da:ns focus

Having transformed from da:ns festival to da:ns focus in 2023/24, da:ns focus continues with an exciting year-round season of five themed weekends in 2024/25. Experience interconnected programmes that offer their own counterpoints, dialogues and encounters in a focused exploration.

Open call audition to perform in The Running Show

Photo Credit: Ben McKeown

Monica Bill Barnes & Company, a New York City dance company known for “bringing dance where it doesn’t belong”, will be coming to Singapore with The Running Show. The company is known for their unlikely collaborations with artists such as radio host Ira Glass from This American Life and a wide range of venues from off-Broadway theatres to the Sydney Opera House. The Running Show has travelled across the United States from The American Dance Festival in Durham North Carolina to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles California. 


This production documents the life of a dancer through movement, interviews, and stories. In each new city, the show is recreated by casting local dancers ranging in age from 12 to 70+ years old, who join artistic director Monica Bill Barnes on stage learning their parts in just one week. Writer and performer Robbie Saenz de Viteri interviews each cast, incorporating their voices and stories into the show, giving audiences an unprecedented look into the life of a dancer as a new kind of sports hero that keeps moving against all odds. 


For the Singapore’s edition of The Running Show, presented as part of da:ns focus – EveryBody, we have an open call audition for dancers aged between 18 – 26 (small allowances to age may be considered). We will be looking to cast up to 15 dancers with the following qualities:


  • Dancers who train regularly on one or more of the following forms: Chinese dance, Malay dance, Indian dance, ballet, contemporary dance, jazz and/or street dance, etc. 
  • Dancers who are prepared to learn fast, rigorous choreography which has an emphasis on repetition, quick foot work, and running. 
  • Dancers who are able to cope well with an intensive week of rehearsals and performance, committing all required sessions on 16 April (Tue) to 21 April (Sun). Kindly refer to the schedule below for detailed timings. 


Dancers will also be asked to make time during the week for interviews with Robbie. The five-day rehearsal process will culminate in two fully produced mainstage performances of The Running Show at Singtel Waterfront Theatre at the Esplanade on 20 & 21 April 2024. 


All of the choreography is made to be performed in running shoes. Dancers should plan to wear sneakers to the audition. All dancers must be able to participate in all rehearsals per the schedule below: 


16 Apr, Tue, 6pm – 10pm
Audition & first studio rehearsal


17 Apr, Wed, 6pm – 10pm
Studio rehearsal


18 Apr, Thu, 6pm – 10pm
Studio rehearsal 


19 Apr, Fri, 6pm – 10pm
Studio rehearsal, spacing / light plots in theatre 


20 Apr, Sat, 12pm – 11.30pm
Final rehearsals, prep and performance #1
Post-show artist party (there may be media, donors and sponsors present in this party) 


21 Apr, Sun, 10am – 5pm
Prep and performance #2


Each dancer will receive an honorarium for their involvements in this production.

If you would like to audition to perform in The Running Show, please register with us no later than 10 Apr, 11.59pm (final extended deadline). The registration will require the following: 


  • Name, age, gender, email address, contact number and your clothing size 
  • A brief writeup in 100 words or less of your dance training and background, and your weekly (average) number of hours of dance training 
  • A 1–1.5mins video of you dancing your best. This video should be provided as a link, via platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, etc. This video should only consist of you dancing. 
  • A video recorded in a quiet environment, answering either questions listed below. This video should be provided as a link, via platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, etc.  
    • what does dance mean to you?, or  
    • what motivates you to dance every day? 

Registration closed

Do you have further questions? Feel free to write to us.

About Monica Bill Barnes 

Artistic Director, choreographer, performer 


Monica Bill Barnes is a dancer and choreographer. Since Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s founding in 1997, her choreography has been seen in many places such as New York City’s Bowling Green public fountain, on stage at Carnegie Hall, throughout the galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and in Greta Gerwig’s film Little Women. The company has been presented in over 50 cities and internationally in venues ranging from The Kennedy Center to the Sydney Opera House in a collaboration with Ira Glass in Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. Barnes started collaborating with Robbie Saenz de Viteri in 2013 at which point the company adopted the motto of “bringing dance where it doesn’t belong.”  


Recent collaborations include a national tour of The Running Show, a site-specific show in a mall - Days Go By, and two online works created during the pandemic - Keep Moving and It’s 3:07 Again. They have recently premiered a new show, Many Happy Returns, through a residency at Berkeley Repertory. 



About Robbie Saenz de Viteri 

Artistic Director, writer, performer 


Robbie Saenz de Viteri writes, creates, produces, and performs live theatre. He has created performances and toured production throughout the world with the Obie Award winning Nature Theater of Oklahoma and worked with genre redefining artists such as Anna Deavere Smith, Stew, and Ira Glass. He has collaborated with Monica Bill Barnes to create Happy Hour, The Museum Workout, One Night Only (Lilly Award), Days Go By (Bessie Honoree), The Running Show, Keep Moving, It’s 3:07 Again, and Many Happy Returns.  


He grew up in New Jersey, holds a BA from Muhlenberg College where he studied writing with David Rosenwasser, and lives in Greenpoint Brooklyn which he believes is best reached by bicycle. 


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