Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid

Paso a 2 Plataforma Coreográfica Asociación Cultural 

is a creative catalyst that supports the work of emerging contemporary dance artists. We devote our time, energy and resources to connecting and nurturing creative people to help them realize their full potential.  Networking and collaboration are two key aspects of our work that enable us to empower artists and structures directly and indirectly.

Through prizes, programming, residencies, networking, collaboration, workshops, showcases and mentoring, we are committed to investing in creative potential in Spain, Europe and abroad. 

Paso a 2 organizes the Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid, an annual platform for new work in contemporary dance. We also organize another platform for emerging work Gracias X Favor, are partners in the international FEEDBACK Festival, hold two yearly sessions of our dance and journalism program Palabras en Movimiento (Moving Words), as well as other choreographic projects and training opportunities.   

From 2009-2012 Paso a 2 was a partner in the ChoreoRoam Europe Project.  Since 2013 we are partners in the European project Performing Gender , which will have its final activity, an international symposium, from March 26-28, 2015.

Choreographic Competion of Madrid
Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid

The Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid is an annual platform for new work in contemporary dance and contemporary ballet. It is open to all Spanish choreographers and to international choreographers who live and work in Spain.

Founded in 1987 by Margaret Jova and Laura Kumin, and directed by Laura Kumin since 2000, the Certamen was created as a response to the growing number of emerging choreographers working in contemporary dance in Spain. Since then it has been instrumental in providing key support to contemporary dance artists and has helped to promote over 320 choreographers and 1,050 dancers.

In 2008 Paso a 2 Plataforma Coreográfica Asociación Cultural was founded as the umbrella organization for the Certamen and its numerous activities throughout the year. Since 2013 the Certamen has been held at Conde Duque, a former military headquarters converted into a cultural center with a 250-seat theater. The Coreógrafos en Comunidad project, most of whose members have been Certamen prizewinners, also has their headquarters there at present.

Some of the companies and choreographers who have received support at a crucial point in their professional development from the Certamen include Daniel Abreu, La Macana, Nats Nus, Provisional Danza, 10 & 10 Danza, Iñaki Azpillaga, Enrique Cabrera (Aracaladanza), Damián Muñoz , Virginia García (working together as La Intrusa), Erre que Erre, Teresa Nieto, Olga Mesa, Patricia Ruz, Thomas Noone, Roberto Oliván, Mar Gómez, Paloma Díaz, Fernando Hurtado, and Fernando Lima. A full listing of Certamen prizewinners can be found on our website /certamen/historico

More than two generations of dance artists who have participated and been supported by the Certamen are now working throughout Spain and abroad. Many of them have outstanding recognition in the field, among them 10 y 10 Danza, Teresa Nieto, Chevi Muraday, Carmen Werner, and Daniel Abreu, are recipients of National Dance Prizes from the Spanish Ministry of Culture for their creative work.

Spanish dancers and choreographers who initiated their international contacts through Certamen prizes include Olga Mesa, Rafael Pardillo, Luque Tagua, Félix Lozano, Paz Rojo, Chevi Muraday, Sonia Rodríguez, José Agudo y Daniel Abreu, among others.

The Certamen offers:

  • a meeting point for the participants, who come to Madrid from all over Spain and abroad, make new contacts that often result in creative collaborations, present their work in a professional theatre before an audience of general public, key people in the performing arts, presenters, journalists, etc. Individual participants also have a chance to meet with the jury. This informal meeting provides a framework for constructive feedback and is an extremely important aspect of the Certamen process.

  • prizes, including cash, programming for works by winning choreographers as well as guest company invitations for the following year, international and national residencies for developing new work, scholarships, participation in international projects and funds for touring

  • international promotion: each year the Certamen jury is comprised of a rich mix of national and international artists, programmers, festival directors, journalists, etc. Our aim is to help promising choreographers be seen by people who can be instrumental in helping them to develop their careers. Sometimes scholarships or new residencies are offered in this way. Certamen prize winners have had their work presented in the U.S., France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, the U.K., Luxembourg, Denmark,

Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic...

  • professional training: The Certamen organizes a workshop that takes place right before we launch the program at the theatre. All choreographers selected to present their work in the Certamen are invited to attend this workshop free of charge. The Workshop not only offers a chance to work with excellent artists and teachers, but also gives choreographers the opportunity to collaborate on the creative process together before the Certamen itself begins.

In 2008 a new project, "Palabras en Movimiento” (Moving Words) was created to promote writing about dance. The project was created for students at Madrid´s Conservatorio Superior de Danza "María de Ávila” de Madrid, and the School of Journalism at Madrid´s Complutense University, with the collaboration of the specialized dance publication Susy-Q. and other universities also participate. The Certamen is associated with a platform for emerging work and is a partner in European programs for more experienced choreographers.

The director of the Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid is the Spanish partner and one of the founding members of Aerowaves, a dynamic initiative to promote young choreographers throughout Europe.

From 2009-2012 the Certamen was a partner in ChoreoRoam, a project founded in 2008 to build Europe-wide communities of choreographers and bring a real dialogue and intellectual exchange to stimulate the participating dance creators. ChoreoRoam participants to share their knowledge and experience with other artists in Spain through workshops such as those given by Pablo Esbert in 2013 or by Amy Bell in 2014.

