Massimo Agostinelli, born in Cape Town, South Africa to Italian parents, is a Montreal-based independent choreographer/teacher of contemporary dance and dance improvisation, and internationally acclaimed master teacher and director of Bouffon physical theater. Agostinelli joined the artistic training team of Le Cirque du Soleil in 2004 and also contributed to the choreographic research for their show Kooza in 2007. He continues to work and inspire Le Cirque du Soleil artists with his unique teaching and artistic skills. In 2013 he participated in special events such as the Red Bull/Cirque Du Soleil High Performance Exchange in Santa Monica, CA. and taught Bouffon workshops to Cirque du Soleils artist in Las Vegas.
He is resident teacher/choreographer and ex-dancer of the founders (Linda Rabin and Candace Loubert) at L'École de danse contemporaine de Montréal since its beginnings over 30 years ago; artistic director/choreographer for Tanz Danse, Collège Montmorency’s dance troupe since 1994 in Laval, Quebec.; choreographs and/or teaches Bouffon at The School of Toronto Dance Theater; l’ Écôle de Danse de Québec and The School of Dance in Ottawa for the last 20 years.
In 2013, Massimo Agostinelli launched his troupe Écho formed by dancers who where part of Tanz Danse, Collège Montmorency's dance troupe in the last 21 years.Écho presented its first creation «Comme une goutte d'eau» at la Maison des arts de Laval, April 1st and 2nd, 2014. During the summer of 2014, some troupe members met once a week and participated in Écho-Été which consisted of dance technique classes and choreographic research for their new season in 2015.
After his dance studies at York University, Toronto, where he studied with Anne Bowes, Norrey Drummond, Grant Strate amongst others, he studied Jazz intensively with Len Gibson. After which circumstance brought him to Vancouver where he began his professional career as dancer and joined the Paula Ross Dance Company for four years. Mr. Agostinelli then returned to Montreal where he danced for Linda Rabin, Louise Bédard, Jean-Pierre Perreault, and partnered with Hélène Leclair.
Parallel to his dancing career he began developing his choreographic skills early on, during his first years with Paula Ross Dance Company, Paula Ross encouraged him to choreograph his first piece, a duo for himself and Dean Smith, both dancers with the company at the time. He has been choreographing ever since.
Parallel to his dance career Massimo Agostinelli also explored Bouffon theater in depth with Grant Heisler and Philippe Gaulier. He is now considered Canada's master Bouffon teacher and getting international intention through Le Cirque du Soleil. He continues to choreograph, teach and create/direct Bouffon works for workshops, schools, companies and corporate events.
He also collaborated with Scottish film director Katrina McPherson in Canada and Scotland. Massimo Agostinelli’s has also done intensive choreographic studies with Phyllus Lamhurt (New York), Robert Cohen (London Contemporary Dancers), Robert Lockyer (Dance - BBC-TV) and Peter Boneham (Le Groupe, Ottawa). He has also mentored choreographers such as Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras (who became The Holy Body Tattoo), Harold Rhéaume (Le Fils D'Adrien), Yvonne Coutts and others, through Le Groupe Dance Lab in Ottawa. Massimo Agostinelli has taught and mentored an incredible amount of artists over the years through the major schools where he works and Le Cirque du Soleil.
Amongst many of Massimo Agostinelli's successes he has created and directed two successful Bouffon theatre pieces The Coal Daughter’s Miner (2004) and Seeping Quest (2003), for the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Incurable (1992) a powerful piece about AIDS, presented at the Musée d’art contemporain in Montreal, in affiliation with the ARTS ABOUT AIDS exhibit that toured North America featuring artists such as Mapplethorpe and Herring; and the Gemini award winning documentary Mortel Désir (1991). Agostinelli performed the leading role in the Genie-nominated short film Le Pied Tendre (1988).