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BG23 : Year 16

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 and info is online through

the Submittable Platform.

  • Values of Festival

  • Adjudicator Panel

  • Dates and Deadlines

  • $50 application fee

  • $250 stipend if selected




  • Two performance spaces available: dropped and elevated. Can be used simultaneously.

  • Both spaces 31' by 20'.

  • Elevated space will not have Marley and limited lighting.

  • Audience seated on three sides. 

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Adjudication Panel 


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. 
In 2005, Mike was awarded the "Dance: Creation for Performance" grant presented by Dance/USA and the Irvine Foundation. With this distinguished award, BARE Dance Company began. BARE has produced numerous show around Southern California including the Lestor Horton Award nominated "Manhattan" - an alternative take on West Side Story.
photo credit: @esp.bymike


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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