Tag Archive | "Dance New Amsterdam"

New York Summer Dance Happenings

By Laura Di Orio.

The sun is out, the heat is on, and there’s no better time than the summer for dance. With New York City’s numerous outdoor performance venues, it seems as if there’s always a show to catch. Here, Dance Informa highlights some of summer 2012’s dance happenings and directs you to where you can see tons of dance (often for free!).

SummerStage Dance
June 8 – August 18

SummerStage brings over 100 performances of music, spoken word, theater and dance to NYC parks. This year, 23 dance companies will perform at SummerStage venues throughout the five boroughs – all for free. Preceding many of these shows will be a free, hour-long, all-ages dance class led by one of the many participating performing companies. This summer’s highlights include the world premiere of a special collaboration with the Limón Dance Company and Cuban composer Paquito D’Rivera to celebrate the company’s 65th anniversary, and also a commissioned work by Camille A. Brown and Dancers with live music by Imani Uzuri.

Other companies on SummerStage Dance’s performance roster include Decadancetheatre, The Legendary House of Ninja, Jamal Jackson Dance Company, VON USSAR danceworks, MoralesDance, Koresh Dance Company, BalletX, WHITE WAVE Young Soon Kim Dance Company, DoubleTake Dance, Niles Ford/Urban Dance Collective and more.

Kimmo Pohjonen and Helsinki Nelson: Accordion Wrestling, to make its U.S. debut during Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Photo by Klaudia Weber/Stalker

Lincoln Center Out of Doors
July 25 – August 12


This year marks the 42nd annual Lincoln Center Out of Doors, a free outdoor summer festival. On August 3, at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park Bandshell, the festival will present Accordion Wrestling, a multi-media dance theater piece created by accordion composer Kimmo Pohjonen and Helsinki Nelson, a group of Finnish Olympic-style wrestlers, with choreography by Ari Numminen.

Other performances include New York’s Heidi Latsky Dance, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and Heritage Sunday, an event that will showcase Haitian performing arts. All of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors events will take place on the Lincoln Center campus and are free to the public.

Lincoln Center Festival
July 5 – August 5


This year’s Lincoln Center Festival will feature a run of 12 performances by the Paris Opera Ballet, which returns to NYC after 16 years. The company will present the U.S. premiere of Pina Bausch’s dance opera, Orpheus and Eurydice; a program of three one-act ballets by French choreographers and composers: Suite en blanc, L’Arlésienne and Boléro; and its current production of Giselle, choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. All performances will take place at Lincoln Center’s David Koch Theater from July 11-22, and tickets start at $25.

The Lincoln Center Festival will continue with performances by Beijing’s TAO Dance Theater, a company founded in 2008 by modern dance choreographer Tao Ye and dancer Wang Hao, a specialist in Mongolian folk dance. The company will present two works: 2, a duet developed from the rhythms of the performers’ own conversations; and 4, a dynamic piece for four women. Tickets for the two performances, on July 25 and July 27 at Alice Tully Hall, start at $30.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, who will perform during Lincoln Center Out of Doors, in Milton Myers' "Arranged". Photo by Sue Daniels

River to River Festival
June 17 – July 15


River to River Festival offers a variety of showings in music, dance, theater, visual art and film in areas of Lower Manhattan. This year’s dance events will take place at Mannahatta Park, Piers 15-17 at The Seaport, South Ferry, the World Financial Center Plaza, on Governor’s Island and more.

Some highlights on this year’s River to River agenda include: Montréal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard’s Le Grand Continental, with a cast of 200 New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds; open rehearsals and discussions with The Trisha Brown Dance Company; a work-in-progress by Tere O’Connor Dance; and a 300-person tap chorus presenting Tap It Out. All of the festival’s events are free of charge.

Downtown Dance Festival
August 11-18


The Downtown Dance Festival (DDF) was started in 1982 by Battery Dance Company and has since been one of Lower Manhattan’s summer outlets for showcasing dance companies from around the world and also within NYC. The festival is free to the public and will take place throughout the week of August 11-18 at locations in Battery Park, One New York Plaza and indoors at Dance New Amsterdam.

DDF is known for featuring dance companies within an expansive range – from classical ballet to post-modern, Indian classical to Afro-Cuban. DDF will also offer workshops led by leading American and international choreographers participating in the festival. The workshops will be open to the public to allow both professionals and beginners an opportunity to learn from these dance makers.

