2024 National Dance Project Finalists

David Roussève / REALITY's "Stardust" | photo by Jamie Kraus, courtesy of Jacob's Pillow Dance

Indira is a Black woman in a bright blue blouse. She poses in front of city buildings.
Senior Program Director, Dance

On behalf of the National Dance Project (NDP) Advisor Cohort, we are delighted to share the 2024 NDP Production Grant Finalists. 

Each year, NDP welcomes applications from dance artists, companies, and collectives to invest in the creation/development and U.S* touring/sharing of new dance projects via its NDP Production Grant. Stewarded by NEFA’s values and NDP program criteria, this funding opportunity will be provided to 20 grantees with the following framework of support:

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

* 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.

** NEFA continues to embrace an expanded definition of touring to include virtual sharing. We understand that there are new opportunities and interest in artists and companies sharing their projects virtually, reaching a more global audience, and have remained flexible to support this kind of expansion and hybrid model.

NDP Advisors & Grant Panel Review Process

In March, we received 219 eligible preliminary applications for the NDP Production Grant, setting a new record for the program. Each application was assessed and evaluated by the 12 NDP Advisors in preparation for an intense virtual grant panel review process. In April, they immersed themselves in robust discussions that ultimately helped them determine the 40 new dance projects that would advance to become NDP Finalists. 

The NDP Advisors continue to hold the complexities of being an artist still navigating the impacts of the pandemic, as well as pre-dated inequities for those individuals living at the intersections of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, class, language, culture, and/or geography. They appreciated applicants’ prioritization of intergenerational exchange, expanding perspectives on traditional and contemporary forms and aesthetics, discovering new methods of creating and archiving, elevating forms of dance often dismissed, sustaining accessible engagement, and generating new spaces for dance to be experienced. 

Some additional information from this year’s applicant pool include:

  • Preliminary Applications Received – 223
    • Eligible Preliminary Applications – 219
    • Ineligible Preliminary Applications – 4
  • We received applications from 30 states: Arizona (1), California (43), Colorado (2), Connecticut (6), Florida (2), Georgia (4), Illinois (10), Louisiana (3), Maine (3), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (16), Michigan (1), Minnesota (6), Missouri (1), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (6), New Mexico (1), New York (65), North Carolina (9), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (12), Puerto Rico (2), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (4), Vermont (1), Washington (5), as well as Washington, D.C. (3).
  • We received applications from all six regions of the United States (Learn more about the six regional arts organizations here).
  • We received one (1) international application from Indonesia.
  • 37% of applications were first-time NDP Production Grant applicants.
  • 22% of applications were from artists/companies that have previously received NDP Production Grant support. 

As the NDP Finalists prepare to submit their full proposal on June 10th, they each will work with an NDP Advisor who will provide guidance and feedback on but not limited to: narrative responses (including comments from the preliminary panel meeting), the project budget, in-person and/or virtual tour planning strategies, and work sample selections. In July, they will reconvene virtually to determine the 20 new dance projects that will receive an NDP Production Grant and the 20 new dance projects that will receive NDP Finalist Awards.*** 

***NDP Finalists receive $10,000 in unrestricted funding as an expression of NEFA’s belief in their artistic prowess and our desire to support the continued creation/development of their proposed new dance project.

Special Thanks

The work and impact of the NDP program would not be possible without the dedication of the NDP Team: Cheri Opperman, Senior Grants Manager, and Kristin Gregory, Program Manager. Each year they rise to the occasion of advancing the program by tackling challenging field and philanthropic issues with care and continuously push others to do the same. I remain inspired by them both and value their partnership in this important work. 

In addition, the NDP Team would like to express appreciation for the dedication and support of Elizabeth Timmerman, Technology & Data Administrator, during our preliminary panel meeting process. Your positive spirit throughout everything helped us more than you know.


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

On the floor, two dancers wrap their legs around each other.
A work by Kimberly Bartosik | photo by Ryutaro Mishima

2024 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 the land(s), as well as the relationships that exist and are being fostered through these projects. In addition, the 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.

After the Last Red Sky

Body Watani | Minneapolis, MN

After the Last Red Sky is a dance performance that connects dimensions and generations within the Palestinian experience. It seeks to encourage questions and to look up at a Palestinian sky painted by celestial folk stories and torn apart by modern and ongoing realities of violence: hanging and falling. From ancestral past to present, there is urgency to scream to the sky to make something stop, now.

A quartet of Palestinian performers born in the Midwest come together to harness this essence and source of the scream. They interweave Arabic contemporary dance and live music to collaboratively create this new work. By carrying, transforming, and warping traditions into grief, rage, and aliveness, they explore performing a “Palestinian Rock Show” directed at the sky.

Body Watani Dance project is held by Leila and Noelle Awadallah, who research how experimenting with traditional Arabic dances allows for deeper investigations into questions of the physical terrains of body-as-homeland.

Land Acknowledgement: Dakota and Ojibwe Peoples.

