Press Release

Motus Dance Presents:


An Evening of New Dance Works by Emerging Regional Choreographers

INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday and Saturday, November 10-11, Motus Dance will present Cultivate 2017, an evening of new dance works by emerging regional choreographers at the Basile Opera Center, Motus’ home. Now in its fifth installment, Cultivate has two main components – to support a diverse group of young dancemakers in honing and presenting their work; and to build community connections through outreach movement workshops. This year, Motus will partner with the JCC and the MLK Center to offer free workshops on the art of dance-making, and people with all skill levels are encouraged to attend. In addition, workshop participants will be offered free admission to one evening performance of their choice.


Audiences can expect to see a wide variety of works in this year’s show, as each choreographer will be exploring their own style and theme. This is exactly how the founders of Cultivate envisioned the project – to give budding choreographers the opportunity to experiment and take some creative risks in order to develop their artistic voice. Also new this year is the addition of a “mentor” for each choreographer, an experienced local dancemaker who will work privately with each choreographer as an outside eye and a support in the process of creating a new work.

Motus sees Cultivate 2017 not only as an opportunity to nurture new choreographic talent, but to continue to grow interest in dance as well as build new relationships within our community.  According to Michelle Buchanan, Motus’ new Executive Director, “Our intention is for everyone to get more out of this experience than the traditional way dance is presented and viewed,  so we are creating opportunities for workshop participants and audience members to gain insight into the creative process and to share their own responses to what they’ve seen. By allowing for meaningful dialogue, both the dance maker and the viewer can come away with a new perspective and understanding.”


This year’s choreographers bring a variety of backgrounds and experience to their projects, and three choreographers, Mikayla Smith, Alexis Collins and Morgan Skiles are new to Cultivate.  Joining them will be returning artists Nicole Popovitch, Katie Phelan, Rebecca Lomax and Ashley Youmell of Elisha Movement Christian Dance Company, who are winners of the Cultivate choreographer’s award in 2016, Ashley Benninghoff, now artistic coordinator of Fort Wayne Dance Collective and winner in 2012, and McKenzie Baird, winner in 2010.  The group is comprised of both local and regional artists, a few coming from as far as Chicago and Missouri.

“I feel that Cultivate is giving me the opportunity to learn and grow from the wisdom and experience of other artists, while exploring and discovering my own voice as an artist,” said Cultivate choreographer Nicole Popovitch.

To purchase tickets for Cultivate in advance and for a discount, please visit:

Tickets are also available at the door for $12.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.,  show is at 7 p.m.

The Basile Opera Center is located at 4011 N. Pennsylvania Street.   

Motus Dance supports and connects the Indianapolis community through shared movement experiences – because every human can dance.