Events – Danspace Project
Photo: Andrew Jordan
Photo: Andrew Jordan

Christopher Williams: Il Giardino d’Amore

Christopher Williams is a New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” award-winning choreographer, dancer, and puppeteer devoted to creating movement-based works in NYC and abroad since 1999. He has been hailed as “one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there” (The New York Times).

Il Giardino d’Amore is a new dance inspired by Italian baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti’s eponymous early 18th century serenata based on the myth of Venus and Adonis. Meticulously set to the serenata’s lush musical score, Williams’ choreography for the dancers portraying Venus and Adonis corresponds directly to its vocal lines written for soprano and castrato. Choreography for the dancers portraying Amore and other avian characters referred to in the work’s anonymously-written libretto corresponds to its various instrumental lines.

Clad in fantastical prosthetic costumes, created by Williams’ longtime visual design collaborator Andrew Jordan, the mythic lovers and their entourage are portrayed as prehistoric beings existing outside the framework of a traditional gender binary. The cast features dancers Christiana AxelsenAndrew Champlin, Gentry GeorgeKyle GerryJustin LynchCaitlin ScrantonPaul Singh, and Melissa Toogood.

Lighting design by Kathy Kaufmann.

Photo: Ian Douglas.
Photo: Ian Douglas.

Koma: The Ghost Festival

Update: the free 5-minute preview on Saturday, May 13 has been cancelled due to the weather. See you for the performance at 8pm!

Known as one half of the celebrated performance duo Eiko & Koma for the past 40 years, Koma Otake brings his first multi-disciplinary solo project to Danspace Project.

Using a mobile trailer, Koma creates an interactive visual art installment, as well as a performance space. The design, paintings, and choreography, have all been created or set by Koma himself. Only through performance and the presence of his body in relation to the set does The Ghost Festival truly come to form. Koma envisions The Ghost Festival as a meditative and communal space to honor the connection between past and present, and provide a home for lost spirits.

The Ghost Festival was seen in progress during Danspace’s Platform 2016: A Body in Places, dedicated to the work of Eiko Otake.


Stacy Matthew Spence: This home is us

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

How are we in our home space? What does our home give to us, what do we give to our home? Does it reflect us, or reflect what we aspire to be?

With This home is us, choreographer, performer, and teacher Stacy Matthew Spence continues his choreographic interest in environment as impetus for creativity with a new work made in collaboration with fellow dancer Joanna Kotze, musician Jesse Stiles, musician Roarke Menzies, and instrument designer Ali Momeni.

In exploring how a person relates to a particular space or place they find themselves in, Spence partnered one musician in Kotze’s home and one musician in his own home. In This home is us “our experiences of the environments will be layered on each other to conjure a new home created and occupied by all of us,” explains Spence. “In our lives we are creating, following, and participating in experiences, forms, and systems in our environment that may be invisible or unaware to us or taken for granted. That is what I am interested in noticing.”

Photo: Fons Schiedon

DraftWork: Sam Kim / Kirsten Schnittker

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.

Sam Kim is a choreographer and performer based in Brooklyn who has been making work since the mid ‘90s. Her work has been presented and commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, Barnard College, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, Mulberry St Theater, Performance Space 122 and Gibney Dance in NYC, as well as by national venues. Sam’s work has been supported by grants and residencies from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, the Lucky Star Foundation, MAP Fund, the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Yaddo, Mt Tremper Arts, the Bogliasco Foundation, Movement Research, New York Live Arts Studio Series, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, The MacDowell Colony, Dance Theater Workshop and Brooklyn Arts Exchange among many others. Sam’s work has also been presented by Zenon Dance (Minneapolis), Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), Studio 303 (Montréal), the Unknown Theater (Los Angeles), Bryant Lake Bowl Theater (Minneapolis), the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Galapagos Art and Performance Space, JACK and Movement Research, among many others.

Kirsten Schnittker is a dance-maker, performer, and Development Associate at Danspace Project. Since 2011, she has created many dances shown at AUNTS, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Center for Performance Research,Movement Research at Judson Church, ROVE/Rooftop Dance, Triskelion Arts, and at various showings, open studios, and parties throughout NYC. As a performer, Kirsten enjoys recent work and collaborations with Ilona Bito, Yanira Castro/a canary torsi, Diana Crum and Hadley Smith.