An Approximation of Resilience

The Foundry | Woodacre, CA

Alex Ketley’s An Approximation of Resilience explores our carceral system from the intimate vantage point of his friend, Bill Clark, who has spent the past 32 years in a 4x10 foot cell on Death Row at San Quentin Prison. Even though Clark is in prison, his spirit, generosity, and wholehearted embrace of life are magnificent to experience. Resilience represents Ketley’s latest response to a society that determines that certain people or communities are less worthy of attention and celebration and, by extension, how this can be reflected on dance stages. Created with a stellar cast of performers, the core of the work is that beauty lies everywhere, even in prison, if it is given a chance to be seen and magnified. An Approximation of Resilience is an act of resistance to our country’s intractable system of punishment and hopes to reconfigure people’s perceptions to those affected by incarceration, and from that be a conduit to change.

Land Acknowledgement: Graton Rancheria, Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok), and Miwok Peoples.

Amina Mundi

Degenerate Art Ensemble | Seattle, WA

Anima Mundi - Amnesia is an immersive exploration into the profound amnesia that has estranged humanity from the intricate tapestry of the natural world. Rooted in a sense of urgency fueled by the existential climate crisis, this project seeks to explore the complexities of our disconnection and inspire transformative reconnection. It uses ceremony and ritual, inspired by the timeless ways in which humanity has sought to rekindle its bond with the natural world. However, it doesn't shy away from confronting the stark horrors of modern factory farming and other forms of nature-exploitation. The project weaves together artistic mediums to create a multi-dimensional narrative. Embodied movement becomes a language through which the audience communes with the forgotten rhythms of the Earth. Sculpture bridges the gap between the human and non-human. Layered projected video immerses the audience in the juxtaposition of nature's beauty and destruction.

Land Acknowledgement: Duwamish People.


Kimberly Bartosik/daela | Brooklyn, NY 

Watching a loved one overdose haunts you in a way that will never leave your own body. bLUr is a highly physical, deeply visceral evening-length choreographic project for four extraordinary performers that explores that haunting. The work resists overt narratives around our culture's current opioid epidemic while attempting to put into movement and emotional language the violent cravings and war-like forces pulsing through a body that is drawn to substance abuse. Built in cycles that break and reform, blur illuminates the clash of internal cravings with the force necessary to resist them. Working with a sonic score centering around a human heartbeat, and within a landscape of constantly shifting light, the work is about time warping and blurring when life is pumped back into a body that has drained out. bLUr is about urgent interventions, tender and brutal rescues, howling hunger, and the blurry line between them. bLUr is scheduled to premiere in the U.S. and Europe in 2025.

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape People.

Burden of Proof

KULARTS | San Francisco, CA

Burden of Proof will be a full-length dance theater work choreographed by Alleluia Panis, featuring 10 dancers, 5 live musicians with immersive media design utilizing video, text/poetry, and sound collected through our research/development process. The project explores labor inequity, diasporic survival, and generational traumas in the wake of the colonial legacy of Pilipinx nurses in the United States. Choreographer, Alleluia Panis – in collaboration with San Diego Poet Laureate, Dr. Jason Magabo Perez; Composer, Rachel Lastimosa; Dramaturg, Joyce Lu; and Media Artist, Alvin Casasola – will delve into the 1975 case of Pilipina nurses, Leonora Perez and Filipina Narciso, who were targeted by investigators looking into unexplained deaths at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They were convicted and incarcerated until a judge ordered their release due to prosecutors’ “overwhelming prejudice” against the nurses. 

Land Acknowledgement: Ramaytush Ohlone People.

Daddy AF

David Roussève / REALITY | West Hollywood, CA

My first evening-length solo in more than 20 years, Daddy AF braids words, digital imagery, movement, and sound to create a meditation on life's purpose created by a Queer African American man acutely aware of the finite time he has left on the planet. Like strands of DNA, it connects elements encoded in my body, including 600 years of family genealogy (which I recently traced to 1400s Europe, as well as to Mali, Senegal, Haiti, Cuba, and Mexico), my roller coaster journey as a Queer HIV+ cis man, and the shattering death by suicide of my former husband of 26 years—along with solo excerpts from 35 years of my dance company REALITY’s repertory, and a new movement vocabulary exploring the meaning of virtuosity for a 64-year old body. With Daddy AF I seek to generate dialogue around the elusive nature of love and the very meaning of existence; along the way posing questions around the nature of legacy, fulfillment, liberation, and even social justice.

Land Acknowledgement: I live and work on the unceded lands of the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples, the traditional caretakers of Tovaangar, and pay my respects to Honuukvetam, Elders, and ‘Eyoohiinkem past, present and emerging.

Dancers pose and wear all grey in a grey space with a white floor. Two Black folks in the center hold hands like they're waltzing.
David Roussève / REALITY's "Stardust" | photo by Steve Gunther


Drama Tops | Seattle, WA

Drama Top’s DADS is a multiyear dance project that responds to queer community’s need for leadership, mentorship, and iconography in a world built for cis, straight people.

In their personal experiences, Elby had a gentle, loving father who passed away when he was fifteen years old in Pensacola, Florida and Shane grew up in the Midwest with an industry working father who, though gentle and loving, really hoped he would grow up to be straight. Both of their queer experiences, driven by absence, push them to make work that creates gay, intergenerational support structures, community, economy, and opportunities for queer people. They believe this is related to becoming community leaders, “ART DADDIES”.

This project uses Shane and Elby’s relationships with their fathers, their complex thoughts on becoming dads, and their queer, male thoughts of “getting a Daddy” and “turning into a daddy”– as a driver for community organizing.

