June 9-10 and July 9-16, 2021


The Dramaturgy of Research-Creation: Research-creation methods and applied methodologies in embodied live performance is an interdisciplinary, international seminar that provides an opportunity to learn, explore and refine research and research-creation methods in the performing arts with a focus on contemporary circus, theatre and other embodied live performance.

With the growing number of practitioners returning to the university after productive careers in the arts and the increasing value of experiential learning, a clear need to define, theorize and understand the practice of research-creation has emerged. The seminar will offer a space to refine both the theory and practice of research-creation while also exploring the complexity, volume and effective use of research data produced by artistic research.

The seminar will also offer tools for managing and engaging with research design and data in the context of research-creation.

The main principle on which the seminar is constructed is that of experiential learning and self-reflexivity concerning the creative process. To this we add a thorough review and exploration of dramaturgical and documentation strategies.

2021 Collaborators include Concordia’s 4TH SPACE, Montréal Complètement Cirque’s International Market of Contemporary Circus and national and international partners to be confirmed.

Following three successful intensive summer seminars (and one cancelled because of COVID last summer) coinciding with Montréal Complètement Cirque, professor Louis Patrick Leroux and his team are pleased to reprise the intensive intellectual and artistic “boot camp” experience for its fourth installation.

The seminar will be offered remotely (online) in synchronous format because of the pandemic and its international reach. However, there will be some limited places for in-person participation, in Montreal, if conditions allow this and public health and Concordia university permit us to offer that option. We will be partnering with institutions abroad to propose small in-person clusters, following local health advisories, to ensure a sense of collaboration, where possible.

Target audience

The seminar is open to and intended for graduate students (MA, PhD) in postsecondary institutions. Professional performing arts practitioners with experience in creation and a desire to deepen their work will also find this seminar useful and stimulating.

Successful candidates will possess a fascinating variety of experiences, both artistic and intellectual, and for the most part have experience in circus, theatre, music, video art or dance.

Given the diversity of experiences and academic backgrounds, we encourage an environment of respectful debate and discussion. Students are expected to attend all lectures and workshops. They are also expected to contribute to their blog and experiential research project.

The 2019 seminar attracted 25 students from 12 countries: one third were performers, one third graduate students, one third teachers/coaches/professors and most of them were an interesting cross-section of all of those categories.
This seminar is for thinker-doers, for artists and scholars who are open to experiential learning and interested in process.

The language of instruction will be English. Written assignments can be submitted in either English or French.

Spaces are limited and candidates are required to send in a letter of motivation and a CV by March 1st. Accepted students will be notified by March 10th.

Learning outcomes

Course objectives

  • Offer a space for sustained discussion on research-creation, practice-as-research and experiential modes of research into the performing arts.
  • Collaboratively explore successful and more challenging examples of research-creation of live, embodied, artforms such as theatre, dance, and contemporary circus, their practices and their documentation and dissemination. 
  • Share experiences, expertise and insights into a variety of international and interdisciplinary practices in the context of the current pandemic and beyond. Understanding how we are all affected by the current situation. 
  • Create an environment that fosters embedded research and creation.
  • Offer clear methods for research-creation and its analysis, meaning-making and data management of artistic research output. 
  • Create an environment of intellectual and artistic exchange and possibilities that will run alongside a major festival and hopefully contribute to further projects and exchanges, through a unique, selective online group.

Seminar team


  • Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux
    Professor in the Department of English and Départment d'études françaises, Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Arts and Science and Associate Researcher at the National Circus School of Montreal. 

Website and online support

  • Alison Bowie, PhD Candidate, Humanities, Concordia University

How to apply

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Prospective participants should supply:

  • A CV and cover letter explaining their interest in the seminar, past experiences and how this seminar could be of importance to their academic, creative life or both.

Application packages and queries should be directed to Patrick Leroux. Accepted students will be notified March 10, 2021.

The course is taught by Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux, a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

Photos from past seminars

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