Open Call: Catalyst – Development of Work

The call is open from the 15th of October and will close at 5pm on the 15th of November 2019

What is Catalyst?

Catalyst is an initiative from Dance Ireland and Dublin Circus Project and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland which is designed to provide an incubation opportunity for circus maker(s), creators, collectives, and 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 at DanceHouse in March/April 2020.  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 and Dublin Circus Project will offer in-kind support 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 and develop 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. Performers will need to identify a mentor prior to their application. 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 some point during their residency. 


The call is open from the 15th of October and will close at 5pm on the 15th of November 2019

Application Guidelines

How to apply for Catalyst

To apply, please fill out the application form.  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 Programme Manager.  

Application and assessment criteria  

  • You must be a current Dublin Circus Project member.
  • Proposals will be shortlisted by Dance Ireland and Dublin Circus Project, based on:
    • Applicant’s artistic output to date including career stage and depth of experience
    • Proposed mentor(s)
    • Artistic ethos and ambition of the applicant’s project
    • Benefits that participating in the programme offers the artist
  • Shortlisted proposals will be considered by a panel comprised of Dublin Circus Project Board, Dance Ireland Executive, and externals.  This panel may choose to meet with shortlisted applicants as part of the consideration process.
  • Decisions will be communicated by mid-December 2019.
  • Feedback is an important part of sector development.  Feedback on applications will be facilitated by Dublin Circus Project and Dance Ireland Executive on request from January 2020.


  1. The dates for the Catalyst residencies to be undertaken in DanceHouse are set to be undertaken for two weeks (23rd and the 27th of March, and 30th of March to 3rd of April 2020). Applicants should be available to use the studio provided during these dates.  The studio is available from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, for the two weeks.  
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 are the creator and/or director.
  6. Video links should be YouTube or Vimeo.
  7. You should include up-to-date CV and/or bios of yourself, proposed mentors and key collaborators or cast members for the project.


The call is open from the 15th of October and will close at 5pm on the 15th of November 2019

Please submit your application via the online application form here. Late submissions will not be considered.


Catalyst 2019 – Ali Stanger & Henrik Gard
Photography by Graeme Coughlan

Catalyst 2019 – Maria Corcoran




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