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BG24 : Year 17

Breaking Ground 2023 is an exhilarating weekend of performances, master classes and artist talks featuring some of the most important voices in contemporary dance today.  Carefully curated by a panel of adjudicators, this annual festival features cutting-edge choreographers, filmmakers and performers presented in an immersive stage venue at Tempe Center for the Arts in Arizona. 

Application Information

Application and info is online through

the Submittable Platform.

  • Values of Festival

  • Curation Panel

  • Dates and Deadlines

  • $50 application fee

  • $20 application fee for AZ residents

  • $200 stipend if selected



  • Danceable space 31' by 20'.

  • Full lighting capabilities

  • Audience seated on four sides. 

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Curation Panel 


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.


Keith Thompson

Keith A. Thompson is a multifaceted contemporary dance artist currently serving as Assistant Director of the Dance program and Associate Professor within the School for Music, Dance, and Theatre at Arizona State University, as well as their Center for Race and Democracy´s inaugural faculty resident artist. He danced internationally for the Trisha Brown Company (1992-2001), including serving as her Rehearsal Assistant (1998-2001); has performed with Bebe Miller Company; and is frequent performer, choreographer, and rehearsal director with Liz Lerman. Since 2006, he has served as Artistic Director of danceTactics performance group, where his choreography has been featured in New York at Dance Theater Workshop´s Guest Artist Series, Dixon Place, Dance New Amsterdam, and the Dance Now Festival, as well as Harvard University, the University of Maryland College Park, the Dance Boom Festival (PA), the Jersey Moves Festival (NJ), the Aging in America Conference (CA), the Montpelier International Dance Festival (France), the Edinburgh Festival (UK), and Theater X (Japan).


Carley Conder

Carley Conder is Artistic Director of CONDER/dance, founded in Arizona in 2003. She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in Dance for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Carley's creative work has been presented by White Wave at Dixon Place (NYC), Chez Bushwick at the Center for Performance Research (Brooklyn), WestFest at the Martha Graham Studios (NYC), Wave Rising at the John Ryan Theater (Brooklyn), and the Cama-i Dance Festival (Alaska). She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet and Master of Fine Arts in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. Her current projects include creative partnerships with the Taliesin Wesr / Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Valerie Huston of UCSB for AQUA, a long term endeavor addressing water conservation in the West. photo: Ashley Lorraine Baker. 

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