The International Competition for Young choreographers

DanceLab, under the artistic leadership of Risima Risimkin is an international competition for young choreographers and is part of Dance Fest Macedonia. The first edition of the competition took part in the festival program in 2014 and the second one in 2015, when the organizer decided that the competition should be held every two years.
The award for the best choreography “Golden butterfly” is given by the international jury which has a worldwide reputation in the field of dance. The award gives the winner an opportunity to create a new piece for the Skopje Dance Theatre, the first contemporary dance company in Macedonia, which will be premiered in the next edition of the competition.



  • Choreographers should have professional training and must be 35 or younger. Participation is open to creators of any nationality.


  • The competition is open to new contemporary choreography with innovative ideas. Selection is based exclusively on imaginative use of space and time, the realization of an idea, and its transfer onto the performers.


  • Each choreographer can submit one choreography only. Participants will be able to participate with original pieces or pieces created and premiered from the 1st of January 2018. The presented choreography must be between 7 and 13 minutes long. The pieces that do not respect these time limits may be disqualified.


  • Participants should fulfil and submit the application form found on the website before January 15th 2019.


  • A unique video link to the choreography presented to the competition DANCELAB 2019 must be mentioned in the application form online (recording of rehearsal is acceptable). No DVD or post will be accepted.


  • The video should match the choreography to be performed in the finals in Skopje. In this video, the choreography must be shown in full, to judge its length and its structure. Once the selection has been carried out, no changes to the basic structure of the piece nor to the set used will be allowed. The video clips are not accepted. All applicants will receive confirmation via e-mail, received by the organizer in their application.


  • The applicant is free in his choice of subject and music. Details for both should be given on the application form. The choreography must be free of all rights (music etc.) for the two days of the competition.


  • Admission to the competition is decided on by a pre-jury evaluation of the videos. Admission to the competition is subject to the organizer’s consent. Decision will be announced no later than January 30th, 2019, when all selected participants will be informed.


  • Competitors are obliged to be available for performances on both days of the competition including the final evening. All participants agree to be available for rehearsals, press-conferences, interviews and radio and television recordings free of charge.


  • The decision of the jury is final. If a competitor is a student or company member of one of the jurors, this particular juror will withhold his vote. After the competition the members of the jury will be available to competitors, upon request, for advisory talks.


  • No salary/fees will be paid to the participating dancers.


  • The organizer shall not be liable for any damages both material and immaterial, during travel for the competition, during rehearsals and presentation and trough out the duration of the stay in Skopje for the finals.


  • Candidates agree to give to the organizer their full rights to image throughout the Competition Period.





  • Size of the stage (dance floor) 10m x 10m, black dance floor
  • Black curtain with wings, backdrop black or white opera



  • Front light, back light and opera in white, yellow, red and blue
  • Wings white cross light from right and left, white
  • 9 spots: 3 back, 3 middle, 3 front
  • 1 spotlight 1,2 kW HMI


Sound (music) only CD, MD, USB. No DAT!

Competitors will be informed about further details three weeks before the competition.



The young choreographer chosen by the jury in the category of best choreography, receives an award named “Golden butterfly”. The winner of this award has the exclusive opportunity to create a piece for the Skopje Dance Theatre, the first contemporary dance company in Macedonia.

2017 AWARD
“Golden Buterfly” 2017
for Fabio Liberty, Italy



It will be staged on the two consecutive evenings, on the 5th and 6th of April, starting in 20h, with an expert jury and audience. Rehearsals will take place during the day, latest until 17h. All participants are limited to 40 minutes for preparing the stage, setting the lights and rehearsing.

The Gala event with 5 finalists and a presentation of the last DANCELAB winner will take place on the 6th of April, with a new choreography in collaboration with Skopje Dance Theatre, as an official part of DANCE FEST 2019 – the 15-year Jubilee of the festival. Rehearsals will take place in the morning.