Conversations Without Walls Program – Danspace Project

Conversations Without Walls

John Bernd, 1980s, NYC. Photo by Dona Ann McAdams.

Danspace Project pays respect to Lenape peoples. We acknowledge that this work is situated on the Lenape island of Manhahtaan (Mannahatta) in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland. We pay respect to Lenape land, water, and ancestors past, present, and future.

Danspace Project Presents

Conversations Without Walls

Saturday, May 20, 2023

An afternoon of screenings, discussion, dance, and context to illuminate Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd, which runs May 25-June 3.

with Miguel Gutierrez, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Nick Hallett, Kristin Juarez, and performers Raha Behnam, Toni Carlson, Alvaro Gonzalez, Charles Gowin, Kris Lee, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, and Alex Rodabaugh

in The Parish Hall and the Sanctuary at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
12pm Doors Open (Parish Hall)
12:30pm Welcome from Judy Hussie-Taylor (Parish Hall)
12:40pm Kristin Juarez (Parish Hall)
1pm Ishmael Houston-Jones, Miguel Gutierrez, Nick Hallett, & Kristin Juarez in conversation (Parish Hall)
2:15pm Nick Hallett (Parish Hall)
3-3:30pm John Bernd Archival Video on view (Sanctuary) 
3:30pm Ishmael Houston-Jones & performers (Sanctuary)
4:30pm Conversation and Q&A (Sanctuary)

Food and drinks will be available throughout the day.
Miguel Gutierrez is a choreographer, music artist, writer, visual artist, educator, podcaster, and Feldenkrais Method practitioner based in Lenapehoking/Brooklyn, NY and Tovaangar/Los Angeles. His work creates empathetic and irreverent spaces outside of traditional discourse. His work has been presented internationally in over sixty cities. Recent projects include I as another, a duet that examines unknowing and relationship, This Bridge Called My Ass, a performance that queers tropes of Latinidad, and sueño, his music project of melancholic songs sung in English and Spanish. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, four NY Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards, and a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award. He was a selected artist for the 2014 Whitney Biennial. His podcast Are You For Sale? examines the ethical entanglements between money and art making. He is an Associate Professor of Choreography at UCLA in the department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance.

Nick Hallett is a musician, artist, and curator, whose efforts have been described by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as “invaluable.” His original music has been heard in New York at Town Hall, MoMA, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, The Kitchen, Hayden Planetarium, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Performa, Danspace, Poetry Project, Ecstatic Music Festival, Roulette, BOFFO, and ISSUE Project Room. From 2000-2003, he led the faux-European video band, Plantains. In 2004, he co-founded the acclaimed Darmstadt concert series, which continues to produce an annual performance of Terry Riley’s In C.  In 2007, he became the music director and producer of the legendary live-cinema collective, Joshua Light Show, for a decade-long revival. In 2009, he was the first artist-in-residence at the New Museum’s theater. He wrote the score and lyrics for, and starred in Whispering Pines 10 (2010), a cross-platform opera collaboration with Shana Moulton, which has been staged, screened, streamed, and exhibited globally, in addition to earning the duo a 2013 Creative Capital award. Between 2014 and 2021, he composed seven scores for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, including Deep Blue Sea (2021), which premiered at Park Avenue Armory. He served as vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and music director on the international tours of the company’s Analogy Trilogy (2015-2017) and A Letter to My Nephew (2015). Hallett received a 2017 Bessie Award with Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez for Variations on Themes from Lost & Found: Scenes from a Life and Other Works by John Bernd, and sings with Miguel as part of the informal a cappella duo, Nudity in Dance. Hallett teaches on the faculties of The New School and School of Visual Arts, is getting his Master’s at Wesleyan University, and curates a new live art series at the NYC AIDS Memorial, where in September 2023, he will direct a new version of Arthur Russell's first large-scale experimental composition, City Park (1973).