Land Acknowledgement: Coast Salish People, specifically the Duwamish People.


Abby Z and the New Utility | New York, NY

Exhilarama! is the newest project by Ohio-based choreographer Abby Zbikowski with her company, Abby Z and the New Utility (AZNU). A choreographic work presented in two formats: an evening-length work for theater spaces and an exhibition event for recreation centers; this work explores the psychology and aesthetics of dance and wrestling as high-stakes recreational pastimes that have existed for thousands of years and are still practiced today. Often acting as a cultural divide separating elite and popular sensibilities, both dance and wrestling are historically celebrated as virtuosic by certain sects of society and dismissed as unsophisticated by others. This work celebrates the deep physical, mental, and spiritual work that practitioners pour into movement forms rooted in populist ethos and continues AZNU's mission of creating points of access for new and seasoned audiences to interface with experimental dance, an often insular genre. Exhilarama! is commissioned by NYU Skirball and American Dance Festival, with residency support by Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University and Wexner Center for the Arts. It will premiere at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in October 2025.

Performed by a cast of nine movers with backgrounds in house dance, folkstyle wrestling, artistic swimming, Shotokan Karate, and more, Exhilarama! tests the minds and physical will of its cast as they push the boundaries of mental and physical endurance. In the theater, the work will be a sprawling event, guiding audiences through both intimate up-close engagement with the performers and developed group choreography to be watched on the proscenium stage. The movement for this work is rooted in grappling tactics in tandem with the skill set of each performer. The AZNU team works collaboratively to reorient information into new movement ideas that develop into a collectively-built, amalgamated choreographic form. Through a communal process of trial and error, consensus is built on how a rhythm is expressed in dance and how it plays out through the body in space and new forms are created. The outcome is an athletic pursuit of self-knowledge unlocked through engaging in exhausting and tactically-driven physicality.

Land Acknowledgement: Both the Lenape island of Manhahtaan (Mannahatta) in Lenapehoking -the Lenape homeland- and the intersectional territories of the Kaskaskia, Hopewell Culture, Myaamia, and Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee) are integral to our work.


Gerard & Kelly | New York, NY

Gerard & Kelly continue their exploration of the music and legacy of Julius Eastman with a choreographic staging of the composer’s ecstatic minimalist masterpiece Femenine [sic].

Partnering with institutions in the United States and Europe, Gerard & Kelly will develop the project over a series of creation residencies in advance of a world premiere in summer 2025 in New York. Following presentations in the U.S., the project will travel to Paris where it will be presented in fall 2025.

Land Acknowledgement: Lenape People.

Four dancers exit a glass house, while two wait. One who exits with long hair seems to fall to one knee.
Gerard & Kelly's "Modern Living" | photo courtesy of The Glass House

Femenine // Julius Eastman Trilogy

Kyle Marshall Choreography | Brooklyn, NY

Rooted as a company that sees the dancing body as a container of history, an igniter of social reform, and a site of celebration, Kyle Marshall Choreography (KMC) is in-process on an ambitious trilogy of dances embodying the music and legacy of the Black, Queer composer Julius Eastman (1940 – 1990). Our proposal is to support the final production and touring of the cornerstone of our Eastman Trilogy, a radically queer, 70-minute embodiment of Julius Eastman’s jubilant minimalist composition, Femenine (1974).

One of Eastman’s most joyful works, Femenine begins with a gentle call of bells and vibraphone as six Black and Brown performers softly emerge. Over the course of this evening length work, gestures of touch build into flowing phrases of affirmation and rhythmic joy. With Femenine, we aim to push the boundaries of Black artistry, queer expression, and cultivate conversations with audiences and communities affirming Black and Queer people’s history and influence on this country.

Land Acknowledgement: Lenape People // Lenapehoking.



FLOCK is a vertical dance theater performance expressing a magic-realism story of a colorful child traveling across a precarious sky as both bird and human, surrounded by the love and protection of a familial flock. Creative development of the work will form from choreographic research into avian flocking behaviors and personal and community migration story-sharing. Performed high above the ground as a free public work of live performance on the side of a building, FLOCK brings together vertical dance, live multilingual music, and projection mapped visuals into an evening length, site-responsive live performance experience in honor of migrating children.

Land Acknowledgement: Ohlone, Muwekma, and Confederated Villages of Lisjan Peoples.

Ghadar Geet: Blood and Ink

Joti Singh | Oakland, CA

Joti Singh's Ghadar Geet: Blood and Ink merges dance, poetry, and live music to chronicle the Bay Area's Ghadar Party, a revolutionary force in India's fight for independence from British rule. Rooted in Bhangra and Giddha, traditional Punjabi dances embodying both celebration and resistance, Joti intertwines her diverse dance vocabulary to depict the enduring legacy of anti-colonial struggles. Drawing inspiration from her great-grandfather, Bhagwan Singh Gyanee, a prominent Ghadar leader and prolific poet, Joti collaborates with singer Ishmeet Narula to compose the soundtrack. Infusing her own poetry with her ancestor's verses, Joti illuminates the personal inheritance of her family's legacy of art, revolution and resistance. Ghadar Geet: Blood and Ink serves as a bridge, connecting generations through the rhythm of struggle and the enduring quest for liberation, revealing the living connections that bind our history to the present.

Land Acknowledgement: Chochenyo and Ramaytush Ohlone Peoples.

