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.


If you are interested in being considered for a slot in the 2018 showcase please click here to fill out an application and submit an online sample of your work. The submission deadline is February 5, 2018. The first round of candidates will be informed if they’ve progressed to the next round by February 17, 2018. The finalists will be informed of their status by March 3, 2018.  Click here for guidelines and frequently asked questions.


The rehearsal process for this year’s showcase will start on Monday, June 11, 2018 and then continue within Deeply Rooted’s Summer Intensive program. The first 2 weeks of rehearsals will be held between the hours of 9:30 am -3:30 pm, Monday – Friday (subject to change). An except to this schedule occurs the week of June 25, 2018 with rehearsals being scheduled from 9:30 am-1:45 pm, Monday – Friday (subject to change). Both, the Showcase and Summer Intensive, programs will conclude with joint culminating performances.

Dancers must audition and can do so at any of the Summer Intensive auditions. Check out our upcoming audition locations here.

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 frequently asked questions page or else please contact us via the form below:



When is the submission deadline?

Submissions will be accepted until 11:59pm on March 28, 2016.

When and where will the project take place?

The rehearsal period for the project will take place from June 12th-July 18, 2016 in Chicago at the Old Town School of Folk Music and Ballet Chicago. Performances will be held on Saturday July 18th 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 7-10 minutes. Pieces over 10 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.

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 Intensive as well?

Yes, but we are open to working with you if you have other commitments. The first (5) 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
  • A video copy of your work
  • Showcasing for future opportunities

As a performer:

  • The opportunity to work and grow with the next generation of choreographic talent
  • (8) 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.