Working with the Artist in Residence, you will explore dance technique and enhance and stretch your skills as a dancer during ArtsFest. You will be on your feet with a professional choreographer as you expand your movement vocabulary, learn new pieces, grow your dramatic and technical range and perfect a piece that showcases your current talent as a dancer as it challenges you to learn something new. As the culmination of your work, you will perform a piece for the other specialty groups and your peers from ArtsFest and the JCC Maccabi Games.

2014 Artist in Residence

Mark McCleese

Mark McCleeseMark is the owner and artistic director of MDM Dance Project in Shelby Township, MI. He is a graduate of Oakland University with a major in Musical Theatre and Minor in Dance. Mark grew up dancing at The Dance Shoppe in Waterford specializing in Tap and Jazz. For the past nine years he has lived on the West Coast working professionally with Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Sleeping Beauty or Coma, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd and many other film and television spots.

Mark has worked in the dance industry choreographing competitive routines and judging for national dance competitions across the country as well as choreographing nearly 70 musicals coast to coast. He has worked with some of the top choreographers and dance companies around the world, most recently being the children’s director for Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre. He is thrilled to be sharing his knowledge and training with all dancers participating in JCC Maccabi ArtsFest.

Audition Requirements – Dance 2014

What are we looking for?

  • A passion for dance and the enthusiasm to create and perform
  • Desire to stretch yourself, take risks and work individually and collectively with one another to create and perform dance that is of and from you
  • Familiarity with different dance forms and the eagerness to expand knowledge and skills
  • An intermediate level in modern, jazz, ballet, or other style

In addition to answering the questions below, you must also submit a video sample of your work. Please record a video of yourself performing a solo set to music or in silence, maximum of 2 minutes, which can be original or other choreography, based on a theme or concept that demonstrates passion, technical ability, and creative spirit.

Once you have recorded the video, please upload it to a site such as YouTube or Vimeo and copy and paste the link below. For basic instructions to upload a video to YouTube, please click here:

Please answer the following questions in the text boxes provided on the application.

  1. Tell us briefly about your experiences in acting/improv at school, home, or in workshops/classes.
  2. What are your greatest strengths as a dancer and in what areas would you like to grow while at ArtsFest?
  3. Why do you want to participate in JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
  4. Tell us about the piece you chose and why you chose it.
  5. Anything else you would like us to know about you and your dance skills?
  6. Please provide the link to your video audition.

* For basic instructions to upload a video to YouTube, please click here