Events – Danspace Project
Okwui Okpokwasili, Brooklyn, NY, April 2021. Photo: Ian Douglas.

Okwui Okpokwasili

Film premiere: Friday, June 4 | 5pm (ET) via Zoom
The digital premiere will be followed by a live conversation between Okpokwasili & Peter Born.
REGISTER HERE (A Zoom link will be sent to registrants via email approximately 30 minutes prior to the event)

Part of PLATFORM 2021: The Dream of the Audience

DOWNLOAD THE EVENT PROGRAM

Okwui Okpokwasili presents a new short video work created while in-residence at Danspace’s historic venue in St. Mark’s Church.

Multi-disciplinary artist Okwui Okpokwasili co-curated Platform 2020: Utterances from the Chorus with Judy Hussie-Taylor. The Platform explored collective song and the body as a site of resistance and transformation. The Platform’s centerpiece was the durational practice, Sitting On a Man’s Head, created by Okpokwasili and longtime collaborator, Peter Born. This was one of the last works to be presented at Danspace Project inside of the St. Mark’s Church sanctuary before the pandemic shut down in March 2020.

During her residency at Danspace, Okpokwasili will work with Born to create, and film, a soundscape inside Danspace’s sanctuary at St. Mark’s Church.

This film premieres June 4, 2021, and will be available for viewing on our Journal from July 1-Aug 31.


Accessibility: CART live captioning will be provided for all film screenings and conversations. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. Requests, questions, or feedback can be submitted to seta@danspaceproject.org.

Okwui Okpokwasili is a Brooklyn-based writer, performer, and choreographer who creates multidisciplinary performance pieces that seek to shape and amplify the shared psychic space the audience and performer inhabit, and, through centering the African/African American feminine, to illuminate universal human conditions. Her productions, created in collaboration with acclaimed designer Peter Born, are highly experimental in form, bringing together elements of dance, theater, and the visual arts. Okpokwasili and Born’s first New York production, Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance, premiered at Performance Space 122 and received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for Outstanding Production. Their second collaboration, Bronx Gothic, premiered at Danspace Project as part of Performance Space 122’s COIL festival, and won a 2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production, toured nationally and internationally, is the subject of a documentary film directed by Andrew Rossi and was recently performed at the Young Vic Theater in London in a month long run in 2019. Currently touring work includes Poor People’s TV Room, premiered at New York Live Arts in 2017; Adaku’s Revolt, 2019, premiered at Abrons Art Center and Sitting on a Man’s Head, appeared at the 2018 Berlin Biennale and at the 2019 CounterCurrent Festival in Houston, as well as at Danspace Project’s Platform 2020: Utterances From the Chorus, which Okpokwasili co-curated. Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with award-winning director Ralph Lemon. She has appeared as an actor in many productions including works by Nora Chipaumire, Julie Taymor, Young Jean Lee, Richard Foreman and Richard Maxwell. Most recently, Okpokwasili performed as the Lady in Green at the Public Theater in For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. Film credits include Her Composition , Knut Åsdam’s AbyssY, The Interpreter, The Hoax, I Am Legend, and Madeline’s Madeline. Okpokwasili is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award, a 2018 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, a 2018 United States Artist Fellowship, and a 2018 Herb Alpert Award. Her performance work has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Danspace Project, Performance Space New York, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, the 10th Annual Berlin Biennale, Jacob’s Pillow, and New York Live Arts, where she was a Randjelovic/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist. Her first album, day pulls down the sky, was produced by Danspace Project and released in February 2020. 

Kristin Juarez (left) and Lydia Bell (right) smile and lean against each other on the front steps of St. Mark’s Church.
Kristin Juarez & Lydia Bell, 2018. Photo: Judy Hussie-Taylor.

Conversations Without Walls: From the Platform archive: Eiko Otake & Ishmael Houston-Jones

Monday, June 7 | 5pm
Free. RSVP HERE
This CWW will take place online. A link will be sent to registrants approximately 30 minutes prior to the event.

Part of PLATFORM 2021: The Dream of the Audience

This CWW between Lydia Bell (creative producer, former Danspace Program Director) and Kristin Juarez (research specialist for the African American Art History Initiative, Getty Research Institute, past Danspace curatorial fellow) revisits Eiko Otake’s Platform 2016: A Body in Places, which illuminated and expanded Otake’s solo project in locations all over NYC’s East Village, and Ishmael Houston-Jones & Will Rawls’ Platform 2016: Lost & Found, which queried the effects of the loss of a generation of artists to AIDS on current dance creation.

