DEVICES: Choreographic Intensive & Mentorship Program in NYC 2020

Intensive Retreat May 24 - 29 | Mentorship Jun & July | NYC Showcase Aug


Hunter College | NYC



Led by Doug Varone and the Company Dancers  |  Enrollment limited to 10 – 12 choreographers


Doug Varone and his Company will once again offer DEVICES: Choreographic Intensive & Mentorship, a program designed for experienced choreographers of all levels. A unique program celebrating its seventh year, the entire scope of the mentorship is divided into three distinct parts over the course of several months. Up to 12 participants are selected through application.

Please note that DEVICES is intended for choreographers who have already begun making work in the field. Current MFA students who have already established themselves as professionals outside of their master’s program are welcome. Undergraduate students will not be considered.


For the past 34 years, I have been exploring and mining a creative process that has yielded a wide-ranging body of work that embraces a nuanced and interweaving sense of musicality, structure, and form. In structuring an intensive that explores these principles, I was eager to create an open environment that allowed huge creative possibilities to emerge. Exploring and honing those creative gains over time is part of any valuable process.

DEVICES: Choreographic Intensive & Mentorship unfolds in three distinct parts:

(1) INTENSIVE RETREAT: May 24 – 29, 2020

DEVICES kicks off with an intensive retreat from 9am - 5:30pm in the dance studios of Hunter College in New York City. Over the course of six days, Doug will share ideas about craft, design and composition.

Key to Doug's process has been the development of finely honed creative games and devices, in which an abundance of material is built quickly then shaped and molded carefully to the specific needs of each dance. A “creation board” of dancers selected by Doug and the Company will be on hand so that participants can create their exercises and studies with dancers versed in this way of working. Company members will serve as guides and moderators throughout the week.

Each day will begin with a warm-up improvisation class to prepare for the day’s activities. Various devices will be explored daily, allowing participating choreographers ample time to create small studies that embrace each new idea.

(2) ONGOING MENTORSHIP: Jun & Jul 2020

Following the conclusion of the week-long retreat, Doug will continue to mentor the participants one-on-one over the summer as they each create a new dance on their own dancers. Doug will be available for studio and video feedback. 

(3) NYC SHOWING: Aug 2020

The full slate of new dances will be presented in a mini-festival format in a New York City theater with full lighting capabilities and seats for up to 100 audience members (theater and dates to be announced).

“My experience with DEVICES has been career changing.  I feel as if my place in the dance world is much more clear to me and my artistic voice has been further polished.” –Alyssandra Wu (Participant 2019)


Nonrefundable application fee: $35
Tuition for entire program: $1,500

DOVA will not provide on-site housing during the intensive in May or the showcase in August.

We have a very limited pool of funds available for need/merit-based scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded based on the supplemental application materials that you submit; no additional materials are necessary. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, you must provide a brief statement of need (submitted with your supplemental application materials), detailing your financial situation and the funds that you have available. 

Application deadline: April 1


The intensive retreat will take place at Hunter College, the largest college in the City University of New York, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. We’ll be using Hunter College’s two large dance studios to work and play during the intensive. Within a few blocks, explore Central Park, dine at delicious restaurants, or take the nearby subway to enjoy any of the city’s unlimited cultural resources.

The final showcase will take place at Gibney Dance’s Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, located in lower Manhattan. Gibney’s large black-box theater boasts beautiful wooden floors, exposed brick, full lighting capabilities, and seats 116 audience members. It is a polished atmosphere in which to present three evenings of new works.

DOVA will not provide on-site housing during the retreat or showcase.


STEP 1:  ONLINE APPLICATION ($35 application fee). Deadline April 5.


After your initial application has been received, you will receive a confirmation email with detailed instructions on how to provide the following required supplemental materials:

1) Personal statements (specific prompts will be provided)
2) Resume or CV
3) HeadshotVideo work samples (one duet and one group work)
4) Two letters of recommendation
5) Financial aid statement of need if applicable (more information will be provided)

Your application for DEVICES cannot be considered until your initial application and all the supplemental materials have been received.

If you have any questions, please email us at or call us in the office at 212-279-3344.

Please note that DEVICES is intended for emerging choreographers who have already begun making work in the field. Current MFA students who have established themselves as professionals are welcome. Undergraduate students will not be considered.


Completing this application does not guarantee acceptance to the program. Applications will only be considered if all requested materials are submitted by posted deadlines. The $35 application fee is nonrefundable. Upon acceptance to the program, tuition will be due in two $750 payments: 5/1/2020 and 5/15/2020. Due to the competitive nature of this program, refunds will only be considered with documentation of a medical situation which prohibits participation. Current undergraduate students will not be considered.


DEVICES is made possible in part by Hunter College, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Photo: Matt Furman

more events & workshops

Virtual Summer Workshop | June 15-19, 2020

A 5-day workshop (Via Zoom) for pre-professional and professional dancers

Monday – Friday | 12pm- 3:30pm EDT

Tuition:  $150 | 15classes | Special Events

10% of the workshop fees will be donated to Direct Relief & Feed the Frontlines NYC

For more information:

Photo: Jonathan Hsu

Workshops for Pre-Profession & Professional Dancers

Our annual intensives for pre-profession and professional dancers are designed to train the next generation. 


At New York City's Hunter College, this one-week intensive celebrates the company's movement style, creative ideas and artistic philosophy. The 2019-20 Winter Intensive will he held January 13-18, 2020.


For three weeks at a university campus, we'll live together, work together, create together, and grow together. The 2020 Summer Intensive will be held in May 31 - June 20, 2020 at Skidmore College.

Workshops for Choreographers


Led by Doug Varone and the company dancers  |  Enrollment: 10 – 12 choreographers

Designed for emerging choreographers, this unique mentorship with Doug Varone is divided into three distinct parts over the course of several months beginning on May 25 with an intensive retreat in New York City, on going mentorship throughout the summer, culminating in a showcase in August. Participants are selected through application. 2020 Dates and application period to be announced.

Photo: Maddie Irmen

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