Events – Danspace Project

Movement Research Festival Fall 2015:

Movement Research, one of the world’s leading laboratories for the investigation of dance and movement-based forms, returns to Danspace Project with its annual Fall Festival.

The Movement Research Festival Fall 2015: VANISHING POINTS, curated by Beth Gill and Cori Olinghouse, will feature acclaimed experimentalists, highlighting and juxtaposing their varied investigations into the artistic currents of dance and performance. The Festival will also include additional events during the week of November 30 – December 7, as well as workshops taught by Festival artists.

“…this festival is imagined as a place of inquiry rather than a space of knowing; a frame for observing how artists are grappling with memory, the ghosts of various traditions, and how the material of the body is mined to subversively complicate, distort, confuse and reveal meaning.” – Beth Gill and Cori Olinghouse ( Read the curatorial statement )

Thursday, December 3, 8pm
Nelisiwe Xaba

Xaba is a contemporary South African artist whose dancing narrates the political, racial and sexual movement through which South African female bodies have been choreographed since colonial times.– Annalisa Piccirillo

Born in Soweto and based in Johannesburg, the celebrated contemporary choreographer Nelisiwe Xaba will present an evening of solo work, reimagined for Danspace Church’s historic performance site.

Friday, December 4, 8pm
Abby Zbikowski & Gwen Welliver

What can be transmitted through motion, through the material of the body? What is kinetic imagination? How can the body suggest meaning beyond abstraction?

Gwen Welliver – What a Horse!
Welliver continues to embrace both formalism and fantasy in her work, What a Horse! Inspired by artist Paul Klee’s image of the same name (Was Fur ein Pferd!, 1929), Welliver and her collaborators lift the image from the page into the dimensions of dance, with all the real and imaginary states that this implies.

Abby Zbikowski – double nickels on the dime
double nickels on the dime exists in a space that questions the vast playing field of contemporary dance and aggressively asks, “How can it be leveled to speak to multiple populations simultaneously and where do these accompanying aesthetics have the right to be seen?” Its highly physical and driving movement vocabulary is fueled by the energy and ethos of punk and hip-hop. Dancers fully commit their bodies and minds as they work through overcoming the odds of physical failure and self-doubt to discover ways of moving and being in the world that transcend the expectations that surround the dancing body.

Saturday, December 5, 8pm
Impossible Dances: Past and Future

Where idea and actuality collide.
Where the past and future join forces. – Melinda Ring

This evening of performance will entangle two different Festival proposals posed to artist Melinda Ring that resurface past work of hers through a reconstruction and construction in-progress. Proposal #1 asks Melinda to gift her 1999 Impossible Dance #2 (still life)to an emerging dance artist, Kai Kleinbard. Proposal #2 is for Melinda to revisit Impossible Dance #2, through the assembling of its original set design and to use this historical site for her current choreographic investigations with performers Talya Epstein, Maggie Jones, and Molly Lieber.

movement research is one of the world’s leading laboratories for the investigation of dance and movement-based forms. Valuing the individual artist, their creative process and their vital role within society, Movement Research is dedicated to the creation and implementation of free and low-cost programs that nurture and instigate discourse and experimentation. Movement Research strives to reflect the cultural, political and economic diversity of its moving community, including artists and audiences alike.

Photo courtesy of Alex Romania
Photo courtesy of Alex Romania

Bob Eisen/Alex Romania

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.

Photo: Harry Sheppard, Frank Conversano, and Michael Kuhling in Andy de Groat's "get wreck," 1978, at Danspace Project © Lois Greenfield
Photo: Harry Sheppard, Frank Conversano, and Michael Kuhling in Andy de Groat's "get wreck," 1978, at Danspace Project © Lois Greenfield

Andy de Groat & Catherine Galasso:
get dancing

Catherine Galasso presents an evening of works by and in collaboration with choreographer Andy de Groat, as well as a new work inspired by him.

Andy de Groat’s choreography places spinning and pedestrian movement within a complex framework, presented with a keen sense of timing, phrasing and rhythm. This evening remounts de Groat’s Fan Dance (1978) which had its original premiere at Danspace Project in the years after its founding, and Rope Dance Translations (1975). Both works feature original music by Galasso’s father and frequent de Groat collaborator, Michael Galasso.

The program includes an inter-generational cast of contemporary downtown performers alongside original members of de Groat’s company. A study of aesthetic lineage that is part-tribute, part live-archive, part new work, this is an evening of dance history re-imagined, where research material is visible alongside a world premiere.


Meredith Monk & Anne Waldman

Two fearless legends of NYC performance come together at Danspace Project for their first ever collaboration.

Meredith Monk, currently celebrating her 50th Season and “one of contemporary music’s great innovators” (Classical Review), is a leader in interdisciplinary performance and an originator of extended vocal technique. As part of the evening Monk will be joined by members of her Vocal Ensemble to present selections from her brand new work-in-progress, Cellular Songs, a lyrical meditation based in part on her study of epigenetics (how external or environmental factors can influence or change our genetic makeup).

Anne Waldman’s work is the antithesis of stasis…She is a force of nature…a flame” (Quarterly Conversation). Waldman, a prolific poet, author, playwright, and activist, co-founded (with Allen Ginsberg) the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University and The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Waldman will perform a new piece titled Entanglement Variations, which includes visuals of paintings by Pat Steir and sound composition by Ambrose Bye.

Both notorious for their mesmerizing stage presences, Monk and Waldman’s paths have crossed many times; this is the first time they will appear on stage together. Danspace is thrilled to present this singular night of new work, solo sets, and some delightful surprises.

Benefit Performance Saturday Evening! Saturday evening’s benefit performance will be followed by a reception with Monk and Waldman, in support of both Danspace Project and The House Foundation for the Arts. Tickets for Saturday are $150 here.