Get to Know New York's Hottest Dance Companies Receiving Grant Money

More than any other city in America, dance is a big deal in New York. Even in a city where this art form holds prominence, it can be difficult for dance companies to find funding when there are mouths to feed and diseases to cure. One local philanthropy, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), is making sure that dance continues to thrive throughout the city. (Read New York Foundation for the Arts: New York City Grants).

In 2013, NYFA announced $20,000 in grants to four dance companies based in New York City. These grants were made through the foundation's BUILD (Building Up Infrastructure Levels for Dance) program. BUILD grants are awarded at $5,000 each for general operating support to help with infrastructure, capacity building, and organizational stability. Only New York-based dance companies with operating budgets between $50,000 and $150,000 are considered for the awards, which have been a fixture of the foundation's grantmaking strategy since 1999.

These are the latest grant recipients that NYFA has put its faith in:

  • Founded in 2006, The Commons Choir examines how contemporary art can reunify language, environment, and the body. Recent projects include “Target::furnace, the Chocolate Factory (2011), BEGGING, Dance New Amsterdam (2012), and E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, New York Live Arts (2013).
  • Gametophyte, which comes from the Greek word meaning “marry” and “to grow,” was founded in 2002 and aims to enhance the global creative community through innovative art practices and projects. Since its inception, this dance company has completed five full-length works for presentation at MoMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Seoul International Dance Festival, and the FNB Vita Dance Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa – just to name a few.
  • NYFA also awarded a 2013 grant to Maria Hassabi, a director, choreographer, and performance artist who has created eight full-length performances in the last decade. She's recently created short form pieces, art installations (CHANDELIERS in 2012), and a short film in 2012, “The Ladies.”
  • The Kate Weare Company also received a NYFA grant for its ongoing creation of performance work that is thoughtful, authentic, and physically fierce. This dance company has been around since 2005, and it had its first solo show at the Joyce Theater in 2011. Since then, the dance company has been performing at festivals, universities, art schools, and events around the country.