In two PLATFORM 2021 Conversations Without Walls, Danspace’s signature long-form conversation series, Bell and Juarez will convene virtually to activate the archives of past Platforms. 

DOWNLOAD THE EVENT PROGRAM


Accessibility: CART live captioning will be provided for all film screenings and conversations. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. Requests, questions, or feedback can be submitted to seta@danspaceproject.org.

Lydia Bell is a Creative Producer based in New York City. She currently works with Leslie Parker Dance Project, Andrew Tay & Stephen Thompson, and Ni’Ja Whitson. From 2015-2020 she was Program Director at Danspace Project, where she collaborated with Judy Hussie-Taylor on programming, publications, and research initiatives. From 2009-2011, Lydia coordinated the three-year tour of the Eiko & Koma Retrospective Project in collaboration with 15 partner venues, including the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Lydia has worked on projects with Movement Research, Sam Miller/OAM Company, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. She has contributed to publications such as Judson Now (Danspace Project, 2012), Museum and Curatorial Studies Review, and Movement Research Performance Journal and spoken nationally and internationally about her work. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A., Dance and Classics) and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.

Kristin Juarez is the research specialist for the African American Art History Initiative at the Getty Research Institute. She received her Ph.D. in moving image studies from Georgia State University specializing in artists’ cinema. Her dissertation “Artistic Gestures: Choreography of the Artist’s Portrait Film” offers a sustained look at the ways visual artists engage choreography and blackness in moving image experiments. Her current collaborative research project focuses on the choreographer Blondell Cummings and will result in the first museum exhibition and book dedicated to the artist.

Eiko Otake, A Body in Places, 2016. Joan Jonas, Moving Off the Land, 2018. Photos: Ian Douglas.

JOURNAL: Eiko Otake: A Body in Places & Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land

Release date: June 7
VISIT THE JOURNAL TO WATCH

Special Danspace archival footage will be released on the Online Journal, Issue 12, each Monday of Platform 2021: The Dream of the Audience.

Eiko Otake’s A Body in Places was presented as part of Platform 2016: A Body in Places, curated by Lydia Bell, Judy Hussie-Taylor, and Eiko Otake.

Joan Jonas’ immersive lecture-performance, Moving Off the Land, had its US premiere at Danspace Project in 2018.

Don’t miss the premiere of Otake & Jonas’ new short film on June 11!

Eiko Otake, NYC, March 2021. Photo: Ian Douglas. Joan Jonas. Photo: Toby Coulson.

Eiko Otake & Joan Jonas

Film premiere: Friday, June 11 at 5pm (ET) via Zoom
The premiere will be followed by a live discussion.

REGISTER HERE (A Zoom link will be sent to registrants approximately 30 minutes prior to the event)

Part of PLATFORM 2021: The Dream of the Audience

Eiko Otake and Joan Jonas present a new short video work created while in-residence at Danspace’s historic venue in St. Mark’s Church.

During her Platform 2021 residency at Danspace Project, movement-based, interdisciplinary artist, Eiko Otake will be working on a new film collaboration with performance and video pioneer, Joan Jonas. In an unprecedented turn, Otake has invited Jonas to be the first artist to ever direct her in a performance, which will be filmed in Danspace’s sanctuary at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery.

In recent years Otake and Jonas have formed a collaborative friendship (discussed in detail in their 2020 Conversation Without Walls). Both artists create work that engages deeply with its site and experiments with viewership; how the work is experienced and how the viewer experiences themselves within it.

After working for more than 40 years as Eiko & Koma, in 2014, Otake began performing her own solo project A Body in Places, through which she has been exploring the relationship of a fragile human body to the myriad intrinsic traits that are contained by a specific place. Platform 2016: A Body in Places was co-curated by Otake, Judy Hussie-Taylor, and Lydia Bell. It illuminated and expanded Otake’s solo project with readings, durational installations, and daily solo performances by Otake in locations all over NYC’s East Village, home to Danspace Project. Jonas premiered her acclaimed immersive performance work, Moving Off the Land at Danspace Project in 2018.

View the program

This film premieres June 11, 2021, and will be available for viewing on our Journal from July 1-Aug 31.


Accessibility: CART live captioning will be provided for all film screenings and conversations. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. Requests, questions, or feedback can be submitted to seta@danspaceproject.org.