Top photo: BalletX, one of the many companies offering a free performance during SummerStage Dance. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev

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APAP Brings Dance Conversation to NY

By Laura Di Orio

This January, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) held its annual four-day conference in New York City, where it unleashed a myriad of performances and dance conversation topics. This year marked the organization’s 56th conference and centered around the idea of celebrating diversity but uniting in cause. The focus was on community – how those in the performing arts industry have the opportunity to build communities, engage communities and help transform communities through the power of live performance.

The association itself was founded in 1957 and was originally a gathering of college arts presenters. Quickly, though, APAP morphed into an association of people who worked specifically in the performing arts industry rather than the visual or literary arts. Today, APAP has about 1,500 members and is based in Washington, D.C.

APAP holds its conference in NYC each year, as the organization sees this city as the hub of the performing arts industry in the United States. This year 3,500 people attended the conference, held from January 6 to 10, and housed in the Hilton New York in midtown Manhattan.

APAP's Expo Hall at the Hilton New York. Photo by Alicia Anstead/APAP

There were over 1,000 showcases – some ticketed and most non-ticketed – throughout the city’s boroughs in venues such as the Alvin Ailey Studios, Dance New Amsterdam, Peridance Capezio Center and the Hilton, among others. These showcases, comprised of numerous dance companies, theater groups, musicians and even magicians, allowed these varying artistic voices to be seen and heard by a concentrated collection of arts presenters, agents, theater bookers, managers and other figures in the performing arts community. While APAP itself does not oversee any potential business transactions between a performing arts group and agents or bookers, it is the force that lays down the framework and organizes the timeframe for everyone to come together.

APAP also hosts an Expo Hall, one of the largest marketplaces for the performing arts industry in the world. This year, 350 booths took up three floors in a special area of the Hilton. The Expo Hall makes no distinction between “high” and “low” arts; rather, it ranges from dance to classical music to the marching band.

Other events at the 2012 conference included a Dance Forum that focused on issues and opportunities in the field, planning sessions that brainstormed how a community’s performing arts organization can remain vital and relevant in that community’s conversation, and discussions on the economic impact of the arts.

“APAP is proud to support all genres of the performing arts, especially dance,” says Mario Garcia Durham, president and CEO of APAP. “We were happy that the Dance Forum took place during APAP|NYC 2012 because we know how important it is to support dance initiatives and new programs, and our conference draws thousands of dance and performing arts professionals who can broaden and strengthen the discussion.”

This year marked Durham’s first term as president of APAP. As the first Mexican-American to hold this position, he remains committed to diversity and ensuring that that is the message and manner of the organization. Planning for next year’s APAP, to be held in NYC from January 11 to 15, 2013, is already underway.

Top photo: APAP’s Pecha Kucha, a plenary session about “What great acts have happened in our community?” Photo by Jacob Belcher/APAP

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Healing through Dance

Honoring the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 in New York City

By Katherine Moore.

September 11th, 2001 was a tragic day we will all remember forever. Now, 10 years later, New Yorkers honored the anniversary of this tragic event in a myriad of ways. Some chose to stay home with their families. Others attended church services and memorial events. Artists of all genres produced work and organized their own events to reflect upon and remember 9/11, and the dance community was no exception.

Uptown to downtown, dancers and choreographers honored those who died on 9/11 with the movement of their bodies. Jacqulyn Buglisi, artistic director of Buglisi Dance Theater, orchestrated The Table of Silence Project at Lincoln Center Plaza in partnership with Dance/NYC and The September Concert.

Beginning at 8:15am on Sunday, September 11, 2011, 100 dancers from various dance institutions, including Buglisi Dance Theatre, The Julliard School, STEPS on Broadway, and several others, performed this site-specific work. The dancers, all dressed in flowing white costumes, moved in geometric patterns surrounding the fountain, using intermittent gestures of pain and prayer, until they finally found themselves seated with arms raised.  At 8:46am, the exact time the first plane flew into the World Trade Center’s North Tower, the dancers  were entirely still with their arms lifted to the sky.

The Table of Silence Project was a collaborative work between Buglisi and Italian artist Rosella Vasta.  Vasta’s sculpture 100 Terra Cotta Plates, a work symbolizing the banquet table that unites humanity, gave Buglisi inspiration for this piece. According to Buglisi, the dancers at Lincoln Center Plaza were intended to be the personification of the plates. “I wanted to create a work where people could come to the table to listen,” Buglisi said.

Buglisi hoped that through her movement, she could bring about healing energy to the community of New York and beyond. “I have a very strong, powerful belief in the universal language of movement to promote peace and tolerance,” she said.  “The energy we send out can change the world.”

