Mare Nostrum Elements Emerging Choreographer Series (ECS)

Mare Nostrum Elements

Queens, NY 11377


Jan 15, 2021


Jan 04, 2021

For the eighth consecutive year, Queens-based performance company Mare Nostrum Elements (MNE) and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) are proud to present the Emerging Choreographer Series 2021 (ECS#8).

ECS is a comprehensive program providing up-and-coming dance makers with tools, means and support to create, develop and premiere a new finished work. This is a ten-week crash course in self producing a 10-minute choreographic work ready for future festival & venue showings. ECS encompasses a space grant, career development consultations, professional mentorship and numerous connections within the dance community, culminating in a two-evening fully produced performance at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (CUNY) in Long Island City, due to COVID-19 this year’s performance may be virtual. Exact details TBD.

The program is free of charge–no application fees, no production fees, and no rental costs will be charged to the applicant/choreographer. The total value of the program is estimated to $7,000/choreographer. The ECS also provides a modest budget to remunerate choreographers, dancers and cover production expenses such as costumes, props and travel reimbursements.

A must do in NYC dance world. A real guide for those who just arrived in the city or have just begun their lives as a movement based creator. It will clarify most of the questions one has of how to approach dance in the complexities of this city. - Christopher Núñez, ECS 2018 participant

The ECS program encompasses 5 main elements:


Each choreographer receives up to 50 hours of free rehearsal space, administered through Mare Nostrum Elements’ partnerships with the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC), American Tap Dance Foundation, and other sponsoring and supporting venues. The space grant also includes up to 10 hours of rehearsal on stage during the development of the piece.


Participants receive consultations from working professionals periodically and receive hands-on advice on staging and directing, writing, costumes, lighting, organization, scheduling and finance. In addition, each choreographer is also assigned to a personal mentor, an established choreographer or director, of their choice (not guaranteed) to support them in the creation process. Once the rehearsal process starts, participants meet every Sunday to brainstorm with peers and to share feedback on their works in-progress. Dancers are also invited to brainstorming sessions, enriching the conversation with multiple points of view. Two weeks before the performance, participants show their work in-progress to a panel of established choreographers who will provide feedback and suggestions.


Each choreographer is allotted a modest budget to be used for personal remuneration, pay dancers/performers, travel or other reimbursements, purchase costumes, fabric, materials, props etc. This will consist of a choreographer fee of at least $1,000 and dancer fee of at least $800 per person plus about $300 in additional production fees allotted to the choreographer to budget accordingly. Detailed budgets will be discussed and confirmed with the final participants.


The ECS Program culminates in a fully produced two-night performance in the Little Theater at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LaGuardia Community College-CUNY) complete with full dress rehearsal and tech. All pieces will be presented as a world premiere. This year the performance format is TBD and will likely be virtual or align with COVID-19 guidelines at the time of performance.


The choreographers selected for ECS are brought into the program as a group and are expected to support each other along this choreographic journey. They meet every Sunday for meetings, check-ins, and feedback sessions. Additionally, ECS brings in panelists to view their work in hopes some may be selected for future opportunities and choreographers are encouraged to build relationships with the consultants and panelists.

Post-program, all alumni are invited to join ECS Forward, a platform for alumni participants of the Emerging Choreographer Series that aims to facilitate mutual support, feedback and network for choreographers beyond the ECS program. Activities may include: marketing & promotional support, networking & social events, studio showings and feedback showings, peer circles, participating in the selection process for new ECS choreographers, and more as desired by the Alumni Choreographers. In the past, several choreographers have been selected by our community partners to perform at their venues and in their festivals such as NuVu Dance Festival, the International Human Rights Arts Festival, CUNY Dance Initiative, Current Sessions, IDaCo nyc, Green Space Bloom Festival, Fini Dance NYC, the Neighborhood Playhouse and more.


Application Instructions

ECS Choreographer Application process consists of a 2-step process during which each choreographer gets the chance to share information about themselves and new proposed work they would like to develop during the program. In the second round of this process, applicants will have the opportunity to receive feedback on their proposal from professional dance-makers. The goal of ECS is to encourage the development of ideas from the very early stages of the process. Choreographers are not selected based on pre-existing work but on their vision and potential. ECS is interested in producing work in a wide range of dance styles, fusions, and explorations including tap/percussive, traditional, modern, experimental, and folk dance expressions. Priority will be given to works that represent a personal or artistic challenge, an experimental/original style, and/or a current/controversial topic or theme. The Selection Committee will include professionals in the dance field, MNE staff, and ECS Alumni.

Round 1- Written Application & Video submission

Participants will be required to complete a written application (Google Form) including personal information and a new work proposal, and submit about 30 to 45 seconds of movement material related to their proposed new work. This video sample must be unique to the proposed work described in the written application and should be created in one-shot specifically for the ECS application.

Round 2 - Zoom Interviews & sharing your proposed work

Twelve (12) to Fifteen (15) finalists selected from Round 1 will be invited to a Zoom Interview with the ECS selection committee. During this time, choreographer applicants will be asked to share their description of the piece they intend to develop through the ECS program, refine and show a sample movement sequence in real-time no longer than 1-minute, and answer questions about their proposal & application. This Zoom interview will be about 20-minutes. Each choreographer will also receive feedback from the selection committee members during this time.


Due to COVID-19, we highly encourage solos, duet, and trio applications. Only pieces with a maximum of five people will be considered (4 dancers + 1 choreographer.)

ECS pieces must be a new work proposal. Works that have been in process, already been performed live or virtual, or are scheduled to be performed before May 22nd, 2020 will not be considered. New work excerpts are allowed.

ECS supports stage-ready work, dance film or media projects will not be considered.

New work proposals should be 10 minutes or less in length.

Committing fully to all ECS program elements is incredibly important for the success of each choreographer and the group. This includes orientations, Sunday choreographer meetings, peer feedback showings, rehearsals, workshops & professional development meetings, tech days, dress rehearsals, performance dates, etc. Participants unable to fully commit will not be considered.

Due to COVID-19 safety concerns and budget constraints, applicants with collaborators will not be considered such as team choreographers, assistant choreographers, rehearsal directors, live musicians, etc.

Selected participants will need access to the internet, GoogleDrive, and their own laptop or device to access Zoom meetings.


Applicants are asked to create a one-shot video sample specifically for ECS (1-minute maximum) including a quick introduction with their name & pronouns, their working title of the proposed new work, and a demonstration of 30 to 45 seconds of new movement material related to your proposal danced by you, the choreographer. If you are unable you may have a dancer perform the 30-seconds of material.

Videos may NOT exceed 1-minute in length total and should NOT be edited. Video taken at home, in a studio, outdoors, with your phone, or with a camera, etc. will be accepted. Please no costumes or props at this time unless they are crucial to your proposal. Note: we are not interested in seeing full rehearsal footage or group work at this time, the video sample is meant to give an idea of your proposed work and to see how you translate your proposal from ideas & words to movement. Ideally a short phrase that showcases the movement vocabulary you plan to use in your work.

Submit a video link below (youtube, vimeo, etc). We suggest a public link or password protected link so that all the selection committee members can access easily.








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