In a dress, a woman poses and smiles,
Program Director, Dance

The National Dance Project (NDP) Production Grant was established to support the creation/development and U.S.* touring** of new dance projects. Through a two-stage application process, dance artists and companies can apply for an opportunity to receive:

  • $45,000 to create a new dance work;
  • $10,000 in unrestricted general operating support;
  • $11,500 to support a Production Residency for Dance and/or additional community engagement work; and
  • $35,000 in tour subsidy that goes to U.S. organizations that bring the new dance work and related engagement activities to their communities.

Our unique funding framework continues to offer support that expands the definition of creative process by honoring traditions and advancing practices, prioritizing community engagement as a form of liberation, and creating space to experiment with new business models for dance. Currently, the NDP Production Grant is provided annually to 20 new dance projects.

In March, we received 180 preliminary applications that were eligible for the NDP Production Grant. While a decrease from last year’s submissions, the NDP Advisors and NDP Team remain inspired by the tenacity and ingenuity of artists and companies who are continuing to create and have a desire to tour/share their work amid the slow recovery from COVID-19. Moreover, with the unwavering support of our funders, we are excited to maintain an NDP Finalist Cohort of 40 new dance projects and provide an additional total investment of $200,000 in NDP Finalist Awards for the 20 projects that do not receive a NDP Production Grant. We see this as an opportunity to expand and deepen our portfolio, as well as offer another entry point for national and regional dance makers to receive NEFA funding.

As we begin to hopefully shift from pandemic to endemic, NEFA recognizes that the landscape for arts and culture will be and must be different. We remain committed to supporting current and future grantees to thrive on their own terms and will continue to be nimble as new definitions, models, and ideas are explored/implemented for dance as a form and business. 

*NEFA defines U.S. as all 50 of the United States, as well as Washington D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

**Due to the impacts of COVID-19, NEFA continues to embrace an expanded definition of touring to include virtual sharing. We understand that there are new opportunities and interest for artists and companies to share their projects virtually, reaching a more global audience, and have remained flexible to support this kind of expansion.

On a stage, a group of women laugh and move their arms, while wearing sequin dresses.
National Dance Project Production Grant finalist Urban Bush Women's "Hep Hep Sweet Sweet" | photo by Rick McCullough

NDP Advisors & Grant Review Process

In April, the 12 NDP Advisors convened virtually over five days to determine the 40 new dance projects that would advance to the finalist stage of the NDP Production Grant process. While they still prioritized the program criteria in their shared assessment of applications, we continue to appreciate their collective passion to ensure the NDP Finalist Cohort represents the aesthetic and cultural diversity of today’s dance field, as well as uplifts those dance artists and companies addressing field inequities, societal issues, and offering more inclusive, equitable, and accessible ways to experience dance.

During this year’s preliminary application review, NDP Advisors recognized artists and companies using dance as an intervention for change and action towards the reparative work that must be done within our field. They appreciated how applicants emphasized community engagement as a lifestyle practice, pushed to center the hyperlocal, leaned more into durational presenting relationships, reclaimed cultural narratives and aesthetics, uplifted memory restoration, and articulated an eagerness to engage in risk-taking that would radically impact their creative process, collaborations, partnerships, and even operations.

Some highlights from this year’s applicant pool include:

  • Inquires submitted - 184; Ineligible Inquiries - 4
  • We received applications from 24 states: Arizona (2), California (29), Connecticut (6), Florida (4), Georgia (4), Illinois (10), Louisiana (2), Maine (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (10), Michigan (1), Minnesota (5), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (4), New York (61), North Carolina (4), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (8), Rhode Island (2), Texas (4), Vermont (3), Washington (4), and Wisconsin (2), as well as Washington, D.C. (1) and Puerto Rico (2).
  • We received applications from all six regions of the United States (Learn more about the six regional arts organizations here)
  • We received two (2) international applications from India.
  • 38% of applications were first-time NDP Production Grant applicants
  •  17% of applications were from artists/companies that have previously received NDP Production Grant support

We take great pride in the diligent work of our Advisors and believe their lively discussions will lead to equitable stewardship of resources both geographically and within various dance forms and aesthetics, including those that are established, evolving, or emerging. For a full outline of the grant review process at the preliminary stage, please see previous blog post here.

Furthermore, NEFA understands that the fields of dance and theater are ever-evolving and intersecting. There are some projects where there is no clear delineation between the two forms and they also meet the criteria of both the National Dance Project and the National Theater Project. As a result, both programs desire to create processes which embrace that fluidity. We are excited to share that this year for the first-time, two projects have advanced as NDP and NTP Finalists. This is an exciting opportunity that demonstrates the expansiveness of our programs and the perception of the Advisors.

We value the artist’s/company’s/ensemble’s ability to define their process/practice for themselves and honor their agency to apply to both programs. However, while it may be true that projects can fit within the boundaries of both programs, they may only receive funding from one at this time. Therefore, to ensure we honor their efforts and our respective grant processes, NDP and NTP take the following actions:

  • Notify the project of their status in both programs;
  • Share the challenging nature of advancing as a NDP & NTP Finalist;
  • Inform the project that if they awarded in one program, they must decide whether to accept that grant or take their chances in the other process.

