Abby Zbikowski & The New Utility at The Emelin Theater/Dance Off The Grid

Abby Zbikowski. Photo by Effy Falck

Year: 2018-2019
DanceForce Member: Ivan Sygoda
Artist: Abby Zbikowski
Community Partner: Emelin Theater, Mamaroneck NY
Audience: 265
County: Westchester

This proposal supports the participation of 2017 juried Bessie artist Abby Zbikowski and her New Utility dance company in the spring 2019 edition of The Emelin Theater’s annual Dance Off The Grid series in Mamaroneck, NY. It is anticipated that some or all of Abby’s nine dancers will present excerpts from her then work-in-progress, “radioactive practice,” on one of the shared programs scheduled for a weekend evening in March, April or May.

The proposed project sustains the commitment the Dance Force made several years ago to support touring beyond New York City by each year’s juried Bessie artist, selected by a rotating panel of distinguished dance-makers convened by Bessie Director Lucy Sexton. Bessie artists who have toured with Dance Force support include Pam Tanowitz, Pavel Zustiak (Palissimo), Beth Gill, Gerard & Kelly and Darrell Jones. This project continues in particular the Dance Force’s fruitful collaboration with The Emelin Theater in Westchester and with Andrea Snyder, who curates their Dance Off The Grid Series.

Each DOTG program presents three different dance artists/companies and culminates in an informal audience-performer dialogue moderated by Andrea. She has built a faithful audience for the series, one comprised mainly of adults, who have developed an appetite for the eclectic nature of the dance on display and a willingness to be surprised and even challenged by unexpected idioms. The houses are usually almost full — some 265 attendees. The participating artists appreciate the evident curiosity and attention of the public and the liveliness of the post-performance discussion.