Tag Archive | "Danspace Project"

Tara’s Top Five NY Dance Picks for this Season

By Tara Sheena.

Dance Geeks unite! The New York performance season is kicking off this month with many exciting happenings in store. Last year, I told you my top five shows to see for the year. But, for a city with so much dance busting at the seams, I decided to widen my focus for this year’s top picks. This year, to ease the daunting anxiety of having to choose just five things I am looking forward to, I bring you the five venues that have the shows I am pumped and passionate about. From Brooklyn to Queens and that island in between, there is so much happening. So, see one, see them all…see something! And, I will see you in the audience!

My top five, in no particular order:

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

BAM has long been revered for world-renown cultural pillars right in the eclectic and resounding Ft. Greene, Brooklyn area where it resides. However, this year marks the opening of their 250-seat black box Fishman Space. That means more possibilities, more programming, and even some late night performances for you nocturnal folk. In this late night sector, I am most looking forward to Miguel Guttierez’s latest, “And Lose the Name of Action”. The work, for dancers aged 33 to 62, explores what otherworldly states can be accessed through improvisation. He cites ghosts and highways amongst his latest inspiration for this undoubtedly surreal work.

Danspace Project

With the 50th Anniversary of the infamous Judson Church Movement (a move into postmodern dance that rejected the classicism and form of ballet), many dance organizations, like Movement Research, are putting this celebration into effect with various events, lectures, and performances (many of them free!). Danspace Project is devoting their latest Platforms series to this movement, calling it “Judson Now!” I cannot wait to see what Trajal Harrell shows us when he opens up the first day of his production residency to a free event for all to see a junior size version of his “Twenty Looks” series, “Antigone Jr.” Also, in a new form of interactive performance, Clarinda Mac Low not only invites you to her show but also invites you to have a meeting with her before the show. Audience members can sign up and meet with the artist before her performances of “40 Dancers Do 40 Dances For the Dancers.” Every night of this performance run is different…even more reason to see it all! www.danspaceproject.org

The Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Factory has long been a Long Island City, Queens mainstay for cutting edge collaboration and innovation. Artistic Director Brian Rogers is an obvious dance lover and often has his choreographers in residence for years before they present on the Factory’s stage. If you are looking for something out of the box (and out of Manhattan), venture to the delectable offerings of the Chocolate Factory’s upcoming season. My top pick? The adventurous performance stylings of Big Dance Theater in their latest work, “Ich, Kurbisgeist”. Co-commissioned by Performance Space 122 and working with emerging playwright, Sibyl Kempson, the company presents a work set in medieval times with their signature (at times zany) blend of text, movement, and visual media. With a complete invented language (a combination of English, Swedish, and German) you may not understand what the characters are saying, but you will definitely feel it. And, get your tickets now! There are only 30 seats available for each performance, so they are sure to sell quickly. www.chocolatefactorytheater.org

Doug Varone and Dancers 'Boats Leaving'. Photo by Richard Termine

Doug Varone and Dancers 'Boats Leaving'. Photo by Richard Termine

The Joyce

New York City’s preeminent dance institution brings another packed and ready season of, well, dance. Ranging from contemporary ballet to postmodern, the Joyce’s upcoming season looks to be one of their best yet. If you have to see one show, make it Doug Varone’s. Celebrating its 25th anniversary season, Doug Varone and Dancers brings the New York premiere of “Carrugi” to the stage, as well as the Bessie-award winning “Boats Leaving.” I am most looking forward to “Ballet Mecanique”, set to a George Antheil score from 1925! Twenty-five years after its founding, it looks like Varone and his intrepid dancers are still going, strong as ever. www.Joyce.org

Baryshnikov Arts Center

The programming at Baryshnikov Arts Center has grown to be more diverse and unexpected each season. This year is no different, with the venue presenting exciting works ranging from international puppeteers (The Bolshoi Puppet Theatre of St. Petersburg) to NYC-based chamber music ensembles (St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble). However, Doug Elkins and his charismatic crew are definitely leading on the dance front, presenting a collage of works including the New York premiere of “Mo(or)town Redux.” Think Shakespeare’s Othello meets Motown tunes meets physically eccentric modern dance. Or, don’t think at all. Just go to the show and see for yourself.

