Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2020
Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Curatorial Guidelines

We are only taking in digital applications this year.

You can submit solos, duets or larger groups.

Typically, an artist performs for 8-13 min.

Your video is the most important part of your application. An impressive video can catch the eye of the curator and make your performance memorable. When submitting a video, make sure the video is well-lit and appropriately edited for maximum impact. Below are some tips for editing your videos:

  1. The dancer should be clearly visible in the video.

  2. The video(s) you submit should be of the work that you propose to perform at the festival, and should reflect exactly what you will plan to perform that evening. In case the video exceeds the timing, please indicate time markers in your application for the segment/s you are proposing.

  3. You may submit up to 2 additional alternative videos with your application. Each video should follow ideally be less than 13 minutes.

  4. Dance works are often better appreciated when placed in context. We suggest that you include a commentary/explanation of process in the Details of the Proposed Work section of your application.

  5. Live explanations (i.e. spoken commentaries on your video) will be counted as part of the timing of the total presentation, so you may prefer to send in a written explanation.

  6. The video you submit should be include the complete, continuous work you intend to perform, if selected. It is imperative for the curators to see the entire work, because our decision making involves thinking through how all the selected works (by different artists) will collectively form a unique, cohesive experience for our audience. An excerpt put together with bits and pieces from different parts of a work or different works WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE for the application.

Best of luck ! We look forward to reviewing your applications.
Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance is widely regarded as the most reputed festival of Indian dance in North America. As an artist, performing in this festival gives you the opportunity to showcase your dance on a great platform – the festival receives significant media attention, and is reviewed by noted critics. Several emerging artists who have previously performed at Erasing Borders received several additional opportunities from this festival.
Yes. Artists are paid an honorarium for presenting their work at the festival. Since we are a non-profit, our means for providing financial support to artists are limited. In addition to the honorarium, we also cover transportation for bringing the artists to New York, but sadly we are no longer able to fund visa applications for performers.
Unfortunately not. For 2020, artists are expected to have their own visas to come and perform.
IAAC covers transportation to New York. If you are abroad, we cover the airfare to New York. For local artists, this means we cover bus/train tickets. There are some nuances here though, and those details are laid out in the contract which is signed after the artist is selected to perform. An example of a nuance is if the artist is going to perform at other events or with other organizations as well, the transportation costs are split between IAAC and those other organizations. Also if the artist is going to perform at more than the Erasing Borders festival, the fees are shared by multiple organizations.For out-of-town artists, we provide accommodation for the dates of the festival, as well as meals and a metro card (for local transportation). Please note that the accommodation is only provided for the days of the festival. We inform the relevant artists on the detailed costs that are covered after the artists have been invited to perform.
Unfortunately not. We are a not-for-profit organization with modest means, and are unable to cover costs for the performer’s family members, friends or next-of-kin.
Yes, we present solos and well as groups (duets, trios, quartets, or larger!)
You need to submit a video of the work that you intend to perform at the festival. If you have performed this work previously and have footage of that prior performance, you may submit that existing video. If you have never performed this work before, you would need to take a video of the work and submit it to us. You are welcome to submit videos of performances or from practice sessions / rehearsals. You do not need to submit a video shot using a professional camera - you can submit a video shot using your phone, so long as the quality of the video is good and your dance can be seen well.
No. You need to upload your work to youtube, vimeo or dropbox, and include a link to that uploaded video with your application form. We do not accept submissions in the form of DVDs any more.
The limits are specified in “characters” and not “words” (we understand this is less intuitive than a word limit might be, but unfortunately this is what Google Forms support out-of-the-box today...). Please ensure that the number of characters in your answer fits within the maximum number of characters allowed for that answer. Further, remember that whitespace is also considered a character. An easy way to check your character count is by pasting your answer into a Word document, and using the ‘Word Count’ feature of MS Word, which displays not just the number of words, but also the number of characters (including whitespaces).
Please email IAAC IT team, and they will be able to help you with the application fee.
Selected artists should expect to hear back from us by March 30, 2020.
"Dancers and Choreographers apply to present your work at the 2020 festival”

The Erasing Borders Dance Festival of The Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) invites applications from dancers, dance companies and choreographers across the world to present works of artistic excellence sharing movement, heritage and inspiration from the Indian subcontinent. The festival is curated for the New York City public.

Extended Deadline for applications: March 06, 2020
Because of server issues the deadline for applications will be extended to March 6.

We are looking for:

  • Exciting works and new voices from within traditional Indian dance.
  • Original works in multiple or new vocabularies and forms deriving from or relating to the traditions of Indian dance.
  • Works that are challenging or critically thinking on their own terms.

Professional works of 8-20 minutes duration (you can submit multiple works for us to consider).


  • Completed Application Form, which will include a place for you to send us a link to the performance piece you want to showcase at the festival.
  • Video: Applicants need to submit the entire video recording of the proposed works (not excerpts or sampling of past works).
  • Only professional level performances will be considered for the festival.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $20.


We are only taking in digital applications this year.

  • First, review the Curatorial Guidelines we have compiled. These guidelines will help you submit a strong application which catches the eye and interest of our curators.
  • Next, complete your application form. Bear in mind that you will not be able to save your application and come back to it later. So, it is recommended that you first draft your answers in a separate document, and then enter them on this online form in one sitting.
  • Pay your $20 application fee through PayPal paypal(using any credit card) Click here >>
  • If you have any questions, check the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ). We keep updating this FAQ as new questions are received. If the FAQ does not address your questions, you can email us via this Inquiry form. Please note that we will only respond to questions that have not been addressed in the FAQ, so make sure to check the FAQ first!
  • New policy due to unforeseen circumstances: Invited dancers are requested to organize their own visas and airfares to the Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance 2020.