Hollow Center

Takahiro Yamamoto | Portland, OR

Hollow Center is an hour-length dance performance, comprised of set choreography and structured improvisation for a solo and a duet that explores the membrane between erasure/nothingness and existence/being as a place of refuge from the accomplishment-oriented society that perpetuates isolation and the present-day threats associated with being Asian, and immigrant in the U.S. The duet partner will be selected in each touring city to create a new duet - on how can differences coexist - at each presenting venue. This work examines my experience as a member of the Japanese/Asian diaspora and creates a cross-cultural dialogue about how a queer, Asian male like me can exist, and possibly thrive, in an increasingly othering and isolating U.S. society. The piece will be performed in visual art galleries and theatrical stage venues, and will use a short film, printed essays and images with an audio component to contextualize the performance and prime audience discussion.

Land Acknowledgement: Cowlitz, Clackamas, and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Peoples.


Visionare Inc. | Guaynabo, PR

Hom[e]age is a dance project that uncovers the histories of Puerto Rico’s forgotten elder population, recognizing their legacy as a necessary foundation of what is best in today’s Puerto Rico. The original sounds and movement forms of bolero, bomba, salsa, merengue, and guaguanco provide the dance-scape where past and present intertwine as a necessary precondition for forging a collective and inclusive future. The project brings together participants from the ‘third age’ in three municipalities of PR and opens a space for them to be the creative artists shaping the performance. The project extends access and inclusion by promoting cultural presence, a concept that goes beyond cultural access and participation and embraces action through dance to open a space for the senior population to be present, engage with, and most importantly take action to influence the cultural expressions and representations of Puerto Rican contemporary society.

Land Acknowledgement: Tainos People.

Letters to My Father

New York Theatre Ballet | New York, NY

This project features the creation of a new work by Kevin Iega Jeff (choreographer) in collaboration with Hakim Bellamy (spoken word). It is the final ballet of NYTB’s Letters to My Father curatorial series about fatherhood, as shared by diverse choreographer/composer teams. The full project includes extensive community outreach, a June 2025 festival weekend of performances and 2025-2027 touring across the U.S.

Letters to My Father is the first commissioning project curated by Steven Melendez, comprising four, 5–20-minute works about sons and fathers, three of which have already premiered. Each ballet showcases distinct and intricate experiences of fatherhood as created by four teams of male-identifying choreographers, composers and a spoken word artist. This universal theme reaches across age, gender, and ethnic divides to provoke a personal, and often visceral, response. The artists are ethnically, generationally, and sexually diverse, each with a disparate take on family.

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape People.

Losing My Religion

Rennie Harris Puremovement | Sharon Hill, PA

Based on the plight of humanity, Harris’ next project, Losing My Religion, is an abstract work inspired by his personal journey and thoughts on the world’s collective dilemmas. From war to social, economic, and political injustices, humanity is forever caught in a perpetual loop of turmoil, grief, and despair. Harris challenges both what has come to be expected of Street dance and Hip-hop culture and degenerative social normatives/beliefs with his reconstructionist philosophy and approach to artmaking. As a part of the company work, Harris will incorporate a reimagining of his renowned solo, Endangered Species. The solo's inclusion completes a story of systemic racism and revolt and a shift away from what was, to what is and what can be. Losing My Religion examines the historical use of Hip-hop and Street dance as languages of protest, resilience, and power, while the choreography and forms invite audiences to imagine the ways in which they can use their bodies as resistance.

Land Acknowledgement: Rennie Harris Puremovement acknowledges that the land that we live, work, and gather on belongs to the Lenapehoking (Lenni-Lenape) People, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We commit to undoing the harm of colonization and violence.


Ogemdi Ude | Brooklyn, NY

Major is a dance theater project exploring the history and physicality of majorette dance, with six Black femmes embodying the movement of their girlhood to answer the questions of their present. This project merges majorette movement, verbatim theater, a live marching band, and an online oral history archive to preserve, continue, and transform majorette legacy. Involving a team of performers based in New York with origins in the South, Major’s tour retraces the path of the Great Migration to explore how Black culture both persists and transforms due to relocation. Through investigations of physical memory, sexuality, and sensuality, Major preserves and proliferates the creative practices and stories of the folks who taught us how to be proudly Black and proudly femme.

Land Acknowledgement: Canarsie and Munsee Lenape Peoples.

may we heal?

dazaun soleyn | Oakland, CA

may we heal? is an evocative performance piece delving into the intricate journey of healing a body burdened by unprocessed generational trauma. Incorporating elements of dance, song, spoken word, and architecture, the project strives to embody a deeply human experience, inviting audiences to connect from an open-hearted space. Central to the performance are five architectural objects crafted from repurposed materials, which are dynamically rearranged throughout the show to frame the performers' monologues and movements, altering the space's relational dynamics. may we heal? serves as a powerful form of cultural activism, reshaping architectural spaces to facilitate the healing of the Black body. With plans to tour Southern California, the Southwest, the Midwest, and the Deep South, may we heal? seeks to ignite transformative dialogues, educating communities about generational trauma and fostering a deeper understanding of the context of their lived experiences.

Land Acknowledgement: Ohlone, Muwekma, and Confederated Villages of Lisjan Peoples.

