Dance Advance Awards $645,000 In Grants To 25 Artists And Organizations

Dance Advance Awards $645,000 In Grants To 25 Artists And Organizations

Dance Advance has announced $645,000 in grants to 25 artists, companies, and organizations for the 2006-2007 season. From a total of 63 applicants requesting project support from Dance Advance, six grants went to first-time grantees and three to first-time applicants.

Dance Advance is an artistic initiative funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts. It is a project of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, home of seven initiatives dedicated to helping cultural organizations in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region develop high-quality public programs and effective management practices.

Dance Advance convenes an annual 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 $8,000 to $80,000. Six grants were awarded to individuals; ten to dance companies; and nine to presenters. A complete inventory of current awards is attached. According to Bill Bissell, director of Dance Advance, “This year's grantees represent an amazing array of dance genres and idioms. The Panel felt strongly that within the context of the US dance scene, Philadelphia's dance culture represents an uncommon depth in regard to its range and number of practitioners. Their choices were very hard and, as a result of finite funding, many worthy projects were unfortunately declined. Still, over one-third of the 63 applications were funded out of a total request of $1,262,000.00 This is an astonishing civic investment in the dance discipline that has no equal elsewhere in the country.”

The Peer Review Panel consisted of seven nationally recognized dance professionals: Jennifer Calienes, director of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography in Tallahassee, Florida, and former director of the National Dance Project; Rita Felciano, dance writer and critic, San Francisco; Amy Ginsburg, associate professor and director, dance program at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Ursula Payne, independent choreographer and associate professor in dance, Slippery Rock University; Gus Solomons, Jr, choreographer and co-artistic director, Paradigm, New York City; and Jin-Wen Yu, independent choreographer and associate professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Brent Edwards, associate professor of Literatures in English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey served as the non-voting panel chair. In addition, the panelists utilized reports from several expert consultants who reviewed potential applicants throughout the year: Karen Brown, artistic director, Oakland Ballet; Dawn Gibson-Brehon, director, World Theater, California State University at Monterey Bay; José Bustamante, choreographer and artistic director, Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks, Austin, Texas; Eva Encinias-Sandoval, director, Flamenco Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Andrea Woods, artistic director, Souloworks, Brooklyn, NY.

Since its inception in 1993, Dance Advance and its precursor, the Philadelphia Repertory Dance Initiative, have funded a total of 282 dance-specific projects. These awards represent a value of $6,090,450 invsted in the region's dance communities. The Pew Charitable Trusts serves the public interest by providing information, advancing policy solutions and supporting civic life. Based in Philadelphia, with an office in Washington, D.C., the Trusts will invest $204 million in fiscal year 2006 to provide organizations and citizens with factbased research and practical solutions for challenging issues.

Opened in November 2005, the Philadelphia Center for Arts & Heritage (PCAH) houses seven existing initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trusts. PCAH is the home of Dance Advance, Heritage Philadelphia Program, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, Philadelphia Music Project, and Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. Since 1997, the Trusts have awarded $52 million in support of these initiatives, resulting in an average of 500 performances, exhibitions and other public programs each year. For more information, visit

Dance Advance 2006-2007 Grantees:

Charles Anderson, Individual Artist
Support for the research and development phase of Tar, a new dance solo commissioned from South African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe.

BALLETX,** Company
Award: $20,000
Support for the commission of a new work by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo.

Community Education Center, Organization
Award: $20,000
Support for the 22nd New Edge Performing Artists Residency Program, which will provide residencies and performance opportunities for three dance artists.

Nicole Cousineau, Individual Artist
Award: $10,000
Support for artists' fees for Still Unknown, a collaboration between Cousineau, Jorge Cousineau, Matt Saunders, and invited artists, to be premiered at the 2006 Live Arts Festival.

Group Motion Multi-Media Dance Theater, Company
Award: $20,000
Support for the acquisition and rehearsal of Numen, by Argentinian choreographer Oscar Araiz, to be performed as part of an evening-length program entitled Cell: Movement in Restricted Spaces.

Headlong Dance Theater, Company
Award: $29,000
Support for the creation of Cell, a dance theater event designed to be experienced by one audience member at a time, to be premiered at the 2006 Live Arts Festival.

Kimmel Center, Inc.,* Organization
Award: $75,000
Support for residency activities and a performance retrospective, including the Philadelphia premiere of Facing Mekka, celebrating Rennie Harris Puremovement's 15th season.

Koresh Dance Company, Company
Award: $50,000
Support to commission a new work by Robert Battle, to be premiered in the company's 2006-2007 season.

Lisa Kraus,* Individual Artist
Award: $10,000
Support for development of The Partita Project with violinist Diane Monroe.

Kulu Mele African American Dance Ensemble, Company
Award: $20,000
Support for training, rehearsal, and creation of a new work by Guinean artists M'Bemba Bangoura and Youssouf Koumbassa.

Leah Stein Dance Company, Company
Award: $20,000
Support for rehearsal and production costs for the Philadelphia premiere of Carmina Burana, directed by Alan Harler at Girard College, in collaboration with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.

Kun-Yang Lin,** Individual Artist
Award: $10,000
Support for the creation of a new work with Philadelphia dancers.

Miro Dance Theatre,** Company
Award: $20,000
Support to commission a new work by choreographer Antony Rizzi, former Frankfurt Ballet dancer, to be presented at the 2006 Live Arts Festival.

Montgomery County Community College, Organization
Award: $20,000
Support to present Kulu Mele African American Dance Ensemble in MCCC's 2007 Lively Arts Series, including, as part of a week-long residency, educational workshops and an academic seminar.

Nichole Canuso Dance Company,* Company
Award: $20,000
Support for developing a new work inspired by Samuel Beckett's Act without Words I with a creative team of local directors and designers.

Painted Bride Art Center, Organization
Award: $54,000
Support for presenting The Breaks by performance artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and a series of workshops with Joseph and local dance companies Montazh, olive Dance Theatre, and Tania Isaac Dance Projects.

Pennsylvania Ballet, Company
Award: $66,000
Support for the acquisition, rehearsal, and presentation of Jerome Robbins' In the Night, to be performed as part of an all-Robbins tribute, spring 2007.

Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society, Company
Award: $20,000
Support for the development and rehearsal of Essence of Chinese Opera, to be co-choreographed and designed by Shuyuan Li and Chinese opera master artist Guiyan Sun.

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, Organization
Award: $80,000
Support for the U.S. premiere of HELL by the Dutch dance company Emio Greco/PC during the 2006 Live Arts Festival.

Point Breeze Performing Arts Center, Organization
Award: $15,000
Support for residencies in hip-hop and traditional West African dance for the Point Breeze Dance Company.

Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas, Organization
Award: $20,000
Support for the planning, production, and marketing of Feria de Sevilla, a day-long event based on one of Spain's traditional annual festivals, May 2007.

Tobin Rothlein, Individual Artist
Award: $8,000
Support for the production phase of Warrior Project, an exploration of current social and political issues through video and movement.

Ju-Yeon Ryu, Individual Artist
Award: $10,000
Support for training in traditional Korean dance with New York-based master Myung Soo Kim.

Sruti, India Music and Dance Society, Organization
Award: $8,000
Support for the presentation of Lavanya: Graceful Expressions of the East, a program of Odissi and Manipuri dance by Sreyashi Dey and Poushali Chatterjee.

Susan Hess Modern Dance, Organization
Award: $10,000
Support for choreographer stipends, rehearsal and performance space, marketing, and documentation for the 2006-2007 Choreographers Project.

* First time grantee
** First time applicant