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2024   Dance & Choreography

Fellowship Program

December 28 - January 6, 2024​

Information about Carmel Dance Festival's 2nd annual Fellowship Program is included below. However, we recommend clicking on the "Fellowship Webpage" button above to access all the details on CDF's website. 




"I haven't been a part of a workshop that was so closely focused on creation. It was a taste of company work. Also, this community was much more supportive and warm than others. I felt that I could walk into the space feeling accepted, acknowledged, and wanting to do the same for everyone else. Removing electronics from the space was a definite catalyst for all the genuine connections we were all able to make." ~ Cardin Chung, Dance Major at USC Glorya Kaufman School of  Dance



CDF is thrilled to offer its 2nd  annual  Dance & Choreography Fellowship Program. This 10-day immersion is designed to provide dancers and choreographers with a TRANSFORMATIONAL in-person experience in a safe and productive environment. Throughout the fellowship, dancers will work closely with guest mentor Alex Ketley, Artistic Director Lillian Barbeito, and to-be-announced company members on Countertechnique, progressive ballet, partnering, movement generation, composition, repertory, and performance skills. It is an ideal opportunity for dancers to enhance skills while experiencing Ballare Carmel's working atmosphere, plus be considered for future employment.  Choreographers will be given time, space, dancers, and feedback sessions to create or revisit their work. The experience will culminate in a public performance and reception at Hidden Valley Music Seminars' rustic and beloved theater in the heart of stunning Carmel Valley Village. 



Ballare Carmel is the resident company of the Carmel Dance Festival. It was founded in 2021 by Artistic Director Lillian Barbeito

(a graduate of The Juilliard School who founded BODYTRAFFIC and HAVEN Global Sanctuary for Dance) to tell Monterey County stories, myths, and bold feats, through world-class dance. The project-based ensemble's repertoire by established and emerging choreographers includes works by Jennifer Archibald, Noelle Kayser, James Gregg, Ihsan Rustem, and Skye Schmidt. @ballarecarmel



  • dance/create in-person 

  • experience human connection

  • enhance technique and artistry

  • be immersed in a supportive environment that's committed to being COVID-free

  • enjoy a quiet and enchanting destination where fresh air and nature abound

  • perform/showcase your work at Hidden Valley's beloved theater

  • discover new friends and build community

  • acquire new images and performance footage


Staying and dining on campus is mandatory for out-of-town fellows and will help ensure everyone’s safety and health. Locals can participate as Day~Use~Only; receive 3 meals a day and use the campus for 1/2 the cost. All fellows must provide proof of vaccination when applying/being nominated. (To those who are not able to be vaccinated or choose not to vaccinate, we hope to dance with you in the future!)



  • arrival yoga class

  • Welcome Dinner

  • orientation session

  • daily  technique classes  (progressive ballet, Countertechnique, Hot Mess)

  • Ballare Carmel repertory sessions

  • Community Class (locals are invited to participate  in  the final class)

  • creation sessions/rehearsals

  • acknowledgment partner

  • tech rehearsal

  • dress rehearsal

  • performance

  • reception

  • video   of  The Showcase

  • two optional follow-up   reunions  (online)

SAMPLE SCHEDULE (listed in Pacific Time and  subject to change) 

Thursday, December 28tth

          2:00 Check-in

          4:00-5:15 Yoga

          5:30-6:30 Welcome Dinner

          6:30-7:30 Orientation

Friday, December 29th & Saturday,    December 30th

          7:30-8:30 Breakfast

          9:00-10:45    Ballet   or Countertechnique

          10:45-12:30 Ballare Carmel Reptertory

          12:30-1:30   Lunch

          1:30-3:30   Ballare    Carmel   Repertory

          3:30-5:30   Costume  Fitting  (Fri)  &   Photoshoot (Sat)

          5:30-6:30 Dinner                

Sunday,   December 31st ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR'S   EVE!

           7:30-8:30 Breakfast

            8:30-12  Hike/Field Trip

           (No lunch served. Get  sack lunch   at breakfast.)