Photo: Ian Douglas.
Photo: Ian Douglas.

Vanessa Anspaugh: The End of Men, Again

Under the new Trump regime, choreographer Vanessa Anspaugh finds a renewed relevance in her continued research and critique of male masculinities with a new dance-theater work, The End of Men, Again. From her subject position as a lesbian choreographer and mother to a new son, Anspaugh, along with an all cis-male cast (Massimiliano Balduzzi, Lacina Coulibaly, Tristan Koepke, Gilbert Reyes, Simon Thomas-Train, Connor Voss, and Jesse Zarritt) explores how power lives in, and between, all of the participating bodies.

Interweaving demanding physicality with spoken dialogue, sonic religiosity, and sublime virtuosity, Anspaugh investigates masculine vulnerability and the historical and unyielding dynamics of cultural domination. Writes Anspaugh, “The End of Men, Again functions as an exploration, a critique, a celebration, and as an exorcism of myriad masculine archetypes. The work efforts to exist as an ongoing inquiry into the legacy of maleness my son will be contending with as he grows up.”

Sound and Text: Ryan MacDonald; Lighting Design: Kathy Couch with Kathy Kaufmann; Sound Designer and Dramaturge: Ryan MacDonald

Photo: Elbert Mills
Photo: Elbert Mills

Community ACCESS: Valerie Green/Dance Entropy

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

Impermanent Landscape, a new dance choreographed by Valerie Green, is inspired by the ideas of cubism, perspective, perception, and impermanence.

Breaking the fourth wall and moving choreography outside of the traditional stage and audience formats, Impermanent Landscape features the geometry and architecture of overlapping bodies, creating its own personal landscape.

This work is part of a ongoing project centered on the concept of changing the external environment to shift the perception and context of how one views the work. Each performance of Impermanent Landscape is uniquely sculpted to each individual venue and has been performed at Queens Museum, The Flux Factory, Dorsky Gallery, The Farm Project, and Green Space

Performed by Emily Aiken, Caitlyn Casson, Erin Giordano, Frank Leone, Kristin Licata, Jonathan Matthews, Richard J. Scandola, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh
Music by Martyn Axe
Costumes by Valerie Green
Lighting by Joe Levasseur
Text by Stephanie Davis, written in response to the work
Fragile City Visual Art by Priscilla Stadler

Dance Entropy is a professional not-for-profit modern dance company founded in 1998. The company performs in NYC, tours and teaches both domestically and abroad, while featuring a multi-ethnic cast of 8 talented dancers. Dance Entropy supports the vision of Artistic Director Valerie Green, who creates stage and site-specific work. A significant part of the company’s mission is to use creation, performance, and education in locations and communities where the content of the work will have the greatest impact. The company created their home studio, Green Space in LIC, Queens in 2005. Green Space serves the dance community by providing an affordable and welcoming environment for rehearsals, classes, and performances.

Valerie Green has been an active dancer, choreographer and teacher in the New York City dance community since 1995. She created her own company, Dance Entropy in 1998, adding a permanent company home in 2005 called Green Space. To date Ms. Green has created 28 dances and 8 evening length works. Her choreography has been seen throughout NYC and has also toured to various venues throughout the US. Internationally she has taught and performed in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Austria, France, Italy, Greece, Russia, India, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, Guatamala and Canada. As a guest artist, Valerie has received commissions from Texas State University, BITEF Theater in Belgrade, Serbia, and Theater Alternativa in Tirana, Albania. She has also taught at the UNLV, Texas State, LaGuardia Community College, University of Nanterre, France, and at the Faculty of Drama & Art in Belgrade, Serbia and Sarajevo, Bosnia. Valerie’s choreographic work and teaching style is influenced by her formative years working with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, her certification in Body/Mind Fitness and her undergraduate work at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Impermanent Landscape was created, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and The Mertz Gilmore Foundation Late-Stage Production Stipend.

