- Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Inc.
2010-11: Early 20th and 21st Century Contemporary Dance Residencies and Performances
Early 20th and 21st Century Contemporary Dance Residencies and Performances
Artist(s): Jeanne Bresciani, Jenifer Muller
Total Project Expenses: $14,275
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
The goal of "Early 20th and 21st Century Contemporary Dance" was to contrast two dance choreographers that exemplified contemporary thinking in dance in the early part of the 20th and the 21st Centuries: Isadora Duncan in about 1911 was presented in the production "Isadora Duncan in the Time of Spring" and Jennifer Muller in 2011 was presented via the world preview performance of her full length work "The White Room". Each artists has made a significant statement about dance in their time.
Jeanne Bresciani and the Isadora Duncan International Institute Dancers including Mary DiSanto-Rose, New York City actor Arlene Sterne as the voice of Duncan, and members of the Skidmore College Department of Dance collaborated to stage, refine, and rehearse "Isadora Duncan in the Time of Spring" during a 5 day residency at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. Over 35 artists - dancers, choreographers, costume designers, and lighting designers were involved in the residency and two performances. Artists were from the Capital Region, mid-Hudson Valley and New York City. This production appealed to the family audience, young audience, college students as well as historians and the general dance audience.
Jennifer Muller's company The Works performed "The White Room" prior to its New York City premier at the Cedar Lake Theatre. The premier took place two weeks after the Kaatsbaan performance. The preview at Kaatsbaan gave Muller an opportunity to edit her work and make final decisions about costumes, sets, and projections before to the premier. The lighting design for the performance was also created at Kaatsbaan. The production brought many NYC theatre artists to the Hudson Valley to collaborate with Muller. The performance had special appeal to many college students and a sophisticated dance audience.
Both productions were advertised in local newspapers, through post cards sent to a mailing list of 4,700 and via an email list of 1,200.
2012-13: Upstream 2012
Total Project Expenses: $11,750
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
DanceForce member Gregory Cary and Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, New York will present UpStream 2012 from October 15 through October 21, 2012. UpStream is a residency and performance series that showcases the work of three avant-garde, emerging, and innovative contemporary dance choreographers and performers selected by artistic director Gregory Cary. Applications are by invitation only.
Each company will be offered a one-week creative residency at Kaatsbaan with housing, kitchen facilities, and studio space provided. The three residencies will occur simultaneously during the week prior to either October 20 and 21 or October 27 and 28 (TBD). Each company will participate in a one hour open rehearsal or lecture-demonstration that is open to the public free of charge. To complete the residency, each company or dance artist will perform in two shared professional performances in the Kaatsbaan Theatre, a Saturday evening performance and a Sunday matinee. Each company will present approximately 30 minutes of finished work, fully rehearsed and costumed. Works maybe created at Kaatsbaan or from the company's repertory. Cary will curate the performance program to assure diversity and quality. The performances will be professionally produced with lighting designed by Edward McEneney. Dance artists and companies will be selected in the Spring of 2012.
Lecture-demonstrations serve a diverse population, generally senior citizens, mothers with young children and members of the local rural community who often do not have the economic means to attend full production performances. Open rehearsals and lecture-demos generally draw from 30 to 100 people per event at Kaatsbaan. 150 people are expected to attend each professional performance. Post performance receptions will give the public the opportunity to meet and talk with the choreographers and dancers.
Upstream provides creative time and space (residency) and paid performance opportunities for New York based dance artists. Multiple dance companies or artists on one program is a performance format usually reserved only for special events. The UpStream series at Kaatsbaan provides the upstate New York community with exposure to new directions in dance and a unique contemporary dance experience.
- Huntington Arts Council
2011-12: Michael Mao Dance
Total Project Expenses: $6,654
DanceForce Funding: $6,654
Bridgman/Packer was selected for their innovative use of technology combined with their amazing contemporary dance. They are acclaimed for their innovative work integrating live performance with video technology and they delighted the audience at the Huntington Summer Arts Festival.
Glen Velez & Lori Colter also performed; they are known as TaKaDiMi Duo, and are world renowned for frame drumming and voice integrates world music and jazz stylings. Cotler grew up on Long Island.
Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer's innovative choreography, a highly visual and visceral interaction of live performance and video, explodes the partnering form into a magically populated stage where image and reality collide. Their latest works explore in depth the themes and concepts engendered by their long-term collaboration: the multiplicity of identity, the paradox of intimacy, the plasticity of gender, and the variability of time. Over the past seven years, they have developed a broader artistic medium for these ideas, stretching the boundaries of live performance by multiplying, transposing and manipulating their own life-size video images, and integrating these images into their dance. As their performances question what is real and what is image, their catapulting partnering, deep sensuality, and unexpected humor give the work a physically and theatrically riveting edge.
Michael Mao Dance
Artist: Michael Mao Dance
Total Project Expenses: $6,000
DanceForce Funding: $6,000
We presented Michael Mao Dance in an evening performance, with a post-performance Q&A and an open rehearsal on July 21, 2011.
Michael Mao Dance performed "Weaving," "Lorca Libre," "China Moves," "Andante Amoroso," and "Crossings." We estimate that over 300 attended this very hot and muggy evening. Total run time of the show was 1 hour 20 minutes. Mao's booking agent Jodi Kaplan attended the performance.
Michael Mao’s choreography has been presented throughout the USA, Mexico and China, in Paris, Oslo, and Hong Kong. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, corporations and foundations. His choreography has received funding from the Polaroid Foundation, the Dolfinger McMahon Foundation, and the American Dialogue Program, a project of the National Task Force on Presenting and Touring the Performing Arts funded by the National Endowment, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the Rockefeller Foundation, Mostly recently from the George Soros Open Society Foundation.
Mao’s works have been commissioned by Café de la Danse, Paris, France, Festival Internaciónal Cervantino, Mexico, Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, which danced his Song of Helena at the ’96 Holocaust Conference. He has also set Moonlight Sonata on Hong Kong Ballet. Michael's FireCracker™, a 1930’s Shanghai-Jewish setting of “The Nutcracker,” opened at the PerformIng Arts Center, Purchase, New York in December 2002, In 2002-2003 his works toured Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, and Suzhou. Michael’s works have also toured Mexico, Europe, throughout the United States and in 2009 and 2010, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
The goal of selecting Michael Mao Dance is to continue developing relationships built following presentations by HT Chen Dance and puppetry and performance companies from Taiwan with the Asian-Chinese American communities on Long Island.
- SUNY Brockport
2010-11: Where's the Dance? Making and Viewing Dance in Unexpected Spaces
Where's the Dance? Making and Viewing Dance in Unexpected Spaces
2011-12: Monica Bill Barnes & Company Residency
Artist: Monica Bill Barnes
Total Project Expenses: $12,500
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
Monica Bill Barnes was commissioned to create a new site specific outdoor work that would surprise and attract a large number of observers. She visited Brockport in April 2010 for planning, sight selection (the mall in the center of the College at Brockport campus because of the high pedestrian traffic), and to audition local dancers. Eighteen dancers were ready to work with Barnes for four intensive rehearsal days when she returned with company member Anna Bass in early September. Two Brockport graduate students served as project assistants. "Possible Weather" was then performed two or three times a day for three consecutive days and seen by thousands of audience and passersby. In addition to workshops and classes during the residency week, Barnes presented a wonderful site specific choreography workshop for regional professional dancers and choreographers.
Two thousand small color flyers were widely distributed and posters were displayed in village store windows in addition to the usual press releases sent to all regional media. The entire work process was captured by a skilled dance videographer; short dance clips and interviews were placed on social networking sites throughout the week. The work was so successful that Barnes was invited to return in March 2011 and in one day completely restaged the work for a new outdoor location. It was performed twice as part of April 1 College at Brockport's 175th Birthday pARTy celebration and seen by both new and enthusiastic repeat viewers.
Because of the unanimous positive response, Monica Bill Barnes is scheduled to return with her company in September 2011 and will perform in the Hartwell Dance Theater.
Monica Bill Barnes & Company Residency
2012-13: Monica Bill Barnes Creative Residency
Artist: Monica Bill Barnes
Total Project Expenses: $16,200
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
The project provided a wonderful opportunity for the community to work with Monica Bill Barnes for a second time, this one with the full company. Following a very successful choreographic residency last year when Monica was commissioned to create a site specific work on 20 local dancers there was great interest in seeing a concert of her company work. Monica is a wonderful collaborator for residency planning and a number of lengthy conversations determined the focus, content, and schedule for this residency.
The week began with an open company rehearsal in the theater followed by a 2 1/2 hour repertory and performance techniques workshop for 55 experienced dancers. Because there was a waiting list, a number of people came and observed. During the next four days, Monica Bill Barnes & Company taught six additional classes, visited four classes, and performed "Everything is getting better all the time" three times. On the final residency day, Monica looked at and commented on works by ten local choreographers in a very full afternoon. The total number of contacts reached during the residency was over 1200.
Monica made classroom visits to about 150 non-dancer students before attendance at their first dance concert, with the intent to better prepare them for this new experience. Another 100+ non-dancers had a full movement class with Monica. Materials were made available to all dance teachers for distribution and many students saw company video and other information in advance. The extensive preparation was thought to be effective - the audience was interested and responsive.
Other special sessions were geared specifically to advanced dance students who had interest in deeper understanding of Monica's work. Most activities during the week were open for observation.
Monica Bill Barnes Creative Residency
Artist: Monica Bill Barnes
Total Project Expenses: $8,700
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
Monica Bill Barnes returns to Brockport for a Creative Process week. She will have work time to develop material for a new company work and offer workshops with local choreographers about approaches to dance making. In a quiet laboratory setting, Barnes will have studio space and dancers available to assist her in her own creative process. Local dancers will be selected in May 2012 to work with her for a week in early September. Workshop opportunities will also be provided for local choreographers to address creative process with Barnes. In addition to many open rehearsals, informal showings will be offered at end of the residency.
- CoDanceCo, Inc.
2011-12: A Dance Life: Looking Back to be Present
A Dance Life: Looking Back to be Present
Artist: Bebe Miller
Total Project Expenses: $3,750
DanceForce Funding: $2,500
For 2011-12 NYS DanceForce member Nancy Duncan, founder and producing director of CoDanceCo, implemented the first phase of "A Dance Life: Looking Back to Be Present." The overall goal for A Dance Life is to create a working model from which to provide direct experiences for independent dance professionals, private dance studios, and college/university dance departments located in various regions of New York State with the work of dance artists Nancy has had the honor to work with, learn from, and work for during her thirty plus years dance life.
For the first phase of a "Dance Life" Nancy, in agreement with choreographer Bebe Miller, is re-visiting Bebe’s “Guardian Angels,” a work commissioned by CoDanceCo in 1983. To begin, during the summer of 2011 Nancy selected two dancers residing in Suffolk County to be in residence with her at Stage Door School of Dance. Nancy, with dancers Stephanie Vertichio and Jessica Colosa, reconstructed the original eight dance phrases Bebe created as the foundation of “Guardian Angels” and then developed two of the six dancers’ roles for the first and second movements.
This working process reunited Nancy with one of the signature works she commissioned through CoDanceCo. Bebe’s movement vocabulary and creative process for the dancers who experienced the work in 1983 and 1986 introduced the dancers to new pathways for discovering deeply fulfilling physical motivations. The opportunity to do a third “re-visiting” transferring this working process to dancers who are having their first opportunity to experience Bebe’s choreographic strategies in the early development of her career, has been equally rewarding for all involved. On September 11th a free, open rehearsal was held at Stage Door with a dialogue with the audience about the working process. The work was very well-received and with unexpected emotional impact, as “Guardian Angels,” performed to Gregorian chants, beautifully paid tribute to all those lost on 9/11 as well as loved ones lost over each audience member’s life.
During the spring of 2012 Nancy added a third dancer based in Suffolk County to the process, Alison Russell. Alison completed the trio needed to stage the second and third movements of “Guardian Angels.” Rehearsals took place during May and June to prepare for performing “Guardian Angels” excerpts at the Huntington Summer Arts Festival with Long Island Dance Consortium. For the remainder of this first phase, Nancy and Bebe have been engaged in the planning and outreach necessary for designing a residency around the re-visiting of “Guardian Angels.” Two new partners will be joining the project in 2012-13 and 2013-14 respectively: the dance department of Hofstra University, chaired by Rachel List, located in Garden City, Nassau County, NY and NYS DanceForce member Cynthia Williams and her dance community of Hobart and William Smith Colleges located in the Finger Lakes region of Geneva, NY. Bebe is working with Nancy and partners to create a working process so that all the artists involved will have a creative working process that will support the deconstruction and “re-booting” of the original material of “Guardian Angels” so the dancers can push the material in new directions. Bebe and Nancy are currently exploring how using Skype for rehearsals will put Bebe in direct contact with the dancers over the next year to facilitate the above working process.
- UAlbany Performing Arts Center
2011-12: Undercover Playground
2012-13: Undercover Playground; Gesel Mason in the Capital Region
Artist: Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company; Capital Region musicians
Total Project Expenses: $13,300
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
Counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington
In Undercover Playground, I worked with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (ESDC) to create a spontaneous performance that happened at playgrounds over a seven week period of time in the late summer and fall of 2011 in six NYS counties. Administratively, the project was planned by Ellen Sinopoli and me. Artistically, the project was led by Ellen.
