Catalyst Open Call: Development of Work


What is Catalyst?

This is the first year of Catalyst, an initiative from Dance Ireland and Dublin Circus Project designed to provide an incubation opportunity for Ireland-based circus maker(s), creators, collectives, national performing arts companies who are focusing on seeding and developing new work. Catalyst is a series of two enhanced, fully resourced, 2-week residencies with Dance Ireland in DanceHouse in March 2019. Catalyst supports a model where artists are valued and paid and where makers receive the support and resources they need in a creative process to experiment, develop and work collaboratively.

To achieve this, Dublin Circus Project, funded by the Arts Council, is offering a variety of supports which includes access to a rigging technician, a €1,200 award which covers artists’ fees and expenses and a €2000 award which covers the expense of working with a mentor. In addition, Dance Ireland will offer in-kind supports such as advice, administration and documentation. The artist will also engage with the circus community and other segments of the non-circus community as relevant to their practice while they are in residence at DanceHouse.

Who is Catalyst for?

Catalyst will focus on makers who require a nuanced and resourced environment in order to realise their potential, especially when the work under development involves a cast and collaborators. This opportunity is aimed at makers who need time and space to begin the incubation process of a new ambitious idea, or to further investigate further an idea that has great artistic merit.

What to expect from Catalyst

Catalyst can be used to resource a transition period for a maker, which would not otherwise be possible. Catalyst is an investment from Dance Ireland and Dublin Circus Project in risk and exploration. Catalyst is not necessarily for the creation of a fully developed work for performance, but artists will be requested to perform an open session, hold a symposium, workshop, pre-release or similar event at any point during their residency.

How to apply for Catalyst

To apply, please fill out the application form and provisional budget. Please keep in mind the application guidelines (below) and the overall aims of Catalyst as laid out above when filling in your application. Further questions can be posed by email to .

The call is open from 01 December 2018 and will close at 12 midday on 03 January 2019.

Please submit your application via the online application form here and send your supporting documentation to A static version of the form can be downloaded here. Late submissions will be not be considered.

Application and assessment criteria:

  • You must be a current Dublin Circus Project member.
  • Proposals will be shortlisted by the Dance Ireland and Dublin Circus Project executive.
  • Shortlisted proposals will be considered by a panel comprised of Dublin Circus Project Board, Dance Ireland Board, Executive and externals. This panel may choose to meet with shortlisted applicants as part of the consideration process.
  • Decisions will be communicated by mid-February 2019.
  • Feedback is an important part of sector development. Feedback meetings on applications will be facilitated by Dublin Circus Project and Dance Ireland Executive on request from March 2019.

Application Guidelines

  1. The dates for the Catalyst residencies to be undertaken in the DanceHouse Creation Studio are set to be undertaken for two weeks, the first will take place between the 04th and 18th of March, the second will take place between the 19th and 30th of March. Applicants should be available to use the studio provided during these dates. The studio is available whole-time for the two weeks. Whole-time means all hours that DanceHouse is open (generally Monday-Thursday approximately 10am-9pm and Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm), and you do not need to strike props, set or equipment until the end of the residency.

  2. Please include a detailed, realistic budget which matches your proposal in Excel format.

  3. We cannot fund a capital gain or investment for the artist. However, if specific equipment is required for the residency we can explore buying the equipment for DanceHouse for use in the future by other members.

  4. It is important when a maker is in residence at DanceHouse that there is some engagement with the community in a way that is relevant for the maker’s practice and also of benefit to certain segments of the community. As part of your proposal please make suggestions as to how you might engage with the existing Dance Ireland and/or Dublin Circus Project community (through new or existing programme activities) or engage outside of DanceHouse with circus/dance or non-circus/non-dance community groups.

  5. Please be specific and realistic about your needs from Dance Ireland in terms of administrative support, whether the needs could be accommodated within the existing team or if we would need to allocate part of the budget for an additional person to cover those needs.

  6. You should include samples of previous work. This work does not have to be dance or circus work – the most important aspect is that you were the creator and/or director.

  7. Video links should be YouTube or Vimeo.

  8. You should include up-to-date CV’s and/or bios of yourself and key collaborators or cast members for the project.


Catalyst Open Call