Events – Danspace Project
Aki Sasamoto. Photo: Ben Hagari.

Aki Sasamoto: Phase Transition

Thursday, January 9
Friday, January 10
Saturday, January 11
Thursday, January 16
Friday, January 17
Saturday, January 18

Installation open: 3-6pm (Free and open to all)
Performances: 8pm

Phase Transition is a new performance installation by multimedia artist, Aki Sasamoto. Curated by Danspace Project Associate Curator & Program Director, Lydia Bell, the work will unfold over two weeks with open installation hours and performances.

An installation and performance artist, Sasamoto works in various media, finding material inspiration in response to the conditions of her site or surroundings. Sasamoto has received acclaim for her solo performance and exhibition works, and is celebrated as a frequent presence in the work of choreographer Yvonne Meier.

Phase Transition approaches the Danspace Project sanctuary at St. Mark’s Church as a distinct atmosphere, a micro universe of weather and wind conditions. Sasamoto will create an air circulation system specific to the space, punctuated with her signature lecture-performances, in which she and guest performers move and modify elements of the installation. The chemical notion of phase transition becomes a playful metaphor for life transitions, aging, and motherhood.

Collaborators include performer Jessica Weinstein, lighting designer Madeline Best, singer Alsarah, and multi-instrumentalist, Matt Bauder.

An accompanying publication, designed by Kyla Arsadjaja, published by Danspace Project,  and edited by Phase Transition curator Lydia Bell, will be available for purchase online in January 2020, during installation and performance hours, and at the publication party on January 11. Contributors include Sasamoto, Bell, Rachel Valinsky, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Ben Hagari. More info on the publication party here. Buy the book here.

Performance: Aki Sasamoto, Jessica Weinstein
Sound: Alsarah, Matt Bauer
Lighting Design: Madeline Best

VIEW THE PROGRAM HERE

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.

Aki Sasamoto works in sculpture, performance, video, and whatever more medium that takes to get her ideas across. In her installation/performance works, Aki moves and talks inside the careful arrangements of sculpturally altered objects, activating bizarre emotions behind daily life. She has collaborated with musicians, choreographers, mathematicians, and engineers. She has performed for choreographer Yvonne Meier and respect her hugely.

Her works appear in gallery spaces, theater spaces, as well as in odd sites. Her installation/performance works were shown at SculptureCenter, the Kitchen, Chocolate Factory Theater, Whitney Biennial 2010, MOMA-PS1, New York; National Museum of Art-Osaka, Yokohama Triennale 2008, Japan; Gwangju Biennial 2012, South Korea; Shanghai Biennale 2016, China; Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, India.

Set on a dark stage, an art object sits in the center. The object consists of a fog machine in front of a small table with a hole in the center where a stage light is set up underneath. Atop the table is a blown glass orb with a whiskey glass sitting at the base, the light shining a beam of white light that pierces through the glass and the dark empty space above.
Photo: Ben Hagari.

Aki Sasamoto Phase Transition Publication Party

January 11, 4-6pm
RSVP

Coinciding with Aki Sasamoto’s Phase Transition, all are invited to celebrate the accompanying publication, designed by Kyla Arsadjaja, published by Danspace Project, and edited by Lydia Bell.

The publication features writing by Sasamoto, Bell, scholar Rachel Valinsky, and an intimate conversation between Sasamoto and choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones. Valinsky’s essay, “To the Limit,” explores how Sasamoto uses “the motif of the limit across forms and containers,” tracing the origins of Phase Transition to previous works exploring scientific notions of change states, hypothesis, and flexibility. The conversation with Houston-Jones delves into Sasamoto’s early influence in dance improvisation, especially as a dancer in the work of Yvonne Meier.

The publication also features a series of photographs of Phase Transition in development by artist Ben Hagari.

The Phase Transition publication be available for purchase online, during installation and performance hours, and at the publication release party.

BUY THE BOOK

 

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.

Photo: Melinda Ring.

Melinda Ring: Strange Engagements

Thursday, January 30, 8pm
Friday, January 31, 8pm
Saturday, February 1, 8pm

Choreographer Melinda Ring returns to Danspace Project with the all-new Strange Engagements, a highly physical, exuberant, and uninhibited work made for, and in collaboration with, an extraordinary group of dancers: Laurel Atwell, Talya Epstein, Paul Hamilton, Sam Kim, and Rainey White. Constructed from the dancers’ improvisations — research in which Ring asked them to act as a conduit channeling complex shared rhythms and inner music — this work is driven from within.

The dancers plunge into private combinations, often with separate agendas, while flashes of form and pattern illuminate the deliberateness of the polyrhythmic chaos. Like Ring’s X (2010), which premiered 10 years ago at Danspace Project, Strange Engagements is deeply musical, yet danced almost completely in silence — its unheard anthem loud and driving.

