Jessi Blakely/Jessica Arden Photography

Choreography Fellowship

About The NCDA Choreography Fellowship
The North Carolina Dance Alliance grants the annual NCDA Choreography Fellowship to North Carolina choreographers to support the creation and performance of new work. Through this fellowship, we aim to promote the professionalism and legacy of dance in our state. Fellowship recipients receive a stipend of up to $1,000 to cover the cost of a new work, from inception to premiere performance.  We award one fellowship per year.

How to apply: The application deadline for the Choreography Fellowship is in the Spring.  Exact deadline dates will be announced here.


About the 2016 NCDA Choreography Fellow:  Rachel Barker 

back of your neck hair flyingRachel Barker is a choreographer, educator and performer from Salt lake City, Utah. She is currently based in North Carolina where she is an Assistant Professor and the Dance Education Coordinator in the Department of Dance at UNC Charlotte. Her choreographic work has been presented in venues in Seattle, WA, Columbus, OH, and throughout Utah and North Carolina. She will be presenting her new work Welcome at both the Seattle International Dance Festival, and the North Carolina Dance Festival this coming year. Rachel was a visiting artist at the international On Site/In Site Festival in Winston-Salem, NC and conducted site-specific research as an artist-in-residence with collaborator JoAnna Mendl Shaw at the Sedona Summer Arts Colony in Arizona summer 2016. Rachel has studied with and performed the work of artists Bebe Miller, John Jasperse, Keith Johnson, Cyrus Khambatta, and Donna Uchizono, among others. She has taught at The Ohio State University, Brigham Young University, ACDFA and other festivals, and directed a high school dance program for three years. Her current choreographic research lies in building connections between dance and the various publics, audiences, or communities wherein it might exist, as she investigates improvisation both as performance and process. This research manifests through site-specific work, re-imaginings of the traditional stage space, and exploration of vulnerability in performance. Rachel is an active artist-educator, working to define her research both in the pedagogic and artistic realm. She continues to present her pedagogical research at the National Dance Education Organization Conference (NDEO), and has also presented at the North Carolina Dance Education Organization Conference (NCDEO). She received an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University where she was a three-year Distinguished Fellow, an MA in Teaching from Westminster College, and a BFA from the University of Utah.

About Rachel’s Fellowship work:  Welcome is a 33- minute trio created in 2016 by Rachel Barker in collaboration with the performers. This piece stems from research questions revolving around improvisation and awareness, vulnerability in performance, and the relationship of performed improvisation to set choreography. In making this work, one of Barker’s guiding questions was: How can I create something that pushes the performers to be fully aware, engaged and vulnerable in the moment, in order to fully connect to each other, their audience, and their surroundings? At once humorous and desperate, Welcome leads the audience on a stream-of consciousness-like journey through disparate emotional states and happenings. It explores “human-ness” through a mixture of movement and spoken word, while questioning the roles of performer and the boundaries of the fourth wall.


Previous recipients of the NCDA Choreography Fellowship include:

2015: Ramya Kapadia

2014: Justin Tornow

2013 : Sherone Price

2012 : Natalie Marrone

2011 : Renay Aumiller

2010 : Autumn Mist Belk

2009 : Cara Hagan

2008 : Lauren Kearns

2007 : Talani Torres

2006 : Joan Nicholas-Walker