Boasting attendance of over 500 participants, Dance/NYC 2016 Symposium was a success. Bustling through the halls of Gibney Dance Center (280 Broadway) were curious dance folks, plus old and new friends eagerly sharing in the scheduled events, but also in the many passes through the halls. To a completely rapt audience, keynote speakers Misty Copeland and Virginia Johnson had an informal conversation where both asked and answered questions of each other. Partly because of the direction of the Symposium, discussions on diversity, at one point, Copeland said, “We’re here to help each other,” and Johnson, “We do something because we believe in it…there’s nothing more important than that.” Sitting in the front row was Arthur Mitchell, to whom they included in their many points on diversity in the ballet world. Johnson insisted that her charge is to “…pass on what Mr. Mitchell entrusted in me.” In short, they thanked him for helping to make a change.
For this jam-packed Sunday (February 28), there was a great deal to see and of course not enough time to see it all. Besides the very informative workshops on legal issues (“Independent Contractors” and “Planned Giving”) I also sat in briefly on Susan Chin’s panel on public spaces for dance, and Camille A. Brown’s panel on “Diversity & Inclusion in Dance Education.” All were very lively and, as expected, could go on and on because there was more to share.
In their follow up, the folks at dance/NYC writes:
We value your feedback. As we work to improve our leadership training and professional development efforts, please consider taking a few minutes to complete a short online survey by Wednesday, March 16th. Click here for the survey.
Select video and images will be made available at Dance.nyc and we hope you will continue the conversations online using @DanceNYC #dancesymp.
We thank all of our supporters, partners, speakers, volunteers, and friends, who made the 2016 event possible. Thank you for all you do for dance.
The team at Dance/NYC
Commissioned Dance Performance inspired by
EYE ON DANCE educational video
Screening/Dance Performance/Panel discussion
NYU Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre/ 1 Washington Place
NYU Gallatin Interdisciplinary Arts Program commissions a new dance inspired by EYE ON DANCE
February 11 at 6:30pm
“African American Footprints Leading to the Future”
A screening, discussion, and performance
In a novel twist, EYE ON DANCE (EOD), the television series that captured the stories of thousands of artists and was recently named an “Irreplaceable National Dance Treasure,” becomes the touchstone of new piece by choreographer Chafin Seymour. Program curators Celia Ipiotis and Julie Malnig designed the evening “African American Footprints Leading to the Future” to include the EOD screening, live dance performance and panel discussion.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the EOD episode (shot in 1981) features David Roussseve and Pat Hall Smith discussing an artist’s understanding of cultural and racial identity through family narratives and how the creative process re-routes lifelong
confrontations with racism. Moderated by EYE ON DANCE creator and producer, Celia Ipiotis, the program is peppered with performance excerpts by Rousseve and Smith.
NYU Gallatin Interdisciplinary Arts Program commissioned Chafin Seymour to create a new work inspired by the issues raised in the EYE ON DANCE episode. Founder of seymour//dancecollective, modern dancer Seymour mines material from music,
literature, and pop culture.
Panel: The evening will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by Celia Ipiotis featuring Chafin Seymour, David Roussève, and NYU professors Julie Malnig and Michael Dinwiddie.
Date: February 11 at 6:30pm
Location: The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts theater, 1 Washington Place, NY 10003
Gallatin professor and playwright and cultural historian of African American life.
Eye on Dance creator and producer professor of Choreography/Performance at UCLA’s World Arts and Culture Program
Gallatin professor, dance historian, and editor of Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader
Presentation at MoMA by John T. Reddick, Harlem historian with Bert Williams Film - Wednesday, January 13
Bert Williams Lime Kiln Club Field Day Program
Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 7:00p.m.
Titus Theater 2, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019
MoMA Ticket Link; http://www.moma.org/calendar/events/1686?locale=en
Preceded by a presentation by John T. Reddick, Harlem historian and Columbia University Community Scholar
Mr. Reddick is a Columbia University Community Scholar and is actively engaged in aspects of Harlem’s current culture, public art and architectural preservation. He’s authored numerous articles on Harlem’s architecture and cultural history and is currently engaged in researching Harlem’s Black & Jewish Music Culture (1890 – 1930).
With warmest regards,
John T. Reddick,
Columbia University Community Scholar
in partnership with Clark Center NYC and MoCADA
Live and Outspoken
HONORING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF THELMA HILL
Tuesday, Nov 17 | 7:30pm
80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217
651 ARTS launches the second installment of its signature Live & Outspoken series with a discussion honoring dance educator and pioneer Thelma Hill. A panel of nationally acclaimed scholars and artists will convene to celebrate and pay tribute to the dynamic career of one of America’s most important dance figures.
Seating is limited.
Don't miss the opportunity to engage in this historic conversation.
Get tickets today at
The Legacy of Jose Limon (Oct. 26)
Bessie Schonberg and Louise Roberts (Dec. 14)
Two free public programs feature EYE ON DANCE episodes spotlighting Jose Limon and the Limon Company’s 70th Anniversary
plus Bessie Schonberg and Louis Robert’s gifts to young dancers.
Rare video footage of Jose Limon dancing in Moor’s Pavane and the only footage of Bessie Schonberg and Louise Roberts exchanging views
Post-screening conversations are curated by Celia Ipiotis with Carla Maxwell on Oct. 26 and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Jill Williams on Dec. 14. Q & A follows.
