Curatorial Twists and Turns
August 19, 2016
Welcome to Issue #3 of the Danspace Project Journal. This issue highlights Danspace Project’s partnership with Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP), a two-year program offering an MA. We are grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Fund for National Projects for supporting Danspace’s partnership with Wesleyan’s ICPP program since 2011.
I am a founding advisor and faculty member of ICPP closely consulting with directors Sam Miller and Pam Tatge from the inception of its certificate program five years ago through its recent development into an MA program. Pam was the Director of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts for 17 years before taking the helm at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival this year. With a team of artists, scholars, and curators we designed the first degree program devoted to research into performing arts curatorial practices. ICPP just graduated the first four MA in Curatorial Practice students in Wesleyan University’s history.
In this issue we’ve also included an excerpt from my chapter in a forthcoming anthology on performing arts curation co-edited by Jane Gabriels, a 2011 ICPP alum, and Dena Davida, a Montreal-based contemporary dance practitioner and writer. In this excerpt I provide context for Danspace Project’s signature Platform series as well as my role in the ICPP curriculum development.
Danspace’s online Journal features interviews, videos, and projects related to a wide range of ideas in choreographic and curatorial practice. Since the launch of the ICPP program in 2011, there has been a proliferation of conferences, courses, and programs in performance curation. In 2014 Tom Sellar and Bertie Ferdman co-edited the first issue of Yale School of Drama’s Theater magazine dedicated to performing arts curation (Volume 44, No. 2). At Danspace we hope to continue to work with our colleagues to foster a discourse between artists, curators, scholars, and students engaged in this burgeoning field.
Danspace Journal Issue #3 features ICPP faculty, students, and alumni and includes an interview by Danspace Project Program Director Lydia Bell (ICPP 2011) with Travis Chamberlain of the New Museum and Ellina Kevorkian of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (ICPP 2011); an excerpt of an ICPP talk by artist and Yerba Buena curator Marc Bamuthi Joseph (2015); an interview by Danspace Curatorial Fellow Jaime Shearn Coan with Ali Rosa-Salas, a current MA student at ICPP; and a project update by ICPP alum Abigail Sebaly (2012) on her research into Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s 1964 world tour.
With this third issue we have also aimed to highlight curatorial initiatives and community organizations that we recognize as influential in the national performing arts field. Jaime Shearn Coan interviews Marya Warshaw, Founding and Executive Director of Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) on the occasion of BAX’s 25th anniversary. Thomas F. DeFrantz reports on the second summer convening of “Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation and Communities of Color” at Duke University. We look forward to continuing to add more content to this issue, including transcripts from the earliest Danspace Project Conversations Without Walls series, co-curated and moderated by Jenn Joy.
– Judy Hussie-Taylor,
Danspace Project Executive Director & Chief Curator