Moving the Rights of Rivers

Artichoke Dance Company | Brooklyn, NY

Moving the Rights of Rivers is a movement-based performance taking place along rivers exemplifying their value and interconnected nature, celebrating them as national treasures, and advocating for their rights. It brings people into contact with rivers through observation, stewardship, and exploration, advocates for their health, and creates site-specific performances. Moving the Rights of Rivers reflects the pliability of rivers and uses movement to model the interdependency of natural systems as well as a co-created vision for the future this project aims to inspire. It positions rivers as experts and guides, and humans as listeners and responders, and eco-social approach flipping the prevailing practice of command and control over nature and notion of artist as inventor. This project dances what a river reveals and teaches, acknowledging nature’s intrinsic value and agency. This project furthers Artichoke Dance Company’s eco-arts approach infused with activism.

Land Acknowledgement: Artichoke Dance Company is situated in Lenapehoking, the traditional and unceded homeland of the Lenape people, past, present and future.


PARA.MAR Dance Theatre | Chicago, IL

MUJERES is a full-length contemporary ballet developed and presented by PARA.MAR Dance Theatre (P/M) with choreography by Stephanie Martinez and exploring the work of Chilean poet and scholar, Gabriela Mistral and her seminal collection of poems called "Locas Mujeres" or "Madwomen."

Designed as a stand-alone work, and also a companion to a recently choreographed piece, Dos Lados (Two Sides), Martinez will interrogate three poems from Mistral’s collection Locas Mujeres: “La Fervorosa,” “La Que Camina,” and the “Abandoned Woman” – all of which reference and examine the generational oppressions, sacrifices, and courage necessary to survive in a world where one is conditioned to mute oneself to fit in. In these poems, Martinez is reminded of her mother, her grandmother, and all the women who have had to contort themselves to survive a world that wasn't built to accept them. Mistral uses her voice, honesty, and creative expression as an act of bravery and protest to speak for all women.

Land Acknowledgement: Chicago is located on the traditional homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi nations. The Miami, Ho-Chunk, Sac, and Fox also called this area home.

N(8)tive Enough

Christopher K. Morgan & Artists | San Diego, CA

Drawing from Morgan’s lived experiences as an ethnically ambiguous Hawaiian, N(8)tive Enough asks, “am I Native enough for the non-native eye? Am I Native enough for my own people? Am I Native enough for me?” Incorporating hula, modern dance, storytelling, original music, and projected pop culture imagery, N(8)tive Enough will address these questions with equal parts anger, frustration, sadness, and humor.

N(8)tive Enough invites audiences to reflect on what it means to be Native while highlighting the impossibility of fulfilling the endless expectations, misperceptions, and misinterpretations of Native identity. N(8)tive Enough completes a trilogy that began with “Pōhaku” (2016) and continued with “Native Intelligence/Innate Intelligence” 2023. All of these works thoughtfully share Hawaiian cultural practices (stone gathering in Pōhaku, lei making in Native Intelligence/Innate Intelligence), and provide space for authentic native perspectives to be heard and witnessed.

Land Acknowledgement: Kumeyaay/Kumiais People.

A man in leafy bracelets and a headband leans fully backwards, resting on his hands.
Christopher K. Morgan's "Pohaku" | photo by Brian S. Allard

New work by zoe | juniper and Xiu Xiu

zoe | juniper | Seattle, WA

Dance and visual art company, zoe | juniper, is collaborating with punk band Xiu Xiu on a new project commissioned by Seattle Theater Group to premiere in Seattle, May 2025.

The evening-length live music and dance performance is choreographed and directed by Zoe Scofield, with visuals by Juniper Shuey, music by Jamie Stewart and Hyunhye Seo (Xiu Xiu), dramaturg and co-director Mikhaela Mahoney, and puppets and masks by Joe Seely. zj is examining the Crucible, the reversal of Roe vs Wade, the backlash against the MeToo movement, the insidious virus of patriarchy, and Jordan Peele’s horror films as the project’s backbone. The piece will be performed live by Xiu Xiu and 4 dancers in a sculptural set.

Land Acknowledgement: Duwanish, Tulalip, and Suquamish Peoples.

Noli Timere

Rebecca Lazier | Princeton, NJ

Noli Timere is a soaring aerial performance and installation conceived in partnership with award-winning choreographer Rebecca Lazier and renowned sculptor Janet Echelman. Multidisciplinary performers are suspended up to 25 feet in the air as they move upon and within a voluminous net sculpture, presenting a symbiotic collaboration where choreography and sculpture are continually transformed by one another. With an original score by composer Jorane and lighting design by Leigh Ann Vardy, the work fuses contemporary dance and avant-garde circus; art installation and advanced engineering; public sculpture and social practice to questions how we navigate an unstable world. Presented indoors (theatres, galleries) and outdoors (parks, public space): Noli Timere, meaning 'be not afraid' in Latin, uniquely renders interconnectedness visible and tangible–demonstrating how a change in one element has cascading effects, and proposing an innovative response to global interconnected challenges.

Land Acknowledgement: Lazier is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of Lenapehoking and the Lenape people. The project has been developed across lands including Mi'Kma'ki, Wabanaki, Kanien'keaha, Duwamish, Puyallup, Suquamish, and Tulalip peoples.

