Sara smiles in front of a plain backdorp in a tan sweater
Former Program Director, Dance

Each year, the National Dance Project awards 18 Production Grants to support the creation of new dance works that will tour the U.S. NDP Production Grants provide a full package of support to artists and companies that includes up to $45,000 to create a new work, approximately $10,000 in unrestricted general operating support, and up to $35,000 in tour subsidies to U.S. presenting organizations that bring the new work to their communities.

Recently, the NDP panel of Advisors  met in New York for the first of two highly competitive rounds. Over two days of lengthy and intense discussion, the panel reviewed 118 preliminary applications received from artists and companies across the country.

We are thrilled to announce the 37 finalists advanced to the final round for 2016. Each applicant will work with an NDP Advisor over the course of the next month to prepare their full proposal. NDP Advisors can provide feedback on the proposal narrative, work sample selections, tour planning strategies, and budget development to help applicants submit the strongest proposal possible for review in June.

We encourage presenters, curators, and residency sites to learn more about each of the projects below, and look forward to announcing the 18 Production Grantees in July as NDP kicks off our 20th Anniversary season.

2016 National Dance Project Final Round Applicants

Alice Gosti, Seattle, WA
Material Deviance In Contemporary American Culture (MDICAC) is an immersive installation, dance performance, and communal ritual. It grapples with the complexity of living in an object based society where we define our identity through the objects we own. The performance interweaves the stories and physical histories of immigrants and refugees who carry their homes on their shoulders, hoarders who compulsively accumulate anything and everything, and America’s growing homeless population. MDICAC includes dance, video, 3D mapping, and installation.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet, San Francisco, CA
Alonzo King, in collaboration with poet and endangered language documentarian Bob Holman, will create a 30-minute ballet with a sound score compilation of text selected from Holman's collection of recordings from members of communities with at-risk languages and music played on ancient instruments. The movement and choreography will be inspired by the text, in its meaning and its timbre, sonority, and tempo. Alonzo King LINES Ballet will premiere the work in May 2017, and then tour the project in 2018-2019.

Ballet Hispánico, New York, NY
Lopez Ochoa’s new work Línea Recta will explore an intriguing aspect of flamenco dance: the conspicuous absence of physical partnering within the tradition. While maintaining the integrity and hallmark passion of the genre, Lopez Ochoa will imagine and invent an original, explosive pure movement language that introduces intricate partnering into the Spanish art form through six pairs of dancers. Adding to the intensity of the work will be the soulful music of Eric Vaarzon Morel performed live by the virtuosic classical guitarist Pablo Villegas.

Bebe Miller Company, Columbus, OH
In Dances from The Making Room, Bebe Miller Company will create and present a suite of new dance works based on the dynamics of adaptation and translation. Stemming from Miller’s recent work in experimental theater and inspired by the writings of Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, and Samuel Beckett, whose voices capture diverse cultural relevancies through their structure of language, Miller is looking at the syntax of movement—how we absorb meaning through the juxtaposed dynamics of action and context, in time and space.

Beth Gill, Ridgewood, NY
Gill’s new ensemble dance, co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center, the American Dance Festival, and The Yard, is a structurally complex and physically demanding work for five dancers. It will be part of the Walker Arts Center’s upcoming exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time, and will build upon the artistic aspiration of Gill’s previous formalist works. It will consider the historic values and aesthetics of formalism while presenting in its stead a dense, visceral dance in which bodies are both disparately and desperately expressive.

Bill Shannon, Pittsburgh, PA
Touch Update is an interdisciplinary project that explores the significant and often subtle implications of physical human contact. Street performances sharing touch as source material are observed by invited artists. These "Artists as Witness" replace the ubiquitous “proof” of digital cameras with unique works for sampling project wide. Dancers on stage physically reach through projected fragmentations of themselves texting each other emoticons, for an exquisite embrace. Video-masks worn by the dancers with their recorded faces playing semi-transparently over their real faces grimace in the video as they smile behind. A dance on crutches choreography emerges, danced without crutches.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, New York, NY
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company is developing three evening-length works titled Analogy: A Trilogy, which bring into light the different battles we fight by exploring connections between three stories through text, storytelling, and movement. Each part focuses on memory and the effect of powerful events on the actions of individuals and on their unexpressed inner life. Analogy/Ambros Adelwarth: The Emigrant responds to the experiences of Ambros Adelwarth, a German valet during the eve of WWI and the central figure in W.G. Sebald’s celebrated historical novel The Emigrants.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Jamaica, NY
Camille A. Brown & Dancers will develop ink - the final trilogy installation built thematically on “identity.” Accompanied by a sound score from DJ OP and Jonathan Pratt that decodes, interweaves, and honors samplings from Hip Hop’s revolutionary artists of the 1970s-1990s, ink explores the link between the heart of this cultural phenomenon and our current generation’s political response to socioeconomic injustice. ink features rhythmic choreography derived from contemporary and historic social dances like African Juba and Hip Hop, gestural work and game playing fashioned on the dancers as instruments to anthropomorphize and elevate Hip Hop through the youth’s lens of yesteryear and today.

