Events – Danspace Project
Rainer&Jonas collage_Avillez

Danspace Project Gala 2016 Honoring Joan Jonas & Yvonne Rainer


Joan Jonas and Yvonne Rainer

Joan Jonas for her pioneering video and multi-media performance work spanning over five decades

Yvonne Rainer for her defining contributions to postmodern dance from the founding of the Judson Dance Theater in 1962 to today

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

at Danspace Project
St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery
131 East 10th Street

6:00P.M. Garden Reception

in the West Garden

7:00P.M. Welcome & Dinner
in the Sanctuary

8:30P.M. Performances and Films:
Charles Atlas’ “Rainer Variations” (Excerpt)
Delusional Downtown Divas’ (Joana Avillez and Lena Dunham) “The Jonas Mother”
Song written by Sung Hwan Kim and David Michael DiGregorio
sung by David Michael DiGregorio and special guest Elizabeth Jane Dudley Baker
Okwui Okpokwasili
The Raindears
Melissa Toogood in work by Pam Tanowitz

Paddle8 Silent Art Auction
featuring works by Joana Avillez, Paul Chan, Joan Jonas, Babette Mangolte, Ryan McNamara & Jen Rosenblit, Peter Moore, Yvonne Rainer, Xaviera Simmons, and Pat Steir. Click here to view the auction on

Individual Dinner Tickets at $300/$500
Performance Tickets at $75

Tables for 10 people are available starting at $5,000. Please contact Peggy Cheng at for more information.


Artwork by Joana Avillez.

Photo: David Gonsier
Photo: David Gonsier

Juliette Mapp: Luxury Rentals

Thursday, May 12 – Saturday, May 14 , 8pm
& Thursday, May 19 – Saturday, May 21, 8pm

Danspace Project presents a six-show run of the premiere of Juliette Mapp’s latest dance, Luxury Rentals featuring dancers Levi Gonzalez, Jimena Paz, Kayvon Pourazar, and Mapp. With set designed by John Jesurun, and lighting designed by Joe Levasseur.

Luxury Rentals is created from a dancer’s perspective. The work weaves together the relationships that are built through—and around—dancing with stories that reflect the effects of New York City’s changing landscape, including physical and economic displacement. Dance requires space—often more so than any other art form. Space has become harder to find and afford to live and dance in. As a result, the challenges that dancers face inside and outside the studio have changed. The stories of Luxury Rentals are culled from life outside the studio, and the dancing is an expression of what lives inside the studio—in movement and in the stillness of watching, listening, reading, and resting. Luxury Rentals celebrates the fleeting luxury of life and dance—a luxury that can live and die in a moment.


Choreography by Juliette Mapp
 Levi Gonzalez, Juliette Mapp, Jimena Paz, Kayvon Pourazar
Lights: Joe Levasseur
Set: John Jesurun
Alex Rodabaugh
Johnnie Cruise Mercer

DraftWork: Johnnie Cruise Mercer / Alex Rodabaugh

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 during which artists and audiences share perspectives about the works-in-progress.

DraftWork is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Member Rosie Mendez.


Abigail Sebaly: Esprit de tour: A conversation on retracing the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s 1964 world tour

This event is co-presented by Danspace Project, the Merce Cunningham Trust, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University.

In 1964, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company embarked on a 6-month world tour throughout Europe and Asia, a series of events that fundamentally altered both the company and the many artistic communities whom they encountered during their journey. A half-century later, researcher Abigail Sebaly is pursuing the first comprehensive retracing of the original itinerary, crossing the globe to map the diverse artistic and cultural contexts that characterized each port of call, and collecting unique firsthand accounts from many who interacted with the company.

Sebaly will present project updates as she shares her travelogue-in-progress and moderates a conversation with special guests.


Abigail Sebaly is currently pursuing an independent research project on the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s 1964 world tour, initially supported in part by the Merce Cunningham Trust, the Getty Research Institute, the John Cage Research Grant from the Northwestern University Library, and a Mabel Dodge Luhan House’s writers residency in Taos, New Mexico.  From 2011–2014, she researched and cataloged the Walker Art Center’s Merce Cunningham Dance Company Collection.  Prior to this, she completed a Fulbright grant in Melbourne, Australia, and worked in various capacities for Cunningham Dance Foundation in New York, including as director of special projects and an administrative assistant to Merce Cunningham. She holds an M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago, a Graduate Certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice at Wesleyan University, and a B.F.A. in Dance and B.A. in English from the University of Michigan.

