Founder Carley Conder created the festival to showcase local and international choreography and contemporary dance. In recent years, the event has also included dance film.
Breaking Ground 2019 will include two different dance programs, performed at Tempe Center for the Arts on Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26.
The 2019 lineup includes 11 dance works and two films by creatives based in Arizona, California, New York, Texas, and Utah, as well as Tel Aviv, Israel.
CONDER/dance commissioned new works by Tucson-based Hawkinsdance and Phoenix-based Jordan Daniels. Hawkinsdance will premiere “The Crystal Cave,” which imagines a place that’s “subject to the laws of nature but not the effects of humanity.” Inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt, Daniels’ “Eleanor” explores rising above one’s circumstances.
Additional Arizona-based choreographers showing work at Breaking Ground include Mac Allen and Kalin Green. Allen’s piece is rooted in her experience of coming out as queer. Green’s piece addresses ways people assign value during contemporary times.
Themes prevalent in this year’s festival include identity, technology, and transformation.
Houston-based Noble Dance Motion is presenting two works, titled “Drone” and “Fragment.” One blends movement with drone technology, and another blends video with dance. Michael Crotty of Utah is showing “The Dead Tree,” a dance theater work that reimagines Lord of the Flies. Another piece, by New York-based Trebien Pollard, explores trauma and healing.
Two films were selected for this year’s festival. Mother of Time by Eckman-Kessie-Wonder plays with concepts of time, space, music, and movement. Parting Light by Suzanne Beahrs, an Oakland-based creative trained in both geology and dance, tackles vulnerability and strength in the context of desert environments.
Breaking Ground 2019 will feature three additional pieces, including “The Freedom to Choose” choreographed and danced by Israeli creative Nadar Rosano.
CONDER/dance will perform two pieces, including an Eric Handman premiere commissioned by Carley Conder for her company. Conder praises the Utah-based choreographer for his facility with partner work and distinct “fluid yet wild” movement style.
The 2019 festival will also include Tiny Dance works created by Arizona choreographers. But there’s a new twist this year. They’ll be performed during each night’s afterparty for audience members, rather than before each night’s mainstage production. Afterparty offerings will also include light refreshments and a cash bar.
The Tiny Dance lineup includes Liliana Gomez, whose piece was commissioned by CONDER/dance, as well as Nicole Olson. Both have been recognized with Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Awards for dance.
Other Tiny Dance choreographers include Samantha Arrow Dance, Bridgette Carol Borzillo – CaZo Dance, Alicia-Lynn Nascimento Castro, Danielle McNeal Johnson - DMJ dance collective, Anthony James Kelly + Chelsea Rose Neiss, Michelle Marji, Callista Mincks, Gina Ricker - Ricker Arts, Lucy Vurusic Riner - RE|dance group, Jennifer Smith, Amy Symonds, and Caitlin Wichlacz.
Breaking Ground. Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26, at Tempe Center for the Arts; conderdance.com; Tickets are $25 in advance, or $28 at the door (before service charges).