In justUS – justIS, choreographer Ana Maria Alvarez will harness her unique Urban-Latin movement approach to create a visually stunning and thought provoking evening of participatory dance performance. Alvarez will reimagine “justice” through social dancing, intimate partnering, fierce physicality, and personal narratives from the artists and communities with whom they will develop the work. CONTRA-TIEMPO will transform the space into a living breathing canvas; sharing truth as the ultimate form of resistance and embodying joy as the greatest weapon of all.

Cynthia Oliver CO. Dance Theatre, Urbana, IL
Virago-Man Dem will be an evening-length, dance-theater work premiering in 2017. A work which troubles Virago’s reference to characteristically male behaviors as well as female cultural transgressions, Virago-Man Dem will be a nuanced study in masculinities, and their multiplicities within cultures of Caribbean and African American communities. Virago-Man Dem will capture various masculinities through movement, and spoken language and visual design and will explore the performance of black masculinities choreographed by a woman.

Dancing Earth, Santa Fe, NM
In REd GENERATION, indigenous regenerative practices are embodied in a multi-dimensional Indigenous contemporary performance over the course of a day(s). Community artmaking culminates in performance with live DJ, Native language, environmental videoscape, and shared feasting with seed and recipe exchanges. Evolving from exchanges with Native elders, farmers, herbalists, and food justice groups, we bring the energy of landscape to theater, and spirit of dreamscape to earth. With core theme of resilient adaptability, this work can be hosted by indoor or outdoor sites.

David Dorfman Dance, New York, NY
AROUNDTOWN creates a village of characters in need-of each other. A kinetic hope poem with original music, text and visuals, AROUNDTOWN lingers in an ethical malaise, when love spoils and turns to violence; when one needs to move on. How do we admit this void to ourselves and turn again, literally and figuratively, to love and intimacy? Using a raw and unique combination of off-kilter, seemingly impossible spins, perches and partnerings, we show life out of balance, and reveal a path to hope. AROUNDTOWN’s aim is to move audiences.

Dorrance Dance, Brooklyn, NY
Tap dancer Michelle Dorrance's original Myelination premiered at New York City Center’s 2015 Fall for Dance Festival. Gia Kourlas of The New York Times responded: "Ms. Dorrance has choreographed a glittering closer that needs to have a second life...please, someone, make that happen." Dorrance Dance will make that happen. Michelle Dorrance plans to create a new, evening-length version of Myelination—featuring 12 dancers, eight musicians, and original music by Donovan Dorrance and Gregory Richardson—to premiere in 2017.

Everett: Company, Stage, School, Providence, RI
Everett Company will create a performance/installation with the working title Paved with Souls. Through video collage, choreography, and text, this work will examine the role that the media, the public, legislators, police officials, prosecutors and judges have played in the growth of the incarceral state and the potential roles they can play in reversing this trend. A video installation consisting of a maze of large projection screens, scrims, and mirrors will create the framework that an interactive dance-theater performance takes place within.

Ezra Dickinson, Seattle, WA
Part performance and part activism, Psychic Radio Star uses an interdisciplinary approach to dance-theater that challenges audiences while providing a voice for Dickinson’s schizophrenic mother, who often claims that she is a “Psychic Radio Star.” Using an amalgamation of art forms (painting, animation, sculpture, spatial design, and dance) the work will process Dickinson’s relationship with his mother while encouraging healing and constructive conversation around the failed mental health care system in America.

Flyaway Productions, San Francisco, CA
Jo Kreiter, choreographer and site artist, will partner with lead presenter Z Space to create and present THE CREDIBILITY PROJECT, an off the ground dance that explores the right to be believed, for women. This block-long, outdoor, site specific performance will give spectacular language to a serious sociopolitical issue that has not been carefully examined since Anita Hill challenged Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.

Forklift Danceworks, Austin, TX
Created through a two-year residency at Williams College, Served—a dance for campus dishwashers and other food service employees will engage students, faculty, and staff in a community-based art making process, culminating with a site-specific dance performed in the school cafeteria by campus dishwashers, cooks, and other employees for an audience of over 1,000. Following an ethnographic research process, choreography will be derived from the skilled movement that food service staff perform in their daily work. With the goal of broadening awareness of the vital contributions of these employees to campus life, Served will be created to tour to other colleges and universities, engaging with each campus's own group of food service staff.

