Announcing the 2019-2020 EMERGE Choreographic Award Winner Mark Caserta - Gibney
Week of July 15, 2020
Making space for

Announcing the 2019-2020 EMERGE Choreographic Award Winner Mark Caserta

Mark Caserta with right foot and arm out in front of a grey backdrop

Mark Castera will receive commissioning support to create a new work for Gibney Dance Company, which will be showcased in GDC’s Spring 2020 Season on a shared bill with Banning Bouldin and Yin Yue.

“Continuing to deepen our partnership with Springboard and its ever-growing roster of phenomenal artists, this year we celebrate Emerging Choreographer Alum Mark Caserta and his incredible ability to embed emotional and theatrical risk into superhuman physicality. Both Mark’s relentless, artistic grit onstage and compassionate culture-building offstage align with our own sensibilities for the future of the field. We’re so excited to encourage his tenacious vision moving forward.” – GDC Co-Directors Nigel Campbell and Amy Miller

As the EMERGE Choreographic Award Winner, Mark Caserta will also receive mentorship through the creative process from a dramaturge, and opportunities to teach classes and share his creative process through showings and dialogues at Gibney throughout the year.

“It is such an honor to be given this validation and opportunity by people I admire most. It seems fitting that the award is called ‘EMERGE’ because I like to think I am always emerging into myself and my work, and acknowledgement for my artistic voice within this platform means the world to me!” – Mark Caserta

Mark Caserta on a dimly lit stage wearing all back with his leg behind his back.

The EMERGE Choreographic Award is a partnership between GDC and Springboard Danse Montréal which aims to cultivate, mentor, and actualize the burgeoning visions of today’s young artists toward becoming tomorrow’s creative leaders in the field.

“We are thrilled with the selection of Mark Caserta as our second EMERGE recipient,” says Alexandra Wells, Founder and Artistic Director of Springboard Danse Montréal. “His creation for 17 Springboard dancers was impressive and wove their individualism in a dynamic new work. During his time in Montréal, he was a generous collaborator with not only his dancers but the Springboard community at large. We look forward to seeing how his choreographic voice will evolve with the professional mentorship offered by Gibney and its stellar team. Congratulations, Mark!”

Mark Caserta with his arms behind his back in a grey tshirt.

GDC SBDM Emerge Choreographic Award


Mark Caserta, from Philadelphia, graduated from the University of the Arts with a BFA in 2010. He danced professionally with international touring companies Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal and Camille A. Brown & Dancers since then. Mark was a 2018 Emerging Choreographer at Springboard Danse Montreal and recently premiered his first full evening-length work as part of Gibney’s Performance Opportunity Project in February. In the past year, Mark was commissioned to set work on Dark Circles Contemporary Dance with partner Mikey Morado and Atlanta based company Kit Modus. Mark has presented work at Wanderlust Dance Festival, The Austin Dance Festival, The Banff Center for Performing Arts, Steps On Broadway Choreography Lab and the Brooklyn Dance Festival. He has also created work on the University of the Arts School of Dance and Pace University. He currently teaches full time while co-directing the Pre Professional Company at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center, co-directing a non profit the Thriving Artist Project and creating new work for his own project.


With an unrelenting focus on artistic excellence and social integrity, Gibney Dance Company co-creates an environment where dancers are activated towards their full artistic, entrepreneurial, and socially-minded selves through rigorous physical, intellectual, and interpersonal practices.

GDC is a creation-based repertory company that performs the work of Founder Gina Gibney as well as internationally renowned guest choreographers. GDC’s full-time dancers, known as Artistic Associates, embrace a broad spectrum of activities – in the studio, on stage, within our organization, and throughout the community. In addition to performing, Artistic Associates facilitate hundreds of movement workshops each year for survivors of intimate partner violence; offer healthy relationship dance assemblies to high school students throughout the city; and each company member develops programming addressing pressing issues in the dance field, such as cultivating long-term diversity, connecting artists around the globe, and empowering dancers with financial literacy training.

GDC’s vision is to expand the current dance company model into one which acknowledges the many facets of expertise that dance artists offer our world. The uncompromising work ethic, creative problem-solving, and empathic negotiation implicit in successful dancing can create positive forward movement in the arts field and beyond. We see this comprehensive model as a way to not only cultivate the next leaders of the field, but to provide a concrete example of the wide-reaching relevancy of artists in our society.


Springboard Danse Montréal is a nonprofit organization that connects leading contemporary companies, choreographers, and dancers in a dynamic artistic ecosystem. The 3-week festival in Montréal cultivates a shared language of professionalism that values the creative process and connection above all else. Through workshops, classes, creations, the restaging of celebrated repertory, international auditions, installations, and pop-up performances, Springboard is recognized worldwide as a destination for career development. Since the organization’s inception in 2001, Springboard has curated artists from over 40 countries, and directly connected more than 300 dancers to paid jobs.

Springboard aids the professional dancer at various stages of their career. Through a stimulating environment of workshops, classes, auditions, repertory, and creative processes, they are given the opportunity to network with world-renowned companies, choreographers, producers, directors, and casting agents. Springboard is designed as a platform to facilitate major transitions in an artist’s career, whether between jobs or in their very first job search.

An integral component of its mission, Springboard is committed to advancing the next generation of choreographic artists. The Emerging Choreographers Program provides five curated makers with elite dancers, studio space, and the opportunity to present work alongside Springboard’s Principal Companies. In a rich cultural exchange, the choreographers build lifelong relationships with both their colleagues and mentors. Dancers cast in these processes often become future collaborators, furthering the potential for employment. Past Emerging Choreographers have continued on to become leaders of the contemporary dance scene. Alumni include Kyle Abraham, Danielle Agami, Bryan Arias, Adam Barruch, Sidra Bell, Banning Bouldin, Melanie Demers, Jasmine Ellis, Shannon Gillen, Loni Landon, Austin McCormick, Robyn Mineko-Williams, Freya Olafson, Zoe Scofield, Helen Simoneau, Spenser Theberge, Kate Wallich, Tom Weinberger, and Yin Yue, among others.

Studio photos by Mikey Morado and performance photo by Sharon Bradford.