          2:30-5:00   Laundrymat   Trip

          5:30-6:30 Dinner

Monday,  January 1st  - Friday,   January 5th

          7:30-8:30 Breakfast

          9:00-10:30   Technique 

          10:30-12:30   Creation   Session #1

          12:30-1:30 Lunch

           1:30-5:30  Creation Session #2

           5:30-6:30 Dinner

          6:30-8:00   Evening  Seminar/Rehearsal/Fittings or Photos

Saturday,   January 6th

          8:00-9:00 Breakfast

          9:30-11 Community Class  with Alex Ketley (open to the public)

          11-12:30 Tech   Rehearsal

          12:30-1:30 Lunch

          1:30-3:30 Tech Continured

          3:30-5:30 Dress Rehearsal Notes

          5:30-6:30 Closing Night Dinner 

          6:45 House Opens

          7:00 SHOWCASE

          8:30 Reception 



  • 16+ (fellows aged 16 & 17 will be chaperoned and  must have a legal guardian sign a waiver)

  • Superb technique in any dance genre

  • Partnering experience and/or desire and commitment to enhance partnering skills

  • Improvisation experience and/or desire and commitment to enhance improvisation skills

  • Performance experience and/or desire and commitment to enhance performance skills

  • Desire to adapt, create, connect, and contribute

  • Proof of vaccination (To those who are not able to be vaccinated  or choose not to vaccinate, we hope to dance with you in the future!)


"I 100% got what I came for! I was looking to connect further with the dance community and improve my skills in working in process with other artists. I feel that I have made lasting connections and grew a lot as a dancer through this program. I ended each day feeling so inspired with my mind fizzing with creativity that I hope to continue carrying with me throughout the year."

~ Jessica Hovermale, Dance Major at University of Oregon​


There is no fee to apply.  Request an application form. Once the application form is completed via Google Forms,  please send the following materials to

  • Video Statement of Interest (talk to camera about yourself and why you are interested in participating in Carmel Dance Festival's Fellowship Program with Ballare Carmel)

  • Resume   with   contact information

  • Links to Video(s)​

  • 2 letters of recommendation

  • Indicate in the introduction email if staying on campus or registering as Day-Use-Only

  • Proof of vaccination 


Please include the following in your application video(s):

  • 2 minutes of unedited improvisation/one take

  • 2 + minutes of performance or rehearsal footage of choreographed material (any setting acceptable)

Please upload your Video Statement of Interest and Application Videos to Dropbox,  Vimeo, or Youtube.  Kindly provide links and include passwords if needed. Videos that need to be downloaded will NOT be considered.


DANCERS' APPLICATION DEADLINE​: Sunday, November 12th at 5:00 pm Pacific Time

Applications will be accepted and reviewed from Friday,  September   1st   through    Sunday, November 12th at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. Up to 20 dancers will be selected for the 2nd Annual Dance Fellowship.


Tuition for  the Dance & Choreography   Fellowship Program is generously sponsored by Carmel Dance   Festival  patrons.   



$1000 ~ Standard, DOUBLE occupancy room + 3 Meals per day 

$1100 ~ Lodge (new building), DOUBLE occupancy room + 3 Meals per day 

$1200 ~ Standard, SINGLE occupancy room + 3 Meals per day   

$1300 ~ Lodge (new building), SINGLE occupancy room + 3 Meals per day 


2023 ~   tuition sponsored for  all fellows 

2024 ~ tuition sponsored for all fellows + and room & board sponsored for choreographers  

2025 ~   tuition and   room & board sponsored for all fellows 

2026 ~   tuition,  room & board sponsored,   +  travel stipend for choreographers

2027 ~   endowment   secured



"I have never been in a space where I felt deeply supported and could truly play, dream, and collaborate. This experience was so wonderful and exciting as a choreographer. Building a relationship with Lillian and Carmel Dance Festival was so special."

~ Gianna Burright, 2023 Choreography Fellow


  • all of the above  Dance Fellow   offerings +

  • dancers to play, create, and discover with 

  • budget of up to $1,000 for the purchase of  sets, props,   and costumes

  • intern: help in the studio,   perform research, source materials,   run errands, etc.

  • pre-fellowship inquiry with   Alex Ketley

  • planning session with Lillian Barbeito

  • feedback sessions   

  • tech and dress rehearsals

  • performance venue 

  • post-performance reception

  • video   of   The Showcase

  • Private Room and 3 meals per day (value of  $1300)

+ option to participate in:

  • daily technique classes

  • Ballare Carmel repertory sessions


To encourage teamwork, choreographers can not nominate themselves; they must be endorsed by someone else. Choreographers should not   submit their materials themselves. Nominators should send the following materials to   

  • Nomination Letter ~ Consider including the following: 1. What's unique about the choreography fellowship candidate? 2. Why they are deserving of an award? 3.  How would they benefit from the fellowship? 4.  What could they do with the experience gained during the fellowship in the future?  

