Dance Advance Awards $575,000 In Grants To 23 Artists And Organizations

Dance Advance Awards $575,000 In Grants To 23 Artists And Organizations

Dance Advance announced $575,000 in funding for 23 artists, companies, and organizations for the 2005-2006 season. From a total of 57 applicants requesting project support from Dance Advance, two grants went to first-time grantees and one to a first-time applicant.

Dance Advance is an artistic initiative funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts. Each year, Dance Advance convenes a Peer Review Panel to select projects of outstanding merit. The Panel evaluates applications according to criteria of artistic excellence, project excellence, and project impact. Projects that receive funding range across all aspects of the creative cycle of making and distributing dance: research and development, rehearsal and creation, and production and presentation. All styles, genres, and cultural traditions of dance are eligible for support from Dance Advance. Grants are awarded without regard to an applicant's financial need or prior funding history, and applicants must reside in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, or Montgomery counties.

This year's Dance Advance awards range in size from $7,000 to $80,000. Five grants were awarded to individuals; eight to dance companies; eight to presenters, and two to organizations applying to fund a Project of Common Interest (PCI). PCI awards support projects bringing together three or more nonprofit organizations to enhance the administrative and/or artistic environment for dance in the region. A complete list of current awards is below.

According to Bill Bissell, director of Dance Advance, “The application process began in September when the program received 77 Letters of Intent to apply for funding. This is out of an active applicant pool of over 100 individuals and organizations. 57 applications were submitted in November and, I am happy to report, over one-third of those applicants secured funding for their projects. Still, many applications, while very competitive, did not receive funding. The enormous richness of dance work represented in the region's pool of applicants constantly challenges the Peer Review Panel members to select the most compelling projects submitted in any given year.”

The Peer Review Panel consisted of eight nationally recognized dance professionals: Ursula Payne, independent choreographer and dance faculty member, Slippery Rock University; Karen Brown, Artistic Director, Oakland Ballet, Oakland, California; Andrea E. Woods, Director, Souloworks dance company in Brooklyn, New York and former dancer, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; H.T. Chen, Artistic Director, H.T. Chen & Dancers, New York City; Phil Reynolds, Executive Director, Dance Center at Columbia College, Chicago; Amy Ginsburg, Director, dance program at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Gus Solomons, Jr, choreographer and co-Artistic Director, Paradigm, New York City. Brent Edwards, Assistant Professor of Literatures in English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey served as the non-voting Panel Chair.

Additionally, the panelists utilized reports from several expert consultants who also reviewed potential applicants throughout the year: Uttara Coorlawala, South Asian dance practitioner, instructor, writer, and scholar; Nicole Plett, freelance dance writer and visual art critic; and José Bustamante, choreographer and Artistic Director, Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks, Austin, Texas.

Since its inception in 1993, Dance Advance and its precursor, the Philadelphia Repertory Dance Initiative, have funded a total of 257 dance-specific projects. These awards represent a value of $5,445,450 invested in the region's dance communities.

2005 Grant Awards

Bryn Mawr College

Award: $51,000

Support for the partnering organizations to recover and perform choreographer Talley Beatty's Southern Landscapes, as well as to document the processes of reconstructing and performing the dance. This is a project of common interest. Collaborating partners are Philadanco and Philadelphia Dance Collection at Temple University.


Award: $20,000

Support to reconstruct modern dance choreographer Mary Anthony's Women of Troy (1940).

Dance Theater Camp 2005

Award: $7,000

Support for four weeks of free classes, workshops, rehearsals and seminars for professional dance and theater artists in Philadelphia. This is a project of common interest. Collaborating partners are Headlong Dance Theater, Brat Productions and Pig Iron Theater Company.

Eleone Dance Theater

Award: $20,000

Support for commissioning a new work to celebrate the company's 10th anniversary as well as special community dance workshops and other developmental activities.

Flamenco Ole

Award: $20,000

Support for a teaching residency with Flamenco artist Carmela Greco including new choreography and a public work-in-progress performance.

Great Valley Community Education Foundation

Award: $20,000

Support for the project Future Dance Audiences: The MTV Generation including a residencey with Body Vox Dance Company.

Tania Isaac

Award: $10,000

Support for Grisha Coleman to create an original music score to accompany Standpipe, a new evening-length work premiering at the Painted Bride Art Center in Fall 2005.

Roko Kawai

Award: $10,000

Support to develop and perform a full evening concert at the Ursinus College Performing Arts Center in Spring 2006.

Koresh Dance Company

Award: $50,000

Support for commissioning Donald Byrd to create a new work for the company to premiere in Philadelphia in the 2005-2006 season.

Leah Stein Dance Company

Award: $20,000

Support for the development and presentation of the site-specific performance work Bardo, to be presented at the 2005 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

Amanda Miller

Award: $10,000

Support for research and development of new dance material drawing from developmental work with choreographer Siobhan Davies in the 2004-2005 season.


Award: $22,000 Support for the 30th anniversary Odunde Festival, including the presentation of Urban Bush Women and the enhancement of technical production capabilities.

Pennsylvania Ballet

Award: $80,000

Support for the restoration of Christopher D'Amboise's ballet Franklin Court, originally created on the company in 1991, with set design by the architectural firm Venturi, Scott Associates.

Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society

Award: $20,000

Support to present The Legend of the White Snake as part of the Spring 2006 Splendor of China festival in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Dance Projects

Award: $20,000 Support for Under the Influence, a project exploring the origins of inspiration through a series of program initiatives.

Philadelphia Folklore Project

Award: $47,000

Support for Dance Happens Here, an artist development program including an artist showcase and master class series at Arts Bank in Spring 2006.

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe

Award: $50,000

Support for an extended run of the site-specific dance Patio Plastico as re-envisioned by choreographer Brian Sanders.

Raices Culturales Latinamericanos

Award: $20,000

Support for the first Philadelphia presentation of Fiesta de Santiago Apostol, an Afro-Puerto Rican street theater event to take place at three neighborhood venues.

Tobin Rothlein (first time grantee)

Award: $10,000

Support for the development and creation of a dance and video work with choreographer Jessica Lang.

Ju-Yeon Ryu (first time applicant)

Award: $10,000

Support for a training program with Myung Soo Kim, a New York based master artist specializing in Korean traditional dance.

SRUTI, The India Music and Dance Society

Award: $18,000

Support to present the company Spanda with live orchestra, along with educational and residency activities.

Susan Hess Modern Dance

Award: $20,000

Support for residency activities with the Siobhan Davies Dance Company from London, UK, including a performance in cooperation with the 2005 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble

Award: $20,000

Support for a company home season in Philadelphia, its first since 1997, featuring new choreography and expanded repertory.