Choreograph your next masterpiece at Movers+Makers

Maker Track at Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company’s Movers+Makers

The Maker track is designed to help professional and emerging professional choreographers create their next choreographic masterpiece to strengthen their skills, build their portfolio, and expand their vision. This two-day intensive includes time to learn from masters as well as time to put the principles into action on your very own cast of professional level dancers. The event culminates in a performance of works-in-progress and a single Maker is chosen by adjudicators to further develop their work on Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company during the 2024-2025 season. If you are looking for information about the Mover track instead, please visit this page. To hear about KC Lyphout’s experience on Maker track in 2022, read her blog article here.

Movers+Makers
June 7-8, 2024
SMASH Dance Academy
188 W River Park Drive, Provo

The deadline has now passed to apply for a featured choreographer position at Movers+Makers. If there are remaining “class only” spots (5 masterclasses on June 7 and 8 but no rehearsals), these positions will be open for application beginning mid April.

Eligibility

Choreographers must be at least 18 at the time of application with a suggested minimum of 4 years previous choreography experience. This intensive is designed to help invested and dedicated choreographers to further their skills and career and is not designed to teach choreography principles for beginning or intermediate choreographers.

Deadlines

January 31: Applications open
March 13: Last day to apply for the Maker track
March 27: All Makers applicants will hear back with results
April 8: Last day to pay Maker tuition
June 7-8: Movers+Makers Intensive at SMASH Dance Academy in Provo, UT

Tuition

The Maker track includes 5 carefully crafted masterclasses in composition and improvisation taught by esteemed local artists, as well as 9 hours of rehearsal time with a cast of professional level dancers. Makers receive costuming at no cost from the company’s extensive closet, a casual performance space for presenting their work, and mentoring by experienced choreographers. Tuition for this event is $175. This amounts to less than $10/hr!

There is a $15 application fee to be considered for this intensive. Makers who are selected will have the $15 applied toward their tuition.

Application Process

All interested choreographers should apply between Jan 31 and March 13. The online application is relatively simple and requires the following:

  • Basic contact information
  • A one page resume
  • 1-2 links to videos of completed choreographic works
  • A proposal which details the new work the applicant would like to create at the intensive (or a description of the changes the applicant would like to make to an existing piece of choreography)

All applications are reviewed by 3 adjudicators from Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company’s staff. While the intensive can only accept 4-5 Makers, there is class space available for 6-8 additional choreographers. These additional choreographers would attend the 5 masterclasses but not create work with a cast to present at the intensive’s end. These additional class spots are offered first to those who applied for the Maker track but were not selected to create work. This “class only” option costs $90.

Classes

While classes change up every year, the intensive always offers a wide array of composition tools and modalities, taught by esteemed local artists. Utah County and the surrounding area is home to many incredible teachers and choreographers who have experience in academia, research, professional performance, arts administration, and composition. Classes cover topics such as structuring your choreographic work, using narrative, utilizing technology, videography, and props in choreography, utilizing different group sizes, different movement generator tools, and unique improvisation inspiration to enliven your work.

Rehearsals

Each of the 4-5 selected Makers will be paired with a cast of professional level dancers. Each Maker receives studio space and 9 hours of rehearsal time over two days to create new work (or rework existing choreography) in preparation for the final performance on Saturday evening. Cast sizes vary and applicants can specify how many dancers they would like to work with. Generally, cast sizes range from 3-8 dancers per choreographer. Final decisions on cast numbers are made by the directors of the intensive.

Rehearsals should be used to create a work-in-progress to be presented on Saturday evening, June 8. The performance space will be a large studio, transformed with some colored lighting and audience members seated on all 4 sides. The winner of the commission will have their work restaged and further developed on the company for Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company’s April 2025 concert, which will also be presented in the round, so we ask choreographers to keep this in mind while creating. Please remember there won’t be a backstage area for hidden crossovers, and all dancers will be visible at all times. Creating choreography that works from all sides enhances dance meant for the stage as well, so working in this fashion will help you create a strong piece for your portfolio even if it is later staged in a traditional proscenium production.

While we anticipate all the works to be just first drafts at performance time, we encourage choreographers to focus their efforts on presenting a full outline of the finished work. For example, a work with all the sections presented (even if roughly), as opposed to 3 minutes of perfectly refined choreography (but lacking the other 2 sections the choreographer hopes to create), will be more valuable to adjudicators when they choose the winning Maker. Adjudicators will need to have a view of the intended beginning, middle and end of each work to get a good sense for the vision and potential of the work. We suggest aiming for a finished work of 7-9 minutes but completely understand if the first draft created during the intensive is only 5-7 minutes in length.

Sample Schedule

This is an example schedule that gives a good idea of what class topics the intensive covers. The complete schedule and class descriptions will be finalized by early May.

June 7
9-10:30 AM Solos, Duets, Trios and other Groupings
10:45-12:15 PM Contact Improvisation
12:15-1:15 PM Lunch break
1:15-2:45 PM Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between
3:00-5:30 PM Rehearsal with your cast
5:30-6:30 PM Dinner break
6:30-9:00 PM Rehearsal continues

June 8
9-10:30 AM Improvisation for the Lens
10:45-12:15 PM Unique Places, Spaces and Props
12:15-1:15 PM Lunch break
1:15-5:15 PM Rehearsal with your cast
5:15-6:15 PM Dinner break
6:15-7:00 PM Show walk through
7:00-7:25 PM Q&A with the adjudicators
7:30-8:30 PM Performance
8:45 PM Winning Maker announced

Performance

The performance space will be a large studio, transformed with some colored lighting and audience members seated on all 4 sides. This kind of intimate performance creates a unique experience for dancers as well as patrons. This is a much-loved performance by our audience members. The performance space will seat roughly 80 audience members and will be filmed for the choreographers’ and company’s records. Tickets can be purchased for $10 for those who would like to attend.

Naming a Winning Maker

Shortly before the start of the performance, Makers will get a chance to meet the 2 adjudicators and engage in a conversation with them about the process behind each work. Makers can use this time to explain more about their inspiration and process, as well as further development the piece would undergo if chosen to be set on WCDC during the upcoming season.

Adjudicators watch the performance and choose one Maker to receive the opportunity to further develop the work on the company for the April 2025 concert. The winner will be announced shortly after the performance while patrons enjoy a post-show reception.

The winning Maker receives $500 as a cash honorarium and plans will be made individually with the winning Maker to determine the best method for working with the company to further the work. For example, a winner who lives locally may be invited to direct 2-3 rehearsals with the dancers after company members learn existing material from video. A winner who is not local may Zoom in for 2-3 rehearsals to complete the work. In both cases, the Maker would work closely with a company rehearsal director for about 13 weeks leading up to the April 2025 performance.

Refund Policy

Application fees are nonrefundable. Tuition refunds can only be made until March 31 (minus a $40 nonrefundable portion). If the event is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled, participants will receive their full refundable portion.