Events – Danspace Project
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)

*This tour is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances*

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.

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.

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

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, Thomas J. Lax, Nia Love, Ernest Julius Mitchell, Jeannine Otis, Ali Rosa-Salas, Radhika Subramaniam, Judy Hussie-Taylor, 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 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, Nia Love, 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, and Kristin Juarez.

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.

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.

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, Eleanor Smith, and guest artists.

Same As Sister/Briana Brown-Tipley and Hilary Brown‘s The Exciting Event…, a collaboration with performers Kristina Hay and Rahmus Rifical, musician/sound designer Lamy Istrefi Jr. and dramaturge Susan Mar Landau, explores the entwined identities and histories of slave and slaveholder as a site for compulsive reenactment. Inspired by slave narratives, fairytales, and the dual traditions of “Cakewalk” and minstrel performance, The Exciting Event… presents a fragmented narrative of race, gender and power. Drawing on multiple movement vocabularies, including Dancehall and Postmodern dance, the piece plays at the edge of the fictive and historical past and present, telling a tale that is both inconclusive and inevitable.

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.

Photo: Kristin Juarez

Walking Tour #4: The Book of Sugar Hill According to Brenda – A Harlem Memory Stroll with Brenda Dixon-Gottschild (Platform 2018)

*This walking tour has been re-scheduled for May 16 at 5pm and is at capacity. To be added to the waitlist please contact Lydia Bell at lydia@danspaceproject.org*

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.

Brenda Dixon-Gottschild is an award-winning author, dance historian, and Professor Emerita of dance studies at Temple University. Dixon-Gottschild hosts The Book of Sugar Hill According to Brenda – A Harlem Memory Stroll, 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

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

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

*All 3 performances are sold out. A wait list will be taken at the door beginning at 7:15pm each night.*

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