We believe that this kind of transparency is important to make sure NDP and NTP Finalists feel empowered to make an informed decision.

From May through June 15, NDP Finalists will work closely with an NDP Advisor and the NDP Team to submit a strong full proposal. In July, Advisors will convene again virtually to determine the 20 new dance projects that will receive the full NDP Production Grant and the 20 new dance projects that will receive Finalist Awards.

Special Thanks

A special thank you to the NDP Team: Cheri Opperman, Grants Manager, and Kristin Gregory, Program Manager. Your forward-thinking and compassion never ceases to amaze me, and I am appreciative of your help to steer this nuanced process. In addition, the NDP Team would like to thank Jane Preston, Deputy Director of Programs, Elizabeth Timmerman, Technology & Data Coordinator, and Abby Southwell, Technology & Data Director, for your respective support before, during, and after the process. We appreciate each of you!

Funders

NEFA's National Dance Project is generously supported with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Boston Foundation, and the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.

On a stage, a flamenco dancer twirls with her arms wide and her purple dress blowing in motion.
National Dance Project Production Grant finalist Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca's "Antigona" | photo by Chris Bannion

2022 National Dance Project Finalists

Please Note: As one extension of NEFA’s land acknowledgment practice, we believe it is important to provide space for artists/companies to uplift the original caretakers of the lands they reside and/or create on. You will notice that this may be represented differently for each NDP Finalist. We respect the varied choices made by artists/companies in honoring and recognizing the original caretakers of land and the relationships that exist and are being fostered through these projects. In addition, project descriptions below represent the current understanding of the project by the artist/company and are subject to change as part of the full proposal submission.

1968

Open Dance Project (Houston, TX)

1968 is an immersive dance theater performance to be developed by Houston based Open Dance Project, under the artistic direction of Annie Arnoult, that stages student protest movements in the year 1968 as captured through iconic photos in three cities - Chicago, West Berlin, and Paris. In this multi-sensory, multimedia performance, Open Dance Project’s 10-person ensemble investigates the body as both source and site of protest. Drawing connections between 1968 and contemporary social justice movements, audience members enter into the archival photos as source material for understanding our conflict-ridden, intensely mediated here and now.

Land Acknowledgement: The land on which Open Dance Project resides is part of the ancient homeland and traditional territory of the Karankawa, Coahuiltecan, Atakapa–Ishak and Sana peoples.  We pay respect to their peoples past, present and future.


A Dance Without A Name

Nejla Yatkin (Chicago, IL)

A Dance Without a Name is a new multi-media dance performance. The solo dance includes Contemporary Dance and Middle Eastern social dances like the Baladi, original composition, live music, and song to create an inclusive and interactive dance in a circle celebrating nature, the myth of the snake dance, and the feminine. The snake dance is one of the oldest healing dances and we can still find traces of it in every culture. The legend of the snake is often misunderstood and feared because its powers are both lethal and healing. There is for example the myth of Shameran, a half snake and half women recited all over the Middle East. Her legends are especially popular in the eastern Anatolia. In recent years among other issues, the image of this hybrid figure was used to highlight a lack of freedom for women and discrimination against those who embrace diverse gender identities. By invoking and reimagining the snake dance we will impart its wisdom and healing powers to the circle.

Land Acknowledgement: My home base Chicago is located on the traditional unceded homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations. Many other tribes such as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, and Fox also called this area home.


A Deepest Blue

Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA (Long Beach, CA)

A Deepest Blue follows an artist learning how to swim, who is pulled by a mysterious power into the unknown depths of the ocean. Encountering magnificent creatures, barrages of pollution, and the lost ghosts of merchants, slaves, and warriors, he is eventually confronted with his own fear, loneliness, and mortality. Drowning in his internal strife, the world suddenly quakes and rumbles, a piercing ray of light shoots forth, suddenly revealing the dragon mother in all her blazing glory.

Taking life from an origin myth shared by Cambodia and Japan, in which a prince descends to the bottom of the ocean to marry a dragon princess, A Deepest Blue dives into a world of history and myth, emotion and spirituality. Bringing together Khmer classical dance and gagaku, accentuated by digital recordings and holographic animation, A Deepest Blue blurs the line between wondrous spectacle and sacred offering, asking: What is the place and role of humanity in the scale and movement of the universe?

Land Acknowledgement: Born and raised on Tongva/Gabrieleno, project taking place on Ramaytush and Muwekma lands.


A Meal

LEIMAY (Brooklyn, NY)

A Meal is a new interdisciplinary dance performance: part-ritual, part-celebration, part-laboratory, and part-dinner. Premiering in Spring 2024 with a two-week run at HERE (NYC), this show will transform HERE’s building (including two theaters, lobby, and hallways) into a multi-sensorial live performance that centers on food justice and environmental ethics. The two-hour performance is structured as a series of vignettes that audiences will wander through to participate in the act of eating together, witnessing embodied performance by mythological creatures, and experiencing sound/video movement installations. The team includes: Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya as directors/choreographers/designers; the LEIMAY Ensemble (Masanori Asahara, Krystel Cooper, Andrea Jones, Mar Galeano); as well as guest performers and composers (Jeremy Slater, Drew Weinstein, and Thea Little). A Meal will include panels and workshops, an online audience response platform, and a published process book.

