Events – Danspace Project
Alice Sheppard reaches her arms up into the arm to catch a moment of hangtime at the top of the wooden ramp before gravity pulls her backwards in her wheelchair. Photo by Hayim Heron; courtesy of Jacob's Pillow.
Photo by Hayim Heron; courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow.

Research Residency: Alice Sheppard

This fall, a series of week-long creative and research residencies at Danspace’s home in St. Mark’s Church will provide time and space for crucial experimentation for artists.

Bessie Award-winning choreographer Alice Sheppard “creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture and history, Alice attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race.” During this creative and research residency, Sheppard will explore the architectural possibilities of St. Mark’s Church.

This residency is not open to the public.

Alice Sheppard took her first dance class in order to make good on a dare; she loved moving so much that she resigned her academic professorship in order to begin a career in dance. She studied ballet and modern with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Alice joined AXIS Dance Company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs.

Since becoming an independent artist, Alice has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew in the United Kingdom. In the United States, she has worked with Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton.

As an emerging, award-winning choreographer, Alice creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture and history, Alice attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race by exploring the societal and cultural significance of difference.

Mary Overlie at The Kitchen, Grand Street. Photo: Sylvia Plachty.

Brain To Brain: A celebration of the life and work of Mary Overlie

Monday, September 23 | 8PM

Presented in partnership with Movement Research

*Advance tickets are now sold out. A wait list will begin at the door at 7:15pm. If tickets are available, cash or check only are accepted at the door.
Please note that due to high demand, the seating for this show will be a mix of chairs and seats directly on risers (without back support). If you require a chair, please write to info@danspaceproject.org to let us know in advance.*

Conceptualist, philosopher, performer, choreographer, and teacher Mary Overlie will perform a special one-night-only event marking the beginning of Danspace Project’s 45 year anniversary season. The evening also celebrates the recent publication of Overlie’s book Standing in Space, The Six Viewpoints, based on her internationally known theory and practice, which has played a distinguished role in shaping contemporary American and European theater and dance.

Overlie played a seminal role in the founding of Danspace Project, Movement Research, and the Experimental Theater Wing (ETW) at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She also helped to establish ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival.

Mary will be joined on this evening with current associates Sophia Treanor, Timothy John Scott, Hanna Gross, and Nicolas Norena, former performers from her original company, Wendell Beavers, Paul Langland, and Nina Martin, as well as guests, Dan Safer, Brendan McCall, Deborah BlackRoel Swanenberg, and Tony Perucci.

 

Accessibility: Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Nacera Belaza. Photo: Pol Guillard.

Nacera Belaza Workshop

This workshop will offer participants a window into French-Algerian choreographer Nacera Belaza’s practice, which considers the body’s interior and the space around it. Belaza will share exercises that propose free and open movements that feel out the space, seizing it and investing it with action. The workshop is appropriate for all levels!

This workshop​ is part of a weeklong Danspace Project Research Residency for Belaza, who founded her own company in 1989 and creates work with a feminist, minimalist aesthetic, exploit​ing​ formalism to reveal layers of embodiment and body politics.

Belaza will return to Danspace again in March, 2020, to participate in Danspace’s next Platform curated by Okwui Okpokwasili and Danspace chief curator Judy Hussie-Taylor.

 

Accessibility Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Born in Algeria, Nacera Belaza has been living in France since the age of five. After her studies in modern literature at the Université de Reims, she has created her own dance company in 1989.

In January 2015 she was appointed Knight of the order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. She enters dance as a self-taught interpreter and develops a choreography that originates in an inner progress, a sensible awareness of the body, of space and of the emptiness inside herself. Her path resembles a quest and tends towards the enhancement of the direct bond between the dancer and the spectator, open to the infinite of the stage. Each element of her pieces – light, space, time, body – respond to each other on stage and develop their own designs.

The repetition of the gesture, its infinite slowness, the stretching out of time: Nacera Belaza’s pieces all explore the movement as one would explore a calm, a profound and continuous breath, one that would mix with “the deafening row of our existences​.​”

Nacera Belaza’s Company presents its pieces internationally with a regular presence in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. In France, it is regularly invited by prestigious venues and festivals such as the Festival Montpellier Danse (2003, 2006, 2012, 2014), the Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine- Saint-Denis (2008, 2010), the Festival d’Avignon (2009, 2012) or the Biennale de la danse de Lyon (2010, 2014), Festival de Marseille (2017, 2018).

Nacera Belaza’s desire to share and​ ​pass on has become focused on the relationship between the audiences and their territories. She develops outreach activities and choreographic creations which take multiple shapes, going from the Master Class to the in situ performance.