The creation of the work was begun in the spring at two local elementary schools with which the company already had a relationship -- Abram Lansing Elementary in Cohoes (Albany County) and Yates Magnet School in Schenectady (Schenectady County). ESDC spent two days in each location creating and rehearsing the work in an open rehearsal format so that students from the school could observe and comment on the process. Approximately 120 students were involved. Several rehearsals also took place on public playgrounds in these and the other counties.
During July and early August, local playgrounds were "scoped out" on weekend afternoons to ascertain if 1) the layout and equipment of the site was conducive to the performance work and 2) if they were heavily trafficked locations. This part of the planning was predominantly done by Ellen Sinopoli and several of her dancers. Once locations were selected, the order of the performance sites within each county were determined.
Starting with the last weekend in August, ESDC performed Undercover Playground on weekend afternoons in public playgrounds. The dancers and and one of two musicians (Brian Melick or Zorkie Nelson) showed up unannounced at the sites and spontaneously performed the work to the unsuspecting audiences. Once it was over, information on who and what it was, funding credits and upcoming dance performances in the region were given to those who were treated to the performances. The performers informally talked with the audience members about what they had just seen and answered any questions. They also signed the flyers for the children. The artists then moved on to the next playground and repeated the process. Three to five performances happened each day and an average of 30 people were present for each performance. The actual number of individuals present for any one performance ranged from as many as 75 to as few as four. The schedule was as follows:
Saturday, August 27
Derby Park, East Field and Sagamore Park in Washington County
Saturday, September 3
West End Park, Montcalm Playground, Crandall Park, Freedom Park and Guerny Lane Park in Warren County
Sunday, September 11
Clifton Commons, Malta Community Park, Saratoga Spa State Park and Gavin Park in Saratoga County
Saturday, September 17
Riverfront Park, Frear Park, Prospect Park and Grafton Lake State Park in Rensselaer County
Sunday, September 25
River Road Park, Central Park and Terry Burrell Unity Park in Schenectady County
Saturday, October 8
The Crossings, Loudon Green Park, Ganser-Smith Memorial Park and Washington Park in Albany County
Since the performances were intended to be spontaneous and surprising, promotion was approached very differently than most projects. An overall press release about the project was issued in early August which yielded a small article in the Times Union right before the project's kick-off. The article prompted two invitations to the company to perform at local sites -- one was from the Park Naturalist at Grafton Lake State Park (that site was added to the Rensselaer County list) and the other was from the Greene County Council on the Arts offering the Dutchman's Landing playground in Catskill as a site. Unfortunately, this latter one could not be realized because Greene County was not one of the counties we planned to serve and, at that point, additional funds would have had to have been raised and there was not sufficient time to do so. However, it does open up a potential opportunity if the project lives on in future seasons.
Two days before each performance date, photo opportunities were disseminated to the main newspaper for each county (Glens Falls Post Star for the Washington and Warren dates, The Saratogian for the Saratoga date, The Troy Record for the Rensselaer date, The Gazette for the Schenectady date and the Times Union for the Albany date). These yielded a review in The Gazette and large articles in the Glens Falls Post Star and Times Union. Also two days before each performance date, the list of locations was posted on the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company's website and Facebook page. When leaving each playground after the performance had taken place, a large poster about the project was posted and left behind letting visitors know that we had already been there and how to get information about upcoming performances at other playgrounds.
The main goals of this project were audience engagement and interaction. The project was devised so as to provide an experience in dance to families in a setting in which they were familiar and comfortable. The barriers of getting them to come to a theatre and pay an admission fee were avoided and the "surprise" element of the performance was intended to build excitement. Live musicians were used to draw the audience in and the choreographic approach was to present lively, fun and physical movement which would further engage the audience. Each performance was followed by some time when the performers informally interacted with the audience through conversation and autograph signing. In a way, the performers became "ambassadors for dance" in the Capital Region since 1) the project brought dance to many who normally wouldn't experience it and 2) the printed materials that were distributed provided information on performance opportunities for the entire season with the anticipation that some may take advantage of them.
Stewart's Shops (a local convenience store/gas station chain) sponsored the project. They have supported ESDC in the past.
When approached about this project, they pledged their support without hesitation. They were drawn to the unique opportunity that it provided to families and especially liked the fact that performances were happening right in the communities in which their stores were located. As an added bonus, Stewart's provided coupons for free ice cream cones that were distributed with the promotional materials after each performance. ESDC also did a campaign to its individual donors to raise funds and utilized some of the company's operational budget to support the project.
Artists: Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company; Capital Region musicians
Total Project Expenses: $9,000
DanceForce Funding: $3,000
Counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington
In 2011-12, DanceForce (DF) member Kim Engel worked with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (ESDC) to develop Undercover Playground, a spontaneous performance that happens at public playgrounds, and the work was performed over seven weeks in the summer and fall in six NYS counties (Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, Washington). With NEA funding obtained through the DF, the project continued in June with two days of performances in Clinton County.
For 2012-13, a portion of Kim's DF allocation will be used to support a second ôtourö of Undercover Playground which will happen once again in the summer and fall. ESDC will raise funds through grants, corporate support and individual contributions to underwrite performances in four Capital Region counties (Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga). DF funding will support performances in two counties adjacent to the Capital Region. These counties will be chosen in consultation with the DF Director so that the project places DF activity in two counties that are untouched by other member projects. Counties being considered are Columbia, Greene, Schoharie, Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton.
Starting with the last weekend in August, ESDC will perform Undercover Playground on weekend afternoons in public playgrounds. The dancers and one of two musicians (Brian Melick or Zorkie Nelson) will show up unannounced at the sites and spontaneously perform to unsuspecting audiences. Upon the performance's conclusion, information on who and what it was, funding credits and upcoming dance performances in the region will be distributed to those who were treated to the performances. The performers will informally talk with the audience and sign flyers for the children. The artists will then move on to the next playground and repeat the process. Three to five performances will happen each day and, based on last year's numbers, an average of 30 people will be present for each performance. A tentative schedule is as follows:
August 25 or 26 - Saratoga County
September 1 or 2 - Albany County
September 8 or 9 - Schenectady County
September 15 or 16 - Rensselaer County
September 22 or 23 - tbd county
September 30 or October 1 - tbd county
October 6 & 7 will be held as additional rain dates to be used as needed
The main goals of this project are audience engagement and interaction. The project was devised so as to provide an experience in dance to families in a setting in which they are familiar and comfortable. The barriers of getting them to come to a theatre and pay an admission fee are avoided and the "surprise" element is intended to build excitement. Live musicians are used to draw the audience in and the choreographic approach is to present lively, fun and physical movement which further engages those watching. Essentially, the performers become "ambassadors for dance" in the Capital Region since 1) the project brings dance to many who normally wouldn't experience it and 2) the printed materials provide information on performance opportunities for the entire season with the anticipation that some may take advantage of them.
Gesel Mason in the Capital Region
Artist: Gesel Mason Performance Projects
Total Project Expenses: $20,500
DanceForce Funding: $5,000
Each year, the UAlbany Counseling Center and Middle Earth Peer Assistance Group host "Sexuality Week" for a two-week period in February. The program is a panoply of guest lecturers, workshops, films, exhibits, information sessions and other events related to gender issues, HIV/AIDS, relationships, identity and reproductive health with the hope to meet the needs of the students as well as to provide a retrospective and prospective look at the issues. The information presented during Sexuality Week in a variety of formats encourages learning, dialogue and critical thinking as well as continues to move the Counseling Center and Middle Earth forward in its mission of prevention and education.
2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Sexuality Week. DanceForce member Kim Engel and the UAlbany Performing Arts Center are working with the Counseling Center and Middle Earth to present Gesel Mason Performance Projects as the featured event of Sexuality Week. Multiple performances of the company's "Women, Sex and Desire" are being planned.
The show is part dance, part theatre, part lecture and is a multi-media investigation on how women navigate sex, desire, choice and perception. Movement, personal stories and video imagery combine to tackle powerful personal and political issues under discussion nationwide. Women, Sex, and Desire opens a dialogue around women's sexuality, desire & choice and creates an opportunity for self-reflection. It questions the influences of media, past experience and social, cultural & religious upbringing on sexual behavior and it challenges stereotypes, assumptions and conventional wisdom by engaging a diverse cross-section of women. The show challenges cultural programming, examines belief systems, and reflects the struggle, humor and pleasure people encounter as sexual beings in an effort to empower them and inform sexual choices, whatever they may be.
Women, Sex and Desire was created through focus groups, interviews, identity workshops and web logs which helped provide narrative material for the choreography. The piece was originally commissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and is a National Performance Network Creation Fund recipient. It began touring in May 2011 and has been presented by Dance Place, ProArts Collective and Dance Umbrella.
Besides the performances that will take place in the Performing Arts Center, it is anticipated that master classes in dance and theatre, workshops and other outreach activities will be offered by the company during their residency time at the University.
Performances will be offered free to UAlbany students and admission will be a nominal charge for all others from the University community as well as the general public of the Capital Region. Anticipated audience for the performances is 500-600 while those participating in the outreach activities are estimated at another 125 individuals. While artistically serving a need of the campus community, this project also provides these NYS based artists with a performance and residency opportunity for a work that is still very much in its formative stages.
- Pick of the Crop Dance
2010-11: Movable Points of Entry (links to Margaret Kaiser's project)
2011-12: Kun-Yang Lin Residency: Planning Phase
Judy Hussie-Taylor Kun-Yang Lin Residency: Planning Phase
2012-13: Revival of WAITERS by Terry Beck at SUNY Fredonia in Chautauqua County
Artist: Kun-Yang Lin
Total Project Expenses: $6,500
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
Taiwan-born Kun-Yang Lin, with whom I worked on several occasions during his artistic development as a dancer and choreographer in the United States -- including two prior DanceForce projects -- has recently established a successful company and movement center in Philadelphia. Lin's choreography continues to focus on developing Eastern influences within the context of Western contemporary dance. He has a loyal local following, and he has also established relatioships in Indonesia, Taiwan, and other venues in Southeast Asia. The goal of this DanceForce project was to procure for Lin a booking that would enhance his company's regional experience and portfolio. It would take place over a two-year time span. In the first year, Lin would reconnect with the community and meet potential presenters and community partners through master classes, meetings, workshops, and setting his work on young dancers. The second year would feature a company residency and performance.
The season began with a series of phone conversations between myself, Kun Yang and his Executive Director Ken Metzner in the summer and fall of 2011. Through these discussions, we established his residency schedule and activities in Buffalo, which would be anchored at Nichols School in Buffalo in August 2011. I then initiated contacts with the following stakeholders in Buffalo's dance community: Professor Melanie Aceto and Dept. Chair Tom Ralabate from the University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance (winter 2011); Professor Joy Guarino and Acting Chair Donn Youngstrom from Buffalo State College Department of Theatre and Dance (spring/summer 2011); Head of Upper School Aranya Maritime and Head of School Rick Bryan from Nichols School (spring 2011); and Angela Hastings from the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts (spring 2011). These contact yielded a commitment to present a performance of Kun Yang's work at the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts in August 2011 and at Nichols School in December 2011. Interest was shown by Buffalo State College in presenting Kun Yang as part of the Anne Frank Project (www.theannefrankproject.com), an annual conference devoted to exploring issues of social justice and shared humanity. The University at Buffalo also expressed interest in presenting Kun Yang. I invited the above people and other prominent figures in the dance community to Kun Yang's rehearsals, and to an artist reception I hosted at my home on August 21. I also created a special Facebook page through which I promoted his residency and coordinated schedules.
Kun Yang arrived in Buffalo on Sunday August 14. For the following two weeks, he taught daily class, and conducted daily rehearsals in the creation of a new work on an ensemble of Nichols School dance students in an open setting that allowed for participation by outside participants. On Sunday August 28, the ensemble of 12 dancers performed the work on an outside stage at the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts before a packed crowd of about 500. The group performed the piece again in an assembly for Nichols students, and at the Nichols Dance Ensemble's winter performance on Saturday December 10 in the Flickinger Theater at Nichols School.
The task remaining was to procure or produce a performance residency for Kun Yang's company for the 2012-2013 season. We considered presenting him at Nichols School's Flickinger Theater, a wonderful 450-seat venue for small-to-mid sized dance companies. I would have had to promote the show on my own, however, which would have involved hiring a publicist and other budget items beyond my resources. I concentrated my efforts on getting a booking through one of the two venues in Buffalo that present contemporary dance: Buffalo State College and the University at Buffalo.
Although both institutions seriously considered this prospect, unfortunately in the end both declined. Buffalo State College has largely stopped presenting outside groups. I was hoping that Kun Yang's work would be considered a good fit with the Anne Frank project, but in the end I could not get them to commit. Some of the University at Buffalo dance faculty were interested in bringing Kun Yang back for a residency, but could not get the department to commit, and the Center for the Arts -- the University presenter, separate from the academic department -- came close to committing, but in the end opted not to.
Revival of WAITERS by Terry Beck at SUNY Fredonia in Chautauqua County
Artist: Terry Beck
Total Project Expenses: $8,900
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
WAITERS is an evening length dance-theater work that was choreographed in 1988 by Terry Beck Troupe with a commission from the Baltimore Theater Project (BTP). Following a successful three-week run in Baltimore, BTP Artistic Director, Phillip Arnoult, recognized that WAITERS would appeal to European audiences and proceeded to organize the company's first international tour with appearances at the Edinburgh International Theater Festival and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. In Edinburgh, WAITERS played for three weeks to sold-out houses and rave reviews. The excitement generated in Edinburgh led to enthusiastic audiences in London, as well.