“The thrill of Strange Engagements is in watching the performers navigate its considerable performative demands,” writes Ring. “What I want to say is that this dance is going to be nuts, strong and rhythmic, monstrously intricate. They are going to dance the heck out of it.”

Created by: Melinda Ring in collaboration with Performers: Laurel Atwell, Talya Epstein, Paul Hamilton, Sam Kim, and Rainey White

 

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.

Melinda Ring, choreographer, born in Los Angeles, CA, has lived and worked in New York since 2001. She creates dances, performance pieces, videos and installations. Ring is a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist awardee, a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in choreography from The New York Foundation for the Arts. Recent works have also been commissioned and supported by The Kitchen (2009, 2014), The Box Los Angeles, The Chocolate Factory, Yaddo (2014), Headlands Center for the Arts (1999, 2012), Whitman College (2016-2018), Annenberg Foundation (Metabolic Studio) (2012), Danspace Project (2020, 2010), Movement Research (2019, AIR 2005, 2014-2016), Bennington College (AIR 2018), and Gibney Dance Center (DiP 2016, 2013). She has developed programing as an artist-curator for Danspace Project (Platform 2011: Susan Rethorst: Retro(intro)spective). Contact Quarterly devoted Chapbook 6 to Forgetful Snow (2014). Educated Bennington College (MFA) and University of California, Los Angeles (BA); Critic in sculpture, Yale School of Art, 2014 – present; visiting Lecturer in Dance, UCLA, Spring 2016 (Movement Research exchange program).

The creation of Strange Engagements was made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative and Production Residency Program with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This work was made possible, in part, through a 2019 Movement Research Residency, funded by the Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund. Initial development of this work was supported through a Bennington College Dance Program residency. Production support was provided by the friends of Special Projects.

Kyle Marshall. Photo: Ted Alcorn.
Anabella Lenzu

DraftWork: Anabella Lenzu / Kyle Marshall

Saturday, February 1 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.

Originally from Argentina, Anabella Lenzu is a dancer, choreographer, writer and teacher with over 25 years experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy, London and the USA. Lenzu directs her own company, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (ALDD), which since 2006 has presented 380 performances, created 14 choreographic works and performed at 100 venues, presenting thought provoking and historically conscious dance-theater in NYC. ALDD’s work has been seen at La Mama, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Movement Research at Judson Church, 92nd Street Y, HERE Arts Center, Abrons Arts Center, DMAC, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum, Gibney Dance, Center for Performance Research, Roulette, Chashama, Dixon Place, Sheen Center, The Consulate of Argentina in NYC, NYU/Casa Zerilli Marimo, University Settlement, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Instituto Cervantes, 3LD Center for Art & Technology, among many others.  She has received grants from Brooklyn Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Edwards Foundation, The Vermont Community Foundation, and the Independent Community Foundation. She holds a MFA in Fine Arts (concentration in Choreography) from Wilson College, PA. Classically trained at the renowned Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, Lenzu studied the modern dance techniques of Humphrey/Limòn and Graham in New York. Her studies of Tango and the folkdances of Argentina, Spain, and Italy, further inform her work. Her choreography has been commissioned all over the world for opera, TV programs, theatre productions, and by many dance companies. Lenzu founded her own dance school L’Atelier Centro Creativo de Danza in 1994 in Argentina, and has maintained an active teaching career ever since. Lenzu has written for various dance and arts magazines, and published her first book in 2013, entitled Unveiling Motion and Emotion. The book contains writings in Spanish and English on the importance of dance, community, choreography, and dance pedagogy. Her second book, Teaching Dance through Meaningful Gestures, is expected in 2020, and explores basic exercises, visualization exercises, active imagination and artistic application. The book explores how technique is a philosophy and a theory, and how the body is an instrument for expression. Currently, Lenzu conducts classes at Peridance Capezio Center and NYU Gallatin, and is Artist-in-Residence at CUNY Dance Initiative, 2019-2020.

Dancer and Choreographer Kyle Marshall is a 2018 Bessie Award winner and a NJ State Council of the Arts Fellow. His dance company, Kyle Marshall Choreography (KMC) sees the dancing body as a site for celebration, an igniter of social change and a container of history. KMC has performed at venues including: Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joe’s Pub at the Public, Actors Fund Arts Center, NJPAC, NYC Summerstage, Wassaic Arts Project, and Conduit Dance (PDX). Commissions have included: “Dance on the Lawn” Montclair’s Dance Festival, NJPAC and Harlem Stage. KMC has received residencies from MANA Contemporary and County Prep High School. Kyle dances with the Trisha Brown Dance Company and graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance.

Photo: Rachel Neville

NYTB/Chamber Works: REP

Community ACCESS provides subsidized off-season rental opportunities for Danspace Project community members.