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape and Canarsie peoples


Arboreal Entanglement

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance (New York, NY)

Arboreal Entanglement is a collaborative project between choreographer Jody Sperling, composer Matthew Burtner, and the performers of Time Lapse Dance dwelling on the nature of trees. The work uses the parallel compositional modes of ecoacoustics and ecokinetics, pioneered by Burtner and Sperling respectively, that relate human sounds and movement to ecological systems. The work premieres in a two-part iteration produced in collaboration with the New York Society for Ethical Culture. On April 1, 2023, Part I is offered as a birthday tribute to Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize-recipient Wangari Maathai, an environmental activist who founded the Green Belt Movement. It unfolds as a processional performance under the majestic limbs of a surviving stand of American Elms in Central Park. On April 22 (Earth Day), Part II takes root onstage at Ethical NYC’s Adler Hall. Both activations involve multigenerational community engagement in the form of creative experiences and a tree symposium.

Land Acknowledgement: Lenape/Munsee


A’we deh ya / All of us are here

Paloma McGregor | Angela’s Pulse (New York, NY)

A’we deh ya is a community-specific performance project that uses dance, film, and text to animate Black liberation technologies of the U.S. Virgin Islands, a current U.S. colony. This strategic collaboration between artists from the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. mainland will engage communities in St. Croix, my homeland, Richmond, and the Bronx. Through an adaptive engagement and touring methodology, this project will activate a vital call-and-response between colony and mainland, body and place, art and activism.

This project is rooted in my Fishtrap Method praxis, inspired by my father's fishing tradition, which uses choreographic practices to cultivate community-centered visioning, organizing, and action. The work will adapt and evolve in relationship to each community and space it tours to, through a co-designed research and engagement model with local partners. The work will include local culture bearers and performers in each tour community in research process, public programming. and within the performance itself.

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape (New York, NY), Powhatan (Richmond , VA), and Carib/Arawak/Taino (St. Croix, U.S Virgin Islands). 


Baby Laurence Legacy Project

Brinae Ali (Baltimore, MD)

The Baby Laurence Legacy Project is an archival/performative process to create an integrated work of jazz tap dance and jazz music that investigates and celebrates the artistic and social influences that “Baby Laurence” Donald Jackson had on the culture of tap dance and jazz music. This project aims to capture and demystify lost information about this iconic tap dancer from Baltimore, MD. It will include new research from interviews, archival film, documentation tracing the footsteps of Baby Laurence in Baltimore, Harlem, and Washington D.C., and curricula for students and educators. Brinae Ali will present choreography, compositions, and multi-media in collaboration with fellow band members of the Baltimore Jazz Collective. This new work will culminate in an evening length performance, offer workshops and discussions to engage, educate, and uplift audiences, especially the African American community in Baltimore and beyond.

Land Acknowledgement: I live and work on the land of the Susquehannock People.


Close Animals: Soliloquies on Being

re:FRAME (New Orleans, LA)

re:FRAME is a collective of five dance-makers based in New Orleans developing full-length solo works for joint presentation and exploring alternative systems for artistic sustainability. We commonly value embodied research, process over product, the interrogation of complex social issues, and multidisciplinary ways of working, in unconventional relationship to space. Our shared artistic task for this project is to channel these practices into investigations of the solo form. An exhibition of this work will premiere over two weekends in fall 2023. We invite our communities to join us in movement and discourse that sets our studio research and collective-building alongside (and against) our current social, political and cultural landscapes. We seek to address our regional lack of access to dance infrastructure and to uplift New Orleans dance artists. We believe in the potency and promise of a radical reimagining of what dance includes and how dance can be funded, developed, and shared.

Land Acknowledgement: Chitimacha/Houma/Choctaw


Cross-Pollination

Antoine Hunter (OAKLAND, CA)

Cross-Pollination is a new collaboration between deaf choreographer Antione Hunter, Gallaudet University's TinkerLab, and Capacitor Performance. Together, we will collaborate with an interdisciplinary cohort of deaf and deaf-blind electrical engineering and dance students to create a touring dance piece performed upon interactive dance-motion sculptures designed by Capacitor’s Artistic Director, Jodi Lomask.

Land Acknowledgement: Lisjan Ohlone


Do The Hustle

Abdiel (Shoreline, WA)

HUSTLE—the Latin Hustle—is a child of the 70’s disco era from NYC. Named after its fast-paced stepping style, this dance is a part of the American cultural legacy and continues to capture the interest of people across the globe and age gap. A groundbreaking movement genre that brought together queer and straight communities through touch and rhythm, Hustle is a form of partner dance where leading and following isn’t gender specific, and can be defined as a joint celebratory outburst of energy.

Do The Hustle honors its past while celebrating its current and future intergenerational evolutions through three consecutive segments: an immersive stage performance, a dance class, and a dance party. While a DJ mixes live on stage, the host engages the audience through transitions, exposing them to a dance experience, a history lesson, and a hustle dance stage performance featuring a core group of multi-generational hustlers that have been pivotal in the evolution and preservation of the dance.