WAITERS combines championship ballroom dancing, finely etched theatrical characterizations, solos, duets and group dances performed with rhythmic precision and emotional intensity. In addition, dance and theater are enriched with a musical narrative of great songs from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Woven throughout the work is comedy, pathos, and drama that contrasts the pitiful with the funny, the foolish with the wise and, "like the mirror ball hanging above the crowd that reflects the somewhat tawdry party lights, WAITERS mirrors us all too clearly." (J L Conklin - Baltimore Sun)
In this project, Beck, who now resides in Fredonia, NY and teaches at SUNY Fredonia, will restage this work (cast of ten) using SUNY Fredonia Dance and Theatre students, faculty and alumni, as well as artists from the outside community. Beck will bring back original set and lighting designer Curtis Dretsch, Professor of Technical Theatre and Design at Muhlenberg College in Allentown PA.
The cast has already been identified. Rehearsals will take place on the SUNY Fredonia college campus during fall/winter of 2012. WAITERS will receive 4 performances in Spring 2013 at the Fredonia Opera House, a fully restored opera house in downtown Fredonia (originally designed by Enoch Curtis in the Queen Anne eclectic style of architecture) which now serves as a cultural center for the Fredonia community. An additional community partner is Otra Vez vintage clothing store in Fredonia.
Beck will also set a portion of the piece on Elaine Gardner's dance students at Nichols School in Buffalo NY. They will perform the section at Nichols during that academic year.
- Danspace Project
2010-11: Creative Residencies and Danspace Project Performances for Three Choreographers
Margaret L. Kaiser -
Creative Residencies and Danspace Project Performances for Three Choreographers
2011-12: Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²) Residencies for Three Choreographers
Artist(s): Vanessa Anspaugh, Ursula Eagly, Cori Olinghouse
Total Project Expenses: $34,703
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
Counties: Dutchess, New York
Danspace Project (DSP) provided support for creative residencies for three choreographers and their companies in 2010-11 at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY. The goal of the residencies was to give crucial creative process support for the creation of new dance works, and the project culminated in two premieres during DSP's 2010-11 season, with the third premiere to occur in October 2011 as part of DSP's 2011-12 season.
The choreographers that participated in the project were Ursula Eagly, Cori Olinghouse, and Vanessa Anspaugh. Choreographers were selected based on the stage and timing of their creative process so that each participating artist could benefit as much as possible from the opportunity. Since each participant in this creative residency project is also part of Danspace Project's presented season, Executive Director Judy Hussie-Taylor sees the programming of these residencies as a crucial component to the larger artistic programming goals. Ms. Hussie-Taylor selected Ms. Eagly and Ms. Olinghouse for the residencies in preparation to premiere new works in DSP's PLATFORM 2011: Body Madness, which considered strategies in contemporary dance and performance that explored absurdity and wit (Part 1, curated by Judy Hussie-Taylor) through forms such as post-modern improvisation, voguing, and hip hop (Part 2, curated by David Parker focused on rhythm and humor). Vanessa Anspaugh was selected for a third residency, and her new work will premiere October 13-15, 2011 on a shared evening with Maura Donohue.
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center was the community partner involved for the residencies, offering the choreographers and their dancers generous rehearsal space and housing for 7 days and 6 nights. DSP provided support for transportation, per diems for the choreographers and up to three dancers each, and administrative support. Ms. Eagly's residency was held November 29 – December 5, 2010 and Ms. Olinghouse's was held December 1-7, 2010. The two residencies overlapped so the choreographers were able to share work-in-progress showings followed by a discussion on Thursday, December 2 and Friday, December 3 for local Hudson Valley community members. Ms. Anspaugh's residency was held June 6-12, 2011, with a work-in-progress showing and discussion on Thursday, June 9. All work-in-progress showings were free and were publicized through Kaatsbaan in the form of flyers and emails.
DSP and Kaatsbaan have been enjoying this mutually beneficial partnership for about two years. Kaatsbaan benefits from having the new voices of these New York City choreographers in their space and interacting with their community. DSP deepens its Commissioning Initiative with these generous residencies which directly benefits the artists. New York City audiences also benefit from the artists' premieres of new work at DSP. Cori Olinghouse opened PLATFORM 2011: Body Madness with "voix de ville" (February 3-5, 2011), a historic re-imagining of Vaudeville that garnered significant press coverage and brought down the house each night with special guests: Voguer Javier Ninja and Archie Burnett, Kota Yamazaki, and a one night appearance of Bill Irwin. Ursula Eagly premiered "Group Dynamics and Visual Sensitivity" (February 17-19, 2011) on a shared evening with Minneapolis-based Chris Schlichting, and incorporated a live graphic novel challenging audiences' sense of vision. The performances were marketed through postcards and a Platform brochure (mailed to DSP's list of approx. 3,000), press releases (emailed to approx. 90 press contacts), and weekly e-blasts to a list of 3,800 contacts. A total of approximately 714 people participated in this project, which include the showings at Kaatsbaan attended by 60 Hudson Valley community members and six nights of performances at Danspace Project totaling 654 audience members.
Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²) Residencies for Three Choreographers
2012-13: Two-week Artist Residency at Mount Tremper Arts and Danspace Project Premiere
Artist(s): Benjamin Kimitch, Rashaun Mitchell
Total Project Expenses: $56,922
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
Counties: Dutchess, New York
For nearly four decades, Danspace Project (DSP) has been a foremost supporter of the creation and presentation of cutting-edge dance work. DSP’s home, the iconic St. Mark’s Church in the East Village of New York City, has been a reliable and flexible base for these activities. In 2009-2010, DSP launched the Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²), a new framework for examining and re-invigorating dance presenting practices, and deepening the impact of our commissioning program. Residencies and partnerships are integral components of the CW².
In this light, DSP developed a residency partnership with Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY. As stated in their mission: Kaatsbaan is a year-round facility dedicated to the growth, advancement and preservation of professional dance and provides a creative residence in an aesthetically inspirational and healthy working environment for dance-related artists from all disciplines and ethnic backgrounds.
For this project, DSP collaborated with Kaatsbaan to offer New York City-based choreographers Benjamin Kimitch and Rashaun Mitchell one-week residencies and work-in-progress showings. Mitchell’s residency took place April 7-13, 2012, with a work-in-progress showing held on Thursday, April 12. Kimitch’s residency was held May 21-27, 2012, with a work-in-progress showing on Thursday, May 24. DSP's Executive Director, Judy Hussie-Taylor, selected the artists based on their current commissions with DSP and the artists’ need and availability for this generous time and space to develop their work. The artists received rehearsal space and housing for one week from Kaatsbaan. DSP provided an honorarium, per diem for up to four artists, transportation, and administrative support. The residencies had a very positive direct impact on the quality of the work produced, particularly with the type of dedicated work time provided by Kaatsbaan (away from the city, generous studio time and accommodations).
The residencies benefited local Hudson Valley community members, who were invited to attend work-in-progress showings at Kaatsbaan and participate in a post-performance discussion. New York City audiences also benefited from this project with Rashaun Mitchell’s performance of Nox at DSP May 10-12, 2012. The premiere was very successful with sold out crowds and a long wait list each night (which DSP was able to accommodate). Benjamin Kimitch’s work is scheduled to premiere during DSP’s 2012-13 season. The target audience for this project was Hudson Valley audiences and New York City-based artists and audiences. A total of approximately 470 people participated in this project.
Two-week Artist Residency at Mount Tremper Arts and Danspace Project Premiere
Artist: Clarinda Mac Low
Total Project Expenses: $18,899
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
Counties: Ulster, New York
For nearly four decades, Danspace Project (DSP) has been a foremost supporter of the creation and presentation of cutting-edge dance work. DSP’s home, the iconic St. Mark’s Church in the East Village of New York City, has been a reliable and flexible base for these activities. In 2009-2010, DSP launched the Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²), a new framework for examining and re-invigorating dance presenting practices, and deepening the impact of our commissioning program. Residencies and partnerships are integral components of CW².
In this light, DSP developed a residency partnership with Mt. Tremper Arts, Inc. in Mt. Tremper, NY. Set amid the rustic setting of the Catskill Mountains, the festival promotes local tourism while acting as a laboratory for contemporary artists. Mt. Tremper Arts’ (MTA) mission is to provide a cultural center to support contemporary artists in the creation and presentation of new works of art. They fulfill this mission in part by supporting and producing the Mount Tremper Arts Festival, an annual summer festival celebrating the contemporary arts through the integration of performances, exhibitions, artist residencies, and educational programming; and by providing space and time for artists to create new works of art and explore aesthetic questions through an Artist-In-Residence program.
For this project, DSP collaborated with MTA to offer New York City-based choreographer/director Clarinda Mac Low a two-week Creative Development Residency with a work-in-progress showing. Mac Low’s residency took place May 26 – June 10, 2012, with a work-in-progress showing held on Saturday, June 9. DSP's Executive Director, Judy Hussie-Taylor, selected Mac Low based on her current commission with DSP and the artist’s need and availability for this generous time and space to develop her work. Mac Low received rehearsal space and housing for two weeks from MTA, including a residency honorarium awarded by DSP. An additional honorarium was provided by DSP to be allocated to Mac Low’s collaborators as a per diem for transportation and administrative support. The residency had a very positive, direct impact on the quality of the work produced (see Artist Input), particularly with the type of environment and dedicated work time provided by MTA (away from the city, generous studio time and accommodations).
The residencies benefited local Catskills community members, who were invited to attend the work-in-progress showing at MTA and join a post-performance pizza and bonfire reception. New York City audiences also benefited from this project with Mac Low’s performance of 40 Dancers do 40 Dances for the Dancers at DSP September 13-15, 2012. Mac Low’s piece involved over 40 collaborators, providing a cross-section of several generations of downtown NYC performers. Several writers remarked a communal and familial feeling to the three evenings: “40 Dancers is family-friendly—in fact, family-inclusive—and has a way of turning even seniors into tiny kids” (Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinitebody.com). The premiere was attended by an audience of over 340; in total, approximately 410 people participated in the project including artistic collaborators and total audience.
2010-11: MOVABLE POINTS OF ENTRY - Phase 2
Bit Knighton -
MOVABLE POINTS OF ENTRY - Phase 2
2011-12: MOVABLE POINTS OF ENTRY - Phase 3
Partnering DanceForce Member: Elaine Gardner
Artists: Doug Varone, John Toth
Total Project Expenses: $19,620
DanceForce Funding: $14,300
"Movable Points of Entry" (MPOE) is a three-phase project. The title of the piece speaks to the various entry points through which an audience member can experience the work of intermedia artist John Toth and dance/choreographer Doug Varone: visual/aural and visual/aural/kinesthetic artist.
The first phase is the planning component, the second phase the creative residency component, and the third is the live dance performance at the UB Center for the Arts on March 24, 2012, which presents elements of the installation as the impetus for the kinesthetic expression. Although each experience is capable of being a stand-alone presentation, it is the progressive experience from the visual/aural to visual/aural/kinesthetic that promotes a more complete aesthetic experience for the viewer. A key element of this piece will be the use of technology, both in the installation and performance, as well as in the community engagement plan (i.e. the use of podcasts, twittering, website interaction, etc.).
Phase 1 was the planning phase, during which Doug and John worked to define themes and ideas and beginning to plot out design elements. Phase 2 is the creative development phase. This will occur throughout the year; however, a creative residency week will happen in Buffalo at Nichols School in the studios of Pick of the Crop Dance from November 7 to 12, 2011. During this week, Doug will provide 4 informal showings and 2 workshops. We will work closely with the dance departments at Buffalo State College as well as UB. John Toth will be working with college media students as well. We estimate that 680 people will attend these phase 2 planned events. This collaboration represents the first of its kind in Buffalo, combining media and dance in multiple venues yet connected in theme and artistic intention, with the culmination (phase 3) of the project the premiere showing of MPOE at SUNY at Buffalo.
MOVABLE POINTS OF ENTRY - Phase 3
2012-13: American Grain Reimagined; Revitalizing The Ruins with Dance
Artists: Doug Varone, John Toth
Total Project Expenses: $48,750
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
This was the final year of a three year project: Movable Points of Entry (MPOE), featuring choreographer Doug Varone and media artist John Toth. The culmination of this project was more than just a performance, it was the centerpiece of Doug Varone and Dancers 25th Anniversary. As such, it embodied Doug's evolution as a precise yet edgy choreographer who keeps challenging himself and his dancers to embrace movement from multiple points of reference, including present day technology. The technology utilized in MPOE was supported both by Dance Force funding and by the general operating budget of Doug Varone and Dancers. In addition to hosting the Company's premiere performance at SUNY at Buffalo Center for the Arts on March 24, 2012, the Center not only became a new partner in this project but also featured the Company in a two week NEA sponsored residency in a local hospital (March 19-25). This experience of working with a special population of terminally ill children prompted Doug Varone to create two new works in progress, which were performed at the March 24th concert.
