Ballet Unboxed

53 3Arts supporters
$4,245 raised of $6,000 goal
21 Days 00:41:36 LEFT
This project will only be funded if $6,000 is contributed to 3Arts by May 03, 2024, 11:59PM
    • 71% contributed
    • 29% to go

Ballet Unboxed is a series of workshops and classes designed to welcome dialogue about and exchange ways of learning and experiencing Ballet. In collaboration with a cohort of dance educators, we hope to lead participants through transformative movement practices and reflective discussions about the impact of Ballet in both personal and professional respects.  

About This Project

As a dancer, I was trained in the Classical, Russian Vaganova method of Ballet. It was natural when I began to teach Ballet to others that I followed the same method as my early instructors. In my experience, Ballet methods tend to be authoritative and prescriptive, with a rigid emphasis on visual aesthetics. I have since been introduced to other forms of dance and alternative teaching methodologies. This shift in perspective has motivated me to reevaluate my relationship with Ballet and to learn from others engaged in similar questioning.

I’ve invited a group of movement artists/educators to join me in designing and leading a series of free workshops devoted to this personal and professional exploration. These collaborators include Alyssa Gregory, Ashwaty Chennat, Ayako Kato, Brandon Avery, Darling Squire, Joshua Ishmon, Lauren Reed, Ysaÿe McKeever, and myself. My role in this project is to produce the series overall and facilitate the development of each workshop. Some of the prompts to be explored are:

  • What is your current relationship to Ballet, both from an emotional and physical perspective?
  • How do you define “non-traditional” in the context of Ballet?
  • How have other styles of dance, or art in general, informed your relationship with Ballet and vice versa?

I plan to document the workshop development process and publish it on a website. This will take the form of Q&As between myself and educators, personal blog/reflection posts, and a compilation of teaching/pedagogy resources. This digital platform will provide context to the workshops before they are held and serve as a living, archived resource afterward.

This series will welcome a wide spectrum of people: from those who have no prior Ballet experience, to the Ballet-curious, to former Ballet students and professional dancers with deep Ballet backgrounds, and everything in between!

While this project feels like a “first,” it is a continuation of other production work I have done for several years. Since 2017, I’ve collaborated on the J e l l o Performance Series which has resulted in more than 30 shows that have supported more than 200 artists in sharing creative work. To say the least, I am an active member of the Chicago dance community and thrive on behind-the-scenes work to support artists and bring people together in this field.

With contributions to this campaign, we will be able to support fees for collaborators for their time and teaching, venue rental, documentation, and other administrative costs. Thank you for your help in making this series that will open up a space to shed new light, experience various approaches to Ballet, shift perspectives, and spark conversations.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $15
    Social media shoutout and acknowledgement on project website ($15.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $30
    Above, plus a guaranteed spot in a workshop/class of your choice ($30.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75
    All of the above, plus a 1-hour chat with Tuli about the process behind this project ($75.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $150
    All of the above, plus a 1-hour private Ballet session with Tuli ($75.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    All of the above, plus a Bengali dinner cooking lesson and meal with Tuli ($100.00 is tax deductible.)

Tuli Bera

Make a Wave Artist

Tuli Bera (she/they) is a Bengali-American movement artist. They draw from various styles of dance: Indian folk and classical forms, Classical (early teachers include Gwendolyn Lee and Deanna Doty) and Contemporary Ballet, Modern and Contemporary dance forms (Horton, Graham, Umufundalai, …

View Tuli Bera's profile
  • No updates yet, stay tuned!
    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Kinnari Vora

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Kevin Burnside

    • Amanda Maraist

    • Phoebe Ballard

    • Erica Johnston

    • Malabika Koley

    • Helen Lee

    • Carla Gruby

    • Kara Brody

    • Ashley Martinez

    • Susannah Papish

    • Ricardo Adame

    • Angela Gronroos

    • Sarah Stearn

    • Sharon Udoh

    • cristal sabbagh

    • Cristina Gandarilla

    • Elliot Emadian

    • Karen Fisher Doyle

    • Lauren Steinberg

    • Nora Sharp

    • Sophia Shenk


    • Gwen Merrick

    • Elena Dern

    • Deva Borah

    • Marina Hope

    • Pranita Nayar

    • Emily Loar

    • lesley keller

    • Dannie Otto

    • kt williams

    • Colleen Baisa

    • Silvita Diaz Brown

    • Nejla Yatkin

    • Sophie Allen

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Courtney Mackedanz

    • Ashaand Simone

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Diana Contreras

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Shelley Miller

    • Amanda Maraist

    • Trish Reynolds

    • Aaliyah Christina

    • Hannah Marcus

    • Scott Rubin

    • Erika Farkvam

    • Deandra Elizabeth Alaba

    • Sari Hartmann

    • Anna Martine Whitehead

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

  Joyce Logo

 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council