CONDER/dance presents :

Breaking Ground 2024

Contemporary Dance and Film Festival

January 26 - 27, 2024

Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe, Arizona

This year's festival will be presented in the round.

Danceable space will be 30' x 21' with the audience seated on 4 sides. Images of the space are available on the CONDER/dance website.

Call for Work Opens: September 10, 2023

Deadline for Submission: November 25, 2023

Artists will be notified of final selections by December 1, 2023

Please choose the category of form that fits your work:

Existing Work

New Work


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.

Maria Soledad Gillespie : Maria Gillespie is a choreographer, performer, dance and somatic educator. She is a CLMA Laban Bartenieff Movement Analyst and certified Pilates teacher. Locally, she directs MG/The Collaboratory and Hyperlocal MKE, both dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration and improvised performance. She directs the community teaching project Parts of the Whole-The Body Is Home, sharing kinesthetic learning and expressive experiences with youth impacted by the carceral system. As her research is grounded by collaboration, she continues to make work with long time collaborators, Nguyễn Nguyên and Kevin Williamson. Her recent interdisciplinary projects have included making works locally with Present Music, Renaissance Theaterworks, visual artists Nirmal Raja, Portia Cobb, Glenn Williams, Nathaniel Stern, Sonja Thomsen, and Mike Rea and nationally and internationally with Nguyen Nguyen, Kevin Williamson, Erik Speth, and Fabio Altenbach. She received an MFA in choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance and a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase. Gillespie founded and directed LA-based Oni Dance (2003-2015) and was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch". Gillespie's dances... "ricochet between vulnerability and strength with razor-sharp shifts in intensity and intent" (LA Times) and have been presented nationally and internationally.

Curation Criteria includes innovation, execution, clear communication of ideas, and thought-provoking material. Multi-media work is encouraged.  

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 BG24 will receive a $200 honorarium.

No Production Fees are required if selected.


  1. No public performances in Arizona of work selected between November 25, 2023 - January 28, 2024.
  2. Promotional materials and efforts as requested by Breaking Ground administrative staff.
  3. Technical and dress rehearsals on January 25, 26 or 27..
  4. Production Showing on December 20, 2023. 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 unready for performance by members of the Curation 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 $200.
  • Covered costs of production including theater rental, lighting design, marketing, public relations, technical direction and program administration.
  • Reduced rates on BG24 Master Classes and BG24 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 BG24 selections by December 1, 2022.  

Ends on $50.00

Please fill out a separate Application Form for each work you are submitting.

Artists will be informed of selection by December 1, 2023.

Ends on $50.00

Artists will be notified of final selections by December 1, 2023.

Time Limit for Work : 12 minutes

Please fill out a separate Application Form for each work you are submitting.