BDA Fellowship

Congratulations to Heather Stewart and Jenny Oliver

 Recipients of the 2018-2019 

Boston Dancemakers Residency


Boston Center for the Arts and Boston Dance Alliance, both of which have run successful dance-focused residency programs for a decade, joined forces to create the Boston Dancemakers Residency. Designed to support experienced dancemakers in the development of original ensemble work over the course of a year, two choreographers are awarded resources including support for research, development, rehearsal, production support, marketing and mentorship.

The residency provides a regional three-day retreat, six weeks of intensive studio time, access to discounted rehearsal space, a choreographer stipend and rehearsal pay for up to six dancers.

For the residency’s inaugural year, Heather Stewart of Somerville, and Jenny Oliver of Boston were selected based on the quality of their prior work and the residency’s potential impact on their career development. Chu Ling Dance was named runner-up.


Heather Stewart will work with Montreal-based composer Marc Bartissol alongside a projection artist and costume designer to create a new interdisciplinary work entitled “ours”. Inspired by abandoned house in St. Louis, Missouri her new work will explore the theme of deterioration as allegory for the places and relationships in our lives that we leave behind.

Jenny Oliver will develop the choreography and set design for “Hot Water Over Raised Fists.” Sparked by the struggles of indigenous people at Standing Rock and the struggle for clean water in Flint, Michigan, “Hot Water Over Raised Fists” will invite artists and audience to understand the necessity of protest.

Through this new residency program, Stewart and Oliver will have the opportunity to experiment with their craft, develop their focus or test new ideas, while also engaging in vital public dialogue from a home base in Boston’s historic South End neighborhood. They will receive access to BCA resources including support for research, development, rehearsal, production support, marketing and mentorship.

Jurors were Margaret Lawrence, Director of Programming at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire; Randal Fippinger, Producing Director at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts; and Margaret Tracey, Director of the Boston Ballet School.

This special opportunity is made possible in part by the Aliad Fund at The Boston Foundation.