Zodiak’s programme is artistically curated. The work of the curators and the programme selections are primarily based on an open call for applications, but some productions will also emerge through collaboration projects and from other sources. We are now asking for programme suggestions for the years 2022–2025, in three different categories.

Zodiak has been a showcase of new contemporary dance thinking since 1986. Today, the art life of Helsinki is richer than ever before, but Zodiak’s goals are unchanged. We want to bring audiences together to experience new, surprising and pioneering contemporary dance productions and performances.

The production applications are reviewed by a workgroup consisting of three members, chaired by Zodiak’s artistic director Harri Kuorelahti. The other members of the workgroup are choreographers and dancers appointed into the workgroup for one year at a time.

Zodiak's co-production contracts will change in early 2021. In the future, CoCommission and CoProduction co-production contracts will not be concluded with private individuals, but Zodiak's contractual partner must be a legally registered entity that can invoice Zodiak for co-production support. In Zodiak Laboratory category, a fee can also be paid to an individual.

At the time of concluding the co-production agreement (approximately ½ years before the performance period), the working groups selected for CoCommision and CoProduction productions must have a background association, sole trader, cooperative or limited liability company. Note! You can apply in this call even if you do not have such background community yet. Zodiak supports selected workgroups in finding or creating a background community, if needed.

There are three production categories:

  • Zodiak Laboratory (autumn 2021 ja spring 2022)
  • Zodiak CoProduction (2022–2023)
  • Zodiak CoCommission (2023–2025)

There are two application deadlines:

  • Zodiak Laboratory and
  • Zodiak CoProduction: Deadline is Wednesday 14 October 2020.
  • Zodiak CoCommission: Deadline is Wednesday 4 November 2020.

Production decisions will be communicated to the applicants by the end of February 2021. Please note that participation in the 2022–2025 programme will require flexibility in terms of the final production schedule after the production decisions have been made.

Stimuli for the Applications

We are looking for proposals that incorporate an essential relationship to dance and bodily performance, as well as an idea of  how to form an audience relationship. When choosing the program, attention is paid to the originality and clarity of the work ideas and choreographic thinking, as well as to the public relationship opened by the works.

For example, we encourage you to think and imagine the following:

  • What can the “new dance” entail in the 2020s?
  • What topics and visions need to be addressed in the coming years / now?
  • In what directions and by whom can contemporary dance and performance develop or make new openings?
  • What new public relations can the proposal create and give birth to?

The final selection will be based on the artistic whole formed by the different projects and how realistic their production potential is considering Zodiak’s production resources and schedules of each production year.

General Instructions for Applying

The Zodiak Laboratory and Zodiak CoProduction categories are open for all artists at any stage of their professional careers. For Zodiak CoCommission applications the minimum requirement is three previous projects staged as professional productions.

We encourage all applicants to consider which of these three categories would be the optimal environment for your project or concept. Do you have an idea for a performance that you would like to test in the form of a short residence project? Or do you have a relatively clear idea for a performance, workgroup, perhaps even a production model? Or do you have an ambitious vision that needs more work, collaboration partners, funding, a longer development cycle and more development stages to materialise?

A separate application form is available for each category. Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the application forms in advance. A more detailed description of each production category and links to the application forms are available below.

Please only apply for one category with your project. This category should be the primary category you are applying for. If you have more than one idea or project, please submit a separate application for each. In each category, there is an option where you can indicate if you want your application to be considered for some other category also. The programme workgroup also reserves the right to suggest another production category when the entirety of the season's programme begins to take shape.

We are primarily looking for premieres that are performed on a stage. However, you can still also suggest visiting performances and reruns. These applications should be submitted to the Zodiak CoProductions category. You can also suggest performances that take place outside the traditional stage setup, but please note that all Zodiak performances have entry fee, and audience targets are set for each of them. Performances produced with non-professional participants may also be suggested in all three categories.

