Choreographers Residency at TOPAZ ARTS

Molissa Fenley at Judson
Molissa Fenley at Judson

Year: 2011-2012
DanceForce Member: Paz Tanjuaquio
Artists: Monstah Black, Dina Denis, Molissa Fenley, Chia Ying Kao, I-Ling Liu, Aaron Mattocks, Lynn Marie Ruse
Community Partners: Queens Museum of Art
Audience: 275
County: Queens

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, 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.