Events – Danspace Project
Photo: Hazuki Aikawa
Photo: Hazuki Aikawa

Mina Nishimura: Bladder Inn (and X, Y, Z, W)

Please arrive on time! There is no late seating for this performance.

Mina Nishimura’s Bladder Inn (and X, Y, Z, W) was created in conversation with an original text of the same title, developed by Nishimura with the intention of finding language evocative of internal landscapes.

Blurring the boundaries between inner and outer space, visible and invisible presences, and images and abstract forms, Bladder Inn (and X, Y, Z, W) hosts what Nishimura calls “a slippery journey and fleeting fantasy of wandering bodies.”

The work invites both audiences and performers to consider peripheral spaces of architecture, perception, and sound specific to the architecture of St. Mark’s Church.

Performed by Mina Nishimura with Martita Abril, Jonathan Burkland, Lydia Chrisman, Samuel Hanson, Maho Ogawa, Ilana Stuelpner, and Niko Tsocanos

Music Composed by Masahiro Sugaya

Lighting Design by Kathy Kaufmann

Costumes by Kota Yamazaki

Satoshi Tsuchiyama, courtesy Kensaku Shinohara
Satoshi Tsuchiyama, courtesy Kensaku Shinohara

DraftWork: Lauren Bakst / Kensaku Shinohara

There is no late seating for this DraftWork. Please arrive on time!

Curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones, the DraftWork series hosts informal, free 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.

Lauren Bakst is an artist and writer living in New York. She works in, with, and through dance, approaching the situation of performing as an object of inquiry. Lauren is working or has recently worked with effie bowen, Chanterelle Menashe Ribes, Laura Morrison, students at University of the Arts School of Dance, Ivo Dimchev, and Yuri Masnyj. She is an editor of the Movement Research Performance Journal. Lauren currently manages Private Collection, a personally-motivated performance-archive.

Kensaku Shinohara is an artist who brings an education in anthropology to bear on his work as a choreographer/performer. He is extremely curious about nonverbal communication and the ways individuals express values and exercise boundaries. Based in NYC since 2009, his works have been performed in USA, Canada, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Shinohara is a 2017/18 Harkness Dance Center AIR, Exploring the Metropolis AIR, and has received grants from the Japan Foundation (2016) and Queens Arts Fund (2016).

Photo: Liz Charky
Photo: Liz Charky

Tatyana Tenenbaum: Untitled Work for Voice

*There is no late seating for this performance. Please arrive on time!*

Choreographer and composer Tatyana Tenenbaum explores the phenomenal space of the singing body. Untitled Work for Voice is a backstage musical; a show about a show whose production is never seen in completion. Five performers breathe sound and form into space, causing histories and narratives to appear and rupture. Singing bodies give way to vibration, unraveling the tightly choreographed music of American desire.

Tenenbaum asks: “If we are the inheritors of white America–with our interwoven histories of coercion, direct compliance, and passive complicity– then are we capable of embodying a narrative, which acknowledges genocide, enslavement, dominance and appropriation as a basis for everything we know? What would this feel and sound like? How can we implicate our cultural patterns of yearning, catharsis, and individualism in order to forge an illicit future? This multifaceted ‘theater of the singing body’ searches for a new expressive landscape for body and voice.”

Created and performed by Marisa ClementiPareena Lim, Emily Moore, Jules Skloot and Tatyana Tenenbaum
Costume Design by Claire Fleury
Lighting Design by Kathy Kaufmann

Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance catalogue designed by Raja Feather Kelly.
Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance catalogue designed by Raja Feather Kelly.

Platform 2018 Opening Event

Co-presented by Danspace Project and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

All are invited to the public opening of Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018)! This opening event will take place in the historic Great Hall at The Cooper Union—the same auditorium where Abraham Lincoln made his famous speech against the expansion of slavery.