NYTB/Chamber Works returns to Danspace Project for their sixth season with their REP program. Works on this program include:

RICHARD ALSTON
The Small Sonata (co. premiere)

ROBERT LA FOSSE
The Soldier’s Tale (premeire)

ANTONIA FRANCESCHI
Uncaged (premiere)

PAM TANOWITZ
Double Andante

With its ever-expanding repertory, NYTB/CHAMBER WORKS’ cutting-edge programming brings fresh insight to classic revivals paired with the modern sensibilities of both established and up-and-coming choreographers. Going strong in the 40th year, NYTB’s diversity in repertory explores the past while boldly taking risks on the future with respected programs: NYTB/CHAMBER WORKS with REP, the ONCE UPON A BALLET Series, the NYTB SCHOOL and the LIFT Community Services Program. NYTB is a resident organization at St Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery.

 

day pulls down the sky album and book cover art. Original art by Ralph Lemon.

Saturday Afternoon Conversation #1: Platform as Practice – Collaborative Organizing

Saturday, February 22, 12-5pm
RSVP

Lydia Bell, Maura Donohue, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Kristin Juarez, Seta Morton, Okwui Okpokwasili, Cecilia Vicuña, Asiya Wadud, Eva Yaa Asantewaa, and others to be announced. With food installation by Spiral Theory Test Kitchen: Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Quori Theodor & Precious Okoyomon.

This series of long form conversations unfolds over four Saturday afternoons during PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus. They will allow for different ways to gather, talk, and share practice. Curators, artists, audience, writers, scholars, friends and family will take this slow time to process the lines of inquiry guiding the Platform to come together, across disciplines.

To open the day, writer-curator Eva Yaa Asantewaa will invite participants to form a circle of light and voices, building from quiet to a fabric of sound formed by the interweaving of names of ancestors and ourselves.

Full schedule of the day’s events is forthcoming!

Part of PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus

 

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.

Photo: Vincent Daenen.

Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born: Sitting On a Man’s Head

Friday, February 28, 6-10pm
Friday, March 6, 6-10pm
Friday, March 13, 6-10pm
Friday, March 20, 6-10pm

The box office for Sitting On a Man’s Head will open at 5:30pm. Ticket holders are welcome to enter anytime between 6-9:45pm.

One of PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus‘s central questions “How do we weave a collective song?” builds on the ideas behind Okpokwasili’s and Born’s durational piece, Sitting On a Man’s Head.

Okwui’s 2016 research into Nigerian women’s embodied protest resulted in the durational performance created by Okwui and Peter. The practice known as “sitting on a man” was a disruptive durational practice and a public act of shaming carried out by a collective of women in Southeastern Nigeria. It involved gathering in the private courtyard of a colonial official, dancing and singing songs that expressed their grievances and was designed to embarrass the official until he promised to address their concerns. This practice was used by women as a critical tool to protect their economic and social interests.

Rather than “shaming” or seeking redress, Okpokwasili’s and Born’s Sitting On a Man’s Head is an attempt to create a “space of restoration and restitution,” write Okpokwasili and Born. “We are engaged in a creative practice concerned with the formation of new bonds of kinship. In collaboration with a select group of artists, we use the tools of our performance practice to build a space for the creation of an improvisational public song composed of aural and choreographic gestures. Can a shared creative practice be generative and generous while also being instructive in imagining new possibilities of communal relations?”

The work features rotating chorus of 30 performers, who will activate the performance: Martita Abril, Peter Born, Jennifer Brogle, mayfield brooks, Leslie Cuyjet, Eisa Davis, Brittany Engel-Adams, Lily Gold, Melanie Greene, Audrey Hailes, Jasmine Hearn, Justin Hicks, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Chaesong Kim, Tendayi Kuumba, Breyanna Maples, Anais Maviel, Okwui Okpokwasili, Kay Ottinger, Jess Pretty, Greg Purnell, Katrina Reid, Jean Carla Rodea, Samita Sinha, Tatyana Tenenbaum, David Thomson, Pyeng Threadgill, Asiya Wadud, AJ Wilmore, and Nehemoyia Young

Part of PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus

 

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.

Photo: Ian Douglas.

Saturday Afternoon Conversation #2: Kin & Care

Saturday, February 29, 12-4pm
RSVP

devynn emory, iele paloumpis, Angie Pittman, Jaime Shearn Coan, and Maura Nguyen Donohue.

This series of long form conversations unfolds over four Saturday afternoons during PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus. They will allow for different ways to gather, talk, and share practice. Curators, artists, audience, writers, scholars, friends and family will take this slow time to process the lines of inquiry guiding the Platform to come together, across disciplines.