The weekend of the performance, the Burchfield Penney Art Center (BPAC) presented John Toth's installation piece in the Center's auditorium, building an artistic link from his work to the final performance piece, MPOE. It should be noted that the Year 2 partnership with additional Dance Force member Elaine Gardner from Pick of the Crop Dance, which focused on a creative residency at Nichols School in the fall of 2011, further enhanced audience engagement. We estimated the total performance audience at 600. Marketing was coordinated between SUNY Center for the Arts and the Burchfield Penney Art Center, via printed materials and websites.
American Grain Reimagined
Artists: Nimbus Dance, theater, music, visual arts
Total Project Expenses: $20,000
DanceForce Funding: $3,000
American Grain Reimagined, to be performed August 25th, is an effort to marry Buffalo's outstanding creativity in the world of contemporary art with its unique and iconic historical architecture. This collaborative program that brings together the University of Buffalo's Department of Music, the Buffalo State College Communications Department, Torn Space Theatre and the Nimbus Dance Ensemble in a one-day program to be held in Marine A, that gorgeous, bonewhite, early 20th century grain elevator in the heart of Silo City, a complex of grain elevators just off the Ohio Street corridor. Working with Jonathan Golove and Matt Sargent, two heralded composers and performers at UB; Dan Shanhan's Torn Space Theater, an avant garde local theatre company, Brian Millbrand of the Buffalo State Communications Department, a highly regarded multi-media artist; and the innovative Nimbus Dance Company, we are planning an integrative performance of music, dance, theatre and visual arts that will be created and curated specifically around the powerful and haunting space in which it takes place. Marine A will not be simply a stage set for the artists but will, through a combined use of light, music, dance and theater, become an integral celebrant in what we promise will be a most compelling event.
American Grain Reimagined will move the audience under each of the seven silos at the Marine One Grain Elevator. This horizontal audience movement, in stark contrast to the severe verticality of the grain silos, is reminiscent of the Buffalo River and nearby train tracks. A separate scene will unfold under each silo, united by a loose narrative and iconic images of Buffalo's glory days. Musicians will play in the final silo, drawing the audience through the scenes. Nimbus Dance will emphasize the vertical space. This will be done with climbable architecture and aerial work, as well as dramatically cast shadows. At some point, confetti will drift down like snow. Historical anecdotes will be printed on the confetti strips. Typical movements of the grain workers will inspire the choreography: raking, shoveling, and sifting, as well as elevating and dropping. The dance movement will be sparse and meditative, in harmony with the reliquary space that is the silos.
Revitalizing The Ruins with Dance
Artist: Makeda Thomas
Total Project Expenses: $22,000
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
The Ruins (Historic Ruins) on the Canalside is a new performance venue on the Waterfront in Buffalo. It is not a proscenium stage, but rather an interesting, historic site of partially standing fieldstone walls and plank flooring next to the Commercial Slip and adjacent to the Naval Museum and Shed. A Green Slope faces the Historic Ruins, with the Whipple Truss Bridge connecting the two sides of the Slip. Dance in the Ruins will be a unique site-specific dance series where two choreographers on four separate evenings will capture the unique story of Buffalo's waterfront, its history of survival and growth, through movement.
The two choreographers are: Makeda Thomas and Paz Tanjuaquio. Makeda is originally from Trinidad with a homebase in NYC, and Paz, originally from the Phllippines, is the co-director of TOPAZ ARTS in Queens. Both have a significant history of collaboration and site-specific dance. Each will perform two evenings in August at The Ruins, with much of the prep work done earlier.
A significant portion of the funding will be provided by Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, a subsidiary of of Empire State Development, enabling the choreographers to actually begin work on this project in February. Both choreographers will host workshops, as well as auditions, and both will work via YouTube for off-site rehearsals. The on-site rehearsals will occur the week before the performance dates.
Makeda's piece will feature 2 of her company members as well as approximately 50 community members as the supporting cast for a piece that will focus on Harriet Tubman and her sunset escape to Canada. She will spend a significant part of May doing research, interviewing members of the African American community, and involving the dance department and students at the Buffalo School of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Paz will work with her husband Todd Richmond to create a work that will feature 8 local Buffalo dancers to reveal the interconnectedness of the natural and the built environment of Buffalo. A strong visual component will include a video projection,either on the waterway or on the grounds surrounding the Ruins.
Both artists will also work with select high school students, who will ultimately be involved in the final presentation, with technology enhancing on-going communication throughout the creative development phases. It is anticipated that these workshops, open rehearsals, and performances will reach approximately 1,475 people. These dance pieces will be the first at The Ruins and, hopefully, will mark the beginning of a Waterfront Dance Series. If the allocation requested turns out to be significantly less than anticipated, then additional corporate support will be aggressively sought.
Mohawk Valley Dance Partnership
- Nancy Long
2010-11: Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
2011-12: Keigwin and Company
Artist: Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Total Project Expenses: $31,064
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
The goal of the Mohawk Valley Dance Partnership is to advance the understanding and appreciation of dance across a broad spectrum of the community and to inspire people to make dance a meaningful part of their lives. Each year the MVDP (Michelle Reiser-Memmer, Hamilton College; Serena Belmont, Arts in Education; and Nancy Long, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute) combines available resources from their organizations to bring a dance company to the Utica area for workshops, school and public performances. The MVDP meets monthly throughout the year to review company choices, select companies and repertory and schedule activities and performances.
This year, with additional support from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company presented two shows and two master classes. This program was revised in scope from our original plan when funding for the Arts in Education in the Utica School District was significantly cut. Rather than spending funding on busing to the school show, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company agreed to perform at a new location, Waterville Elementary School (see details below) on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 10:00am. The public performance was held as planned at Wellin Hall, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 8:00pm.
Master Classes were taught by company members for both the students on campus at Hamilton College, Wednesday, February 9 at 1:00pm and for the Dance Program of the MWPAI, Utica, NY on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 4:00pm.
MVDP member, Michelle Reiser-Memmer, serves as the Director of Performing Arts and coordinates all promotional materials delivered by Hamilton College. They included space in the seasonal brochure, press releases, posters and postcards and inclusion on the HC website. MWPAI provided space on its season performing arts brochure, an article in the monthly Bulletin for members, additional distribution of postcards and announcements on their website and social network events.
Keigwin and Company
2012-13: Nai-Ni Chen and the Ahn Trio
Artist: Keigwin and Company
Total Project Expenses: $30,493
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
The Mohawk Valley Dance Partnership is a consortium of organizations that advances the understanding and appreciation of dance across a broad spectrum of the community and was formed with the vision to enrich people's lives through dance. Several times throughout the year members of the MVDP meet to discuss our goals, review dance company promotional materials and plan our half-week residency.
In November 2011, the MVDP presented Keigwin & Co during a three-day residency in the Utica area. Events included master classes taught by Larry Keigwin and his company members, a school show for 475 elementary school children and a public performance at Hamilton College. Keigwin and Co arrived on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 and started their residency at Hamilton College with a school presentation of excerpts of "Elements." At the suggestion of our Arts in Education partner, Serena Belmont, sections that were not appropriate for all the ages attending were eliminated. Later that day members of the company taught a master class for the intermediate dance students at MWPAI. On Friday, November 4, 2011 the company split into groups: one returned to Hamilton College to teach while another group came to MWPAI to lead the repertory workshop. With the aid of the Mid-Atlantic grant, we were able to craft an additional activity for the most advanced students at MWPAI. The impact of this more in-depth experience still resonates with our students who have repeatedly asked if the Keigwin dancers could return for another residency. The attendance for the public performance was not what we had anticipated, but those who came to see the complete "Elements" were clearly delighted with the performance. It was gratifying to hear the enthusiastic applause.
Nai-Ni Chen and the Ahn Trio
Artist: Nai-Ni Chen and the Ahn Trio
Total Project Expenses: $28,759
DanceForce Funding: $5,500
As always, our goal is to provide our community with an opportunity to see dance and participate in classes with the guest artists. Michelle Reiser-Memmer and I met throughout the year to organize the events surrounding the Nai-Ni Chen residency. This year, the contributions of Serena Belmont, our Arts in Ed partner, were limited once her program lost its funding.
Nai-Ni Chen and Company arrived on Thursday, October 18, 2012 to teach a master class for the intermediate dancers at MWPAI (photos available) before their technical rehearsal at Wellin Hall. The school show began at 10:30am on Friday, October 19, during which the company presented excerpts of "Temptation of the Muses" with introductions and commentary by Nai-Ni Chen. At 1:00pm following the show, Nai-Ni Chen and Company conducted a master class at Hamilton College for a mixed group of beginner and intermediate dancers.
The public performance was advertised widely in several publications including MWPAI Performing Arts Brochure, Hamilton College Performing Arts Brochure, and several local papers. A reporter attended part of the school show.
Without our usual connections to schools in our area, Michelle and I offered a free performance. Schools in Syracuse were also offered transportation. Needless to say, the schools were thrilled with the trip to Hamilton College, especially those from Syracuse who also remained on campus for lunch and a chance to talk to the college students.
- Kuumba Dance & Drum
2010-11: Spot Light on Dance
Partners in Dance Spot Light on Dance
2011-12: African Masters Conference
Artists: Debra Hughes, Zach Morris, Elena Mosley, Tom Pearson, Daniel Ulbricht
Total Project Expenses: $63,102
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
Kuumba Dance and Drum presented “Spot Light on Dance” as part of the 2010-2011 DanceForce Project, providing our rural community with quality dance artists and dance experiences similar to experiences found in large cities with many dance companies.
Phase I: Daniel Ulbricht and Erica Pereira, both professional dancers from New York City performed in the Nutcracker Dance Celebration, in collaboration with the Hudson Valley Academy of Performing Arts in West Taghkanic, NY. The idea to bring artists from the New York City Ballet began with a conversation between Elena Mosley and Debra Hughes at one of the previous DanceForce project venues in Hudson. After agreeing that Columbia County would benefit from dance in venues outside of Hudson, planning meetings at Operation Unite started the process. The Nutcracker event began with a master class, performance/demonstration, question and answer session with dance student participants. The evening event of performance featured both guest artists and 3 additional ballet dancers. Dance schools throughout Columbia, Albany, Greene, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties were contacted in an effort to heighten awareness and educate the public regarding professional dance careers and professional dance training in classical ballet. The excitement of this event inspired Debra Hughes, director/dancer of HVAPA and 17 volunteers to donate time and energy to every detail culminating in a great event. Four additional community partners gladly jumped in to assist: Two of Us Productions hung lighting and supplied necessary cables and switches. Walking the Dog Theater donated the use of a stage flat and provided professional narration for the event. The Albany Berkshire Ballet allowed one their students to perform their choreography of the Arabian Dance with two dancers from the Wild Rose Belly Dance Troupe. Media coverage of the event included Our Town, Register Star and the Columbia Paper. There was a full house of 100 plus, in addition to the 25 cast members in the performance.
Phase II: On Saturday, December 4th, Bessie Award-winning choreographers Zach Morris and Tom Pearson and Bessie Award-winning composer Kris Bauman transformed the oldest theater in New York State into an interactive dance experience! This three day residency in Hudson unleashed creative growth for the artists and possibilities of usage, as well as historical flirtation with the history of the Hudson Opera House auditorium/performance stage. A telephone call and invitation in the spring by Elena Mosley to Zach Morris peaked the interest of Third Rail. Tom Pearson and Zach Morris came to Hudson in July for a site visit, capturing the vision for the residency. Third Rail was charged with an enormous task of creating a work that would appeal to the general public as if “peaking at a glimpse of history” in a snapshot walk-through event. The greater event called “Winter Walk” involves thousands of pedestrian like traffic up and down a closed off main street of Hudson. Pedestrians experience dance in the chilled holiday atmosphere, while looking into windows warmed dancers. On occasion, there is a dance venue allowing patrons to come inside for a brief performance, then on to the next beautiful decorated windows, music or dance experience. The installation was phenomenal, but the work behind the scenes was just as complex. Hours of rehearsal, the appropriate costumes, the interweaving of lighting so subtle, but necessary to each illuminated space and the looping music was seamless in the performance. Gary Schiro, director of the Hudson Opera House noted close to 2000 people visiting the Hudson Opera House that day, with just about everyone going upstairs that “Wow!” look on their faces. Zach Morris and Tom Pearson successfully delivered their expressive site-adaptive, community-specific work, connecting community, individuals, and dance. The evening ending with Third Rail Project artists as honored guests at the post dinner. Needless to say, Third Rail Projects has been invited back by the Hudson Opera House to perform in concert in 2011.
African Masters Conference
2012-13: African Masters Conference II
Artists: Donna Barrett, Yousouf Koumbassa, Aszmara Sherry
Total Project Expenses: $16,963
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
Kuumba Dance and Drum presented a 3 day African Masters Residency Program, examining the contemporary expression of today’s African artists, African American artists and other artists considered outside the African diaspora, with related dance and music styles. The conference presented patrons with a variety of choices, with both direct and indirect African influences, connecting traditional and contemporary expression.