On this occasion Danspace celebrates the release of its 12th Platform catalogue with words, movement, and song featuring Platform 2018 curator, choreographer Reggie Wilson, Judy Hussie-Taylor (Danspace Project Executive Director & Chief Curator), Nell Gibson (longtime St. Mark’s Church parishioner, author, and civil rights activist), Raja Feather Kelly (Platform 2018 catalogue designer, choreographer, and performer with Fist & Heel Performance Group), Radhika Subramaniam (Asst Prof of Visual Culture, Parsons School of Design/The New School), and Fist & Heel Performance Group dancers.

In the accompanying catalogue for Platform 2018, historical research, personal testimony, original artwork, interviews, and historic photographs uncover the intersecting ways places of worship have shaped religious, African Diasporic, and postmodern dance practices over past centuries. Contributors include Lauren Bakst, Lydia Bell, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Stephen FaceyKeely Garfield, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Darrell Jones, Prathibha Kanakamedala, Kelly Kivland, Cynthia Oliver, Susan OsbergCarl Paris, Same As Sister (Hilary Brown and Briana Brown-Tipley), Radhika Subramaniam, Kamau Ware, Ni’Ja Whitson, Tara Aisha Willis, and Reggie Wilson.

The catalogue, designed by Raja Feather Kelly, and edited by Lydia Bell, Kristin Juarez, and Reggie Wilson, echoes Wilson’s choreographic logic and research methodology that reflect the complexity of time, space, and movement across the African Diaspora.

The event is free and open to the public.

Image: Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Plate 41: Map bounded by Fourth Avenue, East 12th Street, Second Avenue, Fifth Street; Including Bowery, Third Avenue, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street (St.Mark's Place), Astor Place, Stuyvesant Street, East Ninth Street, East 10th Street, East 11th Street" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-77fd-d471-e040-e00a180654d7
Image: Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Plate 41: Map bounded by Fourth Avenue, East 12th Street, Second Avenue, Fifth Street; Including Bowery, Third Avenue, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street (St.Mark's Place), Astor Place, Stuyvesant Street, East Ninth Street, East 10th Street, East 11th Street" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-77fd-d471-e040-e00a180654d7

Walking Tour #1: East Village with Cynthia Copeland (Platform 2018)

Platform 2018 considers the cultural, dance, and architectural histories of the many peoples who’ve inhabited downtown NYC and beyond. Each week the Platform will feature a commissioned walking tour led by an artist or scholar. Space is extremely limited! RSVP is required.

Cynthia Copeland is a public historian and interpretive specialist focused on Afro-American, American, urban, and museum studies. She is president of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History. This tour will focus on Copeland’s perspective as an historian, East Village resident, and a parishioner of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery.

Danspace Project will confirm exact meeting location for the tour approximately one week in advance.

Image: Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Plate 41: Map bounded by Fourth Avenue, East 12th Street, Second Avenue, Fifth Street; Including Bowery, Third Avenue, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street (St.Mark's Place), Astor Place, Stuyvesant Street, East Ninth Street, East 10th Street, East 11th Street" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-77fd-d471-e040-e00a180654d7

Walking Tour #2: East Village with Prithi Kanakamedala (Platform 2018)

Platform 2018 considers the cultural, dance, and architectural histories of the many peoples who’ve inhabited downtown NYC and beyond. Each week the Platform will feature a commissioned walking tour led by an artist or scholar. Space is extremely limited! RSVP is required.

Prithi Kanakamedala is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. Kanakamedala’s tour will delve into her research interests including the Black Atlantic, New York’s nineteenth-century free Black communities, and the city’s historic material culture.

Danspace Project will confirm exact meeting location for the tour approximately one week in advance.

Dossier_web

The Dossier Charrette: a series of working dance essays by Beth Gill, Jonathan Gonzalez, Miguel Gutierrez, Angie Pittman, and Edisa Weeks (Platform 2018)

The Dossier Charrette: a series of working dance essays is inspired by the notion of an architectural  charrette , a collaborative and intense period of design or planning activity, which emerged out of the École des Beaux-Arts in late 19th Century Paris. The word charrette is French for “cart” or “chariot.” Architecture students rushed to complete their work in an allotted time period as professors made the rounds with carts to collect the students’ final projects. This practice came to be referred to as working en charrette, “’in the cart.”

