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Deadline March 15, 2020

About the ODC Pilot Program
Now in its 30th year, the Pilot program encourages the artistic and professional development of choreographers by providing a performance venue and a framework for self-production and promotion. Selected choreographers participate in an 11-week session prior to performances and are mentored by a professional choreographer and ODC staff members. All dance genres are welcome to apply. Selection is based on the strength of the written proposal and the video excerpts. Please be clear about your artistic intention and how you specifically plan to realize your vision.

Past Pilot Artists have burst onto the Bay Area dance scene and beyond and credit Pilot as an invaluable experience. The Pilot Program has supported over 300 artists since its inception in 1990.

Previous Pilot Artists include Nora Chipaumire, Sean Dorsey, Faye Driscoll, Paco Gomes, Monique Jenkinson, Jo Kreiter, Pearl Marill, Sarah Michelson, Hope Mohr, Lizz Roman, Amy Seiwert, Danica Sena, Erika Chong Shuch, Charles Slender-White.

Contact: Kimi Okada, ODC School Director 415/549.8521,

Important Dates
Participation in Pilot requires mandatory attendance.

  • Pilot meetings: Fridays, 8:30-10 AM, beginning Friday, April 10, 2020
  • Composition/choreography class: Sunday, April 19, 3-6 PM
  • First Showing: Sunday, May 10, 3-6 PM
  • Individual rehearsals with a choreographic mentor: Sunday, May 24 between 1-7  PM (1 hour each)
  • Second Showing: Sunday, June 7, 3-6 PM
  • Tech rehearsal: Thursday, June 25, Exact Times TBD
  • Dress rehearsal: Friday, June 26, Exact Times TBD
  • Performances: Saturday, June 27 at 8 PM, Sunday June 28 at 4 & 7 PM at ODC Theater

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FAQs about the Pilot Program

  • How much does it cost to participate in Pilot?

    The application fee is $10.00. Upon acceptance, the cost is $140.00.

  • How is Pilot organized?

    6 artists are chosen by application and together they form a collective with shared production responsibilities. Each person becomes a manager of a certain job (i.e. facilitator, flyer design, box office set up, etc.) and reports back to the group at the weekly Friday meetings.

  • How long can my piece be?

    Your piece can be 10 minutes maximum (no exceptions!), but shorter is fine.

  • What is the performance space?

    Most Pilot performances are in Studio B at the ODC Dance Commons.

  • What kind of tech is available?

    Pilot is designed to be a “low-tech” performance. That being said, a Production Manager/Lighting Designer is hired at ODC’s expense who gives each piece a special look with the capacity for some internal cues. Artist should not rely on complex light design nor have heavy tech needs as there is very limited tech time for each artist.

  • Do I get free or discounted rehearsal space at ODC?

    All Pilot artists can rent studios at 50% off the regular rental rates during the 11-week session of Pilot. Please note there is limited available time because of the daily ODC schedule of classes, rehearsals, events, etc. Weekdays offer the most availability of space.

  • Does ODC pay for marketing costs?

    The group is given a minimal budget of $300 for the entire production. This must be spent on items that benefit the entire group (photographic costs, flyer printing, etc.). It is intentionally a low amount to encourage resourcefulness within the group. Pilot is promoted by the artists, though ODC does promote through its marketing channels – tri-annual print performance calendar and organizational newsletters.

  • Does ODC pay for a videographer?

    No, the artists usually share the cost of a professional videographer (of their choosing). If there is any remaining money from the $300 mentioned above, this can be put toward the videographer cost.

  • Does ODC have an audition for Pilot?

    No, it is the responsibility of each Pilot artist to find their own dancers.

  • Can I use live music?

    Yes, but all technical needs must be discussed and approved by the Production Manager well in advance.

  • Can I use video/projections?

    We discourage the use of projections as there is such limited tech time per artist and the limitations of Studio B as a space. If the concept is very simple, it can be approved by the Production Manager.

  • Do I get comps for the show?

    No, the only comps released for the performances are for those people who have donated time to the whole group (i.e. volunteer photographer, outside design work for a flyer, etc.). All others must pay to attend, including collaborators of the artists.

  • Can I do Pilot more than once?

    Yes, you can participate in Pilot a maximum of 3 times, though you must reapply each time. The facilitator for the next Pilot is usually a repeat artist from the group.