Using a cohort learning community model, the goals of this initiative are to increase (1) touring capacity, (2) access to resources and opportunities, and (3) awareness/recognition within and outside of the South Arts region. The companies will improve their organizational capacity, gain further understanding of the touring process, enhance the tools for touring, and increase their touring in the South.
Get to know some of the Momentum companies and learn about their experience in these artist spotlight conversations.
The following five companies were selected to participate in Momentum. Over the course of the program, each company will receive professional development, residency opportunities, and touring grants to fund their work.
Participants will also participate in showcase opportunities to share their work with arts presenters and programmers.
- Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami
Jennifer Kronenberg & Carlos Guerra
Founded in 2016 by former Miami City Ballet principal dancers Carlos Guerra and Jennifer Kronenberg, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) is South Florida’s newest critically-acclaimed contemporary ballet company.
In two short years, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami has forcefully impacted South Florida’s local arts landscape by consistently presenting creatively potent and engaging performances driven by culture, innovation, and quality. DDTM prides itself on delving deep into the Miami community.
Tangos del Plata Performance
Mirroring Miami itself, the makeup of this unique company is a blend of Cuban, Latin American, and Anglo-American dancers. This ethnic mélange infuses a remarkable energy, innate warmth, and infectious pulse within the troupe, making for an alluring ensemble representative of the vibrancy of culture of where we live, work, and play.
To establish a professional dance company in Greater Miami with the purpose of enhancing the community with affordable, high quality professional ballet performances of innovative works in varying styles, to create opportunities for local young performing artists, and to create outreach programs; actively serving as ambassadors of South Florida’s arts and culture landscape by showcasing works reflective of our community and its artists.
Visit Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami's Website
- Helen Simoneau Danse
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Founded in 2009, Helen Simoneau Danse (HSDanse) is committed to creating and performing dance works of its founder and choreographer Helen Simoneau.
In addition to an annual performance in Winston-Salem, NC, the company has been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and toured throughout Germany, Asia, and the United States. This past Fall, the company made its debut in China at Dance Stages Shanghai Dance Festival.
Her solo “the gentleness was in her hands” was presented at the 13th Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was awarded 1st place for Choreography. The 2019-20 season marks HSDanse’s 10-year Anniversary of creating and presenting dance in North Carolina and beyond.
She has been described as “a Choreographer-on-the-rise” with a style that is both “athletic and smooth” — Dance Magazine.
The work I create is inspired and informed by a fascination with the intricacies of relationships and the vast spectrum of human dynamics. Through dance making, I explore ways of expressing and sharing the ways we, as individuals, interact and relate to the larger group. Proximity, intimacy and personal space have been ongoing and appealing catalysts for me as they establish a visceral tension between performers and between the stage and the audience.
Visit Helen Simoneau Danse's Website
- New Dialect
Founded by veteran dancer, Juilliard graduate, and Nashville native, Banning Bouldin, the collective made its beginnings by forming the city’s first daily training program for contemporary dancers in 2013.
With support from the NEA and Tennessee and Metro Arts Commissions, New Dialect now provides year round multidisciplinary residencies for local and international artists, creative process-based outreach workshops in partnership with several local service organizations, and professional development intensives for dancers from around the world.
In 2015, Bouldin was awarded the Tennessee Dance Association’s Margaret Martin award for her outstanding achievements to increase the visibility and accessibility of dance in Tennessee, and in April 2019, New Dialect was featured in Dance Magazine for their pioneering efforts in Nashville.
Her latest work for New Dialect, The Triangle, was commissioned and presented by OZ Arts Nashville in 2019 and made its debut at Jacob’s Pillow that summer, before returning to Nashville for an audience-requested second run.
Bouldin’s interest in architecture, multidisciplinary processes, and site-based work strongly inform her choreographic aesthetic for theatrical productions, in addition to her artistic direction of New Dialect’s performance programming.
Our mission is to advance the evolution of our art form by inspiring people of all social backgrounds, cultures, and generations with innovative, socially relevant dance workshops and performances that connect us more deeply to ourselves and each other.
The name of our collective has its origins in a linguistic term that explains how new dialects are formed when varying language groups come into contact with each other. In a similar fashion, New Dialect exists as a resource for choreographers, dancers, and teaching artists in search of time and space in which to deepen the exploration of their own movement dialects, believing that through collaborative research new dance languages can emerge.
Visit New Dialect's Website
Avondale Estates, Georgia
In 2005, George Staib and a small group of pick-up dancers created and performed several original pieces, and from these humble beginnings, the inspiration for staibdance was born.
Driven by a growing desire to boost the visibility and viability of contemporary dance in the Southeast, staibdance began to include workshops and educational programming.
With the establishment of the Staibdance Summer Intensive in Sorrento, Italy in 2010, the mission was expanded to include cultural and international exchange. Week-long summer intensive workshops began in Atlanta in 2011. That first workshop was filled to capacity and has been every year since with dancers from around the country.
On the heel of the successful full-length premiere of attic in 2015, staibdance began receiving consistent critical acclaim for his innovative movement combined with energized tension and nuanced virtuosity of the dancers. With the premiere of moat in 2016, Staib’s stature as a choreographer became more elevated.
The premier of wishdust, in 2017, was greeted with completely sold-out performances. Wishdust was recognized by ArtsATL as “one of the most powerful and thoughtfully conceived dance works presented in Atlanta this year.”
We work collaboratively to nurture creative impulses and foster cultural exchange. We provide educational programming, including free and low-cost classes, and artistic mentorship to grow our community. We find inspiration in the volatile, often absurd, world around us. We experiment and play, exploring relationships and creating movement within an open framework that encourages curiosity, risk-taking, and wild abandon. We craft work that is provocative, relevant, and accessible.
Visit staibdance's Website
- Wideman Davis Dance
Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis
Columbia, South Carolina
Wideman Davis Dance, founded in 2003, is deeply committed to revealing social and political issues through an African American perspective. We make work that is inspired by and engaged with current issues including race, social class, gender, and location.
Viewing education as essential, Wideman Davis Dance connects with communities of all ages through residencies and by increasing their awareness of these social and political issues, and the ways in which those issues play out in today’s world.
Wideman Davis Dance make dances that have the capacity to tell the truth and move the spirit, giving voice to the people who both perform and view them. They create a space for truths to be told, rupturing the silence of denial, and retelling history about the African American experience.
Telling such truths can foster a range of reactions, from inspiration to discomfort, from inquiry to debate. In their artistic encounters, the company highly values the exchange that occurs with their audiences as they respond.
They have created and performed with legendary companies and artists, including Dance Theater of Harlem, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Ballet NY, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Migratuse Ataraxia Performance
Wideman Davis Dance moves audiences, through the dances we create and perform, dialogues we lead, research we conduct, and movement experiences we share.
We invite audiences and communities to engage: With ideas. With history. With the world around us. With honesty.
Our artistic vision reflects truths from our shared lives. Our lineage draws from our long careers with leading professional companies in ballet and contemporary dance. Our model for working with audiences reflects decades of collaborating with communities around the country. Our track record of working with—and delivering to—presenters, colleges, and communities shows lasting results, as told through the stories from our collaborators.
Visit Wideman Davis Dance's Website
Momentum is an extension of South Arts' Dance Touring Initiative. From 2009-2019, South Arts developed four cohorts of Southern performing arts presenters to build their capacity for presenting modern dance and contemporary ballet companies. Over the course of 10 years, these presenters received targeted training and support, learning how to build audiences, community connections, and funding necessary to make dance a regular component of their programming. The strength of these networks as well as the knowledge gained from this decade-long program provide the foundation for Momentum.