Land Acknowledgement: Duwamish, Coast Salish


FORCE! An opera in three acts

Anna Martine Whitehead/FORCE! (Chicago, IL)

FORCE! an opera in three acts follows a group of Black women and femmes as they wait to enter a prison and escape a memory-erasing mold. Exploring the interiority and shared dream-spaces of characters with names like Down’N Batter’d, Rage-a Tha World, and The Blinding Light, this project explores what kind of relationships bloom in the shadow of the prison, imagining a strange sisterhood with the power to disintegrate walls. FORCE! is a sprawling surrealist opera blending the sounds of gospel, folk, pop, and contemporary experimental jazz, and is made with a majority Black, femme, and queer cast. Making experimental performance work about the feminist potential of the ante-prison with such a cast is not only critical, but powerfully healing. By exploring sound, movement, and dreams with one another we (those who are most impacted by these interlocking forces of oppression that the prison industrial complex runs on) put into practice the free world we have dreamt of.

Land Acknowledgement: My home belongs to the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe and Bodéwadmiakiwen Nations; as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Sauk and Meskwaki (Fox); the Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Peoria, and the Očeti Šakówiŋ (Sioux) Nations; and other tribes.


Fugue State

BRKFST Dance Company (Saint Paul, MN)

BRKFST Dance Company will create an original dance work set to the orchestral composition Dancers, Dreamers and Presidents by Daniel Bernard Roumain in partnership with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. This work titled Fugue State, will premiere in December 2022. This rigorous, innovative, and choreographic collaborative work of Twin Cities-based breaking choreographers will investigate the physical manifestation of an internal and external world of distraction, fragmentation, and imbalance. Fugue State will tour to Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Westchester Philharmonic, seeking and securing opportunities to educate, collaborate, and communicate with audiences and communities while on tour. BRKFST will work with local Colleges, Universities, and hip hop communities, offering adaptive, collaborative residencies to instigate shared experience across cultures of dancers and musicians.

Land Acknowledgement: Minnesota (Mni Sota Makoce - Land Where the Waters Reflect the Skies) is the ancestral and contemporary home of the Wahpekute and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Peoples. Residents are indebted to indigenous led movements that fight for the protection of the waterways.


Future Fields

Dance Exchange (Takoma Park, MD)

Future Fields is a performance project cultivating communal exploration of climate change and agriculture. The project will yield new ways for personal and local experiences to be woven into the larger stories of how climate change is impacting our shared world. Led by environmentalists and dance artists Cassie Meador, Dr. Jamē McCray, and Christina Catanese, the project takes place in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the U.S. Through Future Fields, dancemaking and storytelling will center the multitude of ways we navigate climate change.

Land Acknowledgement: Dance Exchange respectfully acknowledges that our Community and Creative Hub is located on the occupied ancestral lands of the Nacotchtank (Anacostan) People and the Piscataway People whose presence, leadership, and care has stewarded this land throughout the generations. The lead artists for Future Fields are located in three different regions: Cassie Meador resides in Silver Spring, MD on the unceded lands of the Nacotchtank (Anacostan) People and the Piscataway (this is also the same land where ECO City Farms, our lead farm partner, is located); Jamē McCray resides in Wilmington, DE on the unceded lands of the Lenape people; and Christina Catanese resides in Grand Rapids, MI on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg, the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples.


Ghosts of Hell Creek

Prehistoric Body Theater (New York, NY)

Prehistoric Body Theater is deep-time animal dance, an embodied celebration of our evolutionary ancestry as revealed by the fossil record. The work is co-created with an all-Indonesian ensemble, synergizing Indonesian dance perspectives, butoh-lineage stagecraft, and choreographic biomimicry guided by mentor paleontologists. Ghosts of Hell Creek is a one-hour mainstage dance-theater production, crafted like a mesmerizing clay-textured diorama, activated by full-body clay costumery, intricate lighting, and an immersive soundtrack undulating with experimental gamelan motifs. The work's narrative is a eulogy for Acheroraptor, the last feathered raptor dinosaur who prowled the Hell Creek jungles of prehistoric Montana 66 million years ago, before its annihilation in the wake of an apocalyptic asteroid impact. The work then celebrates a miracle, the emergence of humanity’s ancient primate ancestor Purgatorius, who rose from the ashes, and thrived on the first fruit as the world was born anew.

Land Acknowledgement: Prehistoric Body Theater has newly incorporated on the ancestral lands of the Munsee Lunape and Canarsie people. Our basecamp of operations is located in Surakarta, Central Java, on the ancestral lands of the Javanese people and the Kerajaan Solo.


Goya

SOLEDAD BARRIO & Noche Flamenca (New York, NY)

Inspired by Goya’s Graphic Imagination at the Met Museum, Martin Santangelo experienced a renewed recognition of Goya’s work, much of which depicts the fear, violence, corruption, and immorality that affects ordinary everyday people. In April 2021 the Company created a virtual interpretation of Goya’s Caballo Caido del Cielo. The final result worked beyond all expectations, garnering praise from scholars and curators at the Met, prompting Santangelo to take on the artistic challenge of interpreting Goya’s work for the stage.