Open Machine

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener | Margaretville, NY

Open Machine is an interdisciplinary dance performance that situates the radical traditions of improvisation and durational performance within a repertory format. It extends the spaces of the theater out to the natural world and to socially-oriented settings through a system of cues, prompts, and relational scenarios for a large, diverse group of performers. The audience moves freely between simultaneous events throughout the theater complex, which are anchored by a succinct proscenium-oriented dance. Visual design, live and recorded sound, written and spoken words unspool a web of interconnectivity. This tension of multiplicity and choice, expansion and contraction, creates dynamic levels of involvement with and activation of the performance itself, offering glimpses of how we might reimagine identities, social interaction, and our influence on our increasingly mediated world.

Land Acknowledgement: Haudenosaunee People.


Jean Appolon Expressions | Malden, MA

Pouvwa is an evening-length Haitian contemporary dance performance that explores corruption of leadership, especially in Haiti and the U.S.A. Carefully selected rhythms of Haitian folkloric dance and music will be used to portray the cancerous manner in which corrupt leaders take advantage of the very people in their care, as well as alternate visions of healthy leadership enabled by folkloric themes such as spiritual communities, connection to nature, and the life-death cycle. Throughout the production, these messages will be amplified by electro-Haitian musical compositions, video projections, and poetry.

This production is intended as both an opportunity for audiences to better understand corruption and its impacts, and a direct response to corruption. In Haiti especially, a primary tool of corruption is the silencing of indigenous culture and language. Pouvwa amplifies both through performance and in associated participatory workshops.

Land Acknowledgement: Naumkeag People.

Outside, in a crowd of folks on pavement, a Black man, in sunglasses, holds his arms wide and smiles.
Jean Appolon Expressions' "Traka for Justice" | photo by Keren He

Quinto Elemento (Fifth Element)

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana | New York, NY

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana has commissioned flamenco dancer-choreographer Patricia Guerrero to create QUINTO ELEMENTO (Fifth Element), a new work set to an original score of live music. Guerrero will develop a full-length production for Flamenco Vivo’s Company exploring the fifth element of the earth: ether, that which we do not see yet is ever-present. Hailed as a master of tradition who dares to deconstruct the art form (The New Yorker), Guerrero draws on her deep knowledge of flamenco but ventures beyond its aesthetic bounds. In this work, she embraces chaos and fragmentation through choreography to deconstruct flamenco’s expressive movement language. In doing so, she extracts the essence of flamenco itself and makes it tangible to audiences. QUINTO ELEMENTO (Fifth Element), will be developed during residencies in Durham, NC and Saratoga, NY in Feb-Mar 2025, presented to U.S. audiences in a tour to 10-12 cities in Mar-Apr 2025, and make its Joyce Theater premiere in June 2025.

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape People.

Ramti Aave - Her Playful Arrival

Barkha Patel | New Hyde Park, NY

Ramti Aave – Her Playful Arrival is a multimedia dance and original live music production that explores how Indian women center pleasure in their lives as acts of defiance to oppressive power structures.

This 3-part work unveils an intercultural dialogue between the iconography of Goddess Kali with Audre Lorde's insights on the erotic, as articulated in her essay, "Uses of the Erotic." The work follows a personal journey of Kali’s playful arrival, guiding me to transcend patriarchal norms by asserting agency over the erotic. I deny this possibility until Kali arrives, once again, to reveal how my female ancestors centered their pleasure in Gujarati folk art and dance practices as forms of resistance. Across 75-minutes, an intergenerational cast of performers move to traditional, experimental kathak and Garba in solo and ensemble choreographies. Moveable mirrors, interactive projection mapping, and film visuals while live rangoli art and textile weaving honor barkha’s ancestors.

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape People.

Roots of Loving Us

CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Theater | Los Angeles, CA

Renowned dance artists holly johnston and Ana Maria Alvarez, both women of color, mothers, activists, and community leaders, join forces to create Roots of Loving Us. This innovative, evening-length multimodal choreographic work employs ancestral technologies of dance, music, and imagery to explore origin stories shaped by biological uprooting, unchosen separation, and the re-rooting of bodies, altering family tree DNA. CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Theater dancers bring the work to life, focusing on narratives of adoption, bioadaptive families, warrior women, and mothers with birthing experiences beyond full-term pregnancies. Roots of Loving Us is a compelling testament to lives transformed by the enduring choice to love forever. Through deep community collaborations, somatic technologies for healing, and the incorporation of Afro-Latine movement practices, this work embodies diverse stories of adoption, foster families, chosen families, queer parents, and single-parent families.

Land Acknowledgement: Tongva, Gabrieleno People.

Sermon on the Mount

PHILADANCO! | Philadelphia, PA

The Sermon on the Mount (SERMON) project will develop and premiere a new contemporary dance work choreographed by Tommie-Waheed Evans together with the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!). SERMON, which underwent a preliminary workshop/residency (2022), explores religious practice, devotion, love, acceptance, and loss. Working collaboratively, Mr. Evans and PHILADANCO! will fully develop the work, continuing the study of religious practices, the history of discriminatory exclusion in traditional church spaces, and the perspectives of women and LGBTQIA members in those settings. Set to music that incorporates negro spirituals, contemporary gospel, and new composition, SERMON will constitute an act of reimagining, re-envisioning, and reclamation. It will have a participatory workshop/performance in-the-round at PHILADANCO!'s in-house Performance Space and then is currently scheduled to have a formal Philadelphia premiere at the Kimmel Center (Spring 2025).

