Events – Danspace Project
Photo: Richard Termine

New York Theatre Ballet

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

New York Theatre Ballet returns to Danspace Project for their fifth season with:


Richard Alston’s The Seasons, one of the Best Dance Picks of 2018 by The New York Times critics;


Matthew Nash’s The Elements of Stylebased on Strunk and White’s classic guide to writing;


Merce Cunningham’s Scramble (1967) with decor by Frank Stella, music by Toshi Ichiyanagi. NYTB’s Scramble production is part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration.

ABOUT NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET Diana Byer (Founder and Artistic Director)

With its ever-expanding repertory, New York Theatre Ballet’s cutting-edge programming brings fresh insight to classic revivals paired with the modern sensibilities of both established and up-and-coming choreographers. Going strong after 40 years, New York Theatre Ballet’s diversity in repertory explores the past while boldly taking risks on the future.

(L): Brendan Drake by Whitney Browne; (R): Marion Spencer by Whitney Browne.

DraftWork: Brendan Drake / Marion Spencer

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.

DraftWork is free and open to the public. All are welcome!

Brendan Drake is a Brooklyn based interdisciplinary artist who uses theatricality and disparate dance forms to create performance spectacles. He was a 2017/18 Fresh Tracks Artist through New York Live Arts and the recipient of a 2015 CUNY Dance Initiative Grant through Baruch College. His recent work has been presented at Brooklyn Studios for Dance,​ ​HERE, La MaMa, Gowanus Loft, the CURRENT SESSIONS, Industry City Distillery, Joe’s Pub, Museum for the Moving Image and No Theme Festival (Poughkeepsie, NY). In addition to his work for the stage, Brendan choreographed the fall 2014 “Equality = Love” campaign for Adidas Originals/Pharrell Williams and served as movement coordinator on editorial shoots for Vogue and Elle Magazines. Brendan received his BFA in Dance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Marion Spencer is a New York- based dance artist. Her work has been presented by Gibney’s WORK UP 4.0, Triskelion Arts, Movement Research at the Judson Church, and the Domestic Performance Agency. Since moving to New York, Marion has collaborated and performed with Athena Kokoronis, Kinesis Project Dance Theatre, Stephan Koplowitz, Annie Kloppenberg, Carte Blanche Performance, Shaun Irons & Lauren Petty, Vanessa Justice, and apprenticed and performed with David Dorfman Dance. In addition to performing and making, she also teaches dance at Gibney, Dancewave, Greenwich Country Day School, and Girls Preparatory Charter Middle School.

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.

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

Photo: Ian Douglas.

Ni’Ja Whitson | The NWA Project: Oba Qween Baba King Baba

Co-commissioned by Danspace Project and Abrons Arts Center.

Ni’Ja Whitson’s Oba Qween Baba King Baba engages spiritual multiplicity and the role of Queerness in the Divine. The work’s title is based on the Yorùbá word “Oba,” which is a genderless term that has come to be known as a king.

This interdisciplinary work, performed by The NWA Project, is informed by personal narratives of queer and trans children of preachers and designed to be witnessed from above. Through movement, poetry, jazz, textile and video art, Oba Qween Baba King Baba uncovers architectures of the body, space, and sexuality to interrogate power and ways masculinity influences the perceived histories of religion.

An iteration of this work was presented during Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) curated by Reggie Wilson.

Created/Directed by: Ni’Ja Whitson
Performers: The NWA Project: Kirsten Davis, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Paloma McGregor, Ni’Ja Whitson. Featuring Djola Branner.
Process/Rehearsal Archivist: Kirsten Davis
Musician/Composer: Douglas R. Ewart
Sound Design: Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, A.J. McClenon, and Ni’Ja Whitson
Lighting Design: Tuçe Yasak
Video Design: Gil Sperling
Costume Design: Jeanne Medina and Peiyi Wong
Text & Vocal Arrangements: Ni’Ja Whitson
Objects: Ni’Ja Whitson
Dramaturgy: Sharon Bridgforth & Katherine Profeta

Free preview showing, March 23, 7pm:
On Saturday, March 23 at 7pm, there will be a free preview showing of Oba Qween Baba King Baba for QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) identified people. Please RSVP to  by 5pm on March 22.

Photo: Lindsey Dietz Marchant

Ursula Eagly: Our Epithelium

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

Ursula Eagly’s Our Epithelium is choreography for psychosocial motor systems. Highly composed and barely performative, this piece is made by secretion, absorption, and interaction. It is a piece for a large cast and a small audience, with two performances per evening at 8pm & 9pm. Writes Eagly, “It is architectural, reciprocal, interpersonal, intersubjective, and we can’t do it without you.”

Our Epithelium features: Madeline Best, Peggy Cheng, André Daughtry, Rebecca Davis, Blaze Ferrer, Katherine Howard, Yanghee Lee, Elena Rose Light, Julie Mayo, Kay Ottinger, Lindsay Londs Reuter, and Tara Sheena.


