About the Pilot Program
Applications to the ODC Pilot Program are open now! The ODC Pilot Program was created in 1990 to nurture the development of emerging and mid-career local choreographers. It is an opportunity for artists to invest in their choreographic practices and production skills. The program is overseen by ODC Associate Choreographer and School Director, Kimi Okada.
The ODC Pilot Program provides comprehensive mentorship by professional choreographers and ODC staff, along with a framework for shared production responsibilities over an eleven-week period (over 15 weeks for Pilot 74, including holiday breaks), concluding with a premiere of the participant’s original choreography in ODC’s Studio-B performance space. Now in it’s 74th season, 2024’s Pilot Program will take place from November 2023 through March 2024 and will primarily serve BIPOC women choreographers. 6 artists are chosen to participate. Participation in the program is free, and all choreographers are required to attend the following in-person events:
Pilot 74 Cohort
Pilot 74 2023 -2024 Schedule
- Weekly Cohort meetings: Fridays, 8:30-10 AM, beginning Friday, November 10 – February 23 (excluding the week that includes Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Day, and the weeks of December 25th, and January 1st
- Composition Kick-Off Class: Sunday, November 12, 4-7PM
- First Showing: Sunday, December 9, 3-6PM
- Individual rehearsals with Mentor: Saturday, January 13th 3-6, OR Sunday, January 14th 1-5 (1 hour with mentor for each artist, exact schedule TBA)
- Second Showing: Sunday, January 28th 1-4pm
- TBD: scheduled individual time with mentor at rehearsal
- Tech rehearsal: Sunday, February 25, 1-8PM (exact schedule TBA)
- Dress Rehearsal: Saturday, March 2 at 5 PM
- Performances: Saturday, March 2 at 8 PM, Sunday March 3rd at 4 & 7 PM at ODC Studio B. Studio Theater
- Post Performance Debrief Meeting: TBA
Selected ODC Pilot Program artists receive:
- Stipend of $600, payable in two installments
- 12 hours of free rehearsal time at ODC, and 50% off after 12 hours (all rehearsals upon availability)
- Sessions with choreographic mentors: 1 group composition class, 2 group showings, 1 individual rehearsal and additional session TBD
- Production mentorship by resident ODC staff
- Small group stipend for marketing costs and reception
- How can I receive more information on the program and/or help on my application?
- How is Pilot Organized?
6 artists are chosen by application, which is paneled by both Program Mentors and ODC Staff. In your application we invite you to clearly share your artistic intention and how you specifically plan to realize your vision by submitting a written proposal and video work sample(s).
These 6 artists selected form a collective with shared production responsibilities. Each person becomes a manager of a certain job (i.e. facilitator, flyer design, social media management, etc.) and reports back to the group at the weekly Friday meetings.
Again, Pilot is free to partake in but here are the required events all participating choreographers must attend and are listed above.
- Eligibility requirements?
1) Every applicant must submit a proposal within the application period.
2) Participating Artists are required at all events, but dancers and collaborators are only required for performance related activities.
3) Participants must be local Bay Area residents
4) The program is intended to serve a wide-range of dance and movement practitioners, primarily serving BIPOC women choreographers. Everyone is invited to apply. Any questions on this can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- What do participating choreographers receive as part of the experience?
Artistic guidance with a artistic Mentor (a professional dance artist), who will attend and advise during:
I. A composition kick-off class
II. Two group showings of each choreographer’s work
III. One dedicated hour-long rehearsal-visit for each artist at ODC
IV. One additional dedicated session with each artist (TBD)
IV. A post-performance artistic wrap-up session
In addition to artistic guidance, the group is further mentored by resident ODC staff professionals with production seminars in PR, marketing, technical and digital production, box office, events coordination, and professional theater relationships to help foster self-presenting skills.
Additionally each artist will receive:
I. 12 hours studio space per artist at no charge, with 50% off of studio space for any time after*
II. $600 Artistic Stipend
III. Small discretionary fund for production related expenses for group as a whole
* Each selected choreographer will work with ODC’s Front Desk Team starting in Oct-Nov., to schedule and manage their studio time. Pilot Artists are encouraged to schedule time well in advance to best access studio-availability.
- How long does my choreographed work need to be?
The only requirement is that no piece can be over 10 minutes in length.
- What is the performance Space?
This 3,000-square-foot studio is a studio theater and rehearsal space with retractable seating for 94 audience members.
50 ft. X 61 ft.
Theatrical sound and light system
Light grey Marley floor
Mirrors, barres, retractable drapery
- What kind of tech is available?
Pilot is designed to be a “low-tech” performance. That being said, a Production Manager/Lighting Designer is hired who gives each piece a special look with the capacity for some internal cues. Artist should not rely on complex light design nor have heavy tech or equipment needs as there is only 1 hour tech time per artist.
Live music is possible with only minimal tech setup needs.
We often discourage the use of projections since there is such limited tech time per artist and Studio B does not have an extensive digital capacity.
All technical needs must be discussed and approved by the Production Manager well in advance.
- Marketing, equipment, and videographer costs?
The group is given a minimal budget for the entire production and it must be spent on items that benefit the entire group with cohort consensus (production equipment, videographer, flyer printing, etc.). Pilot is promoted by the participating artists, though ODC does promote through its marketing channels.
- Does ODC have a dancer audition for Pilot?
Unfortunately this is not currently possible on our end and it is the responsibility of each Pilot artist to recruit their own dancers.
- Do I get comps for the show?
Space is limited and the only comps released for the performances are for those people who have donated time to the whole group (i.e. volunteer photographer, outside design work for a flyer, etc.).