Goya will be an evening-length work of 10-12 pieces integrating live performance, projections, and possibly puppetry and masks, created by designer S. Benjamin Farrar, videographer Jesse Rodkin, artist/sculptor Mary Frank, and master puppeteer Basil Twist. While there will not be a narrative per se, there will be a through-line. Goya himself will be a character - a dancer, an actor, or something virtual - through whose eyes the works are viewed and interpreted.

Land Acknowledgement: Wappinger, Munsee Lanape


Haint Blu

Urban Bush Women (Brooklyn, NY)

Haint Blu is a new ensemble dance-theater work which aims to use performance as a source of healing. Named for the color that Southern families paint their front porches to ward off bad spirits, Haint Blu takes audiences through memory, magic, and movement into stillness and rest. The project will tour to communities nationwide in a series of site-specific performances, tailored through residencies and community engagement activities to each of our partner communities.

Land Acknowledgement: Land of the Munsee Lenape People


Hoptown

MKArts/MK Abadoo (Columbia, MD)

MKArts’s newest work conceived by MK Abadoo, Hoptown immerses audiences in sistering methodologies of Black girls and women thriving together over generations. It is inspired by the near parallel lives of two women from MK’s ancestral hometown, Hopkinsville "Hoptown," Kentucky: her mother, Regina Bowden, and Black feminist writer, bell hooks.

With audiences in the center of the performance space, the work unfolds within the experience of a total solar eclipse. In 2017, Hopkinsville was one of few global cities at the point of greatest eclipse. In Hoptown, audiences are enveloped in the luminescence of darkness. Here, witnesses are surrounded by the whispered power of vulnerable moments shared between four generations of Black women. Partnering with southern youth and elder-centered organizations, Hoptown seeks to create a performance ritual guided by the potency of life-giving bonds formed in the dark spaces of one’s life, and the potential for blooming in any place or time.

Land Acknowledgement: I live in the ancestral territory of the Susquehannock, Nentego (Nanticoke), and Piscataway peoples, otherwise known as Columbia, Maryland.


Is It Thursday Yet?

Jenn Freeman (Brooklyn, NY)

Is It Thursday Yet? is a stimulating hybrid of theatricality and clinical analysis, exploring autistic choreographer and dancer Jenn Freeman’s neurodivergent brain in motion. Diagnosed in her adulthood at age 33, Freeman’s work seeks to foster the understanding of autism for herself and others. Directed by Tony Award® winner Sonya Tayeh, Is It Thursday Yet? will be scored by original live music and utilizes recordings from Freeman’s autism diagnosis sessions, with accompanying vocals, drums and electronic elements. Embracing child-like surrealism, the vibrant, colorful and tactile scenic design is inspired by Freeman’s sensory sensitivities to texture, color, light, and sound. Footage from her childhood along with clinical terminology will be woven into the story serving as a narrative. Juxtaposing the rigidity of clinical diagnostic language up against Freeman’s actual human experience of being autistic serves as a rich and emotional journey told through dance.

Land Acknowledgement: Canarsie Munsee Lenape


Ipat a Kadsakay Project

Parangal Dance Company (San Francisco, CA)

Ipat a Kadsakay Project is a new ritual dance work inspired by the Sagayan Dance from the Maguindanaon Ipat ritual, choreographed by Eric Solano and performed by Parangal Dance Company. Our performance work is a modern interpretation of Sagayan, a spiritual dance that welcomes ancestral spirits and wards off evil spirits. The Sagayan dance is performed as part of Ipat – a pre-Islamic, Shamanic healing ritual performed by indigenous Filipino people of the Maguindanaon culture. The final touring piece will include 14 dancers, four musicians and two indigenous culture bearers (visiting U.S. from the Philippines).

Land Acknowledgement: Ramaytush Ohlone


MESTIZX

Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company (Albuquerque, NM)

MESTIZX is a work of flamenco dance theatre by Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company, informed and inspired by the work of Chicano/a/x artists, activists, and storytellers of previous decades. Framed by archetypal figures in Chicano history, MESTIZX explores 21st century Mestizo/a/x identity through flamenco, addressing issues of cultural hybridity and tensions stemming from historical events, power dynamics, and colonization. MESTIZX seeks to honor generations of people living in the liminal spaces of the United States Southwest borderlands, creating a work of art that is of, by, and for nuestra gente (“our people”).

Land Acknowledgement: Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company and the National Institute of Flamenco are located on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Diné (Navajo), Apache, and Tiwa peoples, including the Pueblos of Sandia, Isleta, and Laguna.


New work for BODYTRAFFIC by Kayla Farrish

BODYTRAFFIC (Los Angeles, CA)

BODYTRAFFIC (BT) is commissioning and premiering a new work to be created by choreographer Kayla Farrish. Farrish will be exploring and interrogating depictions of Black and POC love visually refracted through the cinematic lens of the lush Hollywood romances and horror films of the ‘40s-’60s, creating a theater piece existing at the intersection of film and dance and drawing both from her experiences as a Black woman from North Carolina and the lives of BT’s POC dancers. As a majority POC company based in the heart of Los Angeles, BT is uniquely positioned as an artistic collaborator to both co-create the narrative arc through the lived experiences of its POC members, as well as provide access to academic and practical filmic resources only available in Hollywood.

