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