DanceForce Member: Gregory Cary
Artists: Company XIV, Austin McCormick; Project 44, Gierre Godley
Community Partner: Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Dance residencies are recognized as one of the most effective ways to provide a productive and creative working environment for professional dancers, choreographers, and dance companies while introducing the art form to Upstate communities. Residencies provide multiple opportunities for the public to observe dance artists while creating, rehearsing and in performance and to interact with the artists. Thus, sustainable audiences are built through long-term relationships between the public and artists.
Through the 2012-2013 UpStream Residency Awards Program, Kaatsbaan offered two 1-week residencies to dance choreographers and their companies who were in need of time for the creation of new work. All dance companies and projects of any size were encouraged to apply. There were no specific requirements for artistic content but professionalism was a high priority in selection process. Artists were expected to utilize the facilities by working full days at their craft during the residency. For this season there was an emphasis on new groups who had not previously worked in the mid–Hudson area and who needed large professional studio space, uniquely available at Kaatsbaan, to fulfill creative goals. The selection process began in September 2012. Gregory Cary, Kaatsbaan Artistic Director and a DanceForce member, made the final selection from over 60 applications received.
Company XIV, artistic director Austin McCormick, and Project 44, artistic director Gierre Godley, were selected. Company XIV, from Brooklyn, was in residence from April 29 to May 5, 2013, and Project 44, based in Queens, NY, was in residence from June 3- 9, 2013. Each received full use of the Kaatsbaan Studio Complex, one professional studio, housing for all company members at the Dancers’ Inn, kitchen use, and a monetary grant for transportation and general expenses.
Promotion of the residencies and showcase performances reached Dutchess, Ulster, Columbia and Greene counties, the Albany area and New York City. Kaatsbaan’s Spring Newsletter with residency, performance and showcase information was mailed to over 5,000 New York residents. In addition 2,000 postcards were mailed to regional residents and 4 email blasts were sent to a list of 2,000 with information about the companies and the showcase performances. Print ads, funded by Rocking Horse Ranch, were placed in two prominent regional publications.
Each company opened their morning company technique class to dancers in the community. Between the two companies there were 10 open classes. Rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons were open to the public. Company XIV presented a showcase performance on Sunday, May 5, at 2:30pm and Project 44’s showcase was on Sunday, June 9, at 2:30pm. The showcase performances were held in the 160-seat Kaatsbaan Theatre. Showcase performances were theatrically produced with lighting designed by the Kaatsbaan staff. To reduce company expenses, both companies performed in practice dance clothes as is customary with showcase performances. There was a suggested donation of $10 to allow an audience of economic diversity to attend. Approximately 125 attended each showcase. More high-school and college students attended than usual for Kaatsbaan performances. Daytop Center students and seniors from The Fountains were invited and attended both showcase performances.