Although the Certamen is primarily a Spanish event, and in this way addresses artists at a crucial point in their development, we are interested in and open to all kinds of collaboration with institutions, individuals and events in Spain and abroad that might help to promote emerging choreographers.

How It Works:

Choreographies must either be new or created since September of the previous year. Minimum number of performers is two, maximum 15, and the maximum duration of the work is fifteen minutes. Technical support is provided by the Certamen; each choreographer is given an hour for rehearsal onstage, therefore lighting and scenery must be kept to a minimum.

Choreographers send videos of their work to the Certamen before a mid-September deadline. A pre-selection committee that includes members of the jury chooses between 10-14 short works to be presented at the theatre during the first two days of the Certamen. After the second night's performance the jury selects those choreographies which will go on to the finals. Finalists perform the following evening, the jury deliberates and prizes are awarded onstage. During the jury deliberation one or more guest companies perform short works.

Certamen winners perform the next evening. They share the program with prize-winners from previous years who return as guest companies with new work. Performances are open to the public. All interested participating choreographers may sign up to speak with the jury in a one-on-one session Saturday morning.

All choreographers selected to present their work in the Certamen are invited to participate in the activities scheduled for that week.

Since 2008 the Certamen has collaborated with the Gracias X Favor emerging artists series and provided individualized constructive feedback as well as an all-day workshop for participating choreographers. In 2014 GXF in Madrid merged with the International FEEDBACK Festival held at Madrid´s Kubik Fabrik venue. GXF was held for the first time outside of Madrid in September 2014. Hosted in Santander with a week-long calendar of events and engaged, enthusiastic audiences, a new edition of GXF is being planned in the same city for 2015.


The Certamen encourages a plurality of languages and perspectives and also admits performance art in which the body plays a fundamental role.

Some of the criteria that past jury members have used include: originality, capacity of invention, fulfillment of choreographic ideas, use of choreographic and dance language, dramaturgy, use of space, use of music, of the elements onstage, of the dancers, and the relationship between the overall concept of the choreography and what is seen on stage. Jury members look for individuals with the potential to develop compelling work and a voice of their own.

In 2014 Paso a 2 created a new project, Me, Myself & I, for solos at an initial point in their development.


There will be other prizes which will be included to the basis and will be announced on the web page

The Jury can award a combination of prizes.

First Prize: 5.000 €

Residency for a choreographer at La Caldera, in Barcelona for two weeks in 2015 with support from Paso a 2 for travel and housing expenses, and the possibility of programming in the Festival Grec.

Residency for a choreographer at Losdedae Dance Company´s headquarters in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) in 2015 as part of their LCD Movement Program, with support from Paso a 2 for travel and housing expenses.

Residency for a choreographer at La Nave del Duende, Casar de Cáceres for two weeks in 2015, with support from Paso a 2 for travel and housing expenses.

Residency for a choreographer at Centro de Danza Canal, Madrid, for one month in the summer 2015, with support from Paso a 2 for travel expenses.

Residency for a choreographer at Espacio Espiral, Santander, in 2015, with support from Paso a 2 for travel expenses. NEW PRIZE.

Residency for a choreographer at Centro Coreográfico de La Gomera in the summer 2015, with support from Paso a 2 for travel expenses.

Residency for a choreographer at Tanzhaus, Zürich NEW PRIZE

Residency for a maximum of 4 choreographers at Graner, Barcelona, for one week, with accommodation and subsistance with support from Paso a 2 for travel.

Attendance at the Week of Choreographic Research in Bassano del Grappa, Italy from August 17-24, 2015, with travel support from Paso a 2 NEW PRIZE

Technical Residency Coslada Larumbe Danza

Prize awarded by the University Of Carlos III of Leganés, Madrid: Inclusion of one choreographer participant in the programming of Aula de Danza and its international projects in different formats: participation in the site-specific DeUnaPieza platform, the European project Crossing Stages and other collaborations which might arise from the creative meeting between this institution and the prizewinner.

Artistic mentoring by Coreógrafos en Comunidad. NEW PRIZE.

This community of choreographers, made up of Sharon Fridman, Camille C. Hanson, Mey-Ling Bisogno, Janet Novás, Jesús Rubio, Manuel Rodríguez, Beatriz Palenzuela y Pablo Esbert Lilienfeld, will offer artistic mentoring for one choreographer participating in the Certamen. Within this process of collective mentoring, the prizewinner will decide how to make the most of his/her relationship with the artistic and human diversity represented by Coreógrafos en Comunidad. A dialogue, which can be different and unique in each case, will be built with each group member. The objective is to offer the prizewinner the possibility to enrich his/her artistic process with eight artists with very heterogeneous sensibilities and extensive experience in performing arts. Coreográfos en Comunidad is a group of independent chreographers with very varied artistic visions but with the common desire to join forces to strengthen and invigorate the fabric of contemporary dance in Madrid. NEW PRIZE

Fundación AISGE Prize for an outstanding Dancer: Partial scholarship to the American Dance Festival's Six Week School, Duke University, NC (USA) during six weeks in the summer of 2015, with 3,500 euros provided for expenses by the Fundación AISGE. There is also an agreement with Movement Research, NYC, for a partial scholarship to their MELT workshops.,

Prize awarded by the Conservatorio Superior de Danza "María de Ávila” de Madrid: invitation to set a work by one of the prizewinners or finalists of the Certamen on students in the Contemporary Dance Choreography and Performance Program. The CSD gives a per diem.