Heather Kravas, Seattle, WA
visions of beauty is a choreography for nine men who perform a series of precise and arduous tasks. Through accident, failure, and poetry, it aims to undermine notions of power and masculinity. Choreographed by Heather Kravas, visions of beauty is co-produced by On the Boards and Performance Space 122.

Joe Goode Performance Group, San Francisco, CA
Nobody Lives Here Now is based on a response to the ideas of a forgotten or disappearing biography of place of the body, and of love. Goode takes the viewer on a journey exploring the perception of self within the digital age, capturing both the magic of disappearance and the barrenness that it leaves behind. The company will develop and perform a workshop version in collaboration with the innovative French string ensemble Quatuor Varèse during a residency in August 2016 at the Festival du Haut Limousine in France. After the Festival premiere, Nobody Lives Here Now will undergo further development and receive its U.S. debut in spring 2017 as part of JGPG's 30th Anniversary Season.

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, New York, NY
DEAREST HOME is an interactive dance work focused on Love and Loving, conducted in a multi-year creative process and scheduled to premiere in May of 2017. Comprised of solos and duets generated from conversations with a variety of age groups and self-identified subcultures, HOME interweaves movement in its most vulnerable or intimate state with my interest in cross-cultural conversation and community action. The resulting performance creates a genuine departure from the violence and injustices prevalent in my work over the past five years.

LeeSaar The Company, Brooklyn, NY
Through a full-evening dance work And Roses, Saar Harari will share his first-hand perspective on guns in order to mobilize us all to be an active society.

Lucky Plush Productions, Chicago, IL
Rooming House is a dance-theater work by Lucky Plush Productions in which co-creators Julia Rhoads and Leslie Danzig approach the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as a porous architectural blueprint, offering thresholds through which the performers enter, linger, exit and, along the way, reject and revise this most enduring myth. Told through contemporary circumstances, multiple and diverse viewpoints, and an unrelenting drive of dialogue and choreography, the story takes numerous twists and turns based on the physical and emotional conditions of performing the work. The creation process includes an exchange with Cuban dance-theater company Danza Teatro Retazos. Premieres in fall 2017.

Martha Graham Dance Company, New York, NY
Martha Graham Dance Company is commissioning Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to develop a new piece influenced by Middle Eastern Sufi mysticism. Rehearsals will begin in August of 2016 and Cherkaoui’s new work will premiere at the Martha Graham New York Season at the Joyce Theater in February of 2017. Afterwards, Cherkaoui’s new work will tour both nationally and internationally in 2017-2018, beginning with a performance at lead-presenter Emil Kahn’s Carolina Performing Arts schedule for April 2017.

Max Pollak|RumbaTap, New York, NY
Travesia is led by Max Pollak, recognized for his unique style of merging Afro-Cuban music and dance with American tap and body percussion. This new evening-length work will honor his history of collaboration with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas of Cuba, by bringing together members of their company with top NYC-based Cuban and Latin musicians, including Bárbaro Ramos and Israel “Toto” Berriel of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Colombian percussionist and composer Samuel Torres, and Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry.

Monica Bill Barnes & Company, New York, NY
In The Museum Workout at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monica Bill Barnes & Company has reimagined the museum tour, creating a physical way for audiences to relate to the finest art in the world. Participants follow Barnes and her dancing partner Anna Bass as they perform choreographed exercises and travel through the galleries before the museum opens. Barnes invited artist Maira Kalman to curate the artwork for the tour. Creative Producing Director Robbie Saenz de Viteri mixes her recorded voice into a workout soundtrack ranging from Disco to Motown. The Museum Workout disrupts the normally contained museum environment, invigorating participants by creating a physical relationship to the art of the ages.

Okwui Okpokwasili, Brooklyn, NY
Poor People’s TV Room, Okwui Okpokwasili's newest collaboration with Peter Born, will be an evening-length interdisciplinary work about women's collective action in Nigeria. Combining movement, text, and song, it will be performed by a multi-generational ensemble of women. The project has been in development since 2014 and, starting this spring, will have a number of production residencies hosted by 92Y, LMCC/Governor's Island, New York Live Arts, MANCC in Tallahassee, and finally American Dance Institute, leading into the show's World Premiere in November, 2016.

Pam Tanowitz Dance, New York, NY
New Work for Goldberg Variations is an evening-length piece for piano and a sextet of dancers, inspired by and set to the live performance of Bach’s iconic score, performed by Pam Tanowitz Dance and Simone Dinnerstein. Dinnerstein, one of the foremost interpreters of the Goldberg Variations in recent years, brings her nuanced understanding of the demanding score to the project; Tanowitz’s choreography will deconstruct classical movement vocabularies and expand these movements to highlight tension and emotion in new ways.

