Tempe dance company CONDER/dance has announced the lineup for Breaking Ground 2018, the latest iteration of its annual dance and film festival founded in 2007.
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 2018 will include two different dance programs, performed at Tempe Center for the Arts on Friday, January 19, and Saturday, January 20.
The 2018 lineup includes 14 pieces by creatives based in Arizona, California, and Utah. Four of these works are new, and two include film.
CONDER/dance commissioned Phoenix choreographers Jenny Gerena and Shauna Meredith to create new work for the festival in partnership with [nueBOX], a nonprofit that supports new works development through artist residencies.
Additional Arizona-based creatives showing work at Breaking Ground include Sarah Haas of Ash Fork, Shelly Hawkins/Hawkinsdance of Tucson, and Mary Fitzgerald of Phoenix. Tempe-based Conder and Emily Laird are also part of the Breaking Ground 2018 lineup.
California artists selected for Breaking Ground 2018 include Los Angeles-based Jay Carlon, Sarri Sanchez/Tales Between Our Legs, casebolt and smith, and Stephanie Zaletel/szalt.
Julio U. Medina of Long Beach and Rosanna Tavarez of North Hollywood are part of the 2018 lineup, too.
One artist, Pamela Geber Handman, hails from Utah.
Conder and casebolt and smith will premiere new work at Breaking Ground. Fitzgerald submitted a dance film, and Carlon's piece combines film with live performance.
Participating creatives were selected following an open call for art, which encouraged submission of multimedia works.
"I'm really happy with this year's applicants," Conder says.
Conder worked with fellow judges Maria Gillespie and Eric Handman to evaluate proposals using criteria including innovation, execution, clear communication of ideas, and thought-provoking material.
Handman is an associate professor at the University of Utah's Department of Modern Dance. Gillespie is an assistant professor at Peck School for the Arts at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and artistic director for Milwaukee-based Oni Dance.
Conder received about 20 fewer applications than last year, but that didn't dissuade her.
"The quality of submissions skyrocketed," she says.
The 2018 festival will also include Tiny Dance works created by Arizona choreographers. They'll be presented each evening as a prelude to the main stage production, atop 4-by-4-foot stages placed around the center.
Tiny Dance choreographers for Breaking Ground 2018 include Diane McNeal Hunt, founding artistic director for ELEVATE DanceWorks, whose new work is being commissioned by CONDER/dance.
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The Tiny Dance lineup also includes Lawrence Fung, Liliana Gomez, Shelly Hawkins/Hawkinsdance, Gina Jurek and Brandon Trieu, Crystal Lewis/Conversion Dance Project, Nicole Olson, Travis Richardson, Eileen Standley and Jen Urso, Lisa Thorngren, and Kayla Tomooka.
Several of these artists, including Liliana Gomez and Nicole Olson, have created compelling Tiny Dance works for previous Breaking Ground festivals.
"This will be the strongest year yet, in my opinion," Conder says. "I'm really excited by what we will have to present this year."
Breaking Ground 2018 is scheduled for January 19 and 20 at Tempe Center for the Arts. Get performance and ticket details on the CONDER/dance website.