  • Candidate's Biography and/or Resume   (must include   candidate's email and phone number)

  • Videos of Candidate's Choreography (see below for details)

  • 2 letters of recommendation

  • Candidate's Proof of Vaccination 


  • Works Sample ONE ~ performance footage of a complete 5+ minute piece with little or no editing (wide shot)

  • Work Sample TWO ~ 3 + minutes of performance or rehearsal footage of additional choreography  (any setting acceptable)

Please provide links (and include passwords if needed) to the candidate's work samples that have been uploaded to Dropbox,  Vimeo, or Youtube. Videos that need to be downloaded will NOT be considered.

CHOREOGRAPHERS' NOMINATION DEADLINE​: Sunday, October 15th at 5:00 pm Pacific Time

Nominations will be accepted and reviewed from Friday, September 1st through Sunday,  October 15th at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. 3 choreographers will be selected based on what candidates have done, the work proposed, and how fellow will apply what fellowship supports to future choreographic endeavors. 



Shortlisted choreographers will be asked to provide additional information    about their proposed work in a    questionnaire.



1. brief synopsis of proposed work  

2. ideal number of dancers

3. what does the choreographer hope to give and gain during the fellowship

4. what does the choreographer hope that the audience will walk    away with

5. any additional needs (set/props/special lighting/costumes)



ALEX KETLEY (Filmmaker, Choreographer, Stanford Professor, & Guggenheim Fellow)

is an independent choreographer, filmmaker, and Director of The Foundry. Formally a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, he left the company to create The Foundry as a platform to explore his interests in alternative methods of devising performance. The company has allowed Ketley the freedom to pursue projects that would be difficult to realize within his commissioning career. A few examples of these are; Syntax, an hour-long duet systemically using the mechanics of language as an organizing mechanism, Lost Line researched how the application of environment effects the generation of movement and studied in direct response to California’s diverse physical landscapes, Please Love Me jettisoned the structure of performing in a theater context and was developed with a curiosity about how people genuinely connect and experience artwork, and the No Hero Trilogy which was a multi-year project that explored what dance and performance mean to the lives of people living throughout rural America.


For his independent work as a choreographer, he has been commissioned extensively throughout the United States and has received acknowledgment from the Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition, the International Choreographic Competition of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Saveaur, the Choo-San Goh Award, the Princess Grace Award for Choreography, four Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residencies, the Gerbode-Hewlett Choreographer Award, the Eben Demarest Award, the National Choreographic Initiative Residency, a Kenneth Rainin Foundation New and Experimental Works Grant, three CHIME Fellowships, the Artistry Award from the Superfest International Disability Film Festival, and his work was featured on national television through an invitation from the show So You Think You Can Dance. His pieces and collaborations have also been awarded Isadora Duncan Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the categories of; Ensemble, Choreography, as well as Full Company, and nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.


As an educator, he has taught throughout the world and is currently a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Theater and Performance Studies Department and was the founding Resident Choreographer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance for 14 years until its closure in 2018.In 2020 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, one of the most prestigious honors in the United States recognizing individuals "who have demonstrated exceptional creative ability in the arts.”



LILLIAN BARBEITO  (Carmel Dance Festival Co-Founder/Ballare Carmel Artistic Director)

brings more than 35 years of dance experience as an artist, producer, director, and educator to her role as Artistic Director of Ballare Carmel. During the course of her career, she has been a performer with contemporary dance companies, the co-founder of a world-renowned non-profit organization, the founder of an innovative corporation, and an internationally recognized, certified teacher of Countertechnique. 


Barbeito grew up in the desert under the blues skies of Santa Fe, New Mexico where she trained with the Santa Fe Dance Foundation and worked with The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Southwest Ballet, and the Santa Fe Opera. She earned her BFA from The Juilliard School where she studied on a 4 year, full-tuition scholarship awarded by Tomorrow’s Leaders of America for her essay about the world dancing together in harmony. Barbeito had an extensive performance career that took her to Europe, New York, and then finally to Los Angeles, where she founded BODYTRAFFIC with Tina Berkett. Under her co-direction, the ensemble received critical acclaim and toured to the most prestigious dance venues across the globe from the Hollywood Bowl to Jacob's Pillow to the Mariinsky Theatre. She has taught internationally for organizations such as CalArts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, L'Artere and L’ecole de Danse in Quebec City, Lyon Opera Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Southland Ballet Academy,  The Wooden Floor, and UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. Barbeito is one of 36 teachers in the world who is certified to teach Anouk van Dijk’s groundbreaking Countertechnique. She has choreographed over 50 works for high schools, universities, competitions, regional ballet companies, and professional modern dance companies throughout the US and Canada. She is the Founder and CEO of HAVEN Global Sanctuary for Dance, a platform dedicated to shaping an equitable, diverse, and inclusive future of dance. 