Born and raised in Japan and a resident of New York since 1976, Eiko Otake is a movement-based, interdisciplinary artist. After working for more than 40 years as Eiko & Koma, in 2014 Eiko began performing her own solo project A Body in Places, which was also the title of her 2016 Platform.

 

Since 2014, Eiko collaborated with photographer William Johnston on creating A Body in Fukushima that documents places of nuclear contamination. Eiko has presented both photo exhibitions and film screenings of A Body in Fukushima internationally at museums, art centers, and conferences on environmental disasters. 

 

In 2017, she launched a multi-year Duet Project, an open-ended series of cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-generational experiments with a diverse range of artists both living and dead. In addition to creating her works in her Virtual Studio during the pandemic, Eiko performed live for audiences at the Green-Wood Cemetery and in Tokyo.

 

Eiko & Koma have been honored with a MacArthur Fellowship, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, and the first Doris Duke Artist Award. For her solo work, Eiko has received a Bessie’s Special Citation, an Art Matters fellowship, the Anonymous Was a Woman Award, and the Sam Miller Award for Performing Arts.

Joan Jonas is a world-renowned artist whose work encompasses a wide range of media including video, performance, installation, sound, text, and sculpture. Joan’s experiments and productions in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s continue to be crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theatre. Since 1968, her practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of rituals, and the authority of objects and gestures. Joan has exhibited, screened, and performed her work at museums, galleries, and in large scale group exhibitions throughout the world. She has recently presented solo exhibitions at Hangar Bicocca, Milan; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore; the United States Pavilion for the 56th edition of the Venice Biennial; Tate Modern, London; TBA21 Ocean Space at the San Lorenzo Church, Venice; and Serralves Museum, Porto. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize, presented to those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind.

Kristin Juarez (left) and Lydia Bell (right) smile and lean against each other on the front steps of St. Mark’s Church.
Kristin Juarez & Lydia Bell, 2018. Photo: Judy Hussie-Taylor.

Conversations Without Walls: From the Platform Archive: Okwui Okpokwasili and Reggie Wilson

Monday, June 14 | 5pm
Free. RSVP HERE
This CWW will take place online. A link will be sent to registrants approximately 30 minutes prior to the event.

Part of PLATFORM 2021: The Dream of the Audience

This CWW between Lydia Bell (creative producer, former Danspace Program Director) and Kristin Juarez (research specialist for the African American Art History Initiative, Getty Research Institute, past Danspace curatorial fellow) revisits Reggie Wilson’s Platform 2018: Dancing Platform, Praying Ground: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance, which illuminated Wilson’s ongoing research into religion and race, and Okwui Okpokwasili and Judy Hussie-Taylor’s Platform 2020: Utterances From the Chorus, which explored collective song and the body as a site of resistance and transformation.

In two PLATFORM 2021 Conversations Without Walls, Danspace’s signature long-form conversation series, Bell and Juarez will convene virtually to activate the archives of past Platforms. 


Accessibility: CART live captioning will be provided for all film screenings and conversations. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. Requests, questions, or feedback can be submitted to seta@danspaceproject.org.

Lydia Bell is a Creative Producer based in New York City. She currently works with Leslie Parker Dance Project, Andrew Tay & Stephen Thompson, and Ni’Ja Whitson. From 2015-2020 she was Program Director at Danspace Project, where she collaborated with Judy Hussie-Taylor on programming, publications, and research initiatives. From 2009-2011, Lydia coordinated the three-year tour of the Eiko & Koma Retrospective Project in collaboration with 15 partner venues, including the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Lydia has worked on projects with Movement Research, Sam Miller/OAM Company, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. She has contributed to publications such as Judson Now (Danspace Project, 2012), Museum and Curatorial Studies Review, and Movement Research Performance Journal and spoken nationally and internationally about her work. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A., Dance and Classics) and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.

Kristin Juarez is the research specialist for the African American Art History Initiative at the Getty Research Institute. She received her Ph.D. in moving image studies from Georgia State University specializing in artists’ cinema. Her dissertation “Artistic Gestures: Choreography of the Artist’s Portrait Film” offers a sustained look at the ways visual artists engage choreography and blackness in moving image experiments. Her current collaborative research project focuses on the choreographer Blondell Cummings and will result in the first museum exhibition and book dedicated to the artist.