In 2016, Danspace Project’s Lost & Found Platform revealed the persistent connections between artists and legacies of care. Dance is a vital vehicle for this heightened attending that we call care, and during that (11th) Platform, curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones and Will Rawls to focus on the impacts and echoes of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, time became elastic, history reshaped itself, and tenacious bonds formed among kindred spirits.

Initiated by Danspace Executive Director and Chief Curator, Judy Hussie-Taylor in Spring 2019 and with facilitation from Danspace Project’s Assistant Curator, Seta Morton, The Kin and Care Research Fellows: devynn emory, iele paloumpis, Angie Pittman, Jaime Shearn Coan and Maura Nguyen Donohue have been following individual threads that have gathered along the lines of blood and time. The group has circulated questions and writings about what it is to be kith, kin and/or comrades, as well as the sustainability of care as a practice.

Plans for the culminating event grow out of conversations about time as it relates to trauma, death and dying, queer time, “crip-time.” It has turned towards the bodies that disrupt linear time, including vampiric and sci-fi entities navigating blackness, isolation, white supremacy and the violence inherent in late-stage capitalism. The group has investigated the complex symbolism and rich materiality of blood in relation to ancestry, indigeneity, seropositivity, and Eastern and Western medicine, and healing.

Full schedule of the day’s events is forthcoming!

Part of PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus

 

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.

Angie Pittman is a New York based Bessie award-winning dance artist, dance maker, and dance educator. Her work has been performed at The Kitchen, Gibney Dance, BAAD!, Movement Research at Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, STooPS, The Domestic Performance Agency, The KnockDown Center(Sunday Service), The Invisible Dog(Catch 73), and Danspace Project. Angie is currently working as a collaborator and dance artist with Adam Linder, devynn emory/beastproductions, Anna Sperber, Stephanie Acosta, and Donna Uchizono Company. Angie has had the pleasure of dancing in work by Ralph Lemon, Tere O’Connor, Jennifer Monson, Kim Brandt, Tess Dworman, Antonio Ramos, Jasmine Hearn, Jonathan Gonzalez, and many others. Angie’s work resides in a space that investigates how the body moves through ballad, groove, sparkle, spirit, spirituals, ancestry, vulnerability, and power.  Angiepittman.com

iele paloumpis is a dance artist, death doula and intuitive space-holder. their work is rooted in kinesthetic awareness and ancestral healing practices – all within a trauma-informed framework that centers social justice.Choreographic works have been shown through the Chocolate Factory Theater, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, New York Live Arts, Dixon Place, the Flea Theater, Movement Research, Painted Bride Art Center, and Franklin Street Works, among others. iele is excited to premiere their newest evening length work, “In place of catastrophe, a clear night sky” at Danspace Project this coming May 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2020. iele received a BA from Hollins University in 2006 and was awarded end of life doula certifications from Mount Sinai, Valley Hospice, and the Quality of Life Care, LLC Accompanying the Dying Program between 2014-16. As a disabled, queer, trans survivor from a working class background, iele empathizes across multiple axes of oppression and brings this awareness to their work a dance artist and death doula.

Jaime Shearn Coan is a writer, editor, and PhD Candidate in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he is completing a dissertation titled Metamorphosis Theater: Performance at the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Race, and Sexuality. A current 2019-2020 CUNY/Schomburg Center Archival Dissertation Year Fellow, Jaime previously served as a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow at The Center for the Humanities, CUNY and has taught literature, composition, and creative writing at City College, Hunter College, and Queens College, CUNY. Jaime’s writing has appeared in publications including TDR: The Drama Review, Critical Correspondence, Drain Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, Movement Research Performance Journal, Gulf Coast, On Curating, Women & Performance, and Bodies of Evidence: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics of Movement. Jaime is a co-editor of the Danspace Project 2016 Platform catalogue: Lost and Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now and author of the chapbook Turn it Over, published by Argos Books.

devynn emory is a mixed Lenape/Blackfoot choreographer and dance artist living in Lenapehoking. emory’s company devynnemory/beastproductions sources from multiple in-between states of being both in their body as a transgender person, and in their work in multiple realms of liminality as a healer/bodyworker and emergency/hospice Nurse. emory was institutionally trained in rigorous classical lineages of line and exactitude. They have thus committed to formalism as a tool for structural reclamation, investigation and decolonization of pattern making. In addition to making choreographic work they lead ceremony, movement and writing workshops, and engage in somatic practices releasing grief concerning trauma and death and dying.

Maura Nguyen Donohue appreciates the kinship of two teen sons and many other sibling spirits. She is Associate Professor of Dance and Faculty Associate for Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. She has been making, writing about and curating performance works in NYC since 1994. She has served on The Bessies, as well as the Boards of Movement Research, the Congress on Research in Dance and Dance Theater Workshop. She has a BA in Anthropology and Dance (‘92) and an MFA in Dance (‘08) from Smith College.