Over three nights, artists Beth Gill, Jonathan Gonzalez, Miguel Gutierrez, Angie Pittman, and Edisa Weeks each present their own 10-minute artistic response to a dossier compiled by scholar Prithi Kanakamedala whose research interests include the Black Atlantic, New York’s nineteenth-century free Black communities, and the city’s historic material culture.

The responses are meant to evolve over the course of the three evenings. Each evening is followed by “refraction and reflection” between the artists and Wilson, deepening the engagement between the artists and facilitating engagement with the audience.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "St. Mark's Church, Stuyvesant St." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-256d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "St. Mark's Church, Stuyvesant St." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-256d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Bell & Water: a symposium (Platform 2018)

This is an afternoon of sharing, information, and talking. It will be comprised of three parts and artistic interventions: History of Site and Memory, Story of Blackness and Downtown Dance, and How to Navigate the Platforms.

Participants include: Lydia Bell, Cynthia Copeland, Emily Johnson, Kristin Juarez, Prithi Kanakamedala, Raja Feather Kelly, Thomas J. Lax, Ernest Julius Mitchell, Jeannine Otis, Ali Rosa-Salas, Radhika Subramaniam, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Charmaine Warren, Reggie Wilson, Eva Yaa Asantewaa, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

11:45-12pm: Opening Ceremony by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, followed by a “light love feast.” Ceremony will begin promptly at 11:45am!

12pm: Welcome and Introduction

12:15-1:30pm: History of Site and Memory will investigate the history of St. Mark’s Church and the intersections of site, memory, and religion. With Prithi Kanakamedala, Radhika Subramaniam, Ernest Julius Mitchell, Cynthia Copeland.

1:45-3pm: Story of Blackness and Downtown Dance asks participants to share their experiences of making dance downtown, and how thoughts on blackness have shaped their dance-making and kinesthetic investigations of site and history. Moderated by Ali Rosa-Salas, with Thomas J. Lax, Charmaine Warren, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

3-3:30pm: Emily Johnson Performance Offering

3:30-4:45pm: How to Navigate the Platforms will approach the conceptual and practical aims of Danspace Project’s prior Platforms, developing a navigating tool for Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance. With Judy Hussie-Taylor, Reggie Wilson, Lydia Bell, Kristin Juarez, and Raja Feather Kelly.

Image: Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Plate 41: Map bounded by Fourth Avenue, East 12th Street, Second Avenue, Fifth Street; Including Bowery, Third Avenue, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street (St.Mark's Place), Astor Place, Stuyvesant Street, East Ninth Street, East 10th Street, East 11th Street" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-77fd-d471-e040-e00a180654d7

Walking Tour #3: East Village with Emily Johnson (Platform 2018)

Platform 2018 considers the cultural, dance, and architectural histories of the many peoples who’ve inhabited downtown NYC and beyond. Each week the Platform will feature a commissioned walking tour led by an artist or scholar. Space is extremely limited! RSVP is required.

Emily Johnson, a director/choreographer/curator, originally from Alaska and currently based in New York, will lead a silent walk through the East Village of Manhahtaan in Lenapehoking, homeland of the Lenape. Since 1998, Emily has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances often function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment-sights, sounds, smells-interacting with a place’s architecture, history and role in community. This walk will include the neighborhood surrounding St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery and Cooper Union, considering our relationship to land and the Indigeneity of New York.

Danspace Project will confirm exact meeting location for the tour approximately one week in advance.

Share_web

A Shared Evening: Keely Garfield Dance, Same As Sister/Briana Brown-Tipley and Hilary Brown, Ni’Ja Whitson (Platform 2018)

Reggie Wilson has invited artists Keely GarfieldSame As Sister/Briana Brown-Tipley and Hilary Brown, and Ni’Ja Whitson to share new work in response to the Platform. Each evening will be followed by a discussion with the artists.

“What can be expressed is simple. What cannot be expressed is most urgent. What if there are no words yet for what we are living through? Meaning accrues — intonation, accumulation of speed, diminishing space, hate speech, embodied listening, sublime utterance — who are we now?” Keely Garfield Dance presents Mandala, performed by Emma Rose Brown,  Keely GarfieldPaul HamiltonRaja Feather Kelly, and guest artists.

