Events – Danspace Project

Gala 2018: Rebel Angels: Honoring Michelle Coffey, Kathy Halbreich, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Danspace Project honors Rebel Angels Michelle Coffey, Kathy Halbreich, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar​ for their innovative leadership and far-reaching contributions to dance, art, and culture.

Introductory Remarks
Hilton Als, Roberto Bedoya, Adrienne Edwards, Marguerite Hemmings, and Ralph Lemon

Art Baron and Friends – New Orleans Edition, Morgan Bassichis, Annie-B Parson/Big Dance Theater, Okwui Okpokwasili, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Urban Bush Women

Paddle 8 Silent Art Auction
Featuring artworks and exclusive experiences by Jonathan Allen, Laurie Berg, Suzanne Bocanegra & David Lang, Brendan Fernandes, Judd Foundation, John Kelly, Thomas J. Lax, Glenn Ligon, Robert Longo, Yvonne Meier, Jim R. Moore, Peter Moore, Nick Mauss, Ken Okiishi, A.L. Steiner, and Kamau Ware. View the auction and BID NOW at

Festive Dress

*Doors open at 8:15pm for performance-only tickets

Individual Dinner Tickets at $300/$500; Performance Tickets at $75. Tables for 10 people are available starting at $3,000. Please contact Peggy Cheng at (212) 674-3838 or for more information.

Rokafella and Kwikstep
Rokafella and Kwikstep

Full Circle Souljahs: Boxed In

Q&A with the choreographers will follow each performance!

Created by Full Circle Souljahs under the direction of internationally known Breaking veteran and Bessie Award-winning choreographer Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio and critically acclaimed Street Dance Matriarch Ana “Rokafella” GarciaBoxed In explores the nuanced overlaps in culture of Classical music, Ballet, and Hip-Hop.

Full Circle Souljahs invite pianist Michael Bond, Boston’s beat box extraordinaire Gene Shinozaki, and DJ KS 360 (Kwikstep) to provide a soundscape for this juxtaposition of J.S. Bach and classic Hip-Hop styles, sounds, samples, and dance forms including Breaking (Breakdance), classic Ballet, and Clas-sick Beat box.

Created by: Rokafella and Kwikstep 
Performed by: Raymond “Spex” Abbiw, Jennifer “Beasty” Acosta  Gabriel “Emphasis” Alvarez, Odylle “Mantis” Beder, Michael Bond, Deana Richline,  Sharmaine Sheppard, Gene Shinozaki, Janice Tomlinson, John “Flonetik” Vinuya, Shaneekqua Woodham
Lighting by: Carol Mullins 
Meg Foley. Photo: Eric Ashleigh.
Meg Foley. Photo: Eric Ashleigh.

