Conversations Without Walls – Danspace Project


Conversations Without Walls
A Delicate Ritual

Part of Platform 2024: A Delicate Ritual
curated by Kyle Abraham

Saturday, June 8 | 1-4:30PM
in the Parish Hall at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

Conversation #1: jaamil olawale kosoko + Abigail DeVille

Conversation #2: Samora Pinderhughes + Kyle Abraham

Conversation #3: Bebe Miller + Vinson Fraley



Abigail DeVille’s most recent solo exhibitions In the fullness of time, the heart speaks truths too deep for utterance, but a star remembers. JTT NYC (2023), Original Night at Eric Firestone Gallery (2022-23), Bronx Heavens, Bronx Museum of the Arts (2022-23), Light of Freedom, organized by Madison Square Park Conservancy (2020-21), and traveled to the Momentary at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (2021) and the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2021-22), Kenyon College (2023-24) The American Future, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland (2018-19); Lift Every Voice and Sing (amerikanskie gorki) at Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2017-2018); Empire State Works in Progress (2017) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; No Space Hidden (Shelter) at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2017-2018), and Only When It’s Dark Enough Can You See The Stars at The Contemporary, Baltimore (2016). DeVille is a 2024-25  Princeton University Hodder Fellow, 2022 Anonymous Was a Woman Award recipient, 2022 Nancy Graves Foundation Award grantee, 2018 United States Artists Fellow, 2017-2018 Rome Prize fellow at the American Academy in Rome, 2015 Obie Award for Design, 2015 Creative Capital grantee, 2014-15 fellow at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, 2013-14 Artist in Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2012 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant recipient. DeVille received her MFA from Yale University and BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Vinson Fraley is a New York City based artist. He was born in Statesville, North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He began his formal training in voice and drama at DeKalb School of the Arts. He started dancing at the age of 14 at DanceMakers of Atlanta. Fraley received his BFA in dance from NYU Tisch in 2015. During his final year of college he became a member of Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M (Abraham. In.Motion) and later joined the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in 2017. Some of Vinson’s collaborators include Carrie Mae Weems, Sterling Ruby, Damien Jalet, Kohei Nawa, Bobbi Jene Smith, Holland Andrews, Sara Mearns, Terri Lynn Carrington, Boysnoize, Mario Sorrenti, Collier Schorr, Janet Biggs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Modern Opera Company, and Arts at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), and MIT. He has had the opportunity to present works in the US, Germany, and France. Recently his work has been seen at The Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, New York Live Arts (Fresh Tracks Artist 2024) The Water Mill Center, Harlem Stage, and The Peter Brant Foundation. His movement direction has been seen in videos by Calvin Klein, Burberry, Serpentwithfeet, Madonna, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Nike, and Pattern Beauty. Vinson contributed an original music composition for the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Company’s work titled Afterwardsness. His work has been written about and featured in various publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Interview Magazine, Vanity Fair, System Magazine, I-d Magazine, Highsnobiety, Document Journal, and Dance Magazine. He has also appeared in worldwide campaigns and commercials for Calvin Klein and Apple.

jaamil olawale kosoko is a multi-spirited Nigerian American author, performance artist, and curator of Yoruba and Natchez descent originally from Detroit, MI. kosoko moves across the creative realms of live art performance, video, sculpture, and poetry using both cultural and academic idioms. As an educator and community organizer, they approach politics and education as extensions of their creative process. Through ritual and spiritual practice, embodied poetics, Black critical studies, and queer theories of the body, kosoko conjures and crafts perpetual modes of freedom, healing, and care when/where/however possible. jaamil’s works—including Black Body Amnesia (2022), Chameleon (2020), Séancers (2017), and the Bessie Award-nominated #negrophobia (2015)—have toured to venues and festivals such as Abrons Art Center, Gibney Dance Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, Fusebox Festival, Montréal Arts Interculturels (CA), Moving in November (FI), TakeMeSomewhere (UK), SICK! (UK), Tanz im August (DE), Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival (Norway), Zurich MOVES! (CH), Beursschouwburg (BE) and Spielart Festival (DE) among others. jaamil is the recipient of several awards including the 2022 Slamdance Jury Prize for Best Experimental Short film, 2022 LaBecque Residency (Switzerland), 2021/22 MacDowell Fellowship, 2020 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, 2019 Red Bull Arts Fellowship, 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Choreography, 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellowship, among many others. jaamil has held curatorial positions at New York Live Arts, 651 Arts, and The Watermill Center. They lecture regularly at Princeton University and The University of the Arts Stockholm. Visit for more information.

