CHIME is a mentorship program for professional choreographers. Grants and cost-free studio time are given to support an exploration between artists interested in learning from one another.

MJDC CHIME announcement
July 2, 2014


The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company announces that CHIME in the San Francisco Bay Area and CHIME Across Borders will be taking a hiatus at the end of this calendar year 2014. CHIME in Southern California will continue through June 2015. This hiatus for CHIME and the CHIME Across Borders program does not diminish our belief in the importance of mentorship programs.

CHIME, in all its iterations, has been a remarkable journey for the MJDC and all the artists involved in this mentorship program. Over a hundred artists of varied disciplines and emphasis have been in dialogue about the craft of making work, imparting their professional experiences and questions to one another, in an atmosphere of trust and hope. 

Our aims for the program – to break the sense of isolation choreographers often feel while making work, to develop an arena for constructive critique among artists before works are shown to the public, to make choreographic investigation and process the focus of our time together –have been achieved in such fulfilling, surprising ways during the last ten years.  We feel gratitude to those who have funded this program and to all the artists who have so deeply affected our thinking, our ways of seeing, our ways of keeping on. 

Mentorship now feels to me more valuable, more essential than it has ever felt.  Those who have passed through the program may find themselves mentoring and being mentored in new ways, and through them CHIME marches on. We will continue to investigate new ways to stay connected, to advance our field, to reinvent and find the necessary support. Thanks for all you have given me, one another, the field. Keep making trouble and good art!

  – Margaret Jenkins

CHIME in Southern California

Founded in 2004 by MJDC Artistic Director Margaret Jenkins, CHIME seeks to formalize the exchange and feedback mechanisms between established and emerging California choreographers. CHIME artists receive financial support for 12 months in order to establish and explore a working relationship with a mentor that includes, but is not limited to, work in the studio.

With the generous support of The James Irvine Foundation, a one-year pilot program for Southern California was completed in 2008, and the three-year launch of the program, CHIME in Southern California, began in 2010. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MJDC launched CHIME Across Borders in 2010.

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of CHIME in 2014, Margaret Jenkins for the first time served as a mentor to three Bay Area choreographers in a special program, CHIME at 10.

In 2014, CHIME included these interrelated programs:

•       CHIME in the San Francisco Bay Area, for Bay Area choreographers;
•       CHIME in Southern California, for Los Angeles County choreographers; and
•       CHIME Across Borders, for exchange between Bay Area choreographers and national choreographers.

The goals of CHIME are:

•      to improve the quality of choreography and the general health of our dance field;
•      to encourage and stimulate the artistic growth of emerging choreographers;
•      to foster exchange between emerging and established choreographers;
•      to create an arena for the rigorous, critical analysis of choreography;
•      to set up an ongoing format for sharing career experience, observations and dance history;
•      to promote continuing education of choreography outside of the academic environment;
•      to establish long-term relationships between dance community members; and
•      to diminish the isolation so prevalent among working choreographers.