Raphael Xavier, Philadelphia, PA
Point of Interest is Raphael Xavier’s new piece that challenges the art form of Breaking and the viewer’s perspective of Hip Hop. Xavier explores the notion of sustainability by developing a space for aging practitioners within Breaking, as well as a space for Breaking and Hip Hop dance within the greater performing arts conversation. As a movement practitioner who has been breaking for 32 years, he is an example for intelligent and consistent practice in this highly physical dance form that is culturally and societally associated with youth.

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Brooklyn, NY
In Tesseract, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener are collaborating with Charles Atlas on a 3D film, live proscenium performance, and performance installation for gallery spaces. The 3D film is an exploration in formal ideas, bold visual design and other-worldly realities. The live proscenium piece will explore varying scales and facets of human interaction filtered through technological interfaces. All three aspects of the collaboration work with structural, textural and conceptual possibilities inherent in the fusion of live performance and film.

Rennie Harris Puremovement, Sharon Hill, PA
Lifted is a new hip-hop dance-theater production by Rennie Harris Puremovement that features gospel music and House dance to explore contemporary issues of community and spirituality. Loosely based on the story of Oliver Twist, Lifted follows a young black man who is surrounded and supported by his church community. With choreography by Rennie Harris and music directed by Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, Lifted merges the rhythms of House with the spiritual vocals of gospel to create an epic dance narrative.

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Salt Lake City, UT
Elizabeth, the dance is an evening-length work conceived and choreographed by Ann Carlson in collaboration with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Built for a proscenium stage, Elizabeth, the dance is structured as an episodic accumulation. The work is performed by six dancers dressed in black 1950’s modern dance apparel, set against a white floor and modular wall. Accents of primary color (in wigs, props, and costume pieces) appear and disappear strategically throughout the work. With movement both formal and physically awkward, deliciously surprising and joyfully restrained, Elizabeth, the dance traces personal and public histories through the lens of aesthetics, embodiment, and desire.

Seán Curran Company, New York, NY
Seán Curran Company will develop Everywhere All the Time, a 30-minute interdisciplinary performance work for seven dancers and the four musicians of Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion. With choreography by Artistic Director Seán Curran, the work will include a score by celebrated Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy and a set designed by renowned landscape architect Diana Balmori. It will premiere at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center and tour throughout the 2017-2018 season in a program celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary.

Sean Dorsey Dance, San Francisco, CA
Sean Dorsey Dance’s new full-length work BOYS IN TROUBLE will investigate American masculinity from a transgender and queer perspective, giving voice to “outsider” experiences of masculinities. Dorsey will create the work through LGBT community-engagement residencies across the U.S., hosted by the project’s six national commissioners (San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington DC, Maui, Los Angeles and Maine).

Stephen Petronio Company, New York, NY
In the fall and winter of 2016-17, Stephen Petronio will create a new piece, Untitled Touch, which will focus on the phenomenon and paradigm of communication that occurs skin to skin between individuals and groups. Researching how bodies communicate and behave through touch, Untitled Touch will be choreographed over ten weeks with the full company of nine dancers. Through partnering, which has always been fundamental to Petronio's work, the dance will investigate how we guide, support, lead, inhibit, hold, and navigate each other via a maelstrom of action. The work’s New York premiere will take place at The Joyce Theater in March 2017 and will tour to ADI and elsewhere through 2017-18.

STREB Extreme Action Company, Brooklyn, NY
OUTERLIMITS will be an ever changing action experience encompassing the choreography, apparatus and dynamics of Elizabeth Streb's work combined with the musical artistry of some of today’s best beat composers as curated and designed by DJ/sound artist Zaire Baptiste. Creating a work that pushes boundaries, defies gravity, and challenges assumptions, Streb plans to revisit certain devices -- prototypical, pedestrian or repurposed -- for which she has invented choreography before.

Tere O'Connor Dance, New York, NY
In summer/fall 2017, Tere O’Connor Dance will create Long Run, which will premiere at The Fisher Center at Bard College from October 13-15. Created on eight dancers, the work will be co-commissioned by Bard and NYLA in NYC and presented at NYLA and at Columbia College, Chicago. Landscape, historical space and imagined places converge to fuel O’Connor’s choreographic strategies for this work. In the resultant illusory space, devoid of human architectural imprint, he ponders what might have been. Together with his stellar cast he will draw from the turbulent emotional dynamics of the present and push his signature movement invention to extremes. Score by James Baker.

Urban Bush Women, Brooklyn, NY
Jawole Zollar and Urban Bush Women will devise HairStories 3.3, a multidisciplinary, evening-length work with the full company of 7 dancers that will include comic, spoken text and video elements. This new work will reintroduce two characters from a 2001 narrative dance by UBW that will otherwise be entirely original, with an all-new creative team and choreography. HairStories 3.3 will address topical matters of race and equity today, and UBW will engage communities around these issues via Hair Parties, the engagement component for this work.

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