The conference opened on October 8, with playwright/photographer Thalia Cunningham's African photo exhibit, seen by over 900 people through October 30th, 2011 at the Hudson Opera House. Workshops were taught by extraordinary music and dance artists: Youssouf Koumbassa, former artist of Ballet Djoliba, the National Ballet of Guinea; Manque Sylla; the Kon Koura Dance Company Guinea, Harambe Dance Company, Aszmara representing the Middle East and Sonal Bhatt with traditional dance from India. Theater Motus from Montréal performed a "Baobab", a West African fairytale incorporating dance, music, and puppetry for 730 students and faculty and a community evening performance at Taconic Hills School District. Len Cabral shared African Americans stories immediately after, dances of the Congo workshop with Diata Diata. It was an interesting process to watch people entranced by Diata Diata drumming and beauty of the dance participants, then the shift to a younger set settling in for the storyteller. Aszmara Sherry's workshop was stopped only because she needed a break for her performance; dancers immediately asked for her to return. AMC Concert I was very exciting with Aszmara and Kon Koura Guinea. This AMC energy carried over to the outdoor AMC Concert II with Harambee Dance Company along the beautiful Hudson River. Hudson Opera House, one of our partners, held a weekend of activities on and around a floating Barge and AMC Concert II was a huge part of the event. On October 22nd, Sonal Bhatt's Indian dance workshop drew a surprisingly family audience and most attending Kuumba events for the first time. The Highlight of AM Concert III was the visual and auditory connection of African music and dance with Sonal Bhatt, Wild Roses Belly Dance Troupe, Kuumba and Middle Eastern dancer Lila. The audience was engaged and participated in each aspect of the concert. This was a unique experience for both audience members and artists.
African Masters Conference II
Artists: Kon Koura Guinea, Yousouf Koumbassa, Aszmara Sherry
Total Project Expenses: $16,700
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
Kuumba Dance and Drum proposes a 3 day African Masters Residency Program., as part of a follow-up / continuation of the 2011 residency examining contemporary expression of today's African artists, African American artists and other artists considered outside the African Diaspora, with related dance and music styles.
The conference will take place from October 5 through October 15th, 2012. Due to the excitement of the artists, several are being invited back and new artists will be included. Dance Artists returning will include: Youssouf Koumbassa, former artist of Ballet Djoliba, the National Ballet of Guinea; Aszmara Sherry combines Modern Dance with traditional Arab and Turkish dance; Indian-influenced dance of Sonal Bhatt and Manque Sylla of Guinea. Regional artists will include Zworkie and Felix Nelson, Donna Barret and Kuumba Dance and Drum.
Kuumba and the Hudson Opera House will collaborate on two concerts. Kon Koura Guinea, led by Mangue Sylla, will bring an explosion of powerful dance and music traditions, while the Transition Ensemble will feature Aszmara. The Transition Ensemble, a fusion of Jazz with modern and traditional music of the Middle East, with Souren Baronian (Reeds) and Haig Manoukian (Oud), and Swiss singer and percussionist Cornelia Kraft, have performed in New York's jazz clubs like the Bottom Line, the Blue Note, the Village Gate, and Carnegie Hall.
The conference will offer patrons a variety of choices, with both direct and indirect African influences with African American stories, "Live Art" with Elombe Badila, and an African photo exhibit by Thalia Cunningham. M'Bemba Bangoura is excited about coming, as he was out of the country last year. New community partners returning to collaborate are the Columbia County Chambers of Commerce and Columbia County Tourism and the City of Hudson. New comer Basilica will provide venues along with the Hudson Opera House. In addition to venues, returning partner Hudson Opera House will co-sponsor one of the evening concerts with Aszmara Sherry and her music ensemble.
The audience will be drawn from the Tri-State area (New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut.), with anticipation of 2,800 in attendance. Saturday and Sunday early programs will have an emphasis on children/family activities and workshops. Afternoon and evening will focus on adult workshops and evening performances. Project Advisors include: Maria Suttmeier, Assistant Superintendent, Hudson City Schools, Joseph Watson, Vice President/Curriculum Director, Columbia Greene Community College and David Colby, Director of the Chamber of Commerce. The African Masters Residency will bring artists living in New York State to Columbia County, and numerous art patrons to Hudson. The impact of African music and dance on economic tourism will be reflected in the business community through foot traffic, support of the arts and food sales. Project Directors are Elena Mosley, Artistic Director of Kuumba Dance and Drum/Executive Director of Operation Unite Education and Cultural Arts Center and Gary Schiro, Executive Director of Hudson Opera House, a multi-arts center in Hudson.
- Beth Hartle Fecteau
2010-11: Partners in Dance Member Support and Regrant Project
Partners in Dance Member Support and Regrant Project
Total Project Expenses: $7,300
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
Counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington
The goal at Partners in Dance is to support the consortium's mission of maximizing the audience for each year's Capital Region dance season through its regrant program, as well as to partially support administrative costs, meeting expenses and honorariums for professional development. The remainder of these expenses as well as all other activities and functions of Partners in Dance (web site, fundraising, etc.) are funded through member dues and donations.
Partners in Dance members (as of June 30, 2011) include Colleen Dooley, Saratoga Savoy, Paul Rosenberg, Mary Jane Dike, Nan Guslander, Helga Prichard, Betty Gavin-Singer, Nacre, Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, Vanaver Caraven, Toni Smith, Dee Sarno, Laurie Zabele-Cawley, Xinhua Lee, eba, Hudson Valley Community College, UAlbany PAC, Abram Lansing Elementary School, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, National Museum of Dance, Emma Willard School, Sally Rhoades, Ione Beauchamp, Questar III, Tango Fusion Dance Company, Arts Center for the Capital Region, Skidmore Dance Program, Mindy Ianotti, Albany Academies and the Office of Special Programs at Skidmore College.
Three general membership meetings were held for Partners in Dance members. The National Museum of Dance generously offered space for the summer meeting where members were able to participate in the open discussion with American Modern Dance legend, Bill T. Jones. The Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs was the meeting location for our fall meeting where members took a tour and learned about future opportunities of this historic Saratoga landmark that will one day be a performing arts venue for the city of Saratoga Springs. Our members ventured back to the National Museum of Dance for the spring meeting where members learned about a special choreographic offering by New York City Ballet dance Justin Peck for Saratoga Artsfest of June 2011. All these meetings allowed members to share upcoming dance opportunities with one another. Also at each meeting, regrant recipients are invited to share the success of their project funded by Partners in Dance regrant program in hopes to encourage other members to submit for funding in the future.
Partners in Dance awarded six Partners in Dance members funding for the 2010-11 season. All current members of Partners in Dance are eligible to apply for funding, as long as the funded projects meet the following criteria: 1) must relate to a presentation of dance in the capital region dance season through adult or youth education; 2) be submitted by a paying member of Partners in Dance (listed above); 3) engage multiple funding sources; 4) reflect the involvement of multiple community and artist partners.
For the 2010-11 season the projects included: 1) "Providing Post-Participatory Experiences" by Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. This project allowed 200 students to see "Dance by Chance" performance by Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and engage in a post-participatory workshop experience with presentational and participatory perspectives. 2) "Dance for Special Needs College Students and Young Entrepreneurs" by eba. This program introduced the Art of Dance through workshops in: dance, how to be an active audience member, choreography, and a seminar about dance in our community through performances by Maude Baum and Company Dance Theatre. 3) "Keeping the Heritage of Modern Dance Alive II" by Nacre offered area modern dancers the opportunity to work alongside visiting artists to learn the works of master choreographers and present these works to audiences in the Capital region through master classes, lectures and performances at the Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs and movement classes with the Franklin Community Center's "Project Lift" for underprivileged elementary school students. 4) Swing Kids - Arts in Action by Tango Fusion Dance Company brought ballroom dancing to the schools and community of Saratoga Springs through classes, workshops and participatory performances. 5) "Seeing Dance with a Critical Eye" with TAKE Dance Company provided high school students the opportunity to attend a professional dance performance as well as work with dance writer Susan Mehalick to look at the art form (dance) and put the experience into words. 6) "Chinese Dance Performance" by Xinhua Lee. This project took research of authentic Chinese costumes, music and dance with students from the Chinese Community Center and applied it to choreography and performance with the Asian Culture Chinese Dance Troupe. As a result of the above regrant projects, Partners in Dance continued to bring quality dance performance and education opportunities to the Capital Region.
2012-13: Partners in Dance Regrant Program and Member Support
Partners in Dance Regrant Program and Member Support
Total Project Expenses: $36,600
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
Counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady
Partners in Dance requests funding to support our regrant program and member support services. Partners in Dance is a member-based organization comprised of approximately 30 local individuals and organizations who are vested in dance and support Partners in Dance's mission to support the regional dance community and maximize audiences for the Capital region dance season. To assist members toward this shared mission, Partners in Dance will use DanceForce funds to provide a regrant program for PID members to support initiatives in dance education, and member support with professional development offered biannually at general membership meetings.
The Partners in Dance regrant program supports creative programs in dance education for adults and children in schools and communities throughout our 4-county service area: Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady & Saratoga. Grants are available to current PID members, and average $1000-2000, based on available funding. In recent years we have funded 4-6 projects per year, with an application process in the fall and projects typically occurring the following winter/spring. Funded projects typically include residencies, workshops, performances, and other activities. Projects must collaborate with community partners and dance artists from all genres, reach out to underserved populations and audiences of all ages, and have potential to expand or enhance the applicant's work in the future, thus creating a cycle of growth in dance programming and education. Historically, the regrant program reaches an average of 4,000-7,000 people each year. Projected figures for Events, Audiences and Budget are based on numbers from past member projects.
While PID provides member support throughout the year in the form of technical assistance and networking via our website and Facebook page, our primary member support involves two meetings annually, each with a professional development component to address issues of concern or interest to our members. These services and the regrant program provide our members the tools and financial assistance to successfully create and plan residencies, workshops, and performances. Partners in Dance is governed by a Board of Directors who convene regularly to make operational and financial decisions for the organization, plan membership meetings, oversee a grant panel (comprised from the membership) and represent Partners in Dance at DanceForce meetings.
- New York Live Arts
2011-12: Kaatsbaan Creative Residency
Kaatsbaan Creative Residency
2012-13: Kaatsbaan Creative Residency
Artist: Ivy Baldwin
Total Project Expenses: $6,500
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop) provided week-long creative residencies at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY to Ivy Baldwin. The focus of the residencies was the development of new dance works in preparation for their presentation at New York Live Arts. The artist received transportation, housing, food, rehearsal space, a stipend for themselves and their dancers, and administrative support. The residencies included open rehearsals/work-in-progress showings with post-showing discussions with the Kaatsbaan audience. The Kaatsbaan Studio Theatre is a 160-seat space with a performance floor the size of the stage at the Metropolitan Opera House. With stadium-style seating of only 7 rows and 22 seats in a row, each audience member is guaranteed an intimate dance experience.
New York Live Arts identifies artists poised at a significant stage of career growth who can take unique advantage of the creative time that the residency offers – time and space to create, unhindered by the pressures of competition, economics, and production deadlines. Programs that nurture an artist’s process are becoming increasingly rare, and simultaneously more necessary than ever as resources and funding for these artists are scarce.
New York Live Arts, a new entity formed by the merger of two organizations, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop, will be widely acknowledged as a center for the development and presentation of new dance artists. New York Live Arts is committed to supporting artists at all stages of their careers and phases of creative development. In addition, the partnership with the NYS DanceForce provides early creative residency time to support a deep and thoughtful exploration of ideas.
Kaatsbaan Creative Residency
Artists: Juliana May, Gwen Welliver
Total Project Expenses: $8,000
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
New York Live Arts will provide week-long creative residencies at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY to Gwen Welliver and Juliana May. The focus of the residencies is the development of new dance works in preparation for their seasons at New York Live Arts. The artists receive transportation, housing, food, rehearsal space, a stipend for themselves and their dancers, and administrative support. The residencies include open rehearsals/work-in-progress showings with post-showing discussions with the Kaatsbaan audience. The target audience includes artists and dance enthusiasts, as well as members of the local community. The Kaatsbaan Studio Theatre is a 160-seat space with a performance floor the size of the stage at the Metropolitan Opera House. With stadium-style seating of only 7 rows and 22 seats in a row, each audience member is guaranteed an intimate dance experience.
Live Arts identifies artists poised at a significant stage of career growth who can take unique advantage of the creative time that the residency offers û time and space to create, unhindered by the pressures of competition, economics, and production deadlines. Programs that nurture an artistÆs process and provide opportunities to test their ideas with a curious and engaged audience such as at Kaatsbaan are still all too rare, and all the more so for artists working within experimental forms.
On February 9, 2011, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (BTJ/AZ) and Dance Theater Workshop (DTW) merged to form New York Live Arts, the nationÆs first choreographic center dedicated to the creation and presentation of artistic work by artists at all levels of their careers. Live Arts is fully committed to preserving the legacies of our co-founding organizations, and our mission is to support dance artistry through new and adaptive approaches to producing, presenting, education and community engagement.
- Flamenco Vivo
2010-11: Southern Tier Flamenco Residency
Southern Tier Flamenco Residency
2011-12: Flamenco Through the Disciplines
Artist: Carlota Santana
Total Project Expenses: $12,300
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
County: Allegany, Steuben
The goals were:
1) to bring world class Flamenco dance and music to residents of NY state that would otherwise not experience this art form live.
2) To revitalize the dance presenting activities in the Southern Tier of NY State
3) To connect with Spanish-speaking populace in that locale
The residency was planned by Lois Welk, former director of the NYS DanceForce and dance faculty member of 171 Cedar Arts Center. An experienced presenter, she brought to the project her indepth knowledge of the community and dance as living art form in partnership with Jennifer Warner, the Program Director at 171 Cedar Arts Center and Carlota Santana the Artistic Director of Flamenco Vivo. The team was focused on sharing the experience across age groups, counties, and music and dance audiences.