Photo by Ian Douglas; edited by Raja Feather Kelly

JOURNAL: Reggie Wilson: …they stood shaking while others began to shout

Release date: June 14
VISIT THE JOURNAL TO WATCH

Special Danspace archival footage will be released on the Online Journal, Issue 12, each Monday of Platform 2021: The Dream of the Audience.

…they stood shaking while others began to shout was presented as part of Platform 2018: Dancing Platform, Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance, curated by Reggie Wilson.

Don’t miss the premiere of Wilson’s new short film on June 18!

Reggie Wilson. Photo: Aitor Mendilibar.

Reggie Wilson

Film premiere: Friday, June 18 | 5pm (ET) via Zoom
The digital premiere will be followed by a live discussion.

REGISTER HERE (A Zoom link will be sent to registrants approximately 30 minutes prior to the event)

Part of PLATFORM 2021: The Dream of the Audience

Reggie Wilson presents a new short video work created while in-residence at Danspace’s historic venue in St. Mark’s Church.

Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance was a 2018 Platform that emerged from choreographer and curator Reggie Wilson’s ongoing research into religion and race. On the final weekend of the Platform, Wilson presented a new work for his company, …they stood shaking while others began to shout, built around his research into Black Shakers and Shaker praise songs.

Wilson founded Fist & Heel Performance Group in 1989. The award-winning company’s work draws from cultures of Africans in the Americas combined with a post-modern vernacular and Wilson’s own personal movement style.

During his residency at Danspace Project in St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, Wilson’s company will be his choreographers. He has asked members of Fist & Heel to create a solo work for him to perform. His film will be the premiere of this new work.

This film premieres June 18, 2021, and will be available for viewing on our Journal from July 1-Aug 31.


Accessibility: CART live captioning will be provided for all film screenings and conversations. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. Requests, questions, or feedback can be submitted to seta@danspaceproject.org.

Reggie Wilson (Executive and Artistic Director, Choreographer, Performer) founded Fist & Heel Performance Group, in 1989. Wilson draws from the cultures of Africans in the Americas and combines them with post-modern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he often calls “post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances.”

 

His work has been presented nationally and internationally at venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York Live Arts, and Summerstage (NYC), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Lee, MA), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), UCLA Live, and Redcat (Los Angeles), VSA NM (New Mexico), Myrna Loy (Helena, MT), The Flynn (Burlington, VT), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), Dance Umbrella (Austin, TX), Linkfest and Festival e’Nkundleni (Zimbabwe), Dance Factory (South Africa), Danças na Cidade (Portugal), Festival Kaay Fecc (Senegal), The Politics of Ecstasy, and Tanzkongress 2013 (Germany).

 

Wilson is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1988, Larry Rhodes, Chair). He has studied composition and been mentored by Phyllis Lamhut; Performed and toured with Ohad Naharin before forming Fist and Heel. He has lectured, taught and conducted workshops and community projects throughout the US, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. He has traveled extensively: to the Mississippi Delta to research secular and religious aspects of life there; to Trinidad and Tobago to research the Spiritual Baptists and the Shangoists; and also to Southern, Central, West and East Africa to work with dance/performance groups as well as diverse religious communities. He has served as visiting faculty at several universities including Yale, Princeton and Wesleyan. Mr. Wilson is the recipient of the Minnesota Dance Alliance’s McKnight National Fellowship (2000-2001). Wilson is also a 2002 BESSIE-New York Dance and Performance Award recipient for his work The Tie-tongued Goat and the Lightning Bug Who Tried to Put Her Foot Down and a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He has been an artist advisor for the National Dance Project and Board Member of Dance Theater Workshop. In recognition of his creative contributions to the field, Mr. Wilson was named a 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow and is a 2009 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Dance. His evening-length work The Good Dance–dakar/brooklyn had its World premiere at the Walker Art Center and NY premiere on the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2009 Next Wave Festival. In 2012, New York Live Arts presented a concert of selected Wilson works, theRevisitation, to critical acclaim and the same year he was named a Wesleyan University’s Creative Campus Fellow, received an inaugural Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and received the 2012 Joyce Foundation Award for his successful work Moses(es) which premiered in 2013. His critically acclaimed work CITIZEN, premiered 2016 (FringeArts – World; BAM NextWave 2016 – NYC); both these works continue to tour. Wilson was curator of Danspace Project’s Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) and created the commissioned work …they stood shaking while others began to shout, specifically for the space at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Most recently, he curated Grounds That Shout! (and others merely shaking), a series of performances in several Philadelphia historic sacred spaces. His newest work is titled, POWER.

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