Land Acknowledgement: Tongva (Gabrieleno), Chumash


New York Is Burning

Les Ballet Afrik (Brooklyn, NY)

Commissioned and presented by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, choreographer Omari Wiles will premiere New York Is Burning for his dance company Les Ballets Afrik, paying homage to the 30th anniversary of Paris Is Burning. This documentary about the 1980s voguing and drag ball community represents a powerful expression of personal pride that LGBTQ and BIPOC artists faced from racism, homophobia, and the stigma of the AIDS crisis. Wiles - founding father of the House of Oricci and a ballroom community legend - will develop this work with AfrikFusion, a combination of traditional African dances, Afrobeat styles, house dance, and vogue. The work shares the community spirit embodied in ballroom to dance platforms and tells stories historically neglected by mainstream dance in order to reflect the aspirations, desires, and yearnings of a diverse group of dancers whose dance company serves as a surrogate family in another period where health, race, and financial crises continue to brew.

Land Acknowledgement: Lenape


Norri

DaEun Jung (Los Angeles, CA)

Norri(놀이) is a new evening-length dance work by Los Aneles-based choreographer DaEun Jung. Inspired by the principle, form, and mode of Korean folk dance as a communal performance, Norri, meaning “play” in Korean, creates an inclusive platform to experiment with complex choreographic tasks while celebrating collective accomplishments and each body’s singularity.
 
In Norri, Korean dance vocabulary is re-stylized by the differing somatic histories of the dancers where spontaneous pansori (Korean traditional folk opera) phrases sung by Melody Shim and the continuous pulse of electronic sound composed by Daniel Corral interact with each other as the rhythmic encounters of past/present, formality/spontaneity, and uniformity/singularity suggest a new contemporary movement.

Land Acknowledgement: We work on the land of the Chumash, Tongva, and Kizh Peoples.


Once the dust settles, flowers bloom

Olivier Tarpaga (Philadelphia, PA)

Once the dust settles, flowers bloom is an original evening-length contemporary dance theater work conceived by choreographer/composer Olivier Tarpaga exploring conflicts between feminism and jihadism in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania). Although abstract in its form, this work looks beyond the horror and tragedy by channeling the strength and beauty of a displaced population. The ensemble includes six dancers and five musicians who hail from the Sahel, including kora player Wassa Kouyate, an emerging celebrity female griot from Mali. The finished work will include set, lighting, costume, and video design by production crew members from the U.S., France, Czech Republic, and Burkina Faso.

Land Acknowledgement: Lenni-Lenape


Raíces et Révolution

SUSANA ARENAS PEDROSO/DUNIYA DANCE AND DRUM COMPANY (San Francisco, CA)

Raíces et Révolution is a new collaboration between Afro-Cuban choreographer, Susana Arenas Pedroso, and Guinean arts organization, Duniya Dance and Drum Company, presented through Dance Mission Theater’s newly-formed Liberation Academy. Together, we’ll create and tour a dance and music performance about the multi-faceted cultural/political relationship between Guinea, West Africa, and Cuba.

Land Acknowledgement: Raíces et Révolution is being created in Yelamu or the traditional lands of the Ramaytush Ohlone.


Rhythm Bath

Studio Susan Marshall (New York, NY)

Rhythm Bath is a series of performance-installations and engagement activities by choreographer Susan Marshall and set designer Mimi Lien. The project builds on Marshall’s 35+ years of dance work and is informed by her life with her adult neurodiverse son. Rhythm Bath is developed in conversation with people living with autism and apraxia—conditions that can make it uncomfortable to conform to normative theater viewing. Appealing to audiences both with and without disabilities, we will create an arts experience for audiences in which a certain way of being in—or controlling—one’s body is not privileged. Rhythm Bath will be presented in Fall 2023 by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, Philadelphia.

Land Acknowledgement: Lenape


SANKEI: a transplanted pilgrimage

KAMBARA+ (San Francisco, CA)

SANKEI: a transplanted pilgrimage* will be a dance project with two components. IKKAI means once: a transplanted pilgrimage, commissioned by Japanese American Citizens League San Jose Chapter, is an evening length dance choreographed by Yayoi Kambara. It weaves together modern dance, a Japanese American Obon folk dance named “Ei Ja Nai Ka”, and taiko drums, exploring the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans, struggles for reparation and healing, and current solidarity with communities facing violence.

二度と(NI DO TO): an XR pilgrimage, commissioned by Georgia Tech Arts, implores audiences to intimately encounter the creative process of live performance through 360° dance film, poetry machine, hologram Obon dance training, bystander intervention training, and Kintsugi reflections.

Together these components disrupt and awaken a new dance experience out of the proscenium and tie together the importance of making dances for communities.

 *Sankei - to gather and participate in pilgrimage at a shrine or Buddhist temple.

Land Acknowledgement: SANKEI: a transplanted pilgrimage is primarily made in Muwekma, Ohlone, and Tamien territories. We have also filmed in the unceded territories of the Newe (Western Shoshone), Eastern Mono/Monache, Numu (Northern Painte), and the Muscogee (Creek) peoples. Georgia Tech Arts resides on the ancestral lands of the Muscogee (Creek) peoples.


