Renewal Residencies: Gillian Walsh
This year-long residency program will take place at Danspace Project’s home at St. Mark’s Church beginning in August 2021. The residencies will continue all year with public engagement, artistic dialogue, research, and space support.
Gillian Walsh is an artist and performer from Brooklyn, NY. Her work Moon Fate Sin (2017) was presented in the St. Mark’s Church sanctuary by Danspace Project & Performa. The work explored the death drive and transcendence in dance and the turn toward mysticism in times of global crisis.
“I work with dance as a problem and site of (psychospiritual) friction,” writes Walsh. “I tend to make highly formal choreographies that are severe and challenging in concept and experience. My work is often long and meditative and sometimes lasts for several hours at a time. In some ways I can be extreme in my use of stillness, emptiness and repetition but it’s in a sincere effort to find new ways to experience dance, time and being together.”
“Moon Fate Sin was guided by research into the kind of escape dance offers, a conception of dance as the meeting place between prayer and suicidal tendency. The next project, FAME NOTIONS (Performance Space New York, 2019) delved further into this line of research considering the alienation and spiritual quest of a dancer’s life. Here in 2021 I find myself deeper in this turn toward mysticism, thinking about God and the materiality of the body, as global crisis worsens. During this residency I’ll be developing a new ballet considering grief and new modes of transcendence. Together with dancers and collaborators we will delve into liturgical forms, ballet history, transfiguration, grief, visions, faith, and journeys through consciousness. This process is informed by my theological studies and research I’ve been doing visiting various spiritual and holy sites across the US.”
The inaugural 2021-2022 Renewal Residency artists are Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, Mina Nishimura, Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez and Gillian Walsh. This open and flexible program is an urgent and necessary response to the needs of these artists this year. Renewal Residencies emphasize: recuperation time to create work without the immediate pressure of production; renewed connection to creative process and artistic research; renewed connection to collaborators and fellow artists; and renewed connection to the Danspace Project community. Renewal Residencies attempt to make up for vital time lost, supporting the development of new work in dance.
Each artist will be invited to contribute to Danspace’s online Journal and to participate in Danspace’s virtual Conversations Without Walls series. Visit danspaceproject.org for more info and updates!
Gillian Walsh is a choreographer and performer from Brooklyn, NY. Her work has recently been presented by The Watermill Center, Performance Space New York, The Kitchen, and Performa.