Judy Hussie-Taylor (Executive Director and Chief Curator, Danspace Project)
Since taking the helm at Danspace Project in 2008, Hussie-Taylor has developed a critically-acclaimed series, the PLATFORMS, featuring artist curators, publications, and new contexts for performing arts presenting. The former director of the Colorado Dance Festival (CDF), she also previously served as Artistic Director for Performance Programs at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and Deputy Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver. From 2000 – 2005 she taught in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Colorado-Boulder and served as faculty, committee member and interim director of the Department’s Visiting Artist Program. Through her work at CDF, she co-developed multi-year projects including “Let’s Dance: The Americas” exploring social dances of the Americas and, with Marda Kirn, organized a three-year project looking at the relationship between dance, the arts, and the environment from multiple cultural perspectives. From 1991 – 1998 she participated in the National Performance Network and the National Dance Project. From 2005 - 07 she served as a consultant and on the faculty for the National Dance Project’s Regional Dance Development Initiative (Pacific Northwest and San Francisco Bay Area Dance Labs) and for NDP’s Contemporary Art Centers Initiative. She has been a guest speaker and panelist at national and international convenings including APAP, Dance USA, and NYS Dance Force convenings; Philadelphia’s Pew Center for Arts and Heritage; UC Berkeley Arts Research Center; The Ringling Museum; “Show Me The World: Curating Live Art Symposium” Munich, Germany; and the first International Symposium on Performing Arts Curation in Montreal. Hussie-Taylor developed a Danspace Project partnership with the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Department of Media and Performance Art to develop ancillary programming for the dance series Some sweet day curated by Ralph Lemon. A second collaboration between Danspace Project and MoMA marked the historic MoMA acquisition of Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions. She has contributed essays and interviews to publications on curation including in a new anthology Curating Live Arts (Berghan, 2018), an on-line publication for the Pew Center/UC Berkeley’s Arts Research Center and in the Yale School of Drama’s journal Theater. She has served on national grant panels including the Pew Multidisciplinary Fellowships, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and MAP Fund awards. She has been a curatorial advisor to Drexel University’s Boris Charmatz’s Philadelphia Museum of Dance, Philadelphia Contemporary, Bryn Mawr College (PA), Naropa University (Boulder, CO), and The Walker Art Center’s interdisciplinary think tank (Minneapolis, MN). She is currently on the Advisory Committee for the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, a program of Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, co-founded in partnership with Danspace Project. She received the first Bessie Award ever given for dance curation in 2016 and was conferred a Chevalier D’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2014.

Ishmael Houston-Jones is an award winning choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. Drawn to collaborations as a way to move beyond boundaries and the known, Houston-Jones celebrates the political aspect of cooperation. Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a 1984 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders, which reintroduced the erased narrative of the Black cowboy back into the mythology of the American west. He was awarded his second “Bessie” Award for the 2010 revival of THEM, his 1985/86 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane. In 2017 he received a third “Bessie” for Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other Works by John Bernd. In 2020 he received a fourth "Bessie" for Service to the Field of Dance. Houston-Jones is the DraftWork curator for works-in-progress at Danspace Project in New York. He has curated Platform 2012: Parallels which focused on choreographers from the African diaspora and postmodernism and co-curated with Will Rawls Platform 2016: Lost & Found, Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now both at Danspace Project. As an author Houston-Jones' essays, fiction, interviews, and performance texts have been published in several anthologies and in numerous journals and magazines. His FAT and Other Stories: Some Writing About Sex was published in June 2018 by Yonkers International Press. Ishmael Houston-Jones sits on the Board of Directors of Movement Research and Performance Space New York and is a member of Middle Collegiate Church and Dias y Flores Community Garden. He has received awards from The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. In 2022 he received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. Ishmael Houston-Jones received the 2019 Edwin Booth Award, given annually by the Doctoral Theatre Students’ Association of City University of New York which honors “an individual or organization that has had a significant impact on theatre and performance in New York.

Kristin Juarez, PhD is a curator and researcher based in Los Angeles. She is the Senior Research Specialist for the African American Art History Initiative at the Getty Research Institute where she is currently leading a research project on art historian Samella Lewis. She is the co-curator and co-editor of Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures (Art + Practice, 2021), an exhibition and award-winning companion volume dedicated to the life and career of the late dancer, choreographer, and video artist Blondell Cummings. 

