The Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) provides choreographers with training that leads to professional growth opportunities.  It helps to leverage and expand existing regional resources, and fosters vital relationships of artists and presenters that nourish the local and regional dance field.  


RDDI is focused in scale and high in quality, and is a compelling complement to the artistic development of choreographers that is advanced by Chicago Dancemakers Forum.  CDF is therefore working to develop an RDDI program for Chicago. The core activity will occur in Summer 2016.


Created in 2004 by the New England Foundation for the Arts, RDDI has been produced in Seattle, Washington (2004), the San Francisco Bay area (2006), Portland, Oregon (2006), New England (2007), and Minnesota (2011) and has served 44 choreographers and companies. Chicago Dancemakers Forum is working in close partnership with New England Foundation for the Arts and an Advisory Committee of Chicago stakeholders to produce RDDI in Chicago.


The following is general information about RDDI and the potential to host a Dance Lab in Chicago the summer of 2016:


Criteria/Selection Process

Artists will be chosen by a national panel of artists and arts professionals on the basis of the following criteria (in order of importance):

  1. Artistic quality of work

  2. Clarity of articulation of artistic and professional goals

  3. Potential to reach future communities and audiences

  4. Strong desire to share work and participate in the Lab experience

  5. Ability to commit to the parameters of the Lab program

  6. Commitment to sharing Lab learning beyond participating artists


The panel will seek a dynamic group of artists representing the breadth of Chicago’s diversity: geographic, artistic and career experiences, and dance genres.





  1. Describe your dance vision and your work.

  2. What are some key artistic and organizational questions or challenges with which you are grappling at this point in time?

  3. Tell us about your current community and audiences. How do you engage with them? With what communities and/or audiences would you like to engage in the future?

  4. The Dance Lab is designed to provide a safe place for critical feedback among peers. Tell us about your approach to this kind of group process -- what you feel you might contribute and what you would hope to take away from participation in the Dance Lab.



RDDI Community Information Session @ Ensemble Espanol