Emerging Choreographers Showcase

The Emerging Choreographers Showcase, devoted to the exhibition of emerging artistic talent for company dancers and choreographers, joined by visiting artists, produces the now annual production under the Artistic Direction of DRDT company member, Joshua L. Ishmon. The showcase creates the opportunity for emerging talent to debut and mature their voice, while simultaneously providing an environment where established dancers and choreographers are able to experiment in taking their work in new directions. The Emerging Choreographers Showcase program runs from Monday, June 8th-Saturday, July 18th, 2020.

At Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, the health and safety of our patrons, artists, students, and employees is our paramount concern. In light of the current public health crisis, we are making adjustments leading up to the Emerging Choreographers Showcase as necessary. 

Please check this webpage regularly for updates. We greatly appreciate your continued support and understanding during this time.


All parties interested in being considered as a choreographer for the showcase must submit an application here. Submissions will be accepted until 11:59pm on March 20th, 2020.

Apply to ECS


Dancers must audition and can do so at any of the Summer Intensive auditions.

Selected Dancers may be invited to a call-back at a later date. If you have further questions or concerns about the Emerging Choreographers Showcase, check out our FAQs

More information please contact Justin Clarke

Emerging Choreographers Showcase Master Classes









ECS Master Classes



Nicole Clarke-SpringerArtistic Director

Gary AbbotAssociate Artistic Director

Joshua L. IshmonRehearsal Director

Kevin Iega JeffCreative Director, Deeply Rooted Productions


When is the submission deadline?

Submissions will be accepted until 11:59pm on March 6th, 2020.

When and where will the project take place?

The rehearsal period for the project will take place from June 8-July 17, 2020 in Chicago. Performances will be held on Friday July 18 and Saturday July 19, 2020 at the David and Reva Logan Center for the Arts.

How many choreographers will be selected?

We will be selecting two (2) choreographers to present new work alongside showcase Artistic/Producing Director, Joshua Ishmon.

How many pieces can I submit?

You can submit up to three (3) works for the selection team to review.

How long can my piece(s) be?

Your submitted pieces should be between 5-8 minutes. Pieces over 8 minutes will not be considered.

How many dancers may I use?

If your piece is selected we will supply you with a roster of dancers. However, we do ask that the work you submit be for 1-6 dancers.

If selected, how long do I have to set my piece?

Each choreographer will get a minimum of one (1) week to set their piece. Detailed scheduling will be discussed with the selected choreographers at the end of the application process but, any choreographer submitting work must be available to set their piece on the ensemble in Chicago during the weeks of June 8, 2020 or June 15, 2020.

If selected, can I change my piece?

No. The selection of choreography is not only based on the quality of the work but the balancing of the show itself.

If selected, can I dance in my own piece?

No. However, if your work is not selected and you are still interested in performing in the showcase, you are welcome to audition for the showcase as a dancer.

If I am selected as a performer, does that mean that I’m obligated to be a part of the Summer Dance Intensive as well?

Yes, but we are open to working with you if you have other commitments. The first (2) weeks of the process, ECS will rehearse during the day. Once the Summer Intensive begins, the ECS schedule will transition to coincide with them. Performers will be required to attend all classes and necessary rehearsals unless otherwise has been discussed.

What do I gain for being part of the Emerging Choreographers Showcase?

As a choreographer:

  • The opportunity to work with emerging professional dancers
  • The presentation of your work in major Chicago venues to a broad Chicago-based audience
  • An environment to deepen and mature your choreographic process and voice
  • One on one feedback from Artistic/Producing Director
  • Feedback sessions with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Artistic Team
  • An open dialogue with the audiences of the preview and full performances
  • Media and review exposure
  • Professional recording of at least one performance of their work
  • Rehearsal footage of their entire process
  • A consultation with the lighting designer before, during, and after the process to develop the quality of the lighting and stage design
  • Showcasing for future opportunities

As a performer:

  • The opportunity to work and grow with the next generation of choreographic talent
  • (6) weeks of intense training in classical and contemporary styles of dance
  • Multiple performance opportunities
  • Exposure to a broad Chicago-based audience

Is there any compensation for being a part of the showcase?

In keeping with Deeply Rooted’s mission, all artists are responsible for selling tickets to encourage others to support and value that artist’s work. Each choreographer and performer has the potential to receive a stipend at the end of the process which is contingent upon your selling of tickets to the culminating performance at The David and Reva Logan Center.

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