Same As Sister/Briana Brown-Tipley and Hilary Brown present The Exciting Event…, a collaboration with an international cast of performers, Kristina Hay (Oslo, Norway) and Rahmus Rifical (Kingston, Jamaica). The collective will perform a fairytale through the visual and aural language of seven characters. A blending of history, personal experience, and the imagined, the work confronts the paradoxical representation of race in our culture.

Ni’Ja Whitson presents Oba Qween Baba King Baba — Excerpt One, performed by theNWA Project (Kirsten Flores-Davis  and Ni’Ja Whitson) and guests. Oba is a Yorùbá word for ruler, a genderless term that has come to be known as king. Oba Qween Baba King Baba explores non-binary occupations of rulers, queering sites of the parade, politics, the parisol, the processional, and the pulpit, to reexamine the embodiment/roles of father and king. Informed by personal narratives of queer and trans children of preachers, and designed to be witnessed from above — the site/sight line of God or the Father or the Slave — Oba Qween Baba King Baba ritualizes an interrogation into dynamics between father, masculinity, and power.

Image: Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Plate 41: Map bounded by Fourth Avenue, East 12th Street, Second Avenue, Fifth Street; Including Bowery, Third Avenue, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street (St.Mark's Place), Astor Place, Stuyvesant Street, East Ninth Street, East 10th Street, East 11th Street" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-77fd-d471-e040-e00a180654d7

Walking Tour #4: Harlem with Brenda Dixon-Gottschild (Platform 2018)

Platform 2018 considers the cultural, dance, and architectural histories of the many peoples who’ve inhabited downtown NYC and beyond. Each week the Platform will feature a commissioned walking tour led by an artist or scholar. Space is extremely limited! RSVP is required.

Brenda Dixon-Gottschild is an award-winning author, dance historian, and Professor Emerita of dance studies at Temple University. Dixon-Gottschild hosts Brenda’s Way, a tour of New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, where she grew up. With Wilson’s Platform interests in mind, and with the unique perspective as someone who grew up in New York City and danced here in the 1960s, she’ll share personal memories of the neighborhood, her childhood home, the church she attended, in an afternoon where history meets memory.

Danspace Project will confirm exact meeting location for the tour approximately one week in advance.

Image © Raja Feather Kelly
Image © Raja Feather Kelly

Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group: …they stood shaking while others began to shout (Platform 2018)

Reggie Wilson premieres an all new work on the occasion of Platform 2018. …they stood shaking while others began to shout is a dynamic tapestry that connects the past with the present.

This work is influenced by Wilson’s recent research into Black Shakers, particularly prominent Shaker Eldress, Mother Rebecca Cox Jackson; The Ibeji, an orisha (god) of the Yoruba religion that is represented by twins; the problems and dynamics of duets and pairing; and his 1995 work, The Littlest Baptist, which incorporated investigations into the deep South and Trinidad and Tobago – an early example of how Wilson’s field research was synthesized into performative theater. Wilson plans to revisit The Littlest Baptist with an eye for reclaiming movement he created after research travels that traced his family roots in the US South, and Spiritual Baptist retentions in twin island country of Trinidad and Tobago.

…they stood shaking while others began to shout includes live vocal components performed by two of Wilson’s longtime collaborators, Rhetta Aleong and Lawrence Harding. The vocal score incorporates Wilson’s research into Ring Shouts and traditional American Baptist, Trinidad and Tobagonian Spiritual Baptist, and Shaker praise songs to find and create the phrasing and rhythms to structure the new work’s ideas and choreography.

Each performance will be followed by a conversation with Reggie Wilson.

Performed by Fist & Heel Performance Group: Hadar Ahuvia, Yeman Brown, Paul Hamilton, Raja Feather Kelly, Clement Mensah, Gabi Silva, Annie Wang and Michelle Yard

Live vocals by Rhetta Aleong and Lawrence Harding