Luna Dance Institute biannually hosts CHOREOFUND, a grassroots opportunity for the community to support homegrown dance-making. Click here for a short essay about CHOREOFUND written by Patricia Reedy.











CHOREOFUND is a game of chance! The first 6 eligible choreographers who apply will be invited to throw their hats into the ring for a chance to win up to $1200 in cash and 12 hours of studio time to support their next project. The runner-up receives 6 hours of studio time for their next project. All CHOREOFUND artists have the opportunity to entice a brand new audience to come to their shows, share a drink with potential new fans, and are promoted through social media and press releases by Luna.

Here’s how it works:

30 community members contribute $40 cash each to witness 6 different choreographers give short pitches and perform excerpts of their work. The audience gets to see a variety of styles and ideas at all stages of completion, and witness the creative process in most immediate form. At the end of the night, each person votes on who takes home the entire $1200.

Why we do it:

The central tenet of Luna’s mission and philosophy is to nurture the choreographer in every child. Our studio program syllabus guides students through a progression to learn to explore, improvise, compose, shape and craft solo and group works at a level that is often not experienced until graduate school. CHOREOFUND is a bridge between Luna’s composition-based curriculum and the talent of local choreographers.

CHOREOFUND 7 will be on December 8th, 2016 from 7-9pm featuring

Afia Thompson of Bahiya Movement presents INDIGO skin, a piece that moves through three sections depicting black movements of struggle, cleansing, and celebration-movement for change.

Katherine House pitches Living Room Stories, which explores the parts of our past that have made us into the people we are today and places importance in remembering those parts of ourselves.

Sammay Dizon introduces silbihan, an intimate investigation of the (dis)connections between first-generation Pilipina-American daughters and their migrant mothers through the lens of religion versus spirituality.

Molly Fletcher Lynch-Seaver shows Archival, where dancers explore movement, verbal commands, and meditation as a way in which to unearth memories and the passing down of knowledge throughout a community.

Byb Chanel Bibene presents a new work that examines the socio-political and religious impact of the sacred sculptures from central Africa called minkisi, and the relationship between central African societies and European colonists.

Antoine Hunter’s work, All Blues to Deafhood, shows the power of Deaf instincts through movement and how three Deaf dancers utilize ASL Dance to show how Deaf culture is misrepresented in ignorance, and behind in our cultural development.

Read Jochelle’s blog about CHOREOFUND, written from the artist’s perspective, here.

Read Patricia Reedy’s follow-up to her article in InDance as she grapples with structuring this new way of presenting dance-making, here.


Gabriel Mata 2Gabriel Mata graduated Outstanding Graduating Senior from San Jose State University with a BFA in Dance. Mr. Mata has trained in Limon technique under the tutelage of Gary Masters and Raphael Boumaila. He has performed Limon’s work and has also worked with artist such as Robert Dekkers, Keith Johnson, Margaret Wingrove, Wynn Fricke, Kara Davis, Diane Frank, Joel Smith, Heather Cooper, Raphael Boumaila, and Gary Masters. He has danced for Mark Foehringher Dance Project SF, Katharine Hawthorne, and Opera San Jose. He currently performs for sjDANCEco, Post:Ballet, and REACH BC Dance Company. He has been awarded Mina Garman Award for Excellence in Choreography and the Carol Ann Haws Award for Excellence in Performance. Mr. Mata constantly choreographs and collaborates with artists of other fields. His current project Gabriel Mata/Movements has him developing and promoting himself as an independent artist, educator, and choreographer.

Runner Up:

Luna Dance Diana LaraDiana Lara, MS, is a choreographer, dancer, educator, and public health researcher from Honduras.. She graduated from the choreography program of the Center for Research and Choreography at the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts, from the Somatic Research and Participatory Arts program at Moving –on-Center in Oakland, and the Body-Mind Centering certification program in Developmental Movement in Berkeley in 2011. During the last 15 years, she has taught contemporary dance and contact improvisation based on BMC elements at Centro Cultural Los Talleres in Mexico City, Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, Counterpulse, the 2014 West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam, and ODC Dance Commons in August and September 2015.  She has worked for 20 years in collective dance groups with inspiring choreographers and improvisers in Central America. Diana has collaborated in the San Francisco Bay Area with Rosemary Hannon, Christine Germain, Bonner Odell, Liz Boubion, Maryann Brooks, and the Dance Generators.  To learn more visit:

Past CHOREOFUND winners include Nol Simonse (CHOREOFUND 1, 2013), Jessi Barber (CHOREOFUND 2, 2014), Randee Paufve (CHOREOFUND 3, 2014), Heather Stockton & Wax Poet(s) (CHOREOFUND 4, 2015), Nichele Van Portfleet (CHOREOFUND 5, 2015).