Top photo: Big Dance Theater’s Ich, Kürbisgeist. Photo by Paula Court. www.bigdancetheater.org/images_ich_kurbisgeist.html
In body photo source: Doug Varone and Dancers – www.dougvaroneanddancers.org

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Recent NYC Stand Out Performances

By Tara Sheena.

As the March Madness of the spring performance season in New York winds down, the promise of warmer weather and a small respite for my obsessive dance-going habits seems promising. I have some time to reflect on all of the amazing innovation echoing from the New York City dance community. Everywhere—from Broadway to Bowery—dance left its mark in a big way and will continue to do so through the rest of the spring season. I won’t soon forget Emily Johnson’s open, engaging performance at New York Live Arts or Batsheva’s explosive movement that filled BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House. Though, I regret missing the magic of Wheeldon’s works on the New York City Ballet and the wonderful delicacy of Kate Weare at the Joyce Theater, I have compiled the opinions of some professional dancers to fill me in on what else I missed. It is impossible to see everything in a single season but, as the Beatles so often remind me, “I get by with a little help from my friends”. Enjoy!

Ryan Steele. Photo Curtis Holbrook

“I recently saw the revival of RENT at New World Stages. This production is directed by Michael Greif and choreographed by Larry Keigwin. One of the major differences from the original is the staging and choreography. There is a lot more movement, BEAUTIFUL movement. I know the story very well, and it is traditionally told only through words and music. It was interesting to see so much dance representing major plot points [and] I really enjoyed it.”
Ryan Steele

Dance Captain, Newsies on Broadway

Lydia Bell

“Like many who live in New York or attend the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) I started this season with a whirlwind of performances and talks during the first two weeks of January. Some highlights for me included Beth Gill’s Electric Midwife at The Chocolate Factory in Queens, Eleanor Bauer and Heather Lang’s Trash is Fierce at American Realness, Maria Hassabi and Robert Steijn’s Robert & Maria at Danspace Project, and a panel on curatorial practice with faculty members from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. In February, curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones, Parallels Platform at Danspace Project began. This two-month series examines the lineage of African-American post-modern dance. So far there have been some amazing performances by Will Rawls, Nora Chipaumire, Owkui Okpokwasili, Darrell Jones, and others—as well as a film event highlighting footage from the early 1980s. My personal favorite was a clip of Bill T. Jones and Steve Paxton hashing out definitions of post-modern dance. I’ve been seeing a lot of performance and dance in museums this season. I loved Clifford Owens at PS1 and Sarah Michelson at the Whitney Museum. The Happenings exhibition at Pace Gallery was also remarkable. As always, there were things I missed. I regret not seeing Arturo Vidich in his Studio Series at New York Live Arts (NYLA), Clarinda Mac Low at Roulette, Levi Gonzales and Amanda Loulaki at The Kitchen and Reggie Wilson at NYLA, which I think I’m missing as I write this… But luckily there is a lot to look forward to this spring: Rashaun Mitchell working in collaboration with poet Anne Carson at Danspace Project, CATCH at The Chocolate Factory, Luciana Achugar at Abrons Arts Center, the Movement Research Spring Festival, and Eiko & Koma’s The Caravan Project at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (for those in the DC area).”
Lydia Bell

Development Associate at Danspace Project
Co-Editor of Critical Correspondence

Trina Mannino

“To my surprise one of the highlights [for me] of this year’s dance season was New York City Ballet’s evening of Christopher Wheeldon’s works. The dancers, costumes, live music and choreography kept me in rapt attention till the very end. I wish I had seen Martha Clarke’s Angel Reapers at the Joyce. From what I read and was told, it was an exhilarating glimpse into religious awakening. Other dances that made my heart sing were Shannon Gillen’s Botlek [at Dance New Amsterdam], and David Dorfman’s Prophets of Funk [at the Joyce Theater].”
Trina Mannino

Dancer, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama
Contributor, Dance Europe Magazine and The Dance Enthusiast

Photo: Christopher Wheeldon rehearsing dancers for Les Carillons, which premiered during New York City Ballet’s 2012 Winter Season.

Published by Dance Informa digital dance magazinedance news, dance auditions & dance events for professional dancers, dance teachers and dance students.

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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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