Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2023
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Indo-American Arts Council


Erasing Borders Dance Festival

September 23 - 24, 2023 (Live In-Person)

September 25, 2023 (Virtual)

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Erasing Borders Dance Festival

Curatorial Guidelines

We are only taking in applications via this form this year.

You can submit solos, duets, or larger groups.

Typically, each performer will be given 8-12 min. This includes any additional information or narration.

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 plan to perform. In case the video exceeds the timing, please indicate time markers in your application for the segments you are proposing.

  3. You may submit up to 2 additional alternative videos with your application. Each video should be 8-12 minutes long.

  4. Dance works are often better appreciated when placed in context. We suggest that you include a commentary/explanation of your 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 include the complete, continuous work you intend to perform, OR a work-in-progress with detailed explanation. 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.
September 23: Saturday: In person in New York
September 24: Sunday: In person in New York
September 25: Monday: Evening digital performance
TBD: Workshop and panel discussions
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.
Note: Selected artists for the virtual festival will receive $250-500 for production value. Please submit a sample budget plan of up to $250-500 for the final production to account for videography, editing, or other needs.
Yes, we present solos as well as groups (duets, trios, quartets, or larger!)
If you are applying to perform at the live festival:
You need to submit a video of the work that you intend to perform. You should submit 2 videos. 1) Submit videos of past choreography. 2) Submit your concept proposal in 100-150 words and send a video (as a 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, 2023
You need to upload your work to YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, or Google Drive and include a link to that uploaded video with your application form. Please make sure that the video-sharing settings are set to anyone can view. If it is a longer piece (more than 8-12 minutes) please specify time segments for us to view.
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 supports...). 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 Microsoft Word, which displays not just the number of words, but also the number of characters (including whitespaces).
Please email IAAC IT team at They will be able to help you with the application fee.
Selected artists should expect to hear back from us by April 30, 2023. If you have not heard by then, feel free to email
2023 Erasing Borders of Dance Festival, Call for Submissions


Indo-American Arts Council’s Erasing Borders Dance Festival will be presented in a hybrid format in 2023: specific artists will be selected for a live performance in New York on September 23rd and 24th, 2023 and specific artists will be selected for digital performances on IAAC’s streaming platform Facebook and Youtube, on September 25th.

For this year, we are looking for dance works that speak to the theme of courageously creative. IAAC has embraced the theme of courageously creative for the year 2023 across the platforms of film, dance, music, and literature.

In dance, how can we be courageously creative? What are the systems: families, friends, and support systems that allow us to be courageously creative? What nourishes us? Who/what/how is our creativity being supported? What is this family that spurs us to be creative?

Reflecting on this concept of family/support system/nourishment, submit dance works of 8-12 minutes in length that showcase your work. Please submit a 100-150 word description of how these themes connect 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 hybrid format of the future we encourage shorter works. Professional works of up to 8-12 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 hybrid festival, we ask that you not apply with a work that is already published in video format with other platforms.
  • We plan on leaving the work accessible online for an agreed upon time 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.
  • Special note for virtual festival applicants only: 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.
  • Only professional-level performances will be considered for the festival. 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 for the virtual festival will receive $250-500 for achieving a professional-grade production value in addition to the performance fee. Please submit a sample budget plan of up to $250-500 for the final production to account for videography and editing. For the usage of this work, you will need to include a credit line “This project was created as part of the Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2023 and is supported by funds from the Indo-American Arts Council."
  • Non-refundable application fee of $15.
  • Application Due date: March 31, 2023


  • First, review the Curatorial Guidelines we have compiled. These guidelines will help you submit a strong application that 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 for the digital presentation, we will provide funds towards video production costs for which technical guidance will be provided. If selected for the live festival, we will take care of all theatre needs in New York.
  • Note: We will not be able to process visas. We ask that applicants have already taken care of this.
  • 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!

Technical Suggestions

  • Artist(s) would film themselves at home/studio/on location.
  • Make sure the sound quality of the music is loud and clear.
  • Have lighting from the front and avoid lighting at back (unless it is part of your aesthetic).
  • Make sure the video is processed in 1080p HD format to ensure the quality is clear.

Artists Bios

Aug 06 Performance

Aug 07 Performance

Aug 08 Performance

Press Release


Committee and Curators

Deepsikha Chatterjee: Dance Director

Deepsikha Chatterjee

Deepsikha Chatterjee is a tenured faculty of Theatre at Hunter College CUNY where she enjoys teaching a diverse student body. She received her undergraduate degrees from University of Madras and National Institute of Fashion Technology before moving to the US for her MFA in Costume Design from Florida State University.Currently she is pursuing her PhD in Theatre and Performance from CUNY Graduate Center.Her costume design for Butoh Medea and Hide Your Fires received the Best Costume Design award at United Solo in 2014 and 2017 respectively. Her designs have been seen recently at Barnard College, Mabou Mines, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Women’s Project, New York Musical Festival, Drive East, United Solo, Pan Asia Repertory, and Capital Fringe.

