The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2010 Dance Advance Grant Recipients

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2010 Dance Advance Grant Recipients

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, through Dance Advance, announced $920,000 in grants to 16 artists, companies, and presenting organizations for the 2010–2011 performing season. Four grants out of 16 went to first-time grantees.

Projects funded by Dance Advance include local premieres of works by some of the world's leading choreographers, including Roland Petit, Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, and Lucinda Childs. The Pennsylvania Ballet will restage Petit's Carmen, a powerful adaptation of Bizet's popular opera that packs all the emotional intensity of the theatrical performance into a one-act duet between its two principal characters. Bryn Mawr College will present a new work by 2009 National Heritage Fellow Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, one of the first graduates of Phnom Penh's Royal University of Fine Arts following the Cambodian genocide and a leader in the preservation of endangered Cambodian dance traditions. The 2010 Live Arts Festival's centerpiece presentation of Lucinda Childs's 1979 Dance, a collaboration between Childs, visual artist Sol LeWitt and composer Philip Glass, will introduce local audiences to what is considered a masterwork of its era and which has had a profound influence on the subsequent generation of choreographers.

According to Bill Bissell, Director of Dance Advance, “Philadelphia's reputation as a dynamic environment for making and seeing dance keeps expanding.  Many of these projects include master artists who are leaders in the field and familiar to audiences elsewhere, yet new to local viewers. Each one of these projects reminds us of the important lineages that connect dance across generations of artistic practice, culture, and geography. To have them here as part of a season of dance in Philadelphia is a treasure for audiences; and they will significantly impact the breadth of programming next year at regional venues.”

For the complete list of 2010 grantees and full descriptions of each funded project, please visit

The program's panel of specialists in the field of dance reviewed a total of 61 applications. This year's Dance Advance awards support both the creation and presentation of new works. Projects range from individual choreographer Meredith Rainey's collaboration with New York musician/composer Todd Reynolds, who has written scores for pioneering performing artists Shen Wei and Meredith Monk, to the restaging of ethnic folk dances by Voloshky Ukrainian Dance's Ensemble. 

“We are proud to support this year's grantees. The depth and diversity of these programs will result in many exciting choices for audiences of our region,” said Greg Rowe, Director of Culture Initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Proposals are evaluated by the Peer-Review Panel according to criteria of artistic excellence, project excellence, and project impact. Grants are awarded in all genres of dance without regard to an applicant's financial need or prior funding history; and applicants must reside in the five-county region of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The Peer-Review Panel consisted of seven nationally recognized dance professionals. For a full list of panelist names and respective credentials, please visit

Panelists also utilized evaluations from several consultants from outside the region, with diverse disciplines, who reviewed potential applicants throughout the year. A full list of names and biographical information is also available for view at
Since its inception in 1993, Dance Advance and its precursor, the Philadelphia Repertory Dance Initiative, have funded a total of 370 dance-specific projects. These awards represent a value of over $9.5 million invested in the region's dance communities.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the five-county, Southeastern Pennsylvania region. Established in 2005, the Center houses seven funding Initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trusts, and through them supports area artists and arts and heritage organizations whose work is distinguished by excellence, imagination, and courage. Each year, the Center's grants make possible more than 800 performances in dance, music, and theatre as well as history and visual arts exhibitions, and other public programs for audiences in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. For more information, visit