Wed Feb 23
6-7:30pm Welcome reception for the artists at 171 Cedar Arts Center. In attendance was 171 Cedar Arts Center's Spanish teacher, visual artists, dance faculty and music faculty as well as the general public.
Thursday Feb 24
10am: School Assembly program at 171 Cedar Arts Center. Students from the Alternative School for Math and Science and Northside Blodgett Middle School.
2pm: Master class at Alfred University. This class was not a course requirement and yet it attracted 50 students. It was well marketed to the Latino student groups, the dance students and the dance clubs.
Friday Feb. 25
9:30 am: School Assembly program in Watkins Glen Middle School (This program was canceled because of a winter storm.)
7:00 pm: Evening of Tapas and Flamenco at 171 Cedar Arts Center. Despite the storm earlier in the day, 123 were in attendance. A close to capacity crowd for 171 Cedar's black box theater.
Sat. Feb 26
2pm: Two master classes at 171 Cedar Arts Center - dance and guitar, simultaneous, with the classes coming together at the end for a sharing. There were no registrations for the guitar class and only 2 for the dance master class.
171 Cedar led the marketing campaign and launched communications with press releases, posters, flyers, email blasts and outreach to the local Spanish teachers, dance students and music students. Everyone in town knew that Flamenco Vivo was in town.
The partnership with Northside Blodgett School was the continuation of an ongoing relationship but a rare opportunity for the students to be bused off the school grounds to 171's performance venue. The lecture demonstration informed the students of the multi-cultural roots of flamenco and engaged with their knowledge of elementary Spanish.
Alfred University has benefited from NYS Dance Force projects in the past, but it has been more than 8 years since 171, or the NYS DanceForce has had an impact in that community. With 50 students in attendance at the master class, the response exceeded our expectations. The credit goes to Chase Angier for her tireless promotion, flyers, verbal encouragement, email blasts etc.
Unfortunately the school show schedule for Watkins Glen Middle School was snowed out.
Saturday master classes at 171 were very poorly attended. No registration for the guitar master class and only 2 for the dance class. There were rehearsals going on for a dance performance that afternoon that involved a lot of the local dancers. Unfortunately the residency was scheduled prior to the scheduling of this local performance and could not be moved because of the artists availability.
Flamenco Through the Disciplines
2012-13: Celebrating the History of Flamenco in NY
Artists: Joaquin Gallegos, Leslie Roybal, Carlota Santana
Total Project Expenses: $8,000
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
The goal was to introduce community to the Flamenco art form and to see how it crosses disciplines. Classes were held for a Middle school - some who were studying Spanish language and others who were studying Euorpean History. This was a cross curricular presentation. A workshop was held om Monday evening September 26 and led by four Flamenco Vivo artists: musicians, dancers and singers. This workshop attracted 57 people on the Cornell University Campus and included people from age 6 to 60--showing that this art form is accessible and available to all.
Tuesday September 27: an evening performance was held with about 250 attendees from the Cornell and surrounding communities; a full hour production was given. On Wednesday morning the artists visited a Music Class on campus (world music) and spoke and worked with class for the entire class period. Class were led mostly by Flamenco Vivo musicians-guitarist and singer. The artists also dined with the Spanish House students on Monday evening sharing their knowledge of Spanish and the art form.
Artists: Leslie Roybal, Joaquin Gallegos, Ricardo Santiago, and Giselle Asad.
Tuesday September 27: the four artists visited a middle school and taught two workshops to 90 6,7, and 8th graders with hands-on activities and cultural aspects of the art form.
The Middle school was a new partnership for Cornell and Jim Self.
Celebrating the History of Flamenco in NY
Artist: Carlota Santana
Total Project Expenses: $10,000
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
The goal of “Celebrating 100 years of the Art of Flamenco in NY” is to welcome the art form into the NYS fabric of dance by performing at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. Performances, lecture/demonstrations and master classes will be held in conjunction with an exhibit on the history of Flamenco in NY since 1913. These performances will coincide with the 30th Anniversary of Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana which is proud to be the only actively touring, multi-faceted Flamenco company to reach this milestone. The exhibit will include photos and videos from the early days of the Company and from the early days of artists who performed in NY such as Carmen Amaya, La Argentina and La Argentinita, and Jose Greco and the famous guitarist Sabicas, among others. This is of great significance for the art form of Flamenco and hopefully another step for the art form’s entrance into the mainstream of dance here in NY and in the USA.
- Cornell University Department of Theatre, Film & Dance
2010-11: New York State Dancing Green/Part II
Toni Smith -
New York State Dancing Green/Part II
Artists: Colleen Culley, Jim Self
Total Project Expenses: $12,030
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
Counties: Livingston, New York, Tompkins
The 2010/11 portion of The Dancing Green project is a continuation of a multi-year project calling attention to the 'Green' movement and dance. Events take place in ball fields, festival grounds, village commons, and other outdoor spaces. Events are also staged in 'Green' buildings and/or explore "Green' content in indoor venues.
Part two, like part one includes Mob Dances created and directed by Colleen Culley of NYC, and puppet dances by Jim Self and Norm Johnson of Ithaca. The project reaches a wide general audience including students, seniors, parents, and children. Each activity is designed to include as many people as possible as dancers, participants and spectators. The "mob dances" are specifically designed and created to facilitate large numbers of community members performing short simple dances. These dances are documented on video and posted on the Dancing Green website, You Tube and similar venues maximizing visibility.
Saturday July 24,2010 GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance
Trumansburg, NY (60—participant dancers/600 observers)
Sunday August 1, 2010 Summer Concert Series in Livonia, NY
(100 participant dancers/ 500 observers)
May/June/July 2011 NYC--Colleen Culley is developing an evening length community dance performance project created by and for employees of the Moderns (a 'Green' marketing company) and the larger community including Union Square Grows. Themes include the Beehive-Society, external and internal reality image distinctions. Performances to be determined.
June 2, 2011--Ithaca Festival Parade (6 participant dancers/ 10,0000 observers)
June 4, 2011--Workshop for office workers/students who spend significant amounts of time at desks in front of computers. Cornell's Johnson School of Management (16 participants)
June 5, 2011 -- Ithaca Festival Performance (6 participant performers/250 observers)
June 25, 2011 ---As part of the Dancing Green Project , Colleen Culley collaborated on Global Water Dances
in Hemlock Lake Park, Hemlock NY. (16 dancers/300 observers)
This performance was synced to 50 similar dance projects around the world emphasizing water issues globally and locally. The Livonia project is a collaboration including a movement choir/flash mob created by Deb French and the Students of Avon Central School Environmental Science Class. Their dance is funded with additional grants from the Livingston County Council on the Arts.
2012-13: Dream to Life: Community Hopes, Dreams and Aspirations Realized
Dreams to Life: Community Hopes, Dreams and Aspirations Realized
Artist: Jim Self
Total Project Expenses: $14,200
DanceForce Funding: $8,000
Dreams to Life: Community Hopes, Dreams and Aspirations realized in multiple arts disciplines, venues and events.
Jim Self's project is a two year undertaking designed to bring to life the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a broad spectrum of Tompkins County communities. The first year focus is research, locating target communities, gathering information through interviews and other social interactions, planning and development. Informal events such as movement workshops and lectures, installations by visual artists and group projects will take place toward the end of the first year, and into the second year. The target communities include artist of all disciplines (dancers, performers, actors, painters, singers, videographers), youth programs and senior programs. The intention of the Dreams to Life project is to express, perform, exhibit and demonstrate the aspirations of individuals and groups
Promoting cross-discipline collaboration, examples of projects include: a video artist coordinating an on-line event with dancers and a senior community; a performance artist staging a movement theatre event in 3 different neighborhood homes enacting domestic scenarios; a choreographer directing a movement event for 2 painters and their families. Encouraging boundary expansion and exploration, a primary goal will be finding new ways to integrate dance and collaborative movement into the daily contexts of individuals and groups not regularly exposed to dance practice.
Venues may include, yards, parks, homes, multi-purpose rooms, lobbies, ball courts, parking lots, studios and galleries.
The project will reach at least 900 people. The Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County will provide access to potential artist partners and participators, and Cornell University will coordinate collaborators/sponsors through existing outreach programs.
2010-11: Capital Region Dance Calendar; Také Dance at Saratoga ArtsFest; Také Dance at UAlbany
Capital Region Dance Calendar; Také Dance at Saratoga ArtsFest
2011-12: Partners in Dance Regrants, Capital Region Dance Season Calendar
Artist: Také Dance
Total Project Expenses: $20,400
DanceForce Funding: $3,545
Counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington
This project is two fold:
The Capital Region Dance Season Calendar is a two sided, 8 1/2 x11, two color, specially designed calendar that lists all dance performances by touring and local dance companies in Saratoga, Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Washington, Columbia, Fulton Counties. It serves as a singular opportunity for dance audiences to reference the opportunity to see dance over a twelve month period, at a minimum of fifteen venues and three dozen dance companies. As a region that encompasses four major cities, Troy, Albany, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs and dance theaters that range from black boxes to 6,000 seat ampitheatres, independent marketing by separate venues does not always serve the dance ticket buyer or those who organize group ticket purchases. The calendar displays the entire season allowing for long term planning. It also is a project that allows local dance presenters and sponsors to work collaboratively toward developing dance audiences.
Také Dance, a NYC based modern dance company had plans to be in residence at Skidmore College in the summer teaching professional and pre-professional dancers. The residency was scheduled to take place at a time that coincided with the 4th annual Saratoga ArtsFest, a city wide festival with over 100 performances/showings/events at 50 locations. DanceForce funds allowed for a performance fee that supported a formal dance performance of Take Dance. Skidmore College provided a dance theater, technical staff and Saratoga ArtFest provided marketing for the event. The performance eventually led to another residency opportunity later in the year at the State University at Albany.
The Také Dance Performance in Saratoga Artsfest in the Skidmore College Dance Theater allowed dance students to see the company perform a work they were learning. The company established a longer term relationship with the region. The site host of the performance is developing into a location for future mini-residencies that engage emerging companies to compliment their standard long term residencies with large, well established companies. Take Dance, when returning to the area 6 months later stated that they "LOVE" the capital region and would love a continued presence in the region. The effectiveness of the administration of Take Dance and the affection the company holds for everyone they encountered will last long past this season. Eventhough the performance fee was modest, it was met with all the financial benefit of a residency sponsor (Skidmore Summer Programs) making a ten day experience blessed with a wonderful performance.
The Capital Region Dance Season Calendar is a staple tool for the dance lover's audience. It allows the ticket buyer to see the diverse array of dance companies, dance venues and dance festivals on a single sheet of paper. The dance presenters and sponsors that participate do so with ease and enthusiasm. Educators use the calendar to plan block ticket buying for their students. Dance audience members use the calendar to broaden their dance acumen by experimenting with performances that they may not even be aware of, because of a listing on the calendar. The simplicity of the information on the calendar allows for all venue web sites and box office phone numbers to be listed along with photos and organization by month. A first class mailing is funded by the Dance Alliance to their 300 members who are dance educators, dancers, choreographers and dance lovers. The distribution of the calendar is the most difficult challenge because tabling must be done several times throughout the year and all this is done on a volunteer basis, which requires organization and diligence.
That said, the calendar is one item that disparate dance presenters and sponsors do together without struggle and a there is appreciation among the arts organizations who stretch their budgets and staff each year to bring dance to upstate audiences.
Také Dance at UAlbany
Artist: Také Dance
Total Project Expenses: $13,890
DanceForce Funding: $4,505
From February 2-5, 2011, the UAlbany Performing Arts Center hosted a residency by TAKE Dance. This followed up on the company's residency at Skidmore College in June 2010. Hopefully, it has helped to establish a presence in the Capital District for this young company as well as brought focus to the UAlbany Performing Arts Center as a viable venue for dance in the region. Beyond these perhaps lofty goals, the residency offered yet another opportunity for our community to experience dance both on stage and through interactions with guest artists.
Planning for the project was done mainly by Kim Engel of the UAlbany Performing Arts Center and Nicole Vandestienne of TAKE Dance. Two meetings were held during the company's residency at Skidmore and one happened in New York City in January 2010. The remainder of the planning was accomplished through phone and email communications. Potential participants in the February residency were invited to see the company perform and meet with them while they were at Skidmore. About a dozen, seized the opportunity from which about half then actually participated in the February residency.
The company arrived on the evening of February 1. The schedule for the first day of the residency included two master classes at UAlbany (10:45am & 3pm) and one at Siena College (3pm) along with the screening of Damian Eckstein's documentary, A Year with TAKE Dance (7pm). Day 2 consisted of two Movement for Actors classes at UAlbany (1:15pm & 2:45pm) as well as a modern technique class at Skidmore College (3:40pm). That evening, the company had a tech rehearsal for the Friday morning performance. Day 3 included a matinee for school groups (10am), another Movement for Actors class at UAlbany (2:45pm) and tech for the Saturday evening show. As a respite from the residency, the company was treated to the Tango Fusion performance at The Egg that night, courtesy of complimentary tickets supplied by Peter Lesser. The last day of the residency was the culminating performance for the University community and the general public (8pm). Throughout the four days of the residency, the company was also afforded ample rehearsal time both on stage and in the dance studio.
