DANCE MOViES COMMISSION launched for the creation of new works of dance for the screen

News Type

For Immediate Release TROY, N.Y. — EMPAC - the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - announces the launch of the EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission, a new commissioning program to support the creation of new works in the field of experimental dance for the screen. Through the DANCE MOViES Commission, EMPAC is specifically targeting artists based in North America and South America to encourage the development of the genre of dance film and video. The DANCE MOViES Commission will fund several projects per year with awards in the range of $8,000 - $50,000. The deadline to submit artist proposals is February 1, 2007, with applications available on the EMPAC website: As construction on the EMPAC facility continues apace, and the opening planned for 2008, the program of EMPAC is growing. Establishing itself on campus and nationally as a unique university-based arts center for innovation, research and performance, EMPAC is already presenting performances, lectures, and screenings on the campus of Rensselaer. With the announcement of the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts in June 2006 for new commissions and performances, EMPAC took the initiative to create a commissioning program in the cross-disciplinary genre where dance meets the technologies of the moving image. EMPAC's Commission will be the first major commissioning program available to dance film artists in the US, and is likely to have a significant national impact, as there are currently very few commissioning or grant programs nationally that target dance films.

DANCE MOViES as a genre

The works supported by the DANCE MOViES Commission are experimental 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. Dance works for the screen span a large range, include film, video, and other audio-visual formats, and tend to be from 2 minutes to 30 minutes in duration. Some of the works may be narrative-driven, using the conventions of filmic story-telling; some may be abstract works; some may not even feature "dance" as is generally defined, but contain a powerful sense of how movement unfurls in time; some may take advantage of tools such as computer processing, motion capture, simulation, animation, image processing, and post-production technologies; and some may extend the confines of the single screen to multiple screens or projections. However the artists create or present their work, the defining characteristic of these works remains that they are audio-visual works made by dance artists, with all the richness and potential of that specific medium meeting the choreographic eye. The EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission was not created to support documentaries, feature-length films, or commercial films that feature dance. Currently, these commissions are funding awards and do not have a residency component. Once EMPAC is open as a building in 2008, the artists may have access to EMPAC's spaces and technology to create their works as part of the Artist-in-Residence program. The possibilities of how a dance film team could use EMPAC's facilities include use of EMPAC's unique spaces, digital or theater technology, and professional video and audio editing, mixing and mastering suites.


The EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission is a competitive open proposal process, where eligible artists will be able to submit a project proposal. The initial proposals will be reviewed and a small number of artists will be invited to submit a detailed proposal to an international panel. The panel will assess the quality and feasibility of the proposed project and will submit its recommendations to EMPAC. The commissions will be awarded by EMPAC after review. All selection decisions are final. The selection panel members are Gaelen Hanson (USA), Solange Farkas (Brazil), Bob Lockyer (UK), Silvina Szperling (Argentina), Johannes Goebel (EMPAC Director) and Hélène Lesterlin (EMPAC Dance Curator). Upon awarding of the commission, the artist or collaborative team has one year to complete the project, at which point it will be premiered at EMPAC, and shown at dance film festivals around the world, credited as an EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission. For more information on EMPAC and the DANCE MOViES Commission, or to download the guidelines and application form, please visit the EMPAC website: Please contact Ash Bulayev with any further questions (518.276.3918 /


Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of America's leading research universities, with a student body of 5,100 undergraduates, 1,800 graduate students in residential programs, and 2,800 students in distance programs and at Rensselaer at Hartford. Rensselaer is known for providing an undergraduate education of undisputed intellectual rigor based on exceptional pedagogical innovation and has earned distinction in interactive learning and the application of information technology to education. Faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research in fields ranging from microelectronics to computational modeling and simulation, mathematical finance, advanced materials, environmental studies, lighting, and electronic arts. Fostering technological entrepreneurship, Rensselaer operates three business incubators, with a technology park that is home to some fifty companies. For more information on Rensselaer, the public may visit the university's web site at For more information on EMPAC, the public may visit Contact: Ash Bulayev (Curator, Dance + Theater, EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) Press inquiries: 518.276.3918 General inquiries: 518.276.3921 /

November 17, 2006