Date: Monday, October 26, 2015 at 6:30pm
Location: Gibney Dance 280 Broadway (Entrance 53A Chambers St.)
EYE ON DANCE Episode #310: “Jose Limon’s Legacy” (produced 1991)
EOD GUESTS: Limon dancers Carla Maxwell, Nina Watt, Carlos Orta
EOD Dance Excerpts: Moor’s Pavane (Jose Limon, Lucas Hoving, Pauline Koner, Betty Jones); Missa Brevis with Jose Limon plus an excerpt with the 1991 Limon Company members.
Post Screening Panel: Celia Ipiotis (creator/producer/host of EOD) curates a conversation with Carla Maxwell, Artistic Director of the Limon Dance Company, about Limon’s enduring impact on modern dance and a look at the 70th anniversary celebrations.
Date: Monday, December 14, 2015 at 6:30pm
Location: Gibney Dance 280 Broadway (Entrance 53A Chambers St.)
EYE ON DANCE Episode #201: “Nurturing A New Generation of Dancers” (produced 1986)
EOD GUESTS: Bessie Schonberg (dance mentor/composition teacher) and Louise Roberts (dance mentor/director of the Clark Dance Center)
EOD Dance Excerpts: Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Anarchy, wild women and Dinah; Paul Andrew Thompson’s Frantic Romanticism and Valda Setterfield’s introduction of Schonberg at the first Bessie Awards presentation in 1984.
Post Screening Panel: Celia Ipiotis (creator/producer/host of EOD) explores with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar Director of Urban Bush Women) and Jill Williams (Director of Clark Center Remembered) the impact of Robert’s and Schonberg’s dedication to encouraging a new generation of dancers and choreographers and today’s mentors.
RSVP Link: https://gibneydance.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0SE000000Mt2GkMAJ
2015 Bessie Lab in Composition Workshop
with Ralph Lemon
Aug 22-26, 10am-3pm daily
$400 Led by Ralph Lemon, the 5-day intensive inspires participants to refine their creative process through focused discussions, targeted writing, examination of cross-disciplinary ideas of choreographic thought, increased awareness of default actions and assumptions, and the creation of a highly individualized set of tools rooted in their own values and existing process.
Class size is limited to 12 students.
more info & apply>
T H A N K Y O U !
to everyone from Gibney Dance, especially Craig Peterson, Margaret Tudor, Julia Vickers, Paul Galando and the entire team to my esteemed panelists--Rose Anne Thom, A Nia Austin-Edwards, Jaime Shearn Coan, Siobhan Burke, Charmaine Warren and Marissa Perel and to all who attended or participated online
Dance Criticism in New York was an unqualified success with our six panelists sharing diverse experience and perspectives, each speaker demonstrating professional commitment to honest, responsible work on behalf of this art that we all love. We can all agree that our writing thrives on the dynamic energy of multiple worlds--our immediate, one-to-one encounter with artists and their work; our own histories and inner landscapes; and our life OUT THERE in our communities with readers who value dance now or might recognize its worth through our special insight and passionate example.
Moving on, we need to look at the power we invest in dance criticism, who claims access to that power and to what ends, who is denied access and the consequences of that exclusion. We need to create alternative, but adequately supported, venues for dance writing, and we need to value and compensate the dedicated time, skill and labor of that writing.
I hope our conversation will continue in many forms, generating new ideas and collaborations. Please reach out to me with your thoughts and suggestions. I am ready to partner with you.
If you missed this event or its livestream, you can access the recording here.
In the meantime, here is the text of my introductory remarks.
In his 2002 essay, “The Perfect Dance Critic,” Miguel Gutierrez wrote, “The perfect dance critic does not exist.” [http://www.miguelgutierrez.org/words/the-perfect-dance-critic/] And then Miguel went on to tell us the many, many qualities, abilities, tendencies and working conditions that would make it possible for that mythical unicorn, The Perfect Dance Critic, to exist.
But, perhaps, what we should be looking for in dance criticism is progress, not perfection.
Convening tonight’s panel is my way of asking, Can we get a little progress here in New York, a city that remains of great importance in dance’s history, its growth and innovation and, I trust, its future? A little progress, if not perfection?
Can we, as critics, be a meaningful part of this community? Or do we stay at the sidelines? Do we, as dance critics, have a meaningful place out in the world beyond dance? A world of beauty and also a world of inequities and injustice? Can we bridge the gap, bringing that world in, bringing dance out to that world?
Rather than perfection, can we seek humanity? Rather than cool and lofty distance from the artist, can we respond to art and to artists with empathy? Can we meet the poetry of dance with the poetry of words? Rather than complacency, can we have insurgency? Provocation? Transformation? Shamanism? Can we value the diversity and complexity of a changing world in which we do not fear those changes nor fear how they require us to rigorously examine ourselves, to question our assumptions and to evolve? Can we foster communion, perception, intuition? Can we honor deep and broad experience and knowledge without resisting new questions, new tools, new pathways?
Do we truly love dance enough to give it the respectful attention and witness that it deserves?
I’m wondering. I’m hoping. And that is why we are here tonight.
Eva Yaa Asantewaa (c)2015, InfiniteBody
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."