DraftWork: Celia Weiss Bambara & Meg Foley

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

Celia Weiss Bambara is a dancer and a choreographer with a Ph.D. from the University of California of Riverside. She is a dual citizenship in the US and Burkina Faso and maintains a bi-national pick- up company in the Ivory Coast and North Carolina. Currently, Celia is an assistant professor of dance the acting director of the dance program at UNC Asheville. She is a practiced-based scholar and her work addresses the intersections of practice as research in contemporary and African diasporic dance. Her dance work has been shown in the United States, internationally in the Caribbean, West Africa, France and Germany at venues including Links Hall in Chicago, The Drucker Center in Chicago, Outerspace in Chicago, Praxis Place and Outerspace in Chicago, Institut Francais in Abidjan, Goethe Institut in Abidjan, Alliance Francaise in Chicago, Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago, San Francisco at the Mission Theater, Claremont Mckenna College, Epiphany Episcopal Church in Chicago, Alliance Francaise in Chicago, African American Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Occidental College, University of Southern California, National Theater in Abidjan (CNAC), INSAAC (National Arts Conservatory in Abidjan), National Television in Haiti, Trinidad at Alice Yard and the Republic of Sydenham, in Jamaica at the Caribbean Studies Association, Donko Seko in Mali, MJC Picaud theater in Cannes, France, Flox Galleries in Kirchaue Germany and at the Belk Theater at UNC Asheville.  Most recently her solo work has toured in Jamaica, Trinidad, Ivory Coast, Iowa, San Francisco, Germany, France,  Chicago and Michigan.  Her site-specific dance works have been seen in Chicago at Doukan Arts Center, The Silver Room for the Annual Block Party in Chicago, in Trinidad at Alice Yard and in the Botanical Gardens at UNC Asheville.   She has completed long-term dance based projects in Abidjan with her company the CCBdance Project, which she co-founded in 2006. Her awards include grants from the Puffin Foundation, US State Department, the University of Illinois, Chicago (Postdoctoral Fellowship), the National Theater Center in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), the Djerassi Foundation, the UCIRA (University of California Institute for Research in the Arts) for collaborative work in Haiti, the BVAR, Dance and Performance Institut (Trinidad) and Donko Seko (Mali). Celia’s movement research combines the base of Haitian dance with other African forms, modern/contemporary dance, yoga and Klein Mahler technique. More recently she has begun the study of Body Mind Centering.  She has danced for JAKA in Port-au-Prince, Martin Dancers and Ayizan in Los Angeles as well Rachel Thorne Germond in Chicago. She has collaborated with notable artists including Djenane St. Juste, Christian Bambara, Dicko Yanogo, Jean-Luc Okou, and Florencia Pierre among others. Celia has taught at INSAAC (National Arts Conservatory, Ivory Coast), UC Riverside, Occidental College, Glendale Community College, UCLA, Romona High School for the Arts, University of Illinois Chicago as well as with Chicago Arts Partners in Education.  She has taught Master Classes at USC, Occidental College, Grinnell College, UCLA, University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Denison University.  Celia has also taught Haitian traditional dance, African contemporary and improvisation/composition at cultural centers/dance studios in Michigan, Los Angeles, Iowa, Chicago, Santa Barbara, New York, Jamaica, Haiti and Tobago, Trinidad, Burkina Faso, Mali and the Ivory Coast.   The sites for her teaching include Dance New Amsterdam (New York), Donko Seko (Mali) Gateway Dance Theater (Des Moines Iowa), Links Hall (Chicago), Rast Ballet (Chicago), praxis place (Chicago), heart beat house (Los Angeles, CA), Shana (Port-au-Prince), Jaka (Port-au-Prince) and for the Ministry of Culture in Tobago, EDEC in Abidjan, Ecole de Danse Edit in (Burkina Faso) and in (Abidjan) for the “Un Pas Vers L’Avant” festival at the INSAAC and National City Park as well as at the Foyer de Jeunes in (Dakar, Senegal) through CIE Premier Temps teaching initiatives in the community. She is 200 hour RYT certified through the International Yoga Alliance and she has taught yoga in Michigan, North Carolina, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast. More info: and

Meg Foley is a Philadelphia-based performer and choreographer. She makes dances, events, and objects that explore the materiality of dance and physical identity as form. Her work has been presented in Philadelphia, New York, California, Canada, Germany, and Poland. She teaches at University of the Arts and is creative co-director of The Whole Shebang, an arts space in South Philly.

Kareem Alexander. Photo: Scott Shaw.
Kareem Alexander. Photo: Scott Shaw.

Food for Thought (curators Maura Donohue, Remi Harris, Paz Tanjuaquio)

Food for Thought is three nights of performance selected by a different guest artist curator each night. Canned goods collected through Food for Thought are donated to The Momentum Project.

Admission is just $5 with 2 cans of food, or $10 with no cans! Cash-only, please!

Thursday, May 31
Curator: Remi Harris
With artists: Raha Behnam, Winston Dynamite BrownMelanie Greene, Candace Tabbs

Friday, June 1
Curator: Maura Donohue
With artists: Rina Espiritu, Kareem Alexander, Clara Auguste

Saturday, June 2
Curator: Paz Tanjuaquio
With artists: Dylan Crossman, I-Ling Liu, Mariah Maloney


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

Photo: Elísabet Davíðsdóttir. Courtesy Joan Jonas and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York/Rome.
Photo: Elísabet Davíðsdóttir. Courtesy Joan Jonas and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York/Rome.

Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land (U.S. premiere)

After over 40 years, performance and video innovator Joan Jonas returns to Danspace Project with an immersive lecture-performance drawing from literature, mythology, and the artist’s collections of sketches and notes on the sea.

Moving Off the Land explores “the ocean as a poetic, totemic, and natural entity, as a life source and home to a universe of beings.” Jonas’s video, performance, and installation works often exist in transit, and are translated and restaged into other mediums.

Jonas uses herself as a screen and as a surface. Video footage of underwater scenes from Jean Painlevé’s black-and-white reels of sea creatures to shots of aquariums is poetically and associatively intersected with excerpts from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Sy Montgomery’s Soul of an Octopus, and Italo Calvino’s The Aquatic Uncle.

Lighting designer: Jan Kroeze

Commissioned by TBA21–Academy, London

Photo: Roy Fowler
Photo: Roy Fowler

Molissa Fenley and Company

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

Molissa Fenley and Company with Frank Cassara and Ralph Farris present Their Mark, an evening of new dance and new music.

This past year, Molissa Fenley, along with percussionist Frank Cassara and violist Ralph Farris, created an evening of dance works set to music by four contemporary composers. The program premiered at Vassar College in October 2016 and subsequently traveled to Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival in Carmel, California in September 2017. Now Fenley brings this program to her hometown of New York City. The program consists of dances from Water Table, never before seen in New York. The dances of Water Table present the qualities of water, the abundance or lack of pure water in a geographical area, or the conditions and patterns of large bodies of water. Also on this special evening, Fenley and Company present a shortened version of an early work from 1979: Mix.

Choreography by Molissa Fenley
Dancers: Jared Brown, Elizabeth Cooper, Holley Farmer, Molissa Fenley, Giada Ferrone, Kristen Foote, Ananda Gonzalez, India Gonzalez and Alan Good
Music by Linda Bouchard, Frank Cassara, Tigran Mansurian and Andrew Toovey performed live by Frank Cassara (percussion) and Ralph Farris (viola)
Lighting by David Moodey

Molissa Fenley founded Molissa Fenley and Company in 1977 and has since created over 85 dance works during her continuing career.  She grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria traveling there with her family in 1961, completing all of her early education there in International Schools and her last two years of high school in Spain. She returned to the US in 1971 to study dance at Mills College in Oakland, California. Upon graduation in 1975, she moved to New York. With her company, Molissa Fenley and Company, and as a soloist working in collaboration with visual artists and composers, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Her work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Dia Art Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, the New National Theater of Tokyo, The National Institute of Performing Arts in Seoul, The Kitchen, and Dance Theater Workshop/New York Live Arts. Both Cenotaph and State of Darkness were awarded a Bessie for Choreography in 1985 and 1988 respectively.  Molissa has also set many works on ballet and contemporary dance companies, most recently for the Oakland Ballet (Redwood Park), Pacific Northwest Ballet, (State of Darkness), Repertory Dance Theatre (Energizer), Barnard/Columbia (Amdo), Robert Moses’ Kin (The Vessel Stories), and the Seattle Dance Project, (Planes in Air). She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, has enjoyed residencies at Yaddo, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Baryshnikov Art Center, Djerassi and is a twice recipient of awards from the Asian Cultural Council to visit Japan. Molissa is Professor of Dance at Mills College, in residence in the spring semesters, and often teaches choreographic and repertory workshops at other universities, most recently at Bennington, Barnard/Columbia and Hunter. Seagull Press/University of Chicago recently published Rhythm Field: The Dance of Molissa Fenley.

Mei Yamanaka. Photo: Chris Nicodemo.
Mei Yamanaka. Photo: Chris Nicodemo.

Food for Thought (curators Katy Pyle and Indah Walsh)

Food for Thought is two nights of performance selected by a different guest artist curator each night. Canned goods collected through Food for Thought are donated to The Momentum Project.

Admission is just $5 with 2 cans of food, or $10 with no cans! Cash only, please!

Thursday, June 28
Curator: Indah Walsh
With artists: Kayla Farrish/Decent Structures Arts, Pamela Pietro, vis-á-vis

Friday, June 29
Curator: Katy Pyle
With artists: Deborah Lohse, Stevie May, Mei Yamanaka

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