Now, Here, This Commission Call Out

Now, Here, This Commission

After a successful application to the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund (PAVRF), Dance Base Scotland are delighted to announce the launch of the Now, Here, This Commission Call Out, a fund to support the creation and presentation of live dance works in and around the Dance Base building in December with a total of £15,000 available.

The cancellation of all live work across the UK, including this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme, has had a significant impact on the programming of contemporary dance in Scotland, depriving artists of important opportunities to create and perform, and stopping audiences from experiencing and engaging with world class dance performance. In response, our Now, Here, This Commission is looking for responsive, lightweight and flexible dance works to reanimate our building over a week in December.

We are seeking ideas for works that can be staged outside of the theatre setting and which use the Dance Base building and surrounding area as a canvas for inspiration and presentation. This can be an entirely new work, something that you have been developing recently, or a restaging of a work in this new flexible context.

The main focus of this commission and the PAVRF is to reconnect artists, audiences, venues and communities and to celebrate the vibrancy of dance in Scotland, and the diverse array of voices and stories that make it what it is. We are interested in a variety of work from small pop-up durational performances to outdoor promenade pieces, intimate works for a solo audience to digitally chorographic installations – we would love to hear your ideas.


We invite ideas that:

  • Are dynamic, engaging, exciting and stimulating, and that will provide a meaningful connection with our audiences and communities in Edinburgh
  • Are deliverable in the short time period and with the resources available
  • Require limited technical resources
  • Can be compliant with social distancing and other guidelines that may be in place. We currently assume that it will not be possible for audiences to sit together in proximity and we will work with successful applicants to find solutions together
  • Respond directly with the Dance Base building and surrounding area


This opportunity is for artists who:

  • Are based in Scotland and who see their work as based in physical or choreographic practices
  • Can demonstrate the ability to execute work efficiently and effectively
  • Are flexible and adaptable – the current performing landscape contains a lot of unknowns which artists will need to be able to respond to


Dance Base will provide:

  • A commissioning fee that will be decided in discussion with the Dance Base team. We anticipate this will be a max of £5,000 per project with a total fund of £15,000 available
  • Space in Studio 1 at Dance Base to develop the project
  • Producing and administrative support from the Programmes Manager and Assistant Producer, including regular check in meetings (as required)
  • Technical support from a theatre technician to present the work, and support its delivery
  • Artistic mentoring from the Artistic Director and/or Head of Catalyst (as required)
  • Accommodation in Edinburgh for those artists based in other parts of Scotland
  • Travel expenses where required
  • An additional access fund to support any requirements that the artist may have
  • The opportunity to work with members of the Dance Base community performance groups
  • Active engagement with the Dance Base audience during the development and delivery of the commissioned work

Please find a virtual tour of our building here:


How to Apply:

In the first instance we invite you to submit a maximum of 2 of sides of A4 outlining your project. You are welcome to include images, drawings and links to recordings to paint a picture of the work you envision. We are also happy to accept video/audio recordings rather than a written application if that format is preferred (uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube with a password).

We do not require a CV but a link to documentation of your previous work would be helpful.

Please also supply a very brief budget overview for the project. Dance Base are committed to paying freelancers fairly and all fees must be in line with the fair pay rates as advised by the ITC.  

Please send this to Kirsty Somerville, Programmes Manager,

Deadline: 11.00 Monday 28 September

If you require this information in any other format, please contact


How we are selecting:

Applications will be assessed by the Dance Base Artistic Director and an Artist Advisory Group who will be made up of members of the Scottish dance community. The panel will be representative of the diverse array of voices and lived experiences that make up the Scottish arts sector.

The Artistic Director and group will select a shortlist and these artists will be invited to discuss the work with the Dance Base production team before the final decision is made. This is to ensure that the work is deliverable in the time frame and within the parameters above.

Applications will be discussed and evaluated with the aim of curating a programme that is diverse and inclusive, and which will engage and stimulate our audiences.

Shortlist informed by: Friday 2 October

Interview date: Week commencing 5 October

Anticipated performance week: 14-20th December 2020


COVID-19 Restrictions:

We understand that COVID-19 and the restrictions of lockdown have drastically altered the way we can create and present work to audiences. All projects will need to be flexible and responsive to any changes in guidance as they arrive. While the aim of this commission is to bring live dance performances and audiences together again, we are aware that circumstance may make in person presentation impossible. If this does happen Dance Base will honour all commission fees as agreed and aim to present the commissioned works at a later date or in a different format.


Other avenues for support:

As part of the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, Dance Base are also delivering several other strands as part of this programme of artist development and support. Full details will be published on our social media and website shortly, but the strands will include:

  • Now, Here, This Commission Part 2: In February we will hold another programme of live dance performance in and around Dance Base. This will be curated by a Scottish dance artist/s with support from Dance Base, and with a budget of £15,000.
  • Your Call Commission: To celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of dance and dancers across Scotland we are commissioning a series of new screendance works, created with dance artists and their local communities. There will be a total fund of £20,000 available.
  • Love Dance Scotland Commission: We are working with Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre and Tramway Glasgow to collaborate on a nation-wide project to support Scottish-based artists to develop and deliver new work of scale under the banner of #LoveDanceScotland Commissions.
  • Professional Development Programme: From October to March 2021 Dance Base will be delivering a free programme of continued professional development for dance artists based in Scotland. This will include workshops, lectures and a series of 121 artist conversations.


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