SUPERCELL

slowdanger (Pittsburgh, PA)

SUPERCELL is an evening-length multidisciplinary quintet, responding to climate change, media sensationalism, desensitization, and environmental collapse.

Land Acknowledgement: Osage, Shawandasse Tula


Tadangal: Burning Through Borders

Hari Krishnan/inDANCE (Middletown, CT)

The University of Chicago and Wesleyan University present Tadangal: Burning Through Borders, choreographed by artistic director of inDANCE, Hari Krishnan. This double bill of contemporary Bharatanatyam works features for the first time, an intimate same-sex love duet and a defiant ensemble work subverting representations of hypermasculinity, endemic in Indian dance.

Land Acknowledgement: Wangunks, Wappinger and Quinnipiac


Tell

Circo Zero (San Francisco, CA)

Circo Zero will produce Tell, a performance project choreographed by Sarah Crowell and Keith Hennessy using both dance and community process to explore racialized harm and potentials for racial healing. Working with three Black dancers and three white dancers in a racially-caucused rehearsal process, Tell addresses the crises of racial mistrust and political polarization, serving both Black and diverse audiences who are seeking optimistic, rigorously honest, and socially engaged live art. Tell creates a brave space for people who want cross-racial dialogue in compassionate, loving, and fierce contexts where mutli-racial work is contingent on consent. Tell will be created in Oakland and San Francisco starting in Fall 2022 and presented in San Francisco in October 2023.

Land Acknowledgement: Ramaytush Ohlone


The Historical Fantasy of Esek Hopkins: An Activist Dance Opera

The Haus of Glitter Dance Company (Providence, RI)

The Historical Fantasy of Esek Hopkins is an original activist dance opera + album + curriculum + historical intervention, serving as the creative container for our historic intervention at the former home of Esek Hopkins, commander of the slavery ship “Sally.” This project comes from community, from our elders, from our youth, from the soil, from the ocean, from the wind, and from the embers. We don’t just want to exist. We want to live. Change isn’t about forgetting. It’s about remembering.

Why is there a middle school named after Hopkins full of brilliant Black and Brown children down the street? Why is his house, a symbol of white supremacy, worth preserving when it could be transformed into a more care-centered space? What does it mean for our Queer BiPOC Family to be living, creating, and healing here? What is the relationship between the individual human body and our collective body? Our movement embodies a legacy to refuse complicity, to refuse oppression, to refuse silence.

Land Acknowledgement: Narragansett and Wampanoag


The Jazz Continuum

LaTasha Barnes (Tempe, AZ)

LaTasha Barnes’ The Jazz Continuum centers the prolific artistry of jazz music and dance as a cornerstone of Black American dance forms. Performed by an intergenerational cast of seven Black dancers and six Black musicians, this one-hour performance celebrates the pure joy of Black jazz dance. Barnes reaches back nearly 100 years, making the connection between the dances that sprang from America’s Black jazz music to today’s House and Hip Hop dance vernacular. Each performer brings to stage their personal dance and music journeys, investigating the energetic relationships within jazz and Lindy Hop. The f Continuum celebrates dances and music from Harlem, Chicago, New Orleans, Cuba, Haiti, Angola, and Brazil. It conjures the spirits of Black dance elders, including: Norma Miller, Frankie Manning, Earl Snake Hips Tucker, Don Campbellock, Tyrone The Bone Proctor, and Marjorie Smack. The NY Times said of Barnes: “To watch LaTasha Barnes dance is to watch historical distance collapse.”

Land Acknowledgement: Hohokam, O'odham Jewel & Akimel O'odham


THE SECRET SHARER

DNAWORKS (Fort Worth, TX)

DNAWORKS is currently developing a multidisciplinary dance-theatre adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 1909 novella THE SECRET SHARER. THE SECRET SHARER is a devised ensemble performance integrating dance, music, sound, text, and projections. Considered an early Queer text, THE SECRET SHARER explores fragility, tenderness, and intimacy in times of personal danger and societal discrimination. In response to both an increase in hate crimes and the visibility of LGBTQQ2SPIAA+ youth suicides worldwide, THE SECRET SHARER provides a Queer-centered space for resiliency and healing, with audience members sharing their own stories during the performance, interspersed at critical moments in the narrative.

Land Acknowledgement: DNAWORKS is located on the unceded homelands of multiple Native American nations, including Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Kickapoo, Shawnee, Caddo, and Wichita, who were forcibly removed by settler colonialism and from which non-Native peoples now benefit.


The Unarrival Experiments – Unconcealment Ceremonies

Ni’Ja Whitson (Riverside, CA)

“How do you see something you can’t see?” 

“What if Blackness refused to arrive and exists in the unarrival?”

“What is the nature of antebecoming?”

The Unarrival Experiments – Unconcealment Ceremonies is a live performance installation work by artist Ni’Ja Whitson that is designed to amplify the dark. In dialogue with Yorùbá Cosmology, Astrophysics, and research on darkness as fertile ground, the work centers the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy through a Black, Queer, and Transembodied lens. Dark matter and dark energy serve as portals to interrogating spaces of the unknown, yet that which have an unequivicated impact on the composition of the universe.

