Celebrated multimedia and movement artist selected to mentor a select group of
San Francisco Bay Area choreographers during second year of grant program

SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK, August 3, 2010 -- The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (MJDC) is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $100,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a second year of CHIME Across Borders in 2011. CHIME Across Borders arranges for choreographer-mentors of renown to work in San Francisco with a group of local choreographers over the course of one year. The MJDC is honored to announce that Ralph Lemon, multimedia and movement artist, will act as our second-year Chair in 2011.

Ralph Lemon is Artistic Director of Cross Performance, a company dedicated to the creation of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performance and presentation. Lemon's projects expand the definition of choreography by crossing and stretching the boundaries between Western, post-modern dance and other art forms and cultures. His most recent work, How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?, a four-part project consisting of live performance, film, and visual art, will be presented at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco from October 7 - 10, 2010.

As Chair, Ralph Lemon will design a series of mentorship activities, structured over the course of a full year, for a group of local dance-makers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Lemon will work hands-on with mentees for a total of four weeks during 2011 at the Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab (MJDL), in addition to designing a curriculum of assignments and activities for mentees to work on at the MJDL before and after his visits. The intensive sessions will be held in April, July and November 2011. Coinciding with his one-on-one and group work with program artists, Mr. Lemon will participate in a series of public activities at the Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab, the creative home to the MJDC and CHIME.

During the first year of CHIME Across Borders, currently underway in 2010, choreographer and director David Gordon is serving as the first CHIME Across Borders Chair. Responding to the current year of the program under David Gordon, Artistic Director Margaret Jenkins writes, "It is a remarkable opportunity for me, as witness, to be mentored as well, to let go of assumptions about what works for me, to allow myself to not know the answers to the questions posed, to surrender and to be a student. For those of us who might be considered established choreographers, it is incumbent on us to recognize the unique opportunity that CHIME Across Borders provides—the opportunity to shed, or temporarily put aside, what we think we know and make room for the experiment that comes from being mentored. I look forward to this next year, this new challenge with Ralph.”

Developed along the valued principles that have guided both CHIME in the San Francisco Bay Area and CHIME in Southern California, CHIME Across Borders creates the opportunity for a sustained and intimate exchange between an established master choreographer and area mentees. CHIME Across Borders intends to bring mentors of great vision and experience to San Francisco and to introduce local working artists to national and international masters of dance. For the second year, local choreographers are invited to submit a Letter of Intent to apply to work with Ralph Lemon, postmarked by September 1, 2010. Letter of Intent instructions and program guidelines are available online August 1, 2010 at The final selection of 2011 artists will be made by Mr. Lemon, in consultation with Margaret Jenkins, and will be announced in early December 2010.


CHIME is a mentorship program in which professional choreographers – mentors and mentees – receive significant support over one year to establish and explore a working relationship that includes, but is not limited to, work in the studio. CHIME seeks to formalize the exchange and feedback mechanisms between established and emerging choreographers, and is available to all professional choreographers of all dance styles. In 2011, CHIME will include these interrelated programs:

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

2011 guidelines and applications for CHIME in the San Francisco Bay Area and CHIME in Southern California are currently available online.

About Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
Founded in 1973 the MJDC has been a part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco for over three and a half decades—dedicated to the making and touring of new work, international exchange and programs that support process, choreographic mentorship and performance opportunities. The MJDC performs regularly in San Francisco and has toured extensively in the United States, Western and Eastern Europe and Asia. The MJDC is known for programs that serve to expand the health of the dance field like Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME), a mentorship program for emerging and established choreographers. CHIME is now in its sixth year and has served over 65 artists in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. The MJDC operates a studio devoted to creative research, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab, which hosts MJDC creative activities, CHIME and other long- and short-term artistic residencies. For more information on the mission, history and activities of the MJDC, please visit

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a private philanthropic institution that makes grants on a selective basis in the areas of Higher Education and Scholarship, Scholarly Communication and Information Technology, Conservation and the Environment, Museums and Art Conservation, and Performing Arts. The foundation's Performing Arts program focuses on achieving long-term results by providing multi-year grants to leading organizations in the disciplines of music, theater, and dance. Annual giving in the area of the performing arts has averaged approximately $28 million per year since 2005. In 2004 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was awarded a National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States

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Press Contact:
Jackie Bendzinski, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
415 861 3940