Dance Omi


About Dance Omi

Since 2005, the Dance Omi International Dance Collective has brought together ten accomplished dance artists from around the world for three weeks of creative exchange each summer. Though the program culminates in informal showings on the Omi campus, the emphasis is not a performance product; rather, a gently facilitated process of experimentation and collaboration.

This exploration is enhanced by providing resources that dancers and choreographers often lack: space, time and other artists with whom to work. Under the direction of the Dance Omi Director and an alumni Guest Mentor, residents learn from each other's creative process and the freedom to play. The result is a model of creative process and community building that envisions consequences for the participants beyond the sphere of art making.

Professional Dancers/Choreographers of ALL styles (Modern, Ballet, Improvisation, Ethnic Dance forms, etc.) who have the desire to share ideas and process with dancers from around the world are encouraged to apply. It is recommended that applicants do not have specific projects in mind, but come open to working with others on jointly conceived projects. It is imperative that all applicants have a genuine openness to collaborating with artists of different dance backgrounds.

All awarded fellows commit to remaining for the entire residency and to participating in the concluding showings. Everyone accepted to Dance Omi receives full room and board during his or her stay at Omi (note that Omi is unable to provide travel funds).


Upcoming Events

Dance Omi Choreographer's Talks

Friday, August 14, 7-8:30 PM
Omi's Visitors Center
1405 County Route 22, Ghent, NY 12075

The Friday Night Artist Talk is an opportunity for some of the incoming residents of Dance Omi to speak and share video excerpts of their individual work with an intimate, public audience. In conjunction with the Salon held on the following day, these talks are an essential part of the process-oriented residency, which gives context to each dancer's work before their collaborations begin at Omi. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so it is essential that those interested in attending RSVP in advance. Omi members receive priority. Email with your details to confirm.

Dance Omi Salon

Saturday, August 15, 5-6:30 PM
The Studio Barns: intersection of County Route 22 and Letter S Road, Ghent, NY

With a diverse group of dancers from all over the world, the Dance Omi Salon allows residents to share their individual work with the public before exhibiting their collaborative projects later in the month. It is an intimate evening of live performance set in the studio spaces, and gives context to each individual artist's work at the start of the residency program. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so it is essential that those interested in attending RSVP in advance. Omi members receive priority. Email with your details to confirm.

So You Think You Don't Understand (Modern) Dance?

An audience participation process with Dance Omi Alumni
Saturday, August 22, 2-4 PM

Off-premises location: PS21, 2980 NY Route 66, Chatham NY

Dance Omi Director Christopher K. Morgan will facilitate a showing of works-in-progress by Alumni of the Dance Omi Residency Program, including 2009 Dance Omi Alumna, and Keigwin and Company Co-Founder Nicole Wolcott. Using his extensive experience with the Liz Lerman Critical Response Process, Morgan will facilitate an exchange between the artists and the audience. The dialogue is intended to deepen the audience's understanding of the choreography, while providing valuable feedback to the choreographers as they develop their work. A reception for the dance artists will follow the showing. Free and open to the public.

Dance Omi Showing in The Fields

Saturday, August 29, 2-4 PM
The Fields Sculpture Park

Omi's Dance Residents show works created in collaboration with each other during their stay at Omi. As the residency does not emphasize creating a finished product, the artists will present the fruits of their exchange in the form of unique pieces. Each year's iteration varies, but almost always involve sight-specific performance events leading hundreds of visitors throughout Omi's beautiful sculpture park. Free and open to the public.

Made possible in part with support from Columbia County Tourism Board.


How To Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2015 Dance Omi International Dance Collective.

Please check back in December, when the 2016 Dance Omi application will be available.

Announcement of the 2015 Dance Omi Residents will take place no later than May 1, 2015.



Omi International Arts Center is located two and a half hours north of New York City in the historic Hudson River Valley. Named for a neighboring village, Omi is close to the small town of Ghent, New York, as well as Albany and Hudson, which offer train connections only thirty minutes away.

The facilities, situated on three hundred acres of open land, include a large two-story barn with indoor studios; contemporary residence buildings designed with a vernacular reference to local barns, surrounded by abundant perennial beds, expansive lawns dotted with fruit trees, adjacent to The Fields Sculpture Park.

A Federal Period farm house serves as a gathering center, providing a full kitchen, television room and library; while the front porch overlooks rolling hills and the majestic outline of the Catskill Range. A swimming pool, bicycles, WiFi access and several state of the art computers are available on the premises.

Columbia County, and the nearby Berkshire Mountains, are popular destinations because of their historical, natural and cultural riches. From bird sanctuaries to modern dance, presidential mansions to farmer's markets, the environs offer a singular blend of rural quiet and cultural stimulation. Staff and friends in the neighborhood are often available for excursions of interest to residents. The local library has a modest collection, but is a member of the Mid-Hudson group, calling on the resources of libraries within much of eastern New York.