Land Acknowledgement: Lenni-Lenape People.

Steps Beyond Silence

Maya Rau-Murthy / Natya Anubhava | Yorktown Heights, NY

Steps Beyond Silence is a multi-media dance work and education program striving to foster dialogue, understanding, and healing around the silenced and overlooked narratives of gender-based violence. Stemming from my personal journey as a survivor and advocate for survivors, this production is an unusual combination of bharatanatyam, rap, animation, konnakol (south Indian verbal percussion), navtar, mridangam, and carnatic vocals. We aim to validate survivors, educate on consent, the bystander effect, and intergenerational trauma, and empower viewers to be upstanders.

Land Acknowledgement: Mohegan, the Osceola, and the Amawalk Peoples.


Ananya Dance Theatre | St. Paul, MN

On the verge of our 20th year, Ananya Dance Theatre imagines SWAPNŌ JHNĀP: DREAM JUMPING, an original, evening-length, devised dance theater work that reflects on years of shared dreams and audacious vision, accumulating energy and time, to jump us into a future filled with possibility. Dancing together – a methodology for manifesting joy and hope in the face of despair – becomes a practice of opening portals to the future, drawing on the feminist spiritual practice of quantum jumping. SWAPNŌ JHNĀP: DREAM JUMPING will dare to creatively reimagine timelines, confront challenging moments of human history and injustices endured by marginalized communities, and manifest shared liberation. Story fragments – laboring together to heal historic wounds; meeting/knowing/trusting/loving/witnessing one another; building community, sharing grief and rage; sharing touch and breath – as our feet continuously align and realign in rhythmic footwork – are woven to intentionally draw a desired future closer to the now.

Land Acknowledgement: We are located on and pay tribute to Mni Sota Makoce, the unceded homelands of the Dakota Oyate and the Ojibwe peoples. We stand in solidarity with Native and Black communities, whose land and labor are crucial in sustaining this land on which we dance.

Three brown Asian women lean to the left with their legs wide and square.
Ananya Dance Theatre's "Dastak" | photo by Andrew Tran

take carefully (or the world shatters when you don’t find your loved ones)

J’Sun Howard | Chicago, IL

take carefully (or the world shatters when you don’t find your loved ones) is a new experimental performance exploring the intricacies of a friendship/relationship between same-gender loving BIPOC individuals living in different worlds far from each other, one in Chicago and the other in Osaka. Amidst the backdrop of the world’s harrowing climate, take carefully (or the world shatters when you don’t find your loved ones) asks, what does it mean to take care when taking care seems impossible now?

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.

The Marthaodyssey

Jesse Factor | Pittsburgh, PA

The Marthaodyssey is a solo evening-length work that began as a study in speculative fantasy, asking “What if Martha Graham choreographed Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition World Tour?” Playfully engaging the excessive, hyper-theatrical phenomena of Martha Graham and Madonna, the work performs a double-bodied effigy that queers them both. Dance artist Jesse Factor siphons the rich archival physicality of Graham through remixed excerpts of Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition era, reveling in fabulous dissonance.

This transformative dissonance repurposes the mythologies of both figures, etching through binary notions of high art/popular culture, humor/terror, male/female, glamor/abjection, and real/fake, with an audacious sense of risk that is simultaneously deeply reverent and completely irreverent. Frictions of this impossible juxtaposition spiral into an odyssey through which Factor glides along the edge of an alternate universe of queer design and euphoric fantasia.

Land Acknowledgement: Osage, Monongahela People.


Sean Dorsey Dance | San Francisco, CA

Sean Dorsey Dance’s new work THE OPPOSITE OF GRIEF IS is a love letter and a balm. For transgender/queer communities who endure constant trauma (and who live under the constant threat of more trauma), we often end up living suspended in a state of “anticipatory grief” – constantly vigilant, and always bracing ourselves for the next harm, the next death, the next loss.

My community-engaging creation process will ask “What is the opposite of grief? What is an embodied antidote?” Joy? Rest? Connection? During the creation process (launched during Sean Dorsey Dance’s 20th Anniversary Season) and national tour, Dorsey will facilitate community conversations and host JOY LABS – free creative workshops for trans/queer communities.

THE OPPOSITE OF GRIEF IS will feature modern dance, highly-physical theater, intimate storytelling and exquisite queer partnering. The work will premiere in September 2025 (in SF) before touring in 2026 and 2027 during community-engagement residencies.

Land Acknowledgement: Ramaytush Ohlone People.

In a dim studio space, a group of men in blue-ish dresses dance in a circle.
Sean Dorsey Dance's "The Lost Art of Dreaming" | photo by Kegan Marling


Michael Sakamoto | Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, and Rubin Kodheli, South Hadley, MA

time/life/beauty is a collaboration with dance theater artist Michael Sakamoto and new music artists Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky and Rubin Kodheli inspired by the legacy of composer, artist, and environmental/anti-war activist Ryuichi Sakamoto. Applying Sakamoto’s “neo-geo” ethos of each creation as a unique intersection of personal and cultural identity to ourselves as Asian American, African-American, and Euro-American artists, we unpack nuanced connectivities among diverse identities, languages, art forms, and bodies. Mixing Michael’s choreography, rooted in butoh’s politically resistant “body in crisis” and the illusive nature of popping street dance, with Miller and Kodheli’s reflexive/critical use of analog and digital music technology and AI, we ask: How do individual and collective human behaviors influence ecologies small and large? How can different creators and communities create shared language to model democratic, transformative action and a benevolent cultural commons?