At Danspace Project, we value people, connections, inquiry, listening, adaptability, and equity. 
These values can only be upheld when respect, care, and safety are practiced.
Please use this guide to help prioritize the safety of the physical and virtual spaces in which we gather. 

Please click here to view our Community Guidelines

Please click here for more information on Accessibility in our space 

All guests and staff must wear a surgical face-mask while inside Danspace Project (KN95 or N95 recommended).

Please click here for more information on Covid Safety in our space

Danspace Project presents new work in dance, supports a diverse range of choreographers in developing their work, encourages experimentation, and connects artists to audiences.

For almost 50  years, Danspace Project has supported a vital community of contemporary dance artists in an environment unlike any other in the United States. Located in the historic St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, Danspace shares its facility with the Church, The Poetry Project, and New York Theatre Ballet. Danspace Project’s Commissioning Initiative has commissioned over 570 new works since its inception in 1994.

Since 2010, we have produced fourteen Platforms, published fourteen print catalogues and five e-books, launched the Conversations Without Walls discussion series, and explored models for public discourse and residencies.

Danspace Project Values Statement

Executive Director & Chief Curator: Judy Hussie-Taylor
Deputy Director: Jodi Bender
Communications Director: Lily Cohen
Development & Communications Manager: Severine Kaufman
Program Director/Associate Curator: Seta Morton
Director of Development: Tricia Pierson
Program & Operations Manager: Rosaly Ruiz
Grants Manager: Nora Thompson
Production Manager: Niko Tsocanos
House Managers: Jordan Morley & Emily C. Wong
Box Office Managers: Niala, Antonio Irizarry, Ella Wasserman Smith

Consultants & Special Projects
Lighting Designers: Kathy Kaufmann & Carol Mullins
DraftWork Curator: Ishmael Houston-Jones
House Photographer: Ian Douglas

Board of Directors
President: Melissa Levin
Vice President: David Parker
Secretary: Rashaun Mitchell
Treasurer: Judilee Reed
Officer-at-Large: Anthony Calnek
Officer-at-Large: Helen Warwick
Yona Backer
Suzanne Bocanegra
Trisha Brown, In Memoriam, 2006-2017
Douglas Dunn, Emeritus
David Fanger
Ishmael Houston-Jones, Emeritus
Judy Hussie-Taylor
Thomas Lax
Ralph Lemon, Emeritus
Bebe Miller, Emeritus
Sam Miller, In Memoriam, 2013-2018
Sarah Needham
Eiko Otake
Nina Winthrop

Danspace Project gratefully acknowledges the private support of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters ArtsForward Program, made possible through support from the Mellon Foundation; The Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts; The Barbara Bell Cumming Charitable Trust; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; Marta Heflin Foundation; Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities​​; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation Fund, a fund of the Tides Foundation; the Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; The New York Community Trust—George N. and Mary D. Lindsay Fund; Jerome Robbins Foundation; James E. Robison Foundation; The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.; The Shubert Foundation; and the Henry Luce Foundation, the Teiger Foundation, and Willem de Kooning Foundation, through the Coalition of Small Arts.

Danspace Project programs are made possible in part through public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; the NYS DanceForce (a partnership program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature); and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Danspace Project extends special thanks to City Council members including Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Chi Ossé, District 2 representative Carlina Rivera, and Speaker Adrienne E. Adams; New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, and State Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick for their advocacy and support; as well as gratitude for Senator Charles E. Schumer’s visionary leadership of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.

Danspace Project receives additional support from Ford Foundation, Moody’s Foundation, and The William Penn Foundation through matching gift programs. 

Special thanks to the following supporters for their generosity in many forms throughout the years: Elise Bernhardt and fleur elise bkln, the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust, Ozone Design, and Ugly Duckling Presse.


