Your Call Screendance Commission Call Out

Your Call Screendance Commission
Photo credit: Katrina McPherson in her new screendance work, 2020. Photo: Natalia Barua.

After a successful application to the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, Dance Base, Scotland’s National Centre for Dance, is delighted to announce the launch of the Your Call Screendance Commission to support the creation of dance works conceived for the screen by artists and their communities, with a total fund of £20,000 available.

During lockdown, dance across Scotland has changed dramatically – artists have been denied entry to studios, community classes have come to an abrupt halt and artists have adapted by connecting on screens. While this has encouraged innovation and much needed connection at a time of worry, we long to reconnect with the presence of our dance communities.

In response, we have launched the Your Call Screendance Commission – a total fund of £20,000 that will support dance artists across Scotland to work directly with their communities and to capture this connection on film. We are encouraging you to create joyful, celebratory films that truly encapsulate the diversity and heartfelt vibrancy of dance in this country. We hope to see proposals that are rooted in the local environment and that showcase the many styles of dance, and dancers, that fuel Scotland. We are seeking proposals from community-based dance artists who will use this opportunity to rekindle and reconnect after this period of separation. This could be a city-centre youth group, a refugee community, a group of rural neighbours – we want to learn about where, and how, you and your community like to dance.

There is a total pot of £20,000 available and we anticipate that there will be four awards of approximately £5000, depending on their requirements. The final films will be released on Dance Base digital platforms and screened at Dance Base in 2021.


We invite ideas that:

  • Are creative, innovative, expressive and celebratory of the artform
  • Can be created together with a community, particularly with those whose voices are not commonly represented
  • Respond directly to their location, particularly if this is outside the central belt
  • Are deliverable in the time period and with the resources available
  • Can be delivered with the technology you have available or have budgeted for (e.g. smartphones, home editing software etc. – Dance Base are not able to provide additional equipment)
  • Can be delivered safely and in line with any government restrictions (artists are responsible for ensuring the appropriate insurance is in place for working with their community, and will need to be able to demonstrate that projects have been risk assessed appropriately)


This opportunity is for artists who:

  • Are based in Scotland
  • See their work as based in physical or choreographic practices
  • Have an understanding and appreciation of the medium of screendance – you do not need to have worked in screendance before
  • Have strong connections with a community group already in place
  • 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 to ensure the costs of the project are fully covered. We anticipate this will be approximately £5,000 per project with a total fund of £20,000 available
  • An initial training course on creating work for the screen and ongoing 121 mentoring from award-winning screendance artist and director, Katrina McPherson
  • Production and administrative support from Dance Base Programmes Manager and Assistant Producer to provide the resources and support needed to complete the project, including regular check in meetings (as required)


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 of a maximum of 5 minutes in length rather than a written application if that format is preferred (uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube with a password).

Please ensure you detail the community you would like to work with, what relationship you have with them and how you envision this process working.

We do not require a CV but a link to documentation of your previous work, particularly any screendance you have made / been part of, would be helpful.

Please also supply a very brief budget overview for the project. Dance Base is 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 Laila Noble, Assistant Producer, at

Deadline: 11.00 Monday 19 October

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 Morag Deyes, Dance Base Associate Artist and award-winning screendance artist Katrina McPherson, Dance Base Dance Health Manager Meghan Bidwell, plus two members of the Artist Advisory Group. The panel will be representative of the diverse array of voices and lived experiences that make up the Scottish arts sector.

Applications will be discussed and evaluated with the aim of curating a programme that is diverse and inclusive, and representative of the breadth and wealth of dance and dancers across Scotland.

Deadline: 11:00, Monday 19th October

Applicants informed: Week commencing 26th October

Delivery date: 31st March


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. If Dance Base is required to cease activity in response to any government guidance, we will honour all commission fees as agreed and aim to present the commissioned works at a later date.


Other avenues for support:

As part of the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, Dance Base is 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 1: To create a space for artists and audiences to reconnect we are commissioning live dance works to reanimate the Dance Base building in December with a total budget of £15,000 available. Read about our call out here.
  • 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.
  • 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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