Land Acknowledgement: Michael Sakamoto (lead dance artist) and Mount Holyoke College (organizational partner) are in Western Massachusetts on the ancestral land of the Nonotuck. Nearby Indigenous nations include the Nipmuc, Wampanoag, Mohegan, Pequot, Mohican, and Abenaki.

On stage, three Asian folks stand and hold their chins.
Michael Sakamoto's "Soil" | photo by Mark Simpson Photography

Tribute: Guardians of Street Dance

Versa-Style Street Dance Company | Sun Valley, CA

Versa-Style Street Dance Company’s latest full-length work, Tribute: Guardians of Street Dance, will honor its 20-year anniversary as a Hip Hop and Street Dance ensemble by paying homage to an artistic journey that weaves memory, geography, and culture. Shining a light on West Coast Hip Hop and Street Dance culture, the multidisciplinary work will be uplifting and energetic, yet intimate and intentional. Tribute: Guardians of Street Dance, is a love letter that will bring back renowned repertory works of VSDC, create new works of multimedia dance with interviews and archival footage, and will take the audience on a journey through time and culture. Tribute: Guardians of Street Dance will highlight how VSDC’s work has acted as a bridge between past, present, and future since 2005, an evolution that has transformed a small non-profit Hip Hop and Street Dance ensemble into the cultural institution of embodied knowledge it has become today.

Land Acknowledgement: Versa-Style recognizes that we inhabit land originally and still cared for by the Tongva, Tataviam, Serrano, Kizh and Chumash Peoples. We pay respect to the elders and descendants – past, present and emerging– as stewards of these lands.


Eiko Otake | New York, NY

Walls, an evening length, multidisciplinary dance performance, is being created and performed by Eiko Otake in collaboration with Chinese choreographer and filmmaker, Wen Hui. It features video by Otake and Hui and lighting by David Ferri. The work has been commissioned by The Walker Arts Center (MN) and UCLA (CA).

Walls investigates the life history, artistic interactions, and friendship between two older Asian female artists and how their distinct cultural and political upbringings mark and remain as memories in the body. Together, Eiko and Wen will explore and unearth the inherited trauma of the Sino-Japanese War, The Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the Japanese Vietnam War student uprisings in the late 1960’s. Through dance, movement, text, and video, Otake and Hui will meditate on war, violence, and the social movements they observed in very different societies. 

Land Acknowledgement: Munsee Lenape People.

Welcome to the Gun Show

PUSH Physical Theatre, Inc. | Rochester, NY

Welcome to the Gun Show is an anti-violence performance using physical theatre and comedy to promote meaningful community conversations.

The physical theatre art of PUSH is a multi-disciplinary form of telling stories through movement—dance, acting, comedy, mime, acrobatics—sometimes with spoken word added. PUSH has a track record of creating performances that can get people into a room together who have very different viewpoints. An example is Generic Male: Just What We Need, Another Show About Men. This comic show is not “for” or “against” men, but rather satirizes masculinity in its many forms.

As with Generic Male, we will draw audiences to Welcome to the Gun Show by convincing them it’s just a fun show. We will keep that promise to the audience—the performance will be funny, tongue-in-cheek, and accessible—and also open them up to perspectives and facts to which they may rarely or never have been exposed. 

Land Acknowledgement: We are in the ancestral and unceded territory of the Onöndowa’ga, or “the people of the Great Hill," known in English as Seneca people.

Wolver Maroon

Heart Stück Bernie | Silver Spring, MD

Wolver Maroon is a feminine howl at the blood moon as liberation. It is comprised of dancing dreams - vivid to murky - including a prayer for those in need, the bottom falling out, a wreck/a loss, grief-stricken entrails, and a morsel so delicious you could down it in one bite, every night. It is Heart Stück Bernie’s newest dancetheaterwork that sings from all of Oppenheim’s accordion folds: from the base, fanged udders and wily survivalism of darkest hours to the full expansion of her bellows into phantasmagoric spectacle. Contracting down to stark solo moments and expanding back out to a raucous ensemble of 30, it includes art direction from Ben Furgal, live music from Dan Deacon, a lifesize, portable Lite Brite, an adult Baby Shark costume, and a first aid kit for existential whys to question, upend, carry, and hold us all accountable for day on the other side of night. 

Land Acknowledgement: Piscataway People.

Yellow Woman: How Do You Own Your Body?

Yin Mei | Port Washington, NY

Yellow Woman: How Do You Own Your Body? is a dance and theater performance in which Yin Mei will examine the different ways she has existed throughout her life, and the ‘becoming’ of herself as an individual and one of many yellow women. Facing a traumatic childhood in the Cultural Revolution, Confucian and Western patriarchal structures, fetishization in the West, and an education in dance, how does she, a yellow woman, own her body in light of the history that bears down on it? Through nonlinear storytelling and tradition defying technique, Yin Mei will reveal a picture of her life that is both obscured and complete.

Land Acknowledgement: Matinecock People.

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