Zodiak Laboratory

The Zodiak Laboratory residence supersedes the earlier Z-free concept. This form of support is intended to provide an opportunity for artistic experimentation without the pressure of an upcoming premiere.

We are now looking for Zodiak Laboratory residence applications for autumn 2021 and spring 2022. We offer two residence periods for each season

Zodiak Laboratory support includes:

  • Two weeks of continuous studio residence, including two demonstration sessions open for audience
  • 500 euros of production funding

The Zodiak Laboratory residences currently open for applications will take place in August and November 2021, and in January and May 2022. Please indicate which month’s residency you prefer in your application.

The deadline for Zodiak Laboratory applications is Wednesday, 14 October 2020. Please use this form to submit your application to this category:


Zodiak CoProduction

The Zodiak Co-Production category resembles the old Zodiak co-production model. We are now calling for applications in the Zodiak CoProduction category for productions that premiere in 2022 or 2023. In 2022, Zodiak expects to produce approximately six performances in this category. Zodiak will be involved in the productions as a co-producer, but it is mandatory that the projects have other sources of funding also.

The CoProduction support includes:

  • a co-production support of appr. 17 000 € (alv 0%) (level in 2020, will be revised yearly)
  • reimbursement for administration costs (revised yearly)
  • approximately 4 to 6 weeks of studio time in 2022 or 2023
  • at least 1 week of rehearsal time on the stage before the premiere

The aim is to have 8 to 12 performances on the Zodiak Stage or in some other venue.

The deadline for CoProduction applications is Wednesday, 14 October 2020. Please use this form to submit your application to this category:


Zodiak CoCommission

Zodiak CoCommission is a new production category that aims to facilitate the production of big ideas for big stages and big audiences. Our aim is to take the aesthetics of big stages to the 2020s without compromising the hard core of contemporary art.

We are now calling for applications from freelance choreographers and dance companies for the Zodiak CoCommission category with premieres in 2023–2025. Zodiak aims to produce 2 Co-Commission productions annually.

The application process of CoCommission productions has two stages. In the first stage, we are primarily looking for ideas. No fully formed production plan is required at this point.

Based on the applications that we receive, 4 to 6 ideas will be selected for the second round. The workgroups behind the short-listed ideas will be invited to work with Zodiak’s team on their initial ideas during the spring, in order to develop the production models, audience relationships, potential partners and other preconditions for entering production. Final selections will be made in May 2021 after this development period.

During the year before the premiere, the CoCommission support includes:

  • one week of paid on-stage residence for the workgroup (max 10 ppl) at Zodiak Stage
  • mentoring and promotion support

During the year of the premiere, the CoCommission support includes:

  • a production support of appr. 34 000 € (alv 0%) (level in 2020, will be revised yearly)
  • reimbursement for administration costs (revised yearly)
  • Approximately 4 weeks of studio rehearsal time
  • one-week on-stage residence at Zodiak Stage

The aim is to have 4 to 8 performances at (for example) Dance House Helsinki (big or small stage).

The deadline for Co-Commission applications is Wednesday, 4 November 2020. Please use this form to submit your application to this category:


Attachments and Work Samples

Attachments to applications:

  • Working plan, including description of the workgroup (3 pages maximum)
  • Resumés of workgroup members
  • Cost estimate and financing plan (not required for Zodiak Laboratory applications)

Naming the members of the workgroup in the production plan is recommended. We consider especially the performers an important part of the artistic idea. If you have any major commitments that will affect your production schedule, please state them in your working plan.

Please include your attachments with the production support application form. Acceptable file formats include PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, XLS, XLSX and ZIP files.

Providing samples of earlier work is recommended. Samples should be provided in the form of online video links provided in the application form. Please also include any passwords or other credentials required to access the video.


Harri Kuorelahti, Artistic Director, harri.kuorelahti@zodiak.fi
Varpu Nieminen
, Producer, varpu.nieminen@zodiak.fi, tel +358 40 530 9799