Platform 2018 Opening Event – Danspace Project
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Platform 2018 Opening Event

Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance catalogue designed by Raja Feather Kelly.
Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance catalogue designed by Raja Feather Kelly.

Co-presented by Danspace Project and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

All are invited to the public opening of Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018)! This opening event will take place in the historic Great Hall at The Cooper Union—the same auditorium where Abraham Lincoln made his famous speech against the expansion of slavery.

On this occasion Danspace celebrates the release of its 12th Platform catalogue with words, movement, and song featuring Platform 2018 curator, choreographer Reggie Wilson, Judy Hussie-Taylor (Danspace Project Executive Director & Chief Curator), Nell Gibson (longtime St. Mark’s Church parishioner, author, and civil rights activist), Raja Feather Kelly (Platform 2018 catalogue designer, choreographer, and performer with Fist & Heel Performance Group), Radhika Subramaniam (Asst Prof of Visual Culture, Parsons School of Design/The New School), and Fist & Heel Performance Group dancers.

In the accompanying catalogue for Platform 2018, historical research, personal testimony, original artwork, interviews, and historic photographs uncover the intersecting ways places of worship have shaped religious, African Diasporic, and postmodern dance practices over past centuries. Contributors include Lauren Bakst, Lydia Bell, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Stephen FaceyKeely Garfield, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Darrell Jones, Prathibha Kanakamedala, Kelly Kivland, Cynthia Oliver, Susan OsbergCarl Paris, Same As Sister (Hilary Brown and Briana Brown-Tipley), Radhika Subramaniam, Kamau Ware, Ni’Ja Whitson, Tara Aisha Willis, and Reggie Wilson.

The catalogue, designed by Raja Feather Kelly, and edited by Lydia Bell, Kristin Juarez, and Reggie Wilson, echoes Wilson’s choreographic logic and research methodology that reflect the complexity of time, space, and movement across the African Diaspora.

The event is free and open to the public.