In conjunction with the morning matinee, the UAlbany Performing Arts Center contracted with Susan Mehalick of the Times Union to conduct sessions on critical writing with students before and after the show as well as to facilitate a question-and-answer period immediately following the performance. This aspect of the residency was made possible by funds from Partners in Dance who will report about the activities, results, goals, etc. in their final report with information, photos and testimonials that have been provided to them.
Promotion of the residency was accomplished through many means: 1) introducing potential participants to their work while they were at Skidmore in June, 2) early and consistent email communications, 3) targeted mailings, 4) inclusion in the Dance Alliance newsletter for three months both as an insert and in the body of the newsletter, 5) a traded ad in Limon program at Skidmore, 6) a complimentary insert in Tango Fusion program at The Egg, 7) feature articles in both The Times Union and The Gazette (the Capital Region's largest daily newspapers), 8) posters at colleges/universities and in the community, 9) company efforts (targeted mailing to audience members from their two years performing at PS21 in Chatham) as well as inclusion in their newsletters and email blasts, and 10) targeted communications with specific populations with an interest in the company's work (both dance and the documentary). For the 10am matinee, mailings and email communications were sent to area educators by the Ualbany Performing Arts Center as well as the three BOCES operating in this region -- Capital District BOCES, Questar III and the Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Hamilton and Essex BOCES.
Partners in Dance Regrants, Capital Region Dance Calendar
2012-13: Capital Region Dance Season Calendar; Upstate Downstate: Commission of a New Work
Artists: Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, Tango Fusion Dance Company
Total Project Expenses: $15,002
DanceForce Funding: $4,637
Counties: Albany, Dutchess, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady
2011-12 was officially a no-funding year for Partners in Dance, however, Dance Force member Toni Smith graciously donated $3500 of her Dance Force funding to PID to support our regrant program. Partners in Dance contributed $500 in funding from our own resources for a total of $4,000 of available funding. Each year, Partners in Dance regrants our Dance Force funds to our members to support programs in youth and adult education with the goal of educating and building audiences for dance in the Capital Region. Members were notified of the competitive grant availability through email and print materials. Typically our review process occurs in the fall, but the 2011-12 application process took place in January 2012, with a panel of PID members evaluating and awarding grants, and the PID Board voting on final approval. Board member Lauren Zoppa administered the grant program on behalf of PID.
For 2011-12 we funded three projects (descriptions below) in Saratoga, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties. 19 artists and 5 community partners were involved in the 74 events and activities, which reached nearly 2,000 people of all ages. Activities included workshops and performances in modern dance, swing dance, salsa, and hip-hop, and included both in-school AIE activities as well as events open to the public. Tango Fusion's program specifically reached out to a small local underserved population, while the Arts Center's project targeted the general public, reaching over 1,000 people. Grant recipients are responsible for their own publicity & promotion (typically using a combination of print and electronic media), but PID posts funded events on our webpage and Facebook page. Community and participant response was enthusiastic for all programs. Here are the 3 programs we funded:
The Arts Center of the Capital Region: $1500 for Dance in Unexpected Places/Spring Expression. The Arts Center collaborated with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company on a new multi-part modern dance performance at the Arts Center in Troy entitled Dance in Unexpected Places/Spring Expression. The dance experience consisted of 3 free performances (Dance in Unexpected Places), performed to ambient sound throughout The Arts Center lobby and exhibition galleries on January 27, February 24, and April 27 as part of Troy Night Out, and a repertory concert that featured a new premiere, Spring Expression, performed on May 12 in The Arts Center's 100-seat Black Box Theatre. Before the concert and after each performance, audience members had an opportunity to talk with Artistic Director Ellen Sinopoli and the ESDC dancers about their experiences in choreographing and performing the pieces. Because of the informal nature of the project, and the timing of it with the popular Troy Night Out program, many people were exposed to modern dance who might not otherwise have come to a concert. Dancers moved through and interacted with multiple spaces in the Arts Center as visitors and sidewalk bystanders observed. Many followed the dancers from space to space, commenting on this unique means of presenting dance. Many spoke with Ellen and the dancers in between sets. Over 1,000 people of all ages attended, and nearly 50 followed up by attending the Spring Expression premiere repertory concert. The Arts Center reports higher than average attendance for these troy Night Out evenings, as well as new faces in the crowds. Both the dance company and the Arts Center were very pleased with the outcome.
Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company : $1500 for 4th Graders Experiencing Dance as Audience Members, Choreographers and Performers. Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company conducted a dance residency program for 4th graders in the Scotia-Glenville school district. The residency began with a February 14 performance of ESDC's "Dance By Chance," a lively, interactive show which mixes math and movement. Prior to the performance, teachers prepared the students with activities and a study guide from ESDC. Following the performance, 5-day residencies with all 4th grade students were held in each of the schools from March thru May. Working with 2 dancers and a percussionist, students developed a basic vocabulary of modern dance, explored spatial concepts, and dove into the creative process, inventing innovative and imaginative ways to move and create shapes. Students choreographed their own small group pieces, and performed them for an audience of other students, teachers, and family members. This program is in its 13th year, and is highly prized by the district, which commits significant personnel and resources each year to ensure its success. Teachers are impressed with the engagement of their students as they develop new skills and ways of thinking. During the residency students kept written and illustrated journals of their experiences, and judging by their comments, they love it and learn from it. Each year, it reaches a new group of students, parents and families, making it a very effective audience building tool.
Tango Fusion Dance Company: $1000 for Dancing Families. Tango Fusion Dance Company partnered with the South Side Rec Center to bring a series of dance classes to families in the Jefferson Terrace neighborhood of Saratoga Springs, a racially diverse and economically challenged underserved population. Fun and informal, two 4-week sessions of classes in Swing and Salsa dancing were offered from March-May for kids and adults of all ages and abilities. Classes for kids were free, and culminated in a Kids Night Out celebration at the South Side Rec Center where the kids shared what they've learned, and Johnny Martinez and Diane Lathrupp performed. The adult class was to have culminated in a night out with the instructors at a local dance club. Tango Fusion developed this program as a direct result of a successful pilot project they initiated at Jefferson Terrace last year which received good community response. This year, they had some difficulty with one of their community partners not fulfilling their (publicity and space) responsibilities which affected attendance and resulted in a change of plan and venue. Despite Tango Fusion going door-to-door with information, adult participation was low due to the last minute notice. Classes were moved to Tango Fusion's studio (a few blocks away) instead of on-site in the neighborhood, and they partnered with a local school to attract more students. Hip hop was added as the kids expressed interest in that. Ultimately however, the project successfully reached an underserved student population, and the kids expressed a desire for more.
Capital Region Dance Season Calendar
Total Project Expenses: $1,410
DanceForce Funding: $1,137
Counties: Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer
The Capital Region Dance Season Calendar has become a tradition in upstate New York for over five counties. It is a one page calendar listing of dance performances, events and festivals that are scheduled to take place over a full calendar year. The capital region is a compilation of four major cities that are within a twenty mile radius (Albany, Saratoga Springs, Troy and Schenectady) of each other. Collectively, they are the home to close to a dozen performing arts venues that host dance. Each arts or education organization that sponsors dance activity markets its own unique season. The Capital Region Dance Season Calendar gathers data on all dance events over a twelve month period and makes it available to ticket buyers, educators, arts organizations and more. The design of the calendar is full color, foldable for mailing and presentable for tabling. It is the one project that all regional dance presenters do together, allowing for an arena for back and forth conversation. 2500 calendars were printed, the design fee was partially donated and a local dance membership organization paid for the postage for a first class mailing to activists in the dance field. All administrative efforts and fees were donated. The information and photographs are gathered over a one month period in late summer when local dance organizations have set their upcoming seasons. Once the calendar is printed it is provided for all partners who participated and placed in brochure friendly locations around the region several times over a twelve month period. In some ways the desire to be listed in the calendar and encourage early, responsible setting of dates and seasons for local dance companies.
Upstate Downstate: Commission of a New Work
Total Project Expenses: $26,800
DanceForce Funding: $6,800
This commission will support the creation of a new work. It will allow an emerging dance company that is presenting new work in downstate NY in 2012/13 at a major dance presenter to have two weeks of creative time in the Dance Center of the campus of Skidmore College in the summer of 2012. The presenter is in conversation with the Office of the Dean of Special Programs at Skidmore College and the partnership will be announced in February 2012.
The commission will follow the work through its performance life on programs with The NYS DanceForce listed as one of its primary funders.
During the creative residency, the company will have full access to the Skidmore College Dance Center - studio space and a fully equipped proscenium black box theater, technical support, and accommodations in college town houses and full access to the college dining hall in addition to campus library, sports center and more.
The resident company will share the process informally with regional audiences in an open rehearsal format. A limited number of pre-professional dancers will be able to register for Company classes.
2011-12: Heidi Latsky Dance/The Gimp Project Upstate
Heidi Latsky Dance/The Gimp Project Upstate
2012-13: Heidi Latsky Dance/The Gimp Project in Upstate New York (cont.)
Artist: Heidi Latsky
Total Project Expenses: $10,500
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
Ivan Sygoda's DanceForce project with Heidi Latsky stems from two complementary impulses: Sygoda's familiarity with and high regard for Latsky's work in what is often called "mixed-ability" dance, and pre-existing interest in her work on the part of dance and accessibility faculty at the Universities of Rochester, Buffalo and, potentially, Syracuse. The overarching strategy was to use DanceForce funds to plant seeds of interest on these campuses, to provide interactions with individuals and programs already committed to the artistic validity of this work that could then help forge paths to the relevant presenting programs at each venue. The idea was to build interest from within each community to support what would doubtless be seen as a difficult marketing challenge by the presenters of record, dance being perceived as difficult to begin with.
Conversations involving Heidi Latsky as Artistic Director of Heidi Latsky Dance and of its Gimp Project and Dance Force member Ivan Sygoda took place during the fall and winter of 2011-12 with the individuals named below, conversations which resulted in the activities listed:
University of Rochester/Program of Dance and Movement. Our primary contact is Missy Pfohl Smith, Director of the program and also Artistic Director of Biodance, a local troupe. The program has its own history of dance presenting, including an annual "inspireDance" festival, and a robust series of guest workshops called Moving Minds/Thinking Bodies. What was planned and implemented was a short residency involving Heidi Latsky and four members of her Gimp company. Heidi gave a dance workshop attended by some 30 people on Thursday, February 16 at 5:00pm and an informal performance on Friday, February 17 at 5:00pm in Spurrier Dance Studio, which was attended by approx. 100 ticket-buying members of the campus community. The vents were successful, and Missy Pfohl Smith is eager to leverage this success into a more ambitious presence in the Spring of 2013.
University of Buffalo/Office of Accessibility. Our primary contacts are Susan Mann Dolce, Assistant Director for Consultation and Research in that office, and Jon Lehrer, Artistic Director of the resident LehrerDance company. 2010-2011 DanceForce funds supported an exploratory residency in the spring of 2011 not unlike what Rochester hosted in the spring of 2012. Our champions in Buffalo were not yet successful in convincing the university's presenting program to consider booking Heidi Latsky Dance, and so it was decided to hold a kind of place-holding planning dinner to gather the potential stakeholders around the table. Our host was Dr. Mann Dolce. One of the other guests was Matthew Sanford, a yoga practitioner with expertise in disability issues, and with whom Heidi is eager to collaborate.
A contact in the Syracuse University community who had presented himself as very interested in having Heidi Latsky visit his campus ended up not being in a position on campus to further that goal. Momentum there is therefore stalled, but we have not abandoned the goal.
Heidi Latsky Dance/The Gimp Project in Upstate New York (cont.)
Artist: Heidi Latsky
Total Project Expenses: $15,000
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
Counties: Erie, Monroe
Choreographer/Artistic Director Heidi Latsky will endeavor during 2012-13 to strengthen working relationships initiated during 2011-2012 with individuals and departments at the University of Buffalo and the University of Rochester committed to issues surrounding accessibility and disability. These partners are:
State University of New York at Buffalo. Primary Contact: Susan Mann Dolce. Assistant Director for Consultation and Research, Office of Accessibility, working in partnership with Jon Lehrer, Artistic Director of the resident Lehrer Dance Company and a focal point of area dance activity; Matt Sanford, a visiting Yoga practitioner with an expertise in inclusive participation; Prof. Ann Burnidge of the Theater and Dance Dept., who specializes in Somatics; and William Regan of the Office of Special Events. The ultimate goal is to support a successful full presentation of Heidi Latsky Dance during 12-13 in the Center for the Arts.
University of Rochester. Primary contact: Missy Pfohl Smith, Director, Program of Dance and Movement and Artistic Director, Biodance. The program has its own series of presentations (recently: Monica Bill Barnes, Rebecca Thomas [Flamenco], Edgeworks Dance Theatre, Rochester Contemporary Dance Collective) and a robust series of guest workshops called Moving Minds/Thinking Bodies. These events are distinct from the larger University presenting series. The goal is to solidify on-campus and community relationships and to identify resources to support a fully produced performance by Heidi Latsky Dance, most likely during the Spring 2013 inspireDANCE festival.
The nucleus of each residency will be a stage performance of "The Gimp Project," Latsky's malleable evening of works highlighting the virtuosity of her mixed-ability company. The purpose of the contextualization work (lec-dems and video presentations, movement workshops and classroom visits) is (a) to integrate campus and community stakeholders--so-called disabled persons and those who serve their needs--into the larger residency process, and (b) give potential audiences eyes and minds more accepting of performances involving what Latsky calls "unexpected bodies." Her overarching goal is both aesthetic (to highlight the very real beauty of her performers and their dancing) and humanistic (to shore up the self image of individuals often ghettoized as "different" and to reduce the barriers of discomfort and anxiety that cause so called "normal" people to isolate them.