Audience Prize: This is not a cash prize, although the choreographer is eligible for programming and for financial aid for touring.

Programming in the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, in 2015.

Programming of a prizewinning or finalist choreography in the FEX (Festival Extensión del Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada), summer 2015.

Programming in the next edition of the Festival Trayectos, Zaragoza.

A 2014 prizewinner or prizewinner from a previous edition of the Certamen will be invited in 2015 with a new work as a guest company.

Scholarship for one choreographer for Jardin d'Europe/DanceWEBeurope 2015, Viena, Austria, financed by the European Union and Paso a 2, including participation in the PRO SERIES 2015 choreographic projects, participation in classes and workshops of the ImPulsTanz 2015 and the COACHING PROJECT, tickets for all performances at the ImpulsTanz-Vienna festival and acces to all the activities of the festival.

Scholarship for the Barcelona International Dance Exchange (BIDE) in Spring, 2015,, with travel support supplied by the Certamen.

The Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid Mentoring Project: a selected choreographer is offered mentoring according to the specific needs of his or her next project. To be carried out in 2015.

Grant towards travel expenses for touring in Spain: 1.500 euros.

About the prizes:

Residencies may be given to any finalist and do not have to be attached to one of the other cash prizes. The jury is free to put together a combination of prizes in order to offer promising artists the best possible support for their future development.

The prizes are subject to applicable taxes and shall be paid after presentation of invoice, once Paso 2 has received the grant that finance them.

Programmers are invited to attend the Certamen. Prize-winning choreographies are invited to many of the principal dance festivals in Spain and are now presented at a growing number of international festivals

About the residencies and the scholarships:

The choreographers that receive a residency as a prize from the Certamen will have one month from the end of the Certamen to determine with the host center the timing of his/her residency. Failure to reach an agreement about the dates within the period stipulated will result in the residency being given to another Certamen participant.

The choreographers that opt for scholarships and residencies should ensure their availability for the entire duration of these activities. Choreographers in residence must respect the agreement made with each host center regarding exchange activities (master classes, open rehearsals, previews, etc.). These will be agreed upon by both parties when planning the dates of the residency period. All the choreographers that receive scholarships and residencies as prizes must submit a report to Paso a 2 afterwards in order to provide documentation and feedback about the experience.

Support for travel expenses:

Travel expenses and meals during the event are the responsibility of the participants but the Certamen might offer as a prize an aid for groups travelling to Madrid from other parts of the country or from other countries, as well as per diems for winners who come from other parts of the country and stay in Madrid to present their winning/awarded works during the last two days of the Certamen. (subject to budget availability). Paso a 2 will try to help participants travelling to Madrid find local hosts.

The Certamen is grateful for the support received by the following institutions and initiatives:


European Union, Education and Culture DG (for ChoreoRoam Europe)

Ministerio de Cultura, Educación y Deporte - INAEM

Comunidad de Madrid – Vicepresidencia, Consejería de Cultura y Turismo y Portavocía,

Dirección General de Promoción Cultural

Conde Duque, Madrid

Fundación SGAE

Acción Cultural Española

Collaborating Institutions:

American Dance Festival, Carolina del Norte, USA

Asociación Cultural "Por la Danza" y Asociación de Profesionales de la Danza en la Comunidad de Madrid

Ayuntamiento de Coslada / Larumbe Danza

Barcelona International Dance Exchange (BIDE)

Centro Coreográfico de La Gomera

Centro de Danza Canal/Teatros del Canal

Centro de Documentación de Música y Danza, INAEM

Cía. de Danza Losdedae/LSD in Movement

Conservatorio Superior de Danza "María de Ávila” de Madrid

Coreógrafos en Comunidad

Espacio Espiral

Festival B-Motion, OperaEstate, Italia

Festival Internacional Madrid en Danza

FEX Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada

Fundación AISGE, España

Fundación Santander Creativa


Jardin d’Europe/DanceWEBeurope, Viena, Austria

Kubik Fabrik

La Caldera, Barcelona

La Nave del Duende, Casar de Cáceres

LSD en Movement/Losdedae, Cía. en Residencia Alcalá de Henares

Mercat de les Flors

Movement Research, Nueva Cork

Museo Reina Sofía



Operaestate Veneto



Tanzhaus Zürich

Trayectos Danza en Paisajes Urbanos
Universidad Carlos III

Contact us:

The Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid is interested in establishing dialogues with programs, venues, projects and individuals with similar aims both nationally and internationally.

More information about the Certamen is available in Spanish on our website:

You can reach us at: Paso a 2 Plataforma Coreográfica Asociación Cultural Tel/fax: 34 91 365 70 37 and by e-mail at

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