Leadership Supporters: Jody & John Arnhold, Yona Backer*, Suzanne Bocanegra* & David Lang, Carol Bryce-Buchanan, Anthony Calnek* & Linda Sugin, Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, David L. Fanger & Martin Wechsler, Vallejo Gantner, Judy Hussie-Taylor*, Thomas J. Lax* & Andrew Wallace, Melissa Levin*, Carol LeWitt, Frances Milberg, Timothy & Virginia Millhiser, Rashaun Mitchell & Silas Riener, Sarah Needham*, Eiko Otake*, David Parker*, Jana Reed, Judilee Reed*, Sara Rudner, Martha Sherman, Linda Stein, Pat Steir, Christina L. Sterner & Steve Poses, Helen* & Peter Warwick, Nina Winthrop*, David & Monica Zwirner

Danspace Project would like to acknowledge the generosity of former Board member and ongoing Leadership Supporter Terry Creach, who passed away suddenly last fall. Our heartfelt gratitude for his support of Danspace, in many ways, for many years.

$5,000+ Michelle Coffey, Diana DiMenna, Becky Goldring, Colleen Keegan

$1,000+ Jody Oberfelder, Muna Tseng, Lucy Vasserman, Sarah Arison, Paul Bader, Niki Berg, Julio Cabanillas, Kim Chan, Sara Coffey, Aidan Connolly, Paula Cooper, Katie Dixon, Hilary Easton & Joshua McHugh, Jane Hait, Pearl Huang, Mara Isaacs, Chui Lim Tsang, Pat Matthews, Amy Schwartzman, Kimberly Ayers Shariff, Joseph S. & Diane H. Steinberg, Kenneth Tabachnick, Anthony Zisa

$500+ Lillian Cho, Jane Comfort, Rachel Cooper, Donald L. Creach, Jacqueline Z. Davis, Kamilah Forbes, Boo Froebel, Kathy Halbreich, Philip Himberg, Elise Jaffe, Brad Learmonth, Elizabeth Liguori, Kitty Lung, Cynthia Mayeda, Joseph V. Melillo, Jana Reed, Yancey Richardson, Mark Russell, Miranda Schiller, David Sheingold, Linda Shelton, C. Adair Smith, Crispy Soloperto, Allan Sperling, Elise Thoron, Lisa Yancey, Jenny Yee

$250+ Philip Bither, Carol Bryce-Buchanan, Amy Cassello, Phyllis Fanger, Susan Feder, Robert Flynt, Kennis Hawkins, Robert Henderson, Cristina King Miranda, Donald Kursch, Zoe Leonard, Esther McGowan, Anne B. Miller, maura nguyën donohue, Madeleine Nichols, Alessandra Nicifero, Derek Sands, Carrie Schneider, David Thomson, Kay Turner, Jennifer Wright Cook

$100+ Martita Abril, Myriam Barenbaum, Roslyn Biskin, Tiffany Brathwaite, Art Bridgman, Travis Chamberlain, Nora Chavooshian, Peggy Cheng & Christopher Morrow, Ping Chong, Jean Cook, Nancy Dalva, Gail Donnenfeld, Toni Dorfman, Susan Dowling-Griffiths, Douglas Dunn, Ruth Eisenberg, Peter Eisenhauer, Molissa Fenley, Melanie George, Michal Ginach, Sheri & Robert Gold, Abby Harris Holmes, Christopher Hibma, Huong Hoang, Stephen Hoffman, Sarah Hooker, Daonne Huff, Ethan Kaufman, Jennifer Kessler, Katinka Kleijn, Marion Koltun, Phyllis Lamhut, Susan Marshall, Daniel Mauk, Brian McCormick, Lisa Nelson, Claudia Norman, Tere O’Connor, Morgan Pecelli, Tricia Pierson, Seemin Qayum, Liz & Kirk Radke, Alexandra Ripp, Davison Scandrett, Elizabeth Schwartz, Diego Segalini, Vicky Shick, Janet Stapleton, Lena Stringari, Erica Sweany, Linnaea Tillett, Richard Tsao, Laurie Uprichard, Aynsley Vandenbroucke, Eleanor Wallace, Gwen Welliver, Marya Wethers, Bruce Williams, James Wright

As of 2/22/23

*Danspace Project Board member

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