DANCE MOViES Commission 2013


The EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission supports the creation of new works in the field of experimental dance for the screen. Through the DANCE MOViES Commission, EMPAC supports and encourages the development of the genre of dance film and video in the Americas.

The focus of the commissioning program has changed with emphasis on projects that utilize EMPAC’s facilities, technological infrastructure and expertise. Therefore all commissioned projects must have at least one creative or production phase developed inhouse as artists-in-residence.

Please read carefully though this year’s guidelines due to significant alterations in scope and support.

The DANCE MOViES Commission is supported by the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts.

Type of Work Supported

The EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission supports the creation of new works for the screen which vary widely in content and form, yet are united by the fact that the image on the screen was crafted by, or in collaboration with, a choreographer or movement-based artist. The works supported combine the possibilities and range of the moving image in all its technological facets with the physicality and movement-based modes of dance.

Examples of works supported by the commission may include films that are narrative-driven, using the conventions of filmic story-telling; some may be abstract works which explore the inherent sympathies between the time-based, visual aspects of both dance and film; some may not even feature “dance” as is generally defined, but contain a powerful sense of how movement unfurls in time and how we create meaning from the dance of images; some may take advantage of tools such as computer processing, motion capture, simulation, animation, and image processing.


The EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission will support:

  • Works in film, video, or another audio-visual medium, made by a choreographer, dancer, movement artist, filmmaker and/or collaborative team
  • Innovative works which merge the fields of movement/dance/choreography, sound/music, and the moving image, and which are made specifically for the screen
  • A “work for the screen” in the broadest sense: it may be a work for a single screen or a multiple channel work
  • Works which are up to 30 minutes in length. If the proposed work is the artist’s first dance film, the limit is up to 10 minutes in length
  • Collaboration with a composer or sound-designer is strongly recommended; music and sound should be an integral part of the development of the work
  • Works initiated and created by an artist, group, or collective based in North or South America
  • Artists who have at least 5 years professional experience in their field
  • Works with a completion date within one year after the granting of the award
  • The works may be co-commissioned or co- produced with a partner institution(s), however the funding from these partners must be in place by the time the selection panel meets
  • Preference is given to projects which are in the first phases of production or which are initialized for the commission, rather than projects in post- production or nearing completion

The EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission was not conceived to support documentaries, feature-length films, commercial films that feature dance, promotional or educational projects, projects created for a performance, or student works.

Upon awarding of the commission, the artist or collaborative team will sign a contract and has one year to complete the project. Commissioned works will be premiered at EMPAC, and may be shown at dance film festivals around the world, credited as an EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission.

The rights of the project remain with the artist or team, with EMPAC having the option to retain the rights of first publication and premier. EMPAC will not act as the commissioned work’s distributor, although may help the artist submit the work to festivals and for broadcast.

The commission is to be used for project expenses only, and can not support equipment purchase.

Application Info

Be prepared to provide the following information when submitting your application. You may not save applications in progress, though you may edit a previously submitted application until the deadline.

  • Project Title
  • 50-word project summary, including the lead contact’s name
  • Description of proposed project (up to 750 words)
  • Use of EMPAC’s resources (up to 250 words)
  • Project budget (up to 2 pages, PDF)
  • Project timeline
  • Complete list of all collaborators, performers, and their role in the production
  • CVs or resumes of lead artists
  • Additional drawings or visuals (up to 3 images)
  • Previous work (up to 4 links)

The deadline is firm. Please do not ask for an extension.


February 15, 2013
Submissions due to EMPAC of completed proposals
March 15, 2013
Notifications sent to artists for short listed project
April 1, 2013
Updated proposals due from selected artists
May 1, 2013
Notifications of awards sent to artists - winners announced
August 1, 2013
Production of projects begins according to timeline
August 1, 2014
Completed works submitted to EMPAC
Fall 2014
Works premier at EMPAC

More Info

To read more on the background and context of the DANCE MOViES Commissions, please visit the EMPAC website. For more information about the application process, please download the informational PDF.

If you have further questions on EMPAC’s resources and spaces, detail of the infrastructure (rigging, lighting, acoustics etc.), and to discuss your ideas in regards to how the resources might benefit your project, please contact dancemovies AT rpi DOT edu.

Deadline: February 15, 2013 11:59:59 EST