audition manifesto

Khecari holds an annual audition presented as a free workshop that offers a courageous, respectful, and positive space.

Artistically and administratively, Khecari works to continue expanding the community that surrounds and supports it, recognizing the communal nature of the art form and the positive impacts the community’s investment in the company creates.


Dancers and interns are often asked to work unpaid in the field, and we hold it as a part of our central mission to address the inequities and difficulties endemic to the dance field.

We have an equity policy that specifically includes equal pay to everyone involved with Khecari, from dancers to artistic directors, costume designers to consultants. This policy is also an overarching guiding philosophy of heterarchy: that in any given context, there may be clear directors and followers, but that in another context, the reverse may be true, and in all cases heterarchical structures do not impart greater or lesser value to individuals or their contributions to the organization as a whole and to its work. In the Chicago area, nearly 66% of dancers and choreographers earn less than $15,000 per year, while consultants might charge $125/hr and EDs of dance organizations may make $80,000 per year. This parallels larger societal inequities: in the 1950’s, CEOs earned 20 times that of their employees; now they earn 361 times more. These realities need to be publicly seen. It is for this reason that we offer each audition workshop for free regardless of current practices in our field to essentially charge for a job interview.



When education or practice is approached with purely ulterior motives – to land a job – it risks undermining the passion for learning and experiencing that is at the heart of education, the same passion that best fuels the learner and best serves the ulterior motives as well. While the arts and dance often serve vital functions of community cohesion, social justice, education, or cultural revolution, we believe that the arts, in their own right, are an indispensable component of a healthy society. We like being upfront about our pay structure but it also feels important to know that those who work for Khecari are really interested in the work as well as the equity ethos and the paycheck. It is part of the magic in the studio to know that we are all diving deep because we love to.



As we move together we ask that you keep the following touch + movement agreements in mind:

// We are here together to support the informed consent that will maintain a safe space.

// There are many possible reasons to explore touch and movement, but we are here as dance artists, investigating tools for our art form.

// We believe in the value of explorations that may be challenging, in order to broach new territory, but we ask you not to engage in anything that feels uncomfortable to you. You know yourself, what is growthful challenge for you and what is unhealthy. We respect your capacity to draw those lines.

// Everyone always has the right to say no, and doesn’t need to explain or justify that “no”, and each of us is obligated to respect each other’s boundaries.

// Everyone always has the right to request a pause or say “I need a moment”, so that consent or drawing a boundary doesn’t have to feel pressured or rushed.

// We commit to treating you with dignity in the audition environment. If you feel uncomfortable, you are welcome to just watch, take a pause in the hall, or depart. We want you to know that we are watching your movement and participation with care and compassion and will not single you out or perform cuts.

// You will not be asked to wear a number. We will work hard to learn your name and as much else about you as we possibly can.