Land Acknowledgement: Tongva, Luiseno, Cauhilla, Serrano


The Way of Water

Forklift Danceworks (Austin, TX)

The Way of Water examines the complex histories, challenges, and possible futures surrounding water as a shared natural resource. Engaging frontline civic workers, local artists, and neighborhood residents in a practice of community-based dance making, the project seeks to elevate interconnectedness and foster collaboration. Beginning with a performance featuring Austin Watershed Protection employees and community residents confronting flooding issues, the initial development of The Way of Water will form a performance model to be toured to other communities, modified to reflect the particular challenges, opportunities, and culture of each cast of collaborators. Connecting communities across Austin, Miami, El Paso, and beyond, The Way of Water amplifies community narratives, facilitates shared understanding of local issues, and builds greater capacity for collaboration between residents and civic workers.

Land Acknowledgement: Forklift Danceworks is based in the unceded land of the Tonkawa, Coahuiltecan, Lipan Apache, Jumanos, and Sana peoples.


Touch of RED

Shamel Pitts | TRIBE (Brooklyn, NY)

Touch of RED is a new evening length performance work that consists of a duet for two men and investigates how Black men can allow themselves to soften, even under extreme pressure and heat. The meeting point of the two individuals takes place inside of a voyeuristic ring with the audience seated on all sides. The confined space references a futuristic gladiator entertainment site in which a heat path between the two performers builds, not out of aggression or combat, but within an enhanced electrifying effeminacy that heals.

“Bold. Boiled. Blood.”

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape


UNBOUND

Dancing Earth (Santa Fe, NM)

In collaboration with New Mexican historian Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, UNBOUND is a dance theater work/embodied archive examining the history of Native slavery in the U.S. Southwest, as well as its continued impacts on the land, the descendants of enslaved Native people, and the cultures woven into this history. Dancing Earth (DE), an intercultural contemporary dance company rooted in global indigenous relationships and ecological-cultural diversity, commissions artist Sarah Hogland-Gurulé, in collaboration with other DE artists, to translate three decades of Dr. Rael-Gálvez’s research into contemporary dance theater. All collaborators involved will share ancestral history of Native enslavement within their lineages. UNBBOUND will be contextualized within multi-sensory experiences that include aspen branch gathering, story-sharing community dinners with locally grown foods native to the region, oral history soundscapes, documentary imagery, and the exhibition of post-1848 archival material.

Land Acknowledgement: The traditional lands stewarded by the Tewa and Tiwa Pueblo people


UNDERcurrents

nia love (New York, NY)

UNDERcurrents is a continuation and a fresh departure within my long-term project, g1(host):lostatsea. A serial, multi-media performance and research platform, g1(host):lostatsea marks my continuous engagement with the memory, prolonged histories, and “afterlives” of transatlantic slavery. It pivots on this fundamental query: what remains of the Middle Passage as force, gesture, and affect?

UNDERcurrents invites audiences to probe the seam between catastrophic history and quotidian memory and tend the textures of kinship bonds and generational care. These processes are explored through two primary thematic elements: water and doors. The point of departure for captive Africans into the Middle Passage is described as “the door of no return.” Conjuring the continual resonance of this world-making and breaking threshold, this presentation will be structured as an immersive and participatory audience experience through an installation that is activated by performance and free-standing.

Land Acknowledgement: I live and work on the ancestral homelands known as Lenapehoking of the Lenape people. These lands include the Canarsie and Munsee nations among others. I stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples for their care of the land and natural resources.


Underscored

Ephrat Asherie Dance (New York, NY)

UnderScored is a multi-faceted project which acts as a living archive of five generations of NYC club dancers. The evening-length performance component of UnderScored is a multi-generational collaboration with club dancers ranging in age from 27-79. Celebrating and investigating our connections to the club, this work features Ephrat Asherie Dance ensemble members and three NYC club legends. Initially set to premiere in October 2020, we could have never imagined-when we started this project in 2019-that the very thing at the core of this work, the club, would be taken from us. Collaborating and dancing alongside club elders who have lived through the crack epidemic, the AIDS crisis, and who are now surviving and thriving through the current global pandemic has been life-affirming, their dancing bodies a testament to their resilience and fortitude. The pandemic kept ALL of us from gathering. Whether on or off the dance floor, UnderScored is a reminder of how essential it is to connect to one another.

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape Land


When We were Queens...

Culture Mill (Saxapahaw, NC)

When We were Queens… is a collaboration between dancer/choreographer Murielle Elizéon and acclaimed musician Shana Tucker exploring a shared ancestry of diaspora and violence. Presented as a diptych, two solos in conversation with one another, the work illuminates both singularity of experience and resonance embedded in the bodies of women of color from different African diasporic communities. When We were Queens… considers the body as a repository of its own history and the complexities of ancestral heritage and seeks to identify the themes and threads that tell a story beyond words. The development and presentation of this work integrates community engagement into the creative process, offering a series of cost-free embodied workshops for BIPOC communities.

Land Acknowledgement: Sissapahaw, Eno, Shakori, and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation

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