Photo: Lauren Bakst and Yuri Masnyj
Justin Cabrillos. Photo: Nicholas Steindorf

Shared Evening: Justin Cabrillos / Lauren Bakst & Yuri Masnyj

A shared evening of two new Danspace commissions by emerging artists.

Lauren Bakst makes performances and Yuri Masnyj makes drawings and sculptures. Since 2014, they have been combining their practices to make new work together. Re: Nude in a Landscape considers the construction and perception of the body in theatrical and art historical contexts. Using a limited palette of actions, images, and materials, the work repeatedly establishes and distorts the framing of the figure in order to animate the interplay between recognition, visibility, and representation.

Justin CabrillosHoldings is a shifting constellation of images and behaviors generated by a beige carpet and a single body. The body travels through fits of discovery and ecstasy, reveling in the space between object and organism. From living room to mountain range, the body continuously arrives at a new space, a new context, and a new awareness.

Photo: EP Falck/Effyography
Photo: EP Falck/Effyography

Raja Feather Kelly | The Feath3r Theory: Andy Warhol’s Tropico

Andy Warhol’s Tropico is choreographed and directed by Raja Feather Kelly and performed by Kelly his dance theater company, The Feath3r Theory.

Andy Warhol said, “It’s the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” In Tropico, Kelly questions if this is true.

Loosely-inspired by Lana Del Rey’s short film of a similar name, Tropico explores Kelly’s relationship to pop-culture as he attempts to demystify pop-culture’s relationship to humanity. The performers find themselves lost in a surreal, cartoonist landscape. The characters, each constellations of archetypes from television, movies, and children’s stories, seek refuge from the same Warhol-inspired pop-art-world they created.

Performers: Collin Ranf, Amy Gernux, Rachel Pritzlaff, Shaina Branfman, Aaron Moses Robin, Sara Gurevich, Raja Feather Kelly, Yeman Brown, Beth Graczyk, Bryan Strimpel, Nik Owens, Rebecca Hite, John Gutierrez
Lighting Design: Tuce Yasak
Video Design: Laura Snow


Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora: Retrograde Universe

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

Retrograde Universe is the title of a new work and this evening by Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora, both led by Artistic Director and Choreographer Catherine Gallant.

New works by Catherine Gallant on this program include Finally with music by Rome prize winning composer, Lisa Bielawa and text from Franz Kafka; the premiere of Retrograde Universe, a work using indeterminate structures to investigate the nearly lost sensate world of skin and paper; and Meeting #12, which is danced by Michelle Cohen and Alvaro Gonzalez.

Isadora Duncan’s dances of wind, sea, darkness and light will be performed by the members of Dances by Isadora. The Allegretto from Isadora Duncan’s 1908 untitled work to Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 Op.92, which has not been performed since 1979 will be reanimated by enlivening the extant fragments from the Maria Theresa lineage and expanding and re-imagining the choreography of the Allegretto and Presto sections as group works. The program also includes Valse Brillante and Duncan’s last works to Scriabin etudes played live by concert pianist, Yegor Shetsov.

Catherine Gallant, has been creating for dance in traditional venues and alternative sites for more than 30 years. Ms. Gallant has received funding for her choreography from the Harkness Foundation for Dance, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Trust, among others. She holds a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory and an MFA from Temple University. Catherine leads workshops for the Dance Education Laboratory and is a NYCDOE Dance Educator.

Dances by Isadora‘s mission is to share the history of dance as an art form with a contemporary audience through the presentation and teaching of the work of modern dance pioneer, Isadora Duncan (1877-1927). The company is also dedicated to the growth of new work which comments on history and culture while making connections from past to present with an eye to future innovation. Dances by Isadora is committed to educating audiences/students of all ages through touring its educational programs and performances.

Dances by Isadora is a non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to the preservation of the repertoire and technique of Isadora Duncan while creating programming which includes historic and contemporary dance. The group received its name in 1986 when arts administrator, Alan Casso produced the companies first public performance in Boston. Since then Dances by Isadora has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MIT Council on the Arts, Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Bossak/Heilbron Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts and City Parks Foundation. In performanceDances by Isadora honors Duncan’s original choreography while retaining the vitality and vibrant physicality of the movement. As no films or notation of Isadora’s dances were made until long after her death in 1927, Duncan’s choreography has been preserved through the teaching of one generation of Duncan dancers to the next.  Since 1986 Dances by Isadora has reached out to diverse audiences through the medium of performance and educational workshops informing and inspiring future generations.