Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2021


September 2021

Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Curatorial Guidelines

We are only taking in digital applications this year.

You can submit solos, duets or larger groups.

Typically, artist/s performs for 7-12 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. Check out technical guidance. 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 submit a plan outlining exactly what you will plan to perform. 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, OR a work-in-progress with detailed explanation 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.
Late Wednesday September 29 2021-Sunday October 3 2021
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.
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. The fee amount is comparable to other New York arts non-profits. Selected artists will receive $250 for production value. Please submit a sample budget plan up to $250 for the final production to account for videography, editing or other needs.
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. You should submit 2 videos. 1) Submit video/s of past choreography. 2) Submit your concept proposal as a written material (150 words) and request a video (as work-in-progress). 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.
March 31, 2021 Deadline extended to April 20, 2021
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.
The curators of the Erasing Borders Dance Festival are looking through 80 applications to plan for the best possible festival. Please allow them time till May 31 2021 to look through, discuss, and plan. If you have not heard back from the curators by first week of June, please write back to us.
2021 Erasing Borders of Dance Festival, Call for Submissions
During 2021-22 across all IAAC platforms including dance, music, film, and literature, we are looking forward to celebrating the 75th anniversary of India's independence.

The 75th Independence anniversary celebrates and reflects on the milestones of freedom struggle, ideas at 75, achievements at 75, actions at 75, and resolve at 75.

The dance festival will be virtual on IAAC’s streaming platform in late September 2021.

For this year, we are looking for dance works that speak to the above reflections. Pondering on the issues of old struggles, new ideas, hard won achievements, renewed actions, and future facing resolutions, how can we think of dance as our personal journey, our destination, and our sustenance? Do we dance to stimulate awareness? Do we dance in hope for a sustainable future? Do we dance proud of our heritage and part of the global world?

Your work need not answer all of the questions. Choose any one of these prompts as inspiration. We urge you to think of your own work and assess how it may answer this question. Please submit a 100-150 word description of how this question speaks to your own creative works.

We seek:

  • 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.
  • Given the online format we encourage shorter works this year. Professional works of up to 12 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). Since this is a virtual festival, we ask that you not apply with a work that is already published in video format with other platforms. This is a work that would be choreographed for camera, so we need to get a sense from your application as to how you would accomplish this.
  • We plan on leaving the work accessible online for one week after the last day of the festival, so make sure you secure rights from your gurus, musicians, and collaborators. Please also make sure you own the rights to publish the music and other elements that you are using. This permission can be sent to you by other producers through emails, social media messages etc. so it can be documented if the need arises. If you submit work that we select, we assume you have done the due diligence.
  • Only professional level performances will be considered for the festival. We plan on selecting between 7 and 12 artists this year depending on the pool of applications we receive. Typically we receive about 80 applications each year that our curators go through very carefully. Due to limited time, we do not email all applicants back, and prioritize writing to applicants we seriously consider for the festival.
  • Selected artists will receive $250 for achieving a professional grade production value in addition to the performance fee.. Please submit a sample budget plan up to $250 for the final production to account for videography and editing.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $15.
  • Application Due date:March 31, 2021
    Deadline extended to April 20, 2021


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 professional curators.
  • Selected artists are compensated with professional standard artistic fees for their work and time. Our fees are commensurate to other New York area professional companies.
  • Additionally, if selected, we will provide funds towards video production costs for which technical guidance will be provided.
  • 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 $15 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!
  • We have reduced the fees to $15.

Technical Suggestions

  • Artist would film themselves at home/studio maintaining local COVID guidelines
  • Make sure sound quality of the music is clear. It could be played on a different device close to the recording camera.
  • have lighting from the front and avoid lighting at back (unless it is part of your aesthetic)
  • Shoot in daytime conditions. Night time indoor shoots do not look good.