Barbeito is married to filmmaker and environmentalist Grant Barbeito. They relocated their two sons, Oliver who is 13, and Forest who is 8, two bearded dragons, and an Irish-doodle    named Harvey to Carmel Valley to launch the Carmel Dance Festival and Ballare Carmel.






Carmel Valley Village was home to the Rumsen (also known as Rumsien, San Carlos Costanoan, and Carmeleno), one of eight groups of the  Ohlone, and indigenous people of California.    Among the rolling hills and grapevines of Carmel Valley, California, you'll find vineyards, tucked-away inns, championship golf courses, award-winning restaurants, rugged hiking, and horseback riding. And it's all just a short, stunning drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur. 


Hidden Valley's eight-acre campus comprises a 300-seat theatre, a dance studio, rehearsal gazebos, a classroom, a dining/recreation hall, and seventeen lodging rooms.  Large outdoor decks are adjacent to the dance studio and the theatre.  All facilities are on the ground floor and easily accessible.   Hidden Valley Music Seminars was born out of a deep concern for the development of extraordinarily talented young artists.  Programs in the fields of music, theatre, opera and dance have occupied most of the time and energy of the staff and faculty since its inception in 1963. ​   The Master Class concept has always been a part of the Hidden Valley project and through the years, students from around the world have benefitted from the teaching of some of the great musicians of our time.  The Dance Center was initiated in 1973 and, through enthusiastic community support, became one of the most popular of Hidden Valley's programs. ​ 


In 1983 Hidden Valley joined the educational centers worldwide which were offering Elderhostel programs.  Within four years, Hidden Valley became one of the 75 "supersites" in America presenting at least 40 Elderhostel/Road Scholar weeks per year.  The interaction between the older and younger students has become one of the exciting aspects of the Institute's campus life. The constant thread throughout Hidden Valley's existence has been an uncompromising interest in the careful selection of students and faculty to represent the highest quality of each possible.  Founder and General Director, Peter T. Meckel, notes, "As members of a wonderful local community and an international musical family, we treasure our connections to friends and supporters.  We pledge our unwavering dedication to quality and substance in all aspects of our work."


The WADDELL CENTER Residence Hall has 17 simple, clean and cheery, non-smoking rooms. Each room has two twin beds, a dresser, and bathroom with a shower, toilet, and sink.  All rooms exit directly to a deck or walk via sliding glass doors, which can be locked from the inside.  Each room has an individually controlled heater, bed linens and towels.  If you will need an alarm clock or hair dryer, you should bring these with you. 


LUBLOW LODGE is a beautiful new residential center, adding six spacious double-occupancy rooms with a queen bed, a twin bed, air conditioning, and a bathroom with shower, toilet, and sink. The Hidden Valley campus provides free wireless internet access. There is a computer and printer available for guests in the Fireside Room. Additional nights in a Waddell Center or Faculty Lodge room outside the dates of the program you are attending can be arranged, on a space-available basis.  




Call: (831) 659-3115



"I hoped to gain a more intimate and creative relationship with myself and the people around me. I walked away not only having the wish fulfilled beyond what I could have dreamt, but feeling more supported, more encouraged, and more hopeful for my future than ever before."   

~ 2023  Dance Fellow


"This week was rejuvenating and inspiring. It was refreshing to take a break from my regular dance community and create a new one with other artists. I think the structure of the week created many opportunities to share and create and support one another, and the choice to exclude phones from shared spaces was a catalyst for people actually engaging in conversation and taking in what was going on around them. Thank you all for your efforts to create spaces that were safe, open, and engaging. I imagine I will still be processing experiences and new thoughts from this week for quite a while and I will definitely be taking things I learned about myself and dance into my dance community at home."   

~ Katie Marshall, 2023   Dance Fellow


"My week in Carmel reinvigorated my inspiration for art and dance and began my year the best way possible."   

~ Isabella Soo Hoo, Dance Major at Boston Conservatory


"This was different from other intensives that I've been to because there was such an emphasis on community that was a breath of fresh air. I was also able to step out of my comfort zone and make major artistic breakthroughs in only a week. It was also more challenging in ways that I wasn't expecting, but I learned so much about myself that I couldn't have learned anywhere else."   

~ Gabija Vabalaite, Dance Major at UCI


"Alex Ketley taught a class called Hot Mess in and in that class you had to let everything go and not overthink the tasks that were asked of you and this idea of just going for it is something I hope to bring back with me in my future dance endeavors," 

~ Genevieve Antonetty, Dance Major at NYU

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