Nacera Belaza’s path has continually maintained a coming and going between Algeria and France. Concurrently with her company’s activities in France, she has founded an artistic cooperative in Algeria. She has been in charge of the contemporary dance festival “Le Temps dansé” programme since 2013 and offers training and outreach activities for audiences on the themes of contemporary art and of the danced gesture.

Website: www.cie-nacerabelaza.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cienacera.belaza/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/compagnienacerabelaza/

Autumn Knight. WALL, 2014–16. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Photo: Courtesy of the Artist.

Autumn Knight: WALL

Saturday, October 5 at 3pm & 8pm

Autumn Knight is a recent 2019 Whitney Biennial artist and 2016–17 Studio Museum artist in residence who works in performance, installation, video, and text. On the occasion of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s acquisition of WALL (2014–2016), Danspace Project and the Studio Museum are pleased to present Autumn Knight: WALL, a series of sounds, rituals, and actions influenced by The Western Wall or “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem that reimagine “walls” as psychological, spiritual, and embodied places.

Performed by Knight in collaboration with Natasha L. Turner, WALL features a femme/black-identifying ensemble. This marks the first time the work will be performed in New York. WALL is the first performance to enter the Studio Museum’s collection.

Support for the production and acquisition of WALL is directed by living archives specialist Cori Olinghouse on behalf of The Portal. Autumn Knight: WALL is organized by Eric Booker, Assistant Curator and Exhibition Coordinator, and presented in partnership with Danspace Project.

Danspace Project & Studio Museum members: please contact Lianna King at (212) 674-3530 for questions about member tickets.

 

Accessibility: Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Autumn Knight is an interdisciplinary artist working with performance, installation, video and text. Her performance and video works have been on view at various institutions including Krannert Art Museum (IL), The Institute for Contemporary Art (VCU), Human Resources Los Angeles (HRLA), The High Line and Akademie der Kunste, (Berlin). Knight is the recipient an Art Matters Grant (2018). Her performance work is held in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Knight is a participant in the 2019 Whitney Biennial as a performance and video artist. autumnjoiknight.com

The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally, and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society. studiomuseum.org

Dominica Greene and Kayla Farrish. Screenshots of video by: Alexander Diaz​.​

Kayla Farrish/Decent Structures Arts: The New Frontier (my dear America) Pt. 1

Thursday, October 17 at 8pm
Friday, October 18 at 8pm
Saturday, October 19 at 8pm

Kayla Farrish/Decent Structures Arts is an emerging company combining filmmaking, photography, and dance. Farrish is a NY based dancer and director with a vision for intimate storytelling. A composite of three works of live performance and film including “With grit From, Grace,” “Black Bodies Sonata,” and “The New Frontier,” Farrish’s new work, The New Frontier (my dear America) Pt. 1, brings visibility and honesty to how American history, societal constructs, and views impact our current identity, experience, and ability for change.

Live Work features: Alex Claire, Kayla Farrish, Dorchel Haqq, Emilee Harney, Kar’mel Small, and Mikaila Ware.
Film features: Alexander Diaz, Kayla Farrish, Dominica Greene, Kerime Konur, and Rebecca Margolick.

 

Accessibility Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Kayla Farrish/Decent Structure Arts is an emerging company combining filmmaking, photography, and dance. Farrish is a NY based director with a vision for intimate storytelling.  A North Carolina native, born into a dance-loving family. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Arizona  summa cum laude, and was awarded the Gertrude Shurr Award for excellence in modern dance and passionate dancing. Since moving to New York, she has freelanced with various artists and companies including Punchdrunk Sleep No More NYC, Kyle Abraham/Abraham. In. Motion, Kate Weare Company, Helen Simoneau Danse, Rashaun Mitchell/Silas Reiner, Nicole Von Arx, Danielle Russo Performance Project, and others. She’s received three choreographic commissions: Of Bones Dance (2014) and Houses on the Moon Theater Company (2016), and Danspace (2019).  She co-choreographed Gods and Accepting Darkness with Nik Owens for Spark Dance Forum (2015). Studying photography and film with Yara Travesio, Benjamin Heller, and Brooklyn Central, she formed portraiture, writing, and improvisation studies Beloved Loveless, and  premiered With Delicacy and Permanence live solo and film in May 2017 at B.A.A.D! In Summer 2017, she was granted a residency with Chez Bushwick, creating 5 short dance/music video films including Black Bodies Sonata, Anchors of Iridescence Part I & II, and You Were In My Dreams Last Night along with a film inspired photograph gallery. These films were presented at Chez Bushwick A.I.R. performance, Bushwick Open Studios, Triskelion Film Festival, Deconstructed:Dance Films Festival, Mouthfull Presents/ Of Bones Dance, and Detroit Women in Film Festival. In 2018, she developed live works: Wager/With grit From, Grace, live duet version Black Bodies Sonata, and Why I Can’t Hold Strangers performing at Stuffed: Dinner and Dance program at Judson Church, Pepatian APAP showcase, Arts On Site Performance Party,  Danspace curated Food For Thought, BAAD!, and other spaces. She produced and created “Spectacle” Film and Live Performance evening length piece apart of the Pepatian Dance Your Future Residency in 2018. In 2019, she will take part of the Keshet Makers Space Experience Residency, Petronio Residency Center, and also premiere new and developing works in her Danspace Fall 2019 Commision.

