Erasing Borders Dance Festival


September 15-16, 2019

Venue: Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre

Erasing Borders Dance Festival
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, and in some unusual and special cases, visa related fees incurred in the USA.
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. If a visa is needed to enable the artist to perform in the festival, we also cover the visa fees incurred in the US (not in the home country of the artist). Again, 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 metrocard (for local transportation). Please note that the accommodation is only provided for the days of the festival. An artist who is going to perform at both the Outdoors and Indoors festival is responsible for making their own accommodation & other living arrangements for the duration between those two events. 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).
You can pay the $20 application fee using Paypal. This is the link to pay your fees:

paypal email:
Please email Richard Tigga, IAAC Accountant, and he will be able to help you with the application fee. His email address is
Selected artists should expect to hear back from us by 30-Apr-2019.
Dances & Choreographers Apply Now to Present Your Work at the 2019 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.

Deadline for applications: April 30th 2019

Festival date: Late September 2019

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 2019.

Indo American Art Council proudly presents stellar classical and contemporary Indian dancers for the eleventh Erasing Borders Dance Festival.

From Sadguru’s daughter Radhe Jaggi trained in Kalakshetra style Bharatanatyam to Indian Raga’s highly skilled dancers performing contemporary Bharatnatyam to contemporary music videos from India’s Vishwakiran Nambi, we offer a delectable evening of dance.

Indian dance community can benefit from career development panels on grant writing, promotion, and company development before and after the show.

Sept 15, 2019
Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre

Panels for Professionalization
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  • 1:30-2:30 PM

    Growing your company, Fundraising and Grants

    Aparna Ramaswamy (Ragamala Dance Company), Nolini Baretto (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council)
  • 2:30-3:00 PM

    Tea and snack break

  • 3:00-4:00 PM

    Choreographing Narrative

    Diane McIntyre


Erasing Borders Dance Festival in New York 2019
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  • 5:00-7:00 PM with Talk back to follow at the end

    Performance line up

    1. Radhe Jaggi in Classical Bharatnatyam

      His body smeared with ash, his third eyes shining upon his forehead, with a garland of skulls adorning his chest Shiva danced the Celestial Dance. The bells of his anklet resound while the sages and deities watch in wonder. Sankara Srigiri is a kriti describing the dance of Shiva in the Chit Sabha. He is accompanied on instruments by all the gods who have gathered to watch.

    2. IndianRaga: Tradition in Transition: New-Age Bharatanatyam

      Tradition in Transition: New-Age Bharatanatyam
      IndianRaga's work seeks to prove that innovation and tradition are not mutually exclusive. “EDM Alarippu” uniquely pairs the well known Alarippu with electronic musical elements. Similarly, “Shiva Shambho” offers a new take on classical nritta, weaving in aspects of Shiva with intense footwork and dramatic poses. “Revelations” depicts a young woman’s struggle for her mother’s acceptance of her sexuality, while “Depression” exhibits the everyday struggle of living with mental illness. We see the future of Indian classical dance as highly relevant to the present day, and one that can transcend cultural, religious, and social boundaries.

    3. Parijat Desai: Pardon My Heart

      Pardon My Heart by Parijat Desai reimagines the lovelorn nayika. She talks to her heart, who answers back, and they dance out longing. Desai's choreography weaves together dance with recitation of contemporary verse by poet Marcus Jackson and Pakistani legend Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and with Hindustani thumri and tarana music.


      Parijat Desai
      Photo by Kathryn Butler
      Parijat Desai
      Photo by Kathryn Butler
      Parijat Desai
      Photo by Ellen Wallop/Asia Society

Sept 16, 2019
Workshops at Barnard College

  • 1:10-2:25 PM

    Barnard post performance discussion on Dancing Identity/Dancing Indianness

    All performers
  • 4:10-5:25 PM

    Barnard Post performance workshop.

    With Radhe Jaggi, (Kalakshetra bharatanatyam)