Lighting Artists in Dance


The Lighting Artists in Dance grant program concluded in 2020 and won’t be continuing. 

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Announcing the 2019 Lighting Artists for Dance Grant Recipients

In its 12th year, the Lighting Artists in Dance program provides lighting designers access to funds that will support artistic collaborations with a dance artist/company. Funded projects culminate in the creation of dance performances taking place in the Bay Area.

A panel of regional specialists in the dance field reviewed the proposals and selected the grant recipients. The panel consisted of lighting designers José Maria Francos and Matthew Cohen, and choreographer Lenora Lee.


Jessi Barber, lighting designer for Wax Poet(s) (Awarded: $1,200)
Project: MidCentury Blue(s)
Performance Timeframe: Jan 2020, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley

MidCentury Blue(s) is a dance and light installation triptych. It draws inspiration from Yves Klein’s Blue paint and George Balanchine’s signature blue lighting for his black and white ballets. The first two parts will use traditional choreographer-performer dynamic. The third part upends the dynamic with shared authorship.

Danielle Ferguson, lighting designer for Funsch Dance Experience (Awarded: $2,500)
Project: EPOCH
Performance Timeframe: Mar 2020, ODC Theater, SF

Funsch Dance’s extended-length work, EPOCH, subverts conventional performance models by pushing the limits of duration. In cheeky defiance of Doris Humphrey’s warning “All dances are too long,” EPOCH unfolds over 12 hours, in a gratuitous surplus of movement, interrupted by moments of nothingness, to challenge the valuing of acquisition and excess.

Beth Hersh, lighting designer for Epiphany Dance Theater (Awarded: $2,500)
Project Name: Rock e Malta
Performance Timeframe: Dec 2019, Z Space, SF

“Rock e Malta” is an interdisciplinary production investigating the matriarchal histories and experiences of an international web of female artists as they relate to religion’s ability to create walls, the disregard of woman’s work/power and the ruin/re- birth that comes from the collision of the old/new.

Stephanie Anne Johnson, lighting designer for Afro Urban Society, (Awarded: $2,300)
Project: Mi Soon Come
Performance Timeframe: Nov 2020, Dance Mission Theater, SF

Mi Soon Come (MSC), a Jamaican patois phrase meaning, “I’ll be there”, is a new dance-theater project by Nkeiruka Oruche. A satirical narrative told through African & Afro-Diaporic contemporary dance and music, Mi Soon Come uses transportation as conduit for a nuanced illumination of ownership, belonging, and possibility for Urban Africans.

Alexander V Nichols, lighting designer for Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, (Awarded: $2,500)
Project: Shadows, Embers, Echoes
Performance Timeframe: June 2020, YBCA Forum, SF

Shadows, Embers, Echoes celebrates MJDC’s 45th anniversary through collaboration with artistic associates Alexander V. Nichols (visual design), Paul Dresher (composer), Michael Palmer (poet), and Rinde Eckert (performance artist).

Daniel Weiermann, lighting designer for Alyssa Mitchel (Awarded: $1,000)
Project Name: The Classroom
Performance Timeframe: September 2019, ODC

The Classroom will explore elements of the learning process, incorporating video/audio interviews with twenty-six Bay Area students, teachers and principals.

See prior recipients