This project is made possible with funds from the NYS DanceForce, a partnership program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Ogemde Ude. Photo: Kathyrn Butler.
Jo McKendry. Photo: Molly Ross.

DraftWork: Jo McKendry & Ogemdi Ude

Saturday, October 19 at 3pm
DraftWork is free and open to all! No advance reservations.

Curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones, the DraftWork series hosts informal Saturday afternoon performances that offer choreographers an opportunity to show their work in various stages of development.

Performances are followed by discussion and a reception with the artists and curator.

 

DraftWork is presented, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

 

Accessibility: Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Ishmael Houston-Jones (curator): choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. He and Fred Holland shared a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders. He was awarded his second “Bessie” Award for the revival of THEM, his 1985/86 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane. He curated Platform 2012: Parallels and Platform 2016: Lost & Found, both at Danspace Project. He has received a 2016 Herb Alpert, a 2015 Doris Duke Impact and a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Awards. In 2017 he received a third “Bessie” for Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other Works by John Bernd.

Sam Kim. Photo courtesy the artist.

Sam Kim: Other Animal

Thursday, October 31 at 8pm
Friday, November 1 at 8pm
Saturday, November 2 at 8pm

Sam Kim is an experimental choreographer, performer and teacher based in Brooklyn who has been making and performing in dances since the mid 1990s. Her work investigates and occupies the margins of dance while courting the danger inherent in rejecting dance’s legacies. Kim’s first Danspace Project commission, Valentine, was presented in 2002. With Other Animal, Kim incorporates media elements into a dance for the first time––animation by celebrated filmmaker Stacey Steers. Steers is an experimental filmmaker known for her labor-intensive animations. Both artists share a fascination with that which cannot be named, invoking abstraction to capture ineffable experience.

Created, performed, and directed by Sam Kim.
Animation by Stacey Steers.
Projection design by Chloe Alexandra Thompson.
Projection design consultation by Max Bernstein.
Lighting design by Kathy Kaufmann.

Accessibility Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Sam Kim is an experimental choreographer, performer and teacher based in Brooklyn who has been making and performing in dances since the mid ‘90s.  Her work restlessly investigates and occupies the margins of dance while courting the danger inherent in rejecting dance’s legacies––in other words, her choreographic practice is a means of engaging in a personal game of brinkmanship.

Significant, commissioned works include Procession (Zenon Dance Company, 2018), Fear in Porcelain (The Chocolate Factory Theater, 2016), Angle of Incidence (Zenon Dance Company, 2016), Sister to a Fiend (Gibney Dance, 2015), Some Kind of Derelict Telekinesis (Barnard/Columbia Dances at New York Live Arts, 2014), Darling (PS122, 2009), dumb dumb bunny (The Kitchen, 2007), Cult (Dance Theater Workshop, 2007), AVATAR (Mulberry St Theater, 2006), Nobody Understands Me (Dance Theater Workshop, 2004), Placid Baby (PS122, 2003), and Valentine (Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, 2002).  In addition to the upcoming premiere of Other Animal, she looks forward to the premiere of her project, The Fall, at The Chocolate Factory Theater in ’20/21.  Sam’s work has also been presented by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Galapagos Art and Performance Space, JACK and Movement Research, and nationally and internationally, by Highways Performance Space (LA), Studio 303 (Montréal), the Unknown Theater (LA) and Bryant Lake Bowl (Minneapolis), among many others.

Sam has been awarded grants, fellowships and residencies from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Lucky Star Foundation, MAP Fund, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Swoon Art House, Ucross Foundation, Mount Tremper Arts, Yaddo, Bogliasco Foundation, Movement Research, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, MacDowell Colony and Brooklyn Arts Exchange, among others in support of her work.

Sam engages with and is responsive to the NYC experimental dance community through various leadership roles.  Sam has taught classes and workshops throughout LA, Minneapolis and NYC, and frequently serves as a panelist and adjudicator for numerous organizations, most recently for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Movement Research Artist in Residence program, The Bogliasco Fellowship and MAP Fund grant.  She also organized and moderated the feminist Movement Research Studies Project Band of Outsiders: WOMEN (2016).  Sam served on the board of Dance Theater Workshop (2006-2010) and was a member of the Artist Advisory Committee at PS122 (1999-2003).  She has also served as an artistic advisor to residency programs and individual choreographers.