.

In 2009, Mr. Lavigne was awarded the David Tory Award which recognizes leadership, honesty and integrity in his work.

Mr. Lavigne is a Board member of REFRAIN, representing artistic Festivals in Quebec as well as a Board member of the Foundation of the École Supérieure de ballet du Québec.

Anisa Tejpar

Associate Producer

Headshot by Tim Leyes

Dora Mavor Moore Award winner, Anisa Tejpar is originally from Toronto, and is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School. She has performed works by Guillaume Côté, Matjash Mrozewski, John Neumeier, Ginette Laurin, Mauro Astolfi, Peggy Baker, Robert Derosiers, Robert Glumbek, Roberto Campanella, D.A. Hoskins, James Kudelka, Christopher House, Hanna Kiel, and William Yong and in companies such as Toronto Dance Theatre, Zata Omm, ProArteDanza, Against the Grain Theatre and Human Body Expression.

Ms. Tejpar is Co-Artistic Director of the dance entertainment firm Hit & Run Dance Productions Inc. (www.hitandrun.ca), for which she has created works for artists and brands all over Canada including: NIKE, The Rolling Stones, PUMA, TIFF, Telus, Lupe Fiasco, Evergreen Brickworks, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and Casa Loma, amongst many others. Ms. Tejpar is the co-creator of Haunted Cinema, a live-immersive drive-in experience. She is also the pilot choreographer of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report and co-choreographer of the video game Far Cry: Primal and performed in the game as well.

Ms. Tejpar is Associate Producer with Côté Danse and serves as Creative Assistant in Guillaume Côté’s new creations and remounts. Ms. Tejpar currently teaches Consent + Boundaries for Dancers at Toronto Metropolitan University in the Performance Program and is one third of the Toronto-based, contemporary dance collective The Platform with Ryan Lee and Benjamin Landsberg.

Ms. Tejpar is an Intimacy Coordinator and Director, and her focus is dance, and dancers having worked with The National Ballet of Canada, Ballet BC, and several films and episodics.

Ms. Tejpar is a current member of the Board of Directors of Canada’s National Ballet School, and on the Performance Program Advisory Committee for St. Lawrence College. She has also worked extensively with Dancing with Parkinson’s and served as choreographer and director for their Intergenerational Dance Project connecting youth and seniors through dance.