She researches costumes and masks for Indian performance and has received notable grants for this work. Her presentations have been seen at conferences including USITT, Costume Society of America, and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. She has published articles on Indian and Asian theatre, and Indian fashion. Since 2017 she has served as the dance director for Indo-American Arts Council’s Erasing Borders Dance Festival bringing international dancers to the New York stage.

Uttara Asha Coorlawala: Curator

Uttara Asha Coorlawala

Uttara Asha Coorlawala currently teaches in the dance program at Barnard College/Columbia University and serves as Curator for Erasing Borders--the annual Festival Of Indian Dance. Had previously also taught at Alvin-Ailey- Fordham University Dance Program, Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus, and at Princeton University, NJ. Earlier as a dancer, her solo show, (1973-87) brought modern dance, BharataNatyam and yoga, to stages of India, Europe, East Europe, Japan and the United States. For her pioneering choreography she was recently awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi national award. (India) Uttara also served on various global dance research (CORD) and educational (IB) Committees, and as Performing Arts advisor to the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and at the National Center of Performing Arts, Mumbai.

Awards for writing include AHRB Fellowship for South Asian Dance Research, London, The Graduate Research Award from CORD, USA, the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, India, a Ford Foundation research project (USA) on changing demographies of cultures in the U.S. and an award to study choreography from the Asian Cultural Council.

Currently, she is even more invested in the ongoing global re-flows of body knowledges.

Sruthi Mohan: co-curator

Sruthi Mohan

Sruthi Mohan is the Founder and Creative Director of Tat Tvam Asi, a boutique art organization in Austin, Texas, created specifically to curate and present works of internationally acclaimed Indian classical dancers touring the US.

An active and passionate community organizer, with more than a decade of organizational experience, she currently serves as the Cultural Committee Chair of the Austin Hindu Temple and has been instrumental in creating various cultural outreach initiatives that aim to showcase the spiritual beauty of Indian classical dance and other temple arts.

An accomplished and well trained classical dancer who started training at the age of three, she continues to perform to a diverse international audience. She also shares her passion for dance by writing about dance, appearing on radio and TV talk shows to promote and educate a wide and diverse audience about Indian Classical Dance.

Apart from being a dancer and a dance presenter she is also a Co curator for the Erasing Borders Dance Festival, New York.

Dipashreya Sur

Parul Shah

Dipashreya Sur is a rising sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University majoring in Mathematical Sciences and History and Theory of Architecture. She has been learning Kathak, an Indian Classical Dance form, in the Lucknow Gharana for more than 14 years. On campus she dances with Columbia Taal, an Indian Classical Fusion Dance team. Though Dance originally started off as an extracurricular activity introduced by her parents, overtime it became her passion. Over the years she has also explored dance styles ranging from Contemporary to Afro Cuban. She is honored to be a part of this year’s Erasing Borders Festival.

Jin Won

Jin Won

Jin Won praised by the NY Times as “an exuberant dancer whose musicality transform[s] her dancing into something primal,” dancer and percussionist who explores the sonic and visual possibilities of rhythm through dance and music, Jin Won is a one-of-a-kind artist in the field of Indian performing arts. An accomplished Kathak dancer and tabla player of South Korean origin, she spent over 15 years in India training in Indian classical percussion and dance under Pandit Divyang Vakil and Shrimati Shubha Desai, respectively. Currently, she is under the mentorship of Shrimati Durga Arya to enhance the artistry of kathak.

As artistic director of Pradhanica Dance and Music Company and full-time faculty at Taalim School of Indian Music, Jin has created, choreographed, and starred in various ensembles that have performed in esteemed venues across North America, as well as taught master classes and workshops in many institutes.

Preya Patel

Preya Patel

Preya Patel as Artistic and Executive Director of Vivarta Arts Inc. based out of NYC, Preya Patel a is committed to bringing classical South Asian arts to the US mainstream. She conducts regular classes out of her studios in Queens and Long Island, and also enhances cultural awareness via Indian dance residencies and workshops at numerous NYC and Nassau County public schools and universities. Working with interdisciplinary organizations within the NY metro, she participates in a variety of community outreach programs towards her mission of global connectivity.

With over 25 years of training in Kathak under the guidance of Guru Smt. Jamuna Mitcham and completion of her Kathak Rang Pravesh, Preya undertakes further training from the world-renowned Kathak Guru Smt. Vaishali Trivedi, the disciple of Kathak legend Padma Vibhushan Smt. Kumudini Lakhia. She has graced the stages at prestigious events and venues in the US, UK, Canada and India.

Press Coverage

Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2023 - Videos