The creation of Ursula Eagly’s Our Epithelium was made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project 2018-2019 Commissioning Initiative, supported by the Jerome Foundation, as well as with a production residency supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ursula Eagly researched, developed and honed Our Epithelium with financial, administrative and residency support from Dance in Process at Gibney.

Ursula Eagly makes dances characterized by a “rabbit-hole logic” (NY Times) that consider the potential of porosity, an interrupted physicality, and you. Her work has been commissioned and presented in New York by The Chocolate Factory, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, and Mount Tremper Arts, among others, and internationally in Albania, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Manipur, and Mexico. Her work has been sustained by grants from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation/USArtists International, The Suitcase Fund, FCA/Emergency Grant, Japan Foundation/Performing Arts JAPAN, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the Queens Council on the Arts, and through residencies including Movement Research AIR, Explore the Metropolis Choreographer + Composer, Gibney DiP & boo koo, Dance New Amsterdam AIR, DTW Studio Series, DTW Fresh Tracks, Topaz Arts’ Solo Flight, and Ur (NYC), Kaatsbaan International Dance Center (Tivoli, NY), IIAC (Earthdance), Stara Elektrarna (Ljubljana), STATION (Belgrade), and Seoul Dance Center (Korea). Other projects include writing for magazines from Artforum to ARTnews and editing 53rd State Press Dance Pamphlet (inaugural edition), Movement Research Performance Journal (#41 & 42), Critical Correspondence (2010-2011), and Danspace Project catalogues (PLATFORM 2010 & 2011). Ursula was Artistic Advisor for NYLA’s Fresh Tracks program (2014-2017) and currently serves on the Explore the Metropolis Advisory Board.

Tendayi Kuumba by Angie Vasquez, Samita Sinha by Aram Jibilian

A Shared Evening of Work by Tendayi Kuumba & Samita Sinha

Part of collective terrain/s — a collective research process organized by Lydia Bell, Jasmine Hearn & Tatyana Tenenbaum. More info on collective terrain/s

Dancer, acclaimed jazz singer, songwriter, and company member of Urban Bush Women, Tendayi Kuumba works with visual, creative sound, and spoken word artist Greg Purnell to present U.F.O.: (Unidentified Fly Objects), an exploration of sound meeting the body.

Explains Kuumba, “When I think of “collective terrain”, I think of [a] telescope, a kaleidoscope… the literal galaxy and the internal galaxy that is our DNA.” Partners in love and in life, Kuumba and Purnell imagine this duet as “a micro-journey through one’s inner-verse, an otherworldly deja vu, a reminder of what we once were.”

Composer, performer, and educator Samita Sinha combines tradition and experiment to make vocal performance works that investigate cultural inheritance and the experience of being a body in the world.

Infinity Folds is a dance in sound—a process of coming together to make formations of vibration, inside and outside. The work is composed and instigated by Sinha and created by Regina BainRina Espiritu, Fana Fraser, Yingjia Lemon Guo, Chaesong Kim, Risha Lee, Okwui Okpokwasili, lily bo shapiro, Sheena Sood, and Helen Yung, who work with fragments of Baul music, a radically embodied folk tradition from Bengal, to open possibilities for voice and body.

Jasmine Hearn, Tendayi Kuumba, Samita Sinha, Tatyana Tenenbaum.
Jasmine Hearn, Tendayi Kuumba, Samita Sinha, Tatyana Tenenbaum. Photo: Megan Stahl.

collective terrain/s Workshop

Part of collective terrain/s — a collective research process organized by Lydia Bell, Jasmine Hearn & Tatyana Tenenbaum. More info on collective terrain/s

Jasmine Hearn, Tendayi Kuumba, Samita Sinha, and Tatyana Tenenbaum will collectively lead participants in a workshop on sounding in the body. Each artist will share a part of their process or approach with participants.

Come as you are; no prior dance or vocal experience necessary!

Lydia Bell, Jasmine Hearn, Tendayi Kuumba, Samita Sinha, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Denise Shu Mei
Lydia Bell, Jasmine Hearn, Tendayi Kuumba, Samita Sinha, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Denise Shu Mei. Photo: Megan Stahl.

collective terrain/s Publication Launch Party

Part of collective terrain/s — a collective research process organized by Lydia Bell, Jasmine Hearn & Tatyana Tenenbaum. More info on collective terrain/s

Celebrate the launch of the collective terrain/s publication with contributions from Lydia Bell, Marisa Clementi, Yingjia Lemon Guo, Jasmine Hearn, Tendayi Kuumba, Pareena Lim, Rebeca Medina, Denise Shu Mei, Amber Jamilla Musser, Greg Purnell, lily bo shapiro, Samita Sinha, Jules Skloot, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Nicole Wallace, Cyrah Ward, and Rochelle Wilbun.