Kaatsbaan UpStream Residency Awards 2013-2014

Oliva Contemporary Dance Project
Year: 2013-2014
DanceForce Member: Gregory Cary
Artist(s): Oliva Contemporary Dance Project, Terra Firma Dance Theatre
Audience: 206
Counties: Dutchess

The objective of the 2014 Kaatsbaan UpStream Residency Awards was to provide two 1‐week creative/work residencies at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center to two dance artists, choreographers or dance companies where large professional studio space was needed to fulfill creative goals. All dance styles were considered and there were no specific requirements for artistic content. Professionalism was a high priority in selecting the final dance artists and the artists were expected to utilize the facilities at Kaatsbaan and their time by working full days at their craft during the residency. Each company received a grant to assist with artists’ fees.

The selection process began in September 2013. Dance companies and projects of any size were encouraged to apply and approximately 60 applications were received. Kaatsbaan’s Artistic Director and DanceForce member, Gregory Cary, reviewed all applications and made the final selection. Coordination of all residency activities was addressed by Kaatsbaan program manager, Prudence Garcia-Renart.

The two dance companies selected were Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Stuart Loungway choreographer and artistic director and; Oliva Contemporary Dance Project, Michele Oliva, choreographer and artistic director and Francesca Dario, Co-director. The companies selected were very diverse in artistic concept but all dancers shared a high level of ballet technical training and ability. Though highly inventive and dynamic, Terra Firma Dance Theatre retained the consistent base in ballet technique and a traditionally structure to its choreography. Oliva Contemporary Dance Project retained a sense of the ballet dancer but diverted into highly abstract images that abandoned any traditional concept of music or dance form, completely exploiting the extraordinary ability of the dancers. Both companies also indulged in the large studio and performance space provided by the facility.

Mr. Loungway and the 10 dancers of Terra Firma Dance Theatre were in residence from April 27 until May 3, 2014. Company class was open to the public each morning, Monday through Friday, and an open technical rehearsal was held on Friday May 2. A full company performance was presented on Saturday evening May 3, 2014 that included the premiere performance of work created during the residency.

Mr. Oliva brought lead dancer Francesca Dario and 4 additional dancers to the residency. Company class was also open to the public each morning and an open technical rehearsal was held on Friday, May 9. A full company performance of the full length piece created during the residency was presented on Saturday evening May 10, 2014 .

Company class and the open technical rehearsals were presented at no charge to the public. In an effort to attract an economically diverse audience, the company performances were presented at a reduced ticket price of $20 for adults and a reduced price of $10 for students. 20 seats for each performance were fully subsidized by Kaatsbaan and reserved for special groups. Residents of DayTop Services attended both performances as part of the subsidized seat program.

Both companies were included in the Spring Season post card that was mailed to over 4,500 households. Repeated emails were sent to a list of 2,500. Advertisements were placed in regional publications – the Kingston based weekly Almanac and the monthly publication, Chronogram. Chronogram, with a Hudson Valley circulation of over 100,000, ran a full-page story, with photograph, on the UpStream Series, its concept, creation and resident company Oliva Contemporary Dance Project. Chronogram reaches a diverse audience slanted toward the young-adult which is appropriate for reaching a new, long-term dance audience.