2015 Dance Omi Residents

2015 Dance Omi Residents

Chavi Bansal (India/USA)
Chavi Bansal was born and raised in India. She worked with the company, The Danceworx, from 2003 to 2007, and received her BA in Dance/Choreography from The Netherlands in 2011. Chavi worked with production house Dans Ateliers in The Netherlands, and was invited as a guest choreographer to the University of Stavanger (Norway) in May 2011. Her work has been shown in theaters such as The Nwe Vorst, Park Theatre, Factorium (where she was also a teacher), and Inter Art Lab as well as festivals such as the Mundial festival. Upon returning to India in 2012, she also worked with Gati dance forum and Jhumroo and The Danceworx. Chavi worked with the India Habitat Centre to organize and choreograph a dance festival in Delhi in 2013. She has also presented her work at FICCI as part of Friends of Art. Chavi moved to Boston in August 2014, and was part of Ammasit Residency with The Dance Complex. Her work is greatly inspired by her life/rituals in India and her observation of relationships between people.

Salvatore Cataldo (Italy/Germany)

Salvatore Cataldo is originally from southern Italy. At the age of 11, he quit playing the accordion and started his experience with theatre by attending acting classes. He discovered dance in his teens when, entrusted to a Turkish family in Istanbul, he started studying and working as a belly dancer. Meanwhile, he continued acting at the S.A.K.M. in Istanbul. In 2009, Salvatore performed Neapolitan Repertory with various companies and soon quit his political science studies to enter the Classical Ballet B.A. program at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome, Italy. In 2011, he became one of the founders of Luogocomunedanza Dance Company in Rome. Salvatore is a 2015 graduate from Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. His artistic interests have led him though various countries for a cultural and human research.

José Ramón Corral (Mexico)
José Ramón Corral is a performer, improviser and architect from Hermosillo, Mexico. He began training as an understudy with Antares Danza Contemporánea in 2009 while pursuing his degree in Architecture. After only a year of training, he participated in special projects with the company and was part of the creative process for "Que no descubran tu nombre" (2011). Since getting his Architecture degree in 2012, he has been a part of high-profile dance projects in Mexico such as Opera Prima @elcolectivo, CEPRODAC and ASyC's closing performance at the first National Dance Encounter in Guadalajara, Mexico. His collaborations with artists such as Raúl Parrao, Galia Eibenschutz, Miguel Mancillas and Hans van den Broeck have given him powerful creative tools, which fuel him as he continues to bridge a gap between art forms that transform perceptions of the space around humanity.

Lindsey Renee Derry (California)
Lindsey Renee Derry is a graduate of Purchase College Conservatory of Dance with a BFA in Dance Performance—summa cum laude. She is the recipient of the 2006 Thayer Fellowship, a prestigious award given by the New York Foundation of the Arts to outstanding State University graduates. As a performing artist, Derry has had numerous touring opportunities, taking her thus far to fourteen countries spanning North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2012, Derry launched L i n s d a n s to serve as the platform for her solo work both choreographed by herself and guest artists. With support from American Dance Abroad, she participated in three consecutive residencies in Greece and in Berlin's Stoffwechsel-Metabolism Festival at DOCK 11, where her solo show POR·TRAI·TURE was presented at each. Derry received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Performance-Individual for her solo performance in POR·TRAI·TURE.

Erin Foreman-Murray (USA/Austria)
Erin Foreman-Murray is a dance artist, based in Austria for the last five years. She recently appeared in a new piece by Anna Prokopová, Petr Ochvat, and Costas Kekis in the Imagetanz festival. Erin's choreographic work has been shown at New Faces New Dances, SEAD Theater, and Raw Matters in Austria, and in venues throughout the United States. Her work has been supported by the Susan Hess Modern Dance Choreographers Project and residencies at SEAD and ModulArt Wien. For three years Erin was on the faculty and staff at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD). Before moving to Austria, Erin worked in Philadelphia, PA, as a freelance dancer and independent choreographer, and was an early member of the Mascher Space Cooperative. In 2014, Erin graduated with an MFA in Dance from Hollins University. She also holds a post-graduate certificate in choreography from SEAD and a BFA in dance from Temple University.

Neus Gil Cortés (Spain/UK)
Neus Gil Cortés trained in classical and contemporary dance in Spain as well as in Holland. Since then, Neus has had a wide range career as a contemporary dancer, working for Hofesh Shechter Company (2014-2015), National Dance Company Wales (2009-2013) and Dance Works Rotterdam (2006-2009). While in these companies, Neus has worked with world-class choreographers such as Hofesh Shechter, Ohad Naharin, Itzic Galili and Dana Caspersen, among others. Neus has choreographed alongside her performing career from very early on. In 2009, she was offered a place at "One Night Dance", a month workshop and a creative platform for talented young choreographers offered by Dansateliers Rotterdam. In 2011, Neus also created work for the Wales Dance Platform. Mort recently, she created work for the World Stage Design festival, for which she was awarded a grant from the Arts Council of Wales. Neus is currently a freelance dancer and choreographer based in London.

