Kayla Farrish: Residency at Petronio Residency Center

Kayla Farrish at Danspace Project

Year: 2019-2020
DanceForce Member: Judy Hussie-Taylor
Artist: Kayla Farrish
Community Partner: Petronio Residency Center
Audience: 265
County: Greene

Danspace Project (DSP) partnered with Petronio Residency Center (PRC) in Greene County, NY, to host an artist residency for Kayla Farrish/Decent Structures Arts to develop a new work. The week-long New York State DanceForce sponsored residency was held August 26 – September 1, 2019 at the PRC which is located in Round Top, NY.

Kayla Farrish/Decent Structures Arts is an emerging company combining filmmaking, photography, and dance. Farrish is a NY-based dancer and director with a gift for intimate storytelling. Since moving to New York City, Farrish has freelanced as a dancer with various artists and companies including Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More NYC, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Kate Weare Company, Helen Simoneau Danse, Rashaun Mitchell/Silas Riener, Aszure Barton and Artists, Madboots Dance, Nicole Von Arx, Danielle Russo Performance Project, Chris Masters Dance Company, Elena Vazintaris/Dance Projects, and others. At the residency, Farrish was joined by collaborators and performers Dorchel Haqq, Mikaila Ware, Emilee Harney, Nik Owens, and Kerime Konur. Konur was also the documentarian (photos and video), Owens collaborated as a writer of the monologue and poem as well as conducting extended research, and Farrish was director and choreographer (collaborating on all research, writing, sound, and documentation).

During the one week residency at PRC, New York State DanceForce member Elena Mosley of Kuumba Dance & Drum (based in Hudson, NY) brought seven high school students to PRC for a special studio visit with Farrish and her dancers. The students watched rehearsal and engaged in a lively discussion about Kayla’s work and the issues the work raises.

Farrish described the visit: “We shared excerpts of the piece and process… I explained a little bit about each section before we showed the pieces. Afterwards, we had a discussion and opened it up for the students and Elena to ask questions. This was really great both for the creative process, but also because the work is tied to sociopolitical issues with race and gender, it was really important to have people open up discussion from questions and themes in the work. It gave space for people to bring in their personal experiences, expectations, and to question or reflect with us. It was inspiring!”

This marked the second year DSP collaborated with PRC and Kuumba Dance & Drum. DSP also published a special feature about the DanceForce partnership with PRC which appeared in our online Journal in the Fall 2019 issue: http://www.danspaceproject.org/2019/10/11/kayla-farrish/