Hello & Goodbye, With Love
April 28, 2020
It is with great excitement that we welcome Benjamin Akio Kimitch to Danspace Project as our next Program Director & Associate Curator. We also express our deep gratitude to our departing Program Director & Associate Curator, Lydia Bell, who held the position for five years.
“Lydia had planned to leave Danspace this spring to develop independent projects before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit,” explains Judy Hussie-Taylor, Danspace Project Executive Director & Chief Curator. “Lydia and I have worked with Benjamin over the past decade both as a culture worker and artist. His years of experience as a producer, his perspective as a choreographer, his knowledge of the New York, national, and international performing arts, as well as his longtime connection to Danspace Project made him the perfect person to be the next Program Director & Associate Curator. I am excited to see what his contributions to Danspace will be in the coming years.”
Kimitch has held positions at New York City performance institutions the Park Avenue Armory, New York Live Arts and Dance Theater Workshop, and most recently served as Senior Producer at Performance Space New York from 2015-2020. In his work as a producer and curator of performances, exhibitions, residencies, and festivals, Kimitch is committed to advancing artists’ visions and facilitating exchange across discipline and cultural sectors.
As a choreographer, Benjamin is no stranger to Danspace. His Danspace commission, Ko-bu, was nominated for a 2017 Bessie Award. He has guest-curated Danspace’s Food for Thought series and shown work-in-progress at our home in St. Mark’s Church through DraftWork. He is currently a 2019-2021 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence, and has received choreographic commissions from The Noguchi Museum and The Kitchen.
In her five years at Danspace Project, Bell worked in tandem with Hussie-Taylor to organize Danspace seasons and guide commissioned artists through their productions. She initiated special curatorial projects including collective terrain/s, bringing together artists Jasmine Hearn, Tendayi Kuumba, Samita Sinha, and Tatyana Tenenbaum for an in-depth collaborative exploration into the voice and body. In January 2020, she curated Aki Sasamoto’s performance-installation, Phase Transition. With Judy Hussie-Taylor and artist Eiko Otake, Lydia co-curated Platform 2016: A Body in Places. She has served on the editorial staff, as well as contributed writing, for multiple Danspace Platform catalogues.
“Lydia has brought a depth of knowledge and grace to her work in [this] role,” writes Judy Hussie-Taylor. “She has guided our commissioned artists through their productions with sensitivity and responsiveness.”
Until we can all be together, please join us, virtually, in warmly welcoming Benjamin and wishing Lydia all the best as she enters the next phase of her work as an independent curator and creative producer.
Ways of Saying Goodbye, Judy Hussie-Taylor
Ways of Gathering, Lydia Bell