DanceForce/Adirondack Residency at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts

Lake Placid Center for the Arts dance studio

Year: 2021-2022
DanceForce Member: James Lemons
Artists: Bethania Gomes; Tiffany Rea-Fischer; Andre Zachery
Community Partners: EMERGE125; Lake Placid School of Dance
Audience: 100
County: Essex

The COVID19 pandemic caused a serious disruption to dance artists and practitioners: rehearsal/performances spaces were closed and income streams were diminished as artists struggled to stay both relevant and solvent for months on-end. Coupled with the country’s racial struggles that rose to global prominence in 2020, this period of uncertainty would have lasting impacts on dancers, and particularly dancers of color, for years to come.

The DanceForce Adirondack Residency Program sought to directly address these challenges by providing time, space and financial resources for choreographers of color to re-establish a new relationship with dance, be in a studio for uninterrupted creative time, and have access to a mentor for any needed help and guidance.

An additional goal of the program was one of healing. With no performance expectation and a unique natural landscape to be immersed in, artists were encouraged to use their time to reconnect with their chosen artform and decompress from the challenges of the last two years.

In recognition that the target demographics for this program were different than those conceiving the program, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Executive Artistic Director of NYC-based EMERGE125 and a female-identifying artist of color, was contracted to manage the residency program. Tiffany’s knowledge of the dance world combined with her historical knowledge in working in the Adirondack region would provide invaluable expertise in establishing the program and communicating its goals in a thoughtful way.

Through an open application process, two artists were selected for the program: Bethania Gomes and Andre Zachery. Each artist received full housing, sixty-four hours of uninterrupted access to dance studios, and mentorship opportunties.

Additionally, each artist offered one open rehearsal and one masterclass in partnership with the Lake Placid School of Dance.