- Topaz Arts
2010-11: DanceForce Artists-in-Residence at TOPAZ ARTS
DanceForce Artists-in-Residence at TOPAZ ARTS
2011-12: Choreographers Residency at TOPAZ ARTS
Artists: Daniel Charon; Ursula Eagly; John Jasperse
Total Project Expenses: $11,800
DanceForce Funding: $7,300
The DanceForce Choreographers' Residency at TOPAZ ARTS is a creative development program that offered choreographers an residency space to create new work, with open rehearsals and showings for the public during the 2010-2011 Season. As part of "Dance in Queens" a program initiated by TOPAZ ARTS in partnership with the Queens Museum of Art, the residency activity focuses on bringing dance to audiences in Queens County.
Three artists - Daniel Charon, Ursula Eagly, and Dina-Verley Saab-Mills - were selected through an Open Call for Choreographers which was available to choreographers throughout New York State. A panel consisting of professionals within the dance field reviewed over 60 applicants with the criteria based on commitment to their work, strength of proposal, and selecting diverse artists at various stages in their career. Focusing on the solo form, the residency & performance series "Solo Flight: Dance in Queens 2010" occurred in the Summer 2010 culmating with a performance on September 12, 2010 at the TOPAZ ARTS space. Choreographers and their dancers had access to rehearsal space at TOPAZ ARTS, each receiving 50 hours of free space, plus open showings and a final public performance.
In addition, TOPAZ ARTS presents a public open rehearsal on May 2, 2011 by John Jasperse Company. The renowned choreographer presents a new work in development, gaining feedback from our diverse audiences. In May 2011, TOPAZ ARTS hosts international choreographer Yang Sook Cho from Seoul, Korea in a three-week residency to develop new work and present work in an open rehearsal on May 20, 2011.
These projects not only encourage new dance works, the program focuses on attracting new audiences, and addresses the diversity of our Queens community. Choreographers and our audiences come from all parts of NYC as well as Queens, bringing together a mix of professional dance with demographics of our area. Marketing is achieved through our partnership with Queens Museum of Art, together effectively reaching a broad base of Queens and beyond.
Choreographers Residency at TOPAZ ARTS
Artists: Monstah Black, Dina Denis, Molissa Fenley, Chia Ying Kao, I-Ling Liu, Aaron Mattocks, Lynn Marie Ruse
Total Project Expenses: $11,000
DanceForce Funding: $6,500
In FY2012, TOPAZ ARTS offered choreographers a residency space to create new work in a series called "Dance in Queens: Space Exploration". Six artists - Monstah Black, Dina Denis, I-Ling Liu, Aaron Mattocks, Molissa Fenley, and Chia Ying Kao - were selected through an Open Call for Choreographers which was available to dance artists throughout New York City. A panel consisting of professionals within the dance field reviewed 40 applicants with the criteria based on commitment to their work, strength of proposal, and selecting diverse artists at various stages in their career. Focusing on exploring new work and new ways of working, residencies occurred in the Spring 2012. Choreographers and their dancers had access to rehearsal space at TOPAZ ARTS, each receiving 30 hours of free space. Working individually with the choreographers needs, each artist had the opportunity to choose to have open rehearsals, showings or video documentation. The goal of the residency was to give time and space to choreographers without the pressures of having to produce a showing - enabling them to fully immerse in new concepts and making something new in "Space Exploration".
In addition, on February 4, 2012 TOPAZ ARTS presented choreographer Lynn Marie Ruse for a performance of "I'll Crane for You" - an adaptation of choreography by Deborah Hay, with live music by Eric Hubel, and film by Aeric Meredit-Goujon. Supporting the artist investigating new concepts for her dance practice, the choreographer also had access to 20 hours of rehearsal space. A post performance discussion took place after the showing.
This project has brought together a mix of professional dancemakers to create new work in Queens. Marketing is achieved through our ongoing partnership with Queens Museum of Art, and through listings with NYC organizations such as Dance/NYC, NY Foundation for the Arts - Immigrant Arts Projects, NYU Tisch Dance, Queens Council on the Arts, among others, effectively reaching a broad base of Queens and beyond. We distribute flyers at dance studios and venues throughout NYC and market online through social media and email announcements.
- Hobart William Smith Colleges
2010-11: PUSH Physical Theater; Project Becoming: Geneva
PUSH Physical Theater
Artists: PUSH Physical Theater
Total Project Expenses: $4,775
DanceForce Funding: $1,000
PUSH Physical Theater provided dance/theater master classes for beginning modern dance and beginning acting students, advanced modern dance students, and performed a dance concert involving 6 dance artists, 1 td/ld, and gave a post-performance talk-back session. The master classes were held on Monday, March 21 and Wednesday, March 23 and the dance performance was Friday, March 25th. The residency was coordinated by Cadence Whittier, chair of the Dance Department who was involved in the planning process and the promotional and marketing activities. A WEOS radio station ticket give away generated new audience interest; the company's home base in Rochester, NY attracted a few Rochester area residents to the concert. Principal artists involved were the company's co-artistic directors, Heather and Darren Stevenson and the four dancers in their company.
Project Becoming: Geneva
Artist: Christal Brown
Total Project Expenses: $9,250
DanceForce Funding: $6,000
Project Becoming: Geneva sought to engage young women (ages 13-18) in a workshop activities designed to promote healthy body image, to develop stronger body/mind connections and increased self-esteem through dance, yoga, and creative arts experiences. The Project Becoming curriculum was developed by INSPIRIT Dance Company founder Christal Brown, and has been successful in New York communities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Harlem, as well as Charlotte, North Carolina. The goal of Project Becoming: Geneva was to make the program available to at risk teen women in the Geneva area who have limited access to arts enrichment programs. Geneva, NY is an economically disadvantaged rural community: recent Geneva City School District data demonstrate that 58% of Geneva children receive free or reduced cost lunches (compared to a county-wide average of 24%); Geneva High School graduation rates are 68% (compared to a state-wide average of 80%), and the rate for children below the poverty level is an alarming 40.3%--more than twice the state wide average. By creating Project Becoming: Geneva we hoped to provide a program of access to the arts that will inspire young women and make a difference in their lives at a critical point in their emotional and physical development.
The planning process involved multiple conversations with Christal Brown, beginning in the spring of 2010; multiple conversations with local personnel at the Geneva Middle School, Geneva High School, and the Geneva Community Center, beginning in January of 2011, and site visits to the Geneva Community Center, January 2011 onwards. Dates for facility use were proposed, confirmed, changed and renegotiated; housing, transportation and supplies were arranged; additional grant support and/or donations was sought, and publicity was generated to attract participants.
Project Becoming: Geneva included two one-day workshops (April 16, 2011 and June 18, 2011), a kick-off dinner event before the July workshops began, six days of all-day workshops July 25-30, 2011, and a final sharing performance on July 30, 2011. Christal Brown and Alexandra Joye Warren taught the April 16, 2011 workshop (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) for 14 middle school aged girls, and Christal Brown taught the June 18, 2011 workshop which was attended by 9 girls (combined middle school, high school). The pre-workshop dinner was attended by a few of the participants and their parents, plus the four members of the INSPIRIT Dance Company teaching in Project Becoming: Geneva: Christal Brown, Toni Renee Johnson, Chevon Stewart, and Alexandra Joye Warren. The following day-long workshops (10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) had 6-10 participants each day in addition to the four teaching artists. Each day’s activities were focused around a specific thematic question, including “What makes me strong?” “What do I like about my body?” “Who am I now?” and “Who do I want to become?” Workshop events included instruction in dance, capoeira, and yoga; time spent in reflective writing and discussion, improvisations and activities focused on creating positive body image, health and nutrition, goal planning, and self-esteem building. The final performance/sharing activity was held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, 2011. As the audience entered the Geneva Community Center Black Box Theater, they were greeted by the Project Becoming teaching artists and encouraged to view the posters, photo collages, body maps, and writings of the student participants which were displayed on the walls of the theater. Christal Brown introduced the program and spoke of the history of Project Becoming and gave an overview of the week’s events in Geneva. The nine student participants then performed a dance that reflected the many experiences they had during the week. Following the performance, the participants answered questions from the audience and were presented with certificates of participation in the Project Becoming: Geneva program. A reception was held immediately afterwards for participants, parents, family members, friends, audience members and Geneva Community Center staff. (approximately 54 people attended the reception.)
Promotional and marketing activities included fliers and applications sent to Geneva Middle School students, Geneva High School students, and Boys and Girls Club members. E mail versions of the fliers and applications were sent to select Geneva City School District principals, teachers, and guidance counselors. Posters and fliers were prominently displayed at the Geneva Community Center from mid-March through the end of July. An article ran in the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ “Daily Update” and one ran in the Finger Lakes Times before the final performance.
Several local community partners were involved in Project Becoming: Geneva. These included the Geneva Community Center and its resident organization, the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva; Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Geneva Middle School, and the Geneva High School. Additionally, area merchants (grocery stores and restaurants) were asked to contribute food for the day-long workshops and three out of the five did so: Mark’s Pizzeria, Subway, and Wegman’s Grocery Store.
The community and special population served was teen-aged girls of color who had little or no access to dance and arts enrichment programs: the population of participants was 90% non Caucasian. It was a new experience for the white girls to be minority members of a group, and a new experience for the girls of color to be working with a totally African-American teaching artist faculty. The different groups of girls had little interaction with each other previous to this workshop and little understanding of each others’ worlds: through Project Becoming: Geneva new bridges of respect were forged. Many of the girls who participated had never performed for an audience, and were surprised that so many people came to see their performance. They were justifiably proud of their work, and pleased to be seen, heard, and respected for their accomplishments.
Christal Brown feels strongly that the participants of Project Becoming: Geneva need follow-up attention. We are working to ensure this will happen with return visits at least twice this fall. Some travel funds have been redesignated to help with this, and the Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Dance Department has also agreed to support this plan by funding a master class or two from Christal this fall while she is in Geneva.
2012-13: Kyle Abraham: Abraham.In.Motion
Kyle Abraham: Abraham.In.Motion
Artist: Kyle Abraham
Total Project Expenses: $21,394
DanceForce Funding: $6,000
The primary goals and objectives with the Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion project were to foreground the performance of Pavement (previously titled “Boyz N the Hood,”) with master classes and workshops at multiple locations (HWS Colleges, Geneva High School, Geneva Community Center) and to introduce Abraham.In.Motion’s work to a wide audience and generate excitement about the performance itself. We were trying to engage members of the African American community and young hip-hop dancers with the work and promote Kyle Abraham and his dance artists as role models for this community; Geneva, NY and the surrounding communities are culturally underserved and economically disadvantaged. We thought that Kyle Abraham’s artistic voice would speak to issues strongly felt in our community, and hoped that our students, faculty, staff, and community members would find multiple points of entry into this material so that the post-performance discussion could continue to resonate long after the performance ended.
The project included a master class in modern dance technique 10/5/2012 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a “Dialogue in Motion” community outreach event 10/7/2012 at the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Geneva, a lecture demonstration for the 9th Grade Academy at Geneva High School on 10/9/2012, a “Dance as Identity” workshop at HWS Colleges for a mix of dancers and non-dancers 10/11/2012, the performance of Pavement 10/12/2012, and a Question and Answer session following the performance. Principal artists included Kyle Abraham, six additional company member/dancers, Kyle’s outreach and education director Maritza Mosquera, Kyle’s dramaturg Charlotte Braithwaite, Kyle’s lighting and visual design director Dan Scully, and Dan’s assistant.
Community partners included multiple people at three different organizations: the Geneva Human Rights Commission (Director Karen Baer, Assistant Director Emma Lawler and other members); Geneva High School (Principal Greg Baker, Assistant Principal Danielle Ouillette), and Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church (Reverend Dunmore, Assistant Edith Wormley) and a host of other people central to the planning for the Dialogue in Motion (Kharum Hussain, Marty Davis, Anne Hoyt, Rodmon King) including members of the Social Justice Studies Program at HWS, Sankofa at HWS, and the HWS Dance Department.
Promotional and marketing efforts included distribution of electronic and hard copy posters and fliers for both the Dialogue in Motion and the residency activities and performance; the Dialogue in Motion flier reached a new audience based on the Geneva Human Rights Commission mailing list, as well as distribution to area churches. A press release went to local and regional media outlets; I did a live radio interview a few days before the concert on WGVA, the local newspaper, The Finger Lakes Times ran the press release one day, a photo from one of the master classes subsequently, and featured the concert prominently in its “Week End” section; posters and press releases were distributed electronically to the Rochester Choreographers Dance Collective e-list, local and regional colleges received posters, and the day of the concert four large outdoor sign boards announced the concert at each intersection to campus. HWS Colleges’ faculty members and student groups were specifically invited as members of particular communities: African American student groups, Social Justice Studies Program majors and minors, Pride Alliance/GLBTQ, Koshare Dance Collective, Hip-No-Tiqs Dance Team, Africana Studies majors, minors, program faculty; Media and Society students and faculty. We hoped to reach beyond our typical dance majors/minors audience, and were successful at doing that.
linking dance and communities across New York State