Farther downtown, The Joyce Theater, one of New York’s premiere dance performance venues, presented two concerts at Nelson A. Rockefeller Park on September 10th and 11th at 5:00pm. These commemorative performances featured the Limon Dance Company with Voices of Ascension and the Paul Taylor Dance Company with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Also on the program were Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Matthew Rushing, and a world premiere by choreographer Jessica Lang featuring dancers Clifton Brown and Jamal Roberts with musicians Yacouba Cissoko and Sam Dickey.

Lang said that it was an honor to have been asked by The Joyce to choreograph for this event. “I think it is a wonderful opportunity for the audience to recognize how important the presence of art is in the efforts to rebuild the community,” Lang said.

Lang mentioned that this piece was very important to her, and she also noted that choreographing a commemorative work like this had altered her typical approach to choreography. “I want to carry the message of hope, but I also want to be respectful to all the emotions that come along with the memories of that day.   Most of the time when I make a piece it might be something of a personal idea to me that carries universal images which speak to the audience.  But this time, it is a universal event that everyone experienced and there is a different sort of responsibility I am feeling.”

Taking her work all over the city, choreographer Sarah Skaggs presented “9/11: A Roving Dance Memorial” at Union Square Park, Washington Square Park and Battery Park. These 11-minute dance installations occurred at various times throughout the afternoon on September 11. The installations, based on a solo Skaggs choreographed after the attacks in 2001, also took place in Washington D.C. and Shanksville, PA.

Dance New Amsterdam, one of New York’s most progressive and prominent downtown dance centers, moved to their current location shortly following the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago. Part of their larger mission was to revitalize the Lower Manhattan community after 9/11. DNA commemorated the 10th anniversary by asking dance artists how 9/11 affected their work and then showcasing their video submissions on a flat screen in DNA’s lobby.

Dancers all over New York found ways to use their art form as a way to honor the victims of 9/11. Amalgamate Dance Company even honored working dog teams, veterinarians, and VMATs who served during 9/11 with their work In the Beginning at Liberty State Park.  Dancers and dogs alike were affected by the tragic events 10 years ago, and the anniversary offered an opportunity for dance artists to reflect and remember how their lives and their work has changed.

Jacqulyn Buglisi was in New York when the towers fell.  “Artists here in New York have a deeper appreciation of our freedoms since 9/11,” she said. “Art always reflects the time in which we live. We are making that imprint in many different ways. “

Top photo: Buglisi Dance 9/11 Tribute. Photo by

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Have choreography?

Opportunities to show your work in New York.

By Katherine Moore.

Living and working as a dancer in New York City can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re new to the city. Young dancers arrive in the Big Apple full of dreams, but often with very little concrete information about how to begin their dance careers.

This task can be even more daunting for aspiring choreographers looking for venues to show their work. In many cases, young choreographers have just graduated from college dance programs, where they had unlimited space, resources, mentorship, and guaranteed venues and performances to demonstrate their burgeoning creative talent. Making the big leap to showing work in New York can be extremely challenging for a multitude of reasons, but for emerging artists and for those who hope to gain an MFA in dance and enter higher education, choreographic experience outside of undergraduate work is an essential component of a career in dance. 

Luckily, the dance scene in New York is vast and varied in its opportunities for young artists. With a little pre-planning and organization of application materials, choreographers can find themselves performing and showing work all over the city in venues specifically designed for emerging artists and new work. These venues allow choreographers to gain exposure, feedback, and networking opportunities with their peers. For some dancers who have been unlucky in their search for dance employment, these venues give young artists the ability to take their performance career under their own control by creating opportunities to be seen doing what they love most: dancing.

These opportunities take creativity, organization, and initiative to bring to fruition, and in an effort to make the task more manageable for our inspired readers, we have compiled a listing of some choreographic opportunities suited for emerging dance artists and works-in-progress in New York. Each has its own set of requirements and dynamic character, some requiring fees and extensive documentation, but with a little pre-planning and, of course, some talent, young dance artists could be performing all over the city before they know it.

The Steps Performance Lab


 Green Space

-Fertile Ground Performance Series

-Take Root Performance Series


Dance New Amsterdam

-RAW material


-Works in Progress


Movement Research

-Open Performance


-Movement Research at Judson Church


Danspace Project

-Draft Work


Amalgamate Dance Company

-Amalgamate Artist Series


Williamsburg Art neXus



Chen Dance Center



Jennifer Muller/The Works

-HATCH Presenting series 

Dance Theater Workshop

 -Fresh Tracks 


Harkness Dance Center, 92nd Street Y

-Fridays at Noon 


-Sundays at Three


Photo:  © Patrick J Hanrahan | Dreamstime.com

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