CONDER/dance presents :

Breaking Ground 2023

Contemporary Dance and Film Festival

January 27 - 28, 2023

Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe, Arizona

This year's festival is encouraging collaborations between choreographers and other art forms.  Collaborations with, but not limited to, live musicians, art installations, spoken word, digital media can be accommodated and are encouraged!  Please utilize space on the application to outline your collaboration plan and ideas.  

Danceable space will be 30' x 21' with the audience seated on 3 sides.  There is also an additional elevated 30' x 21' space that can be utilized as well for choreography, live musicians, art installations, etc.  Images of the space are available on the CONDER/dance website.

Call for Work Opens: September 25, 2022

Deadline for Submission: November 25, 2022

Artists will be notified of final selections by December 1, 2022

Please choose the category of form that fits your work:

Existing Work

New Work

Dance Film


Carley Conder : Carley Conder is Artistic Director of CONDER/dance, founded in Arizona in 2003. Based in Tempe, Carley has invested her time and talents towards providing opportunities for contemporary dance artists in Arizona. CONDER/dance enjoys artist-in-residence status at Tempe Center for the Arts and Carley’s recent projects include creative collaborations with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Wonderspaces.  Carley’s choreographic work has been presented at Dixon Place (NYC), Center for Performance Research (Brooklyn), Martha Graham Studios (NYC), John Ryan Theater (Brooklyn), and the Diavolo Space (Los Angeles). She was profiled in "Phoenix's 100 Creatives" by the Phoenix NewTimes and chosen as “Best Dancer of 2015” by the Phoenix NewTimes. Carley has been the recipient of arts funding through the City of Tempe, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Target Arts Grants and the Consulate General of Israel.  Carley is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dance in the School of Music, Dance and Theater at Arizona State University.

Keith A Thompson : Keith A. Thompson, danced internationally for the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 1992-2001, served as Trisha’s Rehearsal Assistant from 1998-2001, currently Associate Professor and Director of Dance at Arizona State University, performs and rehearsal directs for Liz Lerman; teaches globally, his company, ‘danceTactics performance group’, has been featured at Montpellier International Dance Festival, Dixon Place NYC, Jersey Moves Festival at NJPAC in Newark NJ, Triskelion Art Center’s Split Bill Series in Brooklyn, the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival and the Hokusai International Dance and Theater Festival in Tokyo, Japan, Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Tempe Center for the Arts and Nimbus Presents OFFLINE at BAM Fisher in Brooklyn. Professor Thompson is also the Inaugural Faculty Fellow at ASU’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.

Mike Esperanza : Born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Southern California, Mike Esperanza (he/him) has established himself as a sought after teacher and choreographer throughout the nation. With a BFA in graphic design from California State University, Fullerton, Mike's approach to visual construction has influenced a unique movement orchestration on stage. His works have been commissioned by prestigious college and university dance programs including Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, UNLV, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Utah Valley University to name a few. Six choreographic works have made regional gala appearances at the American College Dance Festival with 3 going on to perform at the American College Dance Festival National Gala held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  Mike has also been a finalist at the Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 taking second place in 2009 and winning the paid engagement award in 2010. BARE was recently part of the "Innerstate" roster presented by ODC Theater and funded by the Irvine Foundation. The program allowed the company to perform numerous cities in Southern and Northern California. 

Judging Criteria includes innovation, execution, clear communication of ideas, and thought-provoking material. Multi-media work is encouraged.  Collaborative projects will be given greater consideration. 

Core Values of Breaking Ground Festival

Artistic Support - Provide a strong platform for artists to develop and present their work in traditional and non-traditional settings to invested, enthusiastic audiences.

Community Engagement - Provide a leadership position that aims to strengthen relationships with community partners that will allow the festival to act as a catalyst to bring isolated communities together.

Inclusive Programming - Actively seek out dance programming that represents the quality, stylistic and cultural range of what contemporary dance has to offer.


Application Fee: 

$50 General Fee

$20 Arizona Residents


All Artists selected for BG23 will receive a $250 honorarium.

No Production Fees are required if selected.


  1. No public performances in Arizona of work selected between November 25, 2022 - January 28, 2023.
  2. Promotional materials and efforts as requested by Breaking Ground administrative staff.
  3. Technical and dress rehearsals on January 26, 27, or 28, 2023.
  4. Production Showing on December 20, 2022. This is a mandatory showing for all artists. A live showing can be scheduled with CONDER/dance or a video showing is also acceptable.
  5. DISCLAIMER: CONDER/dance reserves the right to remove a work from Breaking Ground programming following the Production Showing if the work is deemed unfit for performance by members of the Adjudication Panel and if requirements have not been adhered to. 


  • One in-person performance at Tempe Center for the Arts – Studio Theater. 
  • Minimum of 45 minutes tech time and a dress rehearsal on stage
  • Performance honorarium of $250.
  • Covered costs of production including theater rental, lighting design, marketing, public relations, technical direction and program administration.
  • Reduced rates on BG23 Master Classes and BG23 merchandise
  • Paid teaching opportunities - Selected Artists Only


  • Travel Expenses for out of town artists
  • Lodging for out of town artists
  • Technical needs beyond what Tempe Center for the Arts includes in standard rental fee. It may be necessary for the artist to provide fees for exceptional video, lighting, sound needs. Examples include: hazer, piano, specific projection needs.

Please email with any additional questions.

Artists will be notified of BG23 selections by December 1, 2022.