Josiah McElheny, Proposal for Prismatic Park, 2014. Wood, steel, and prismatic glass, 32 feet diameter (floor); Collection of the artist. © Josiah McElheny.
Josiah McElheny, Proposal for Prismatic Park, 2014. Wood, steel, and prismatic glass, 32 feet diameter (floor); Collection of the artist. © Josiah McElheny.

Josiah McElheny’s Prismatic Park: Jodi Melnick, Rashaun Mitchell & Silas Riener, Netta Yerushalmy

Danspace Project has been invited by artist and MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient, Josiah McElheny, to participate in Madison Square Park Conservancy’s thirty-fourth exhibition, Prismatic Park.

Danspace Executive Director & Chief Curator, Judy Hussie-Taylor, has invited four dance artists to “inhabit” the Park to realize new commissions throughout the exhibition.

The project features three large sculptures of painted wood and prismatic glass on view in Madison Square Park from June 13, 2017 through October 8, 2017. The resident artists will create ambitious new work that summons the potential for imagination, creativity, and performance inspired by spontaneous audiences and chance encounters.

Danspace Project’s resident artists and dates are as follows:
Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener: June 20-25, 2017; June 27-July 2, 2017
Netta Yerushalmy: August 1-6, 2017; August 8-13, 2017
Jodi Melnick: September 12-17, 2017; September 19-24, 2017

More information:

Photo: Mark Kornbluth
Photo: Mark Kornbluth
Photo: Mark Kornbluth


SlowDancing/TrioA is a new video installation by artist, David Michalek, in collaboration with choreographer, Yvonne Rainer. It seeks to create an unusual motion picture record of Rainer’s iconic dance-work, Trio A (1966). Trio A has become an emblem of Rainer’s work of the 1960s, wherein she famously transformed the dancing body—stripped it of special techniques and star status, traded its costumes and leotards for T-shirts and sneakers. Trio A presents a steady stream of unique motions performed without a pause.

To create SlowDancing/TrioA, the roughly five-minute dance has been divided into 46 seven-second sections. Yvonne Rainer and Raindears company member, Pat Catterson, cast 46 dancers—many original to Trio A, and many of the younger featured dancers, their students—to perform the parts in sequence on a specially-constructed set designed for high-speed, high-definition. The end result, to be screened inside of Danspace Project’s sanctuary will feature a single film that shows the whole of Trio A, from start to finish, performed by 46 different people.

What do you think? Share your experiences of SlowDancing/TrioA in short inquiry-based conversations led by Danspace Project Board and staff. Conversation dates and times are noted below next to installation viewing times below!

Installation viewing times:
Friday, June 23, 6-10PM (6:30PM: conversation led by Hilary Easton, choreographer and Danspace Project Board Member)
Saturday, June 24, 6-10PM (6:30PM: conversation led by Peggy Cheng, Director of Development)
Monday, June 26, 6-10PM
Tuesday, June 27, 6-10PM (6:30PM: conversation led by Lydia Bell, Program Director)
Thursday, June 29, 6-10PM (6:30PM: conversation led by Judy Hussie-Taylor, Executive Director and Chief Curator)
Friday, June 30, 6-10PM
Saturday, July 1, 6-10PM

About the Artist

Dancers include: Brittany Bailey, Patricia Beaman, Alexandra Berger, Siobhan Burke, Pat Catterson, Emily Coates, Robbie Cook, Caroline Copeland, John Erdman, Patrick Gallagher, Thyrza Goodeve, Peggy Gould, Sarah Haarmann, Patricia Hoffbauer, Irene Hultman, Gina Ianni, Jill Johnson, Simon Leung, Abigail Levine, Jodi Melnick, Elliot Mercer, Tess Montoya, Elisabeth Motley, Richard Move, Adele Nickel, Wendy Perron, Stephen Petronio, Manou Phuon, Joey Picciotto, Francisca Quintanilla, Yvonne Rainer, Maia Ramnath, Keith Sabado, Jade Salzano, Shelley Senter, Charlotte Stout, Macy Sullivan, Michou Szabo, David Thomson, Joshua Tuason, Damani Van Rensalier, Isabelle Vergara, Debra Wanner, Timothy Ward, Wendy Whelan, Megan Wright