University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

New Work Award


Thanks to a generous donor, the Dance Department debuted in 2013 a new cycle of the annual commissioning project open to our alumni (BA, BFA or MFA). The New Work Award offers a $4000 commissioning fee to create a new work on dance majors (with an additional $1000 for production personnel or set/prop/costume expenses).

During the first four-year cycle, UWM Dance presented the following works:

  • Suniti Dernovsek (BFA 2003), premiered "Always Merry and Bright" on Winterdances: Identity in February 2010
  • Gerald Casel (MFA 2007), premiered “Mount Hope” on Summerdances: Essential/Essensual in June 2011
  • Colleen Thomas (MFA 2003) premiered “The Year of Unremarkable Laughter” on Summerdances: Destiny/Chance & Circumstances in June 2012
  • Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner (MFA 2010) premiered “A Very Old Man” on Winterdances in January 2013

The second four-year cycle debuted with a world premiere from Rebecca Stenn (MFA 2008) “Do not go gently” performed at both the American College Dance Festival hosted at UWM in March 2014 and at Summerdances: Lineage in May 2014. Next was the premiere of "Wisconsin October,” created by Sarah Weber Gallo (MFA 2013), featuring the music of Milwaukee icon Martin Jack Rosenblum. That work premiered at the Summerdances: Spirits and Fugitives event honoring Rosenblum's research, poetry, music and creative works at UWM's Mainstage Theatre in May 2015.

Coming up next is “Eyes on Betty” by Minneapolis-based choreographer April Sellers (MFA 2014), for the Springdances concert April 28-May 2, 2016 in Kenilworth 620. Inspired by the relationship between Betty Davis and Joan Crawford, the piece is aimed at dissecting gender through these icon’s personification of Hollywood Fem. Please LINK to Springdances event, and to aprilsellers.com

Application Guidelines

Please download the Dance New Work Award Guidelines to view the eligibility requirements, timeline, and application requirements and deadlines for the 2016-2017 award cycle.