Julie Iarisoa (Madagascar)
Julie Iarisoa has performed with several contemporary and hip hop dance companies both in and outside of Madagascar, her home country. In 2004, she created her company "Anjorombala", which brought together dancers from different techniques including contemporary, urban and traditional. The company's mottos are "respect each other through the differences" and "make the difference rich and complementarity". She creates contemporary choreographic pieces but never puts a barrier technical, cultural, or artistic on her dancers. Julie believes the contemporary arts are difficult to understand and access for most people living in a country like Madagascar, so one of her objectives is to popularize it. To achieve this goal, she has been researching popular dances in Madagascar and in some countries of Africa, and from that research, created a dance called "Maray dance" born from popular culture. Julie also spends a lot of time giving workshops and dance classes in the Maray space she built this year.

Hossam Abd Elhameed (Egypt)
Hossam Abd Elhameed is a contemporary dance performer, teacher, and choreographer. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Cairo University in 2008, and has gone on to work with a variety of Arab and international choreographers. He won Best Dance Award, Best Décor, and Best Lighting Design for his Salty Sugar performance at the Festival 2B Continued, Studio Emad Eddin in 2011. Hossam then spent 2 years working and performing in France. He is currently developing a solo to premiere at By Chance Festival, and will travel overseas in 2015 to develop his choreographic practice.

Alina Ruiz Folini (Argentina/USA)

Alina Ruiz Folini is a dance-maker from Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the beginning, she was professional roller skater (champion of Argentina in 1999), but has since developed into a dancer, performer, teacher, researcher, choreographer, and eventually hopes to be a singer. She was formed and trained at the most reputable study center of dance and performance research in Buenos Aires and New York. Since 2011, Alina has been a scholarship recipient in residency programs from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. She is the artistic director to ARCHEOLOGIES OF THE FUTURE, International Meeting of Contemporary Dance, Performance and Knowledge in Argentina. Her creations oscillate between essay and ritual, biology and expressionism, and the material world and the world of signs. The most recent work she created, SURVIVAL PROJECT, was selected for Center for Performance Research as well as for Brooklyn Studios for Dance. Since 2009, Alina has been a teacher of training methods and laboratories of movement research for contemporary artists in South America and New York.

Flora Veres (Hungary)
Flora Veres is a freelance performer and dance-maker. She was born in Budapest, where she graduated from Hungarian Dance Academy. She has worked with several Hungarian companies (MU Terminal, GoBe, Gangaray) and international since finishing school. She has worked with many choreographers including Adam Fejes, Krisztian Gergye, Attila Gergely, Jack Gallagher, Jens Bjerregaard. She was awarded the Erasmus Scholarship, which took her to The Netherlands where she worked with Peter Jasko and Anton Lachky and performed on ITS Festival. In 2013, she started her own solo creation titled 'Now'. She collaborated in 2011 and in 2014 with EuroCulture's projects in France. In 2013, she moved to Brussels, where she joined DansCentrumJette, and created her second solo, 'Dream-sales'. In 2014, she produced a thesis from research of the Rosas Dance Company's movement language. Currently she participates in projects with DansCentrumJette, a physical theater dance-movie, as well as teaching contemporary dance.


Dance Omi Sponsors:

Omi's residency programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

Program Board of Directors

Maria Mitchell

Lynn Neuman

Amber Sloan

Nicole Smith

Gus Solomons, Jr.

Christopher K. Morgan, Director

Christopher K. Morgan - Director (Maryland)
 has directed Dance Omi since 2006. Christopher is also the Artistic Director of Washington DC area contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, and the Dance Artist in Residence in the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland. His Native Hawaiian ancestry and a diverse, international performing career as a modern dancer influence his choreography. Said to be "charming and poignant" by The New York Times, his work has addressed issues including sexual and gender identity, race, climate change, and water conservation and been presented in 18 countries on 5 continents. Dance Magazine profiled him in 2011 as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. His 2010 work +1/-1, commissioned by the US State Department, a US and a Palestinian Dance Company, opened the Ramallah International Dance Festival, and won the Dance Metro DC award for Outstanding New Work that year. Known as an advocate and eloquent speaker, Morgan regularly adjudicates for the American College Dance Festival and has served on panels for the NEA, Maryland State Arts Council and McKnight Foundation. Recent awards include a 2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship, 2014 NPN Creation Fund Award and a 2014 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Solo Dance Performance.

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