Dance Dish at Topaz Arts

David Sincere Aiken
David Sincere Aiken

Year: 2014-2015
DanceForce Member: Paz Tanjuaquio
Artists: David Sincere Aiken, Julian Barnett, John Jasperse, Elisa Monte, Dahlia Nayar, Margaret Paek, Samita Sinha
Community Partners: Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
Audience: 500
Counties: Queens

“Dance Dish at Topaz Arts” is a dance series featuring showings/open rehearsals, with each event offering fresh ideas along with fresh harvest from the Topaz garden. It was a successful platform in attracting audiences in seeing new dance along with sampling fresh fruit and vegetables from our garden.

For the Fall showings, Julian Barnett showed a preview of “Bluemarble” with choreography & performance by Julian Barnett and Jocelyn Tobias. The artists spent their residency in preparation for the NY Premiere of their work at The Danspace Project in NYC. There was a lively feedback session after their open rehearsal showing at Topaz Arts, along with a serving of fresh kale. The audience attendees ranged from community neighbors to prominent artists in the field. In Fall 2014, Topaz also hosted Samita Sinha in preparation for her solo performance “Cipher” at The Kitchen in NYC. She also gave a free workshop to community members – “Embodied Voice” – in this workshop we will learn to root the voice deeply in the body.

For the Winter Season, Topaz Arts hosted Hip Hop choreographer and dancer David Sincere Aiken. Sincere developed his work through a series of workshops that culminated in an informal showing on March 22, 2015. While the garden was closed for the winter, the Hip-Hop dance form attracted new dancers and audiences to attend the workshops and showing. One workshop/outreach with community partner Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning took place on 4/8/15.

For the Spring Season, acclaimed choreographer John Jasperse shows new work that is “fresh out of the oven”. Topaz Arts presented John Jasperse Company in an Open Rehearsal on 5/9/15 – documentation of this showing was important for the choreographer as he presented new material for his work in progress “Remains”.

In residence during May/June 2015, Elisa Monte Dance Company prepared repertoire for a performance at the Lake Placid Center of the Arts along with their season at New York Live Arts. Also during May/June 2015, Topaz Arts hosted Margaret Paek & Dahlia Nayar “2125 Stanley Street” a collaborative performance by Dahlia Nayar, Margaret Paek and composer Loren Kiyoshi Dempster. This dance performance explored notions of home – basic tasks are infused with virtuosity and nostalgia. Ultimately, the work aims to invite the audience into a home that unfolds through movement and sound, a home that exists in the present moment through intimate exchange. Topaz Arts was an ideal location for the work as the artists explored movement in the gallery space and led the audience to a performance in the dance space. Along with this “Dance Dish”, fresh strawberries were served after the performance.