Bebe Miller’s vision of dance resides in her faith in the moving body as a record of thought, experience, and beauty. Her aesthetic relies on the interplay of a work’s idea, its physicality, and the contributions of Bebe Miller Company members to fashion its singular voice. Seeking to expand the language of dance, BMC’s creative work encompasses choreography, writing, film, video and digital media. Archival projects aim to share its creative practice, including two ebooks: Dance Fort: A History and How Dancing is Built: The Making of In A Rhythm. BMC also convenes gatherings to facilitate inter-artist dialogue and exchange, such as Vault ( Bebe formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985 to pursue her interest in finding a physical language for the human condition. Since then, she has created more than 50 dance works for BMC that have been performed worldwide. BMC has been commissioned and presented by leading venues including 651 ARTS, BAM Next Wave, DTW, Jacob’s Pillow, Joyce Theater, PICA, REDCAT, Walker Art Center and Wexner Center for the Arts. Her choreography has been performed by A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco, Repertory Dance Theater, the UK’s Phoenix Dance Company, PACT Dance Company of Johannesburg, South Africa, and others. Named a Master of African American Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005, Bebe is an inaugural Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, a Movement Research honoree, and a Danspace Project Gala honoree. She has received four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” awards, the David R. White Award from New York Live Arts, and honorary doctorates from Ursinus College and Franklin & Marshall College. Bebe is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in The Ohio State University’s Department of Dance and is currently living in a forest on Vashon Island, WA.

Samora Pinderhughes is a composer, pianist, vocalist, filmmaker, and multidisciplinary artist known for striking intimacy and carefully crafted, radically honest lyrics alongside high-level musicianship. Pinderhughes has collaborated with many artists across boundaries and scenes including Herbie Hancock, Common, Glenn Ligon, Sara Bareilles, Simone Leigh, Daveed Diggs, Kyle Abraham, Titus Kaphar, and Lalah Hathaway. Pinderhughes is the first-ever Art for Justice + Soros Justice Fellow and a recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2020 Visionary Award. He has also been designated as a Creative Capital awardee, a United States Artist Fellow, and a Sundance Composers Lab fellow. Pinderhughes is also the founder and Executive/Artistic Director of The Healing Project, an arts organization based in NYC that works to heal people from structural violence. The New York Times described Pinderhughes’ most recent album GRIEF as a “visionary” work from “one of the most affecting singer-songwriters today, in any genre.”

Platform 2024 curator, Princess Grace Statue Award Recipient (2018), Doris Duke Award Recipient (2016), and MacArthur Fellow (2013) Kyle Abraham began his dance training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, PA. Abraham continued his dance studies in New York, earning a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Abraham later received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Washington Jefferson College. Abraham is currently the Claude and Alfred Mann Endowed Professor in Dance at The University of Southern California (USC) Glorya Kaufman School of Dance (2021). In addition, Abraham was named a Kennedy Center Next 50 Leader (2021). Abraham was named to the inaugural 100 ArtDesk magazine (2022) for “pushing new frontiers in creative work” and was one of Native Son’s 101 Class of 2022.” He was a recipient of a 2022 Dance Magazine Award, and was called a “voice of a generation” by the magazine. Led by Abraham’s innovative vision, the work of A.I.M is galvanized by Black culture and history and features the rich tapestry of Black and Queer stories. Abraham has also been commissioned by a wide variety of dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The National Ballet of Cuba, New York City Ballet, and the Royal Ballet. Abraham has created four works for New York City Ballet; Love Letter (on shuffle) (2022); the dance film When We Fell (2021); a collaboration with Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley, Ces noms que nous portons (2020), a Lincoln Center and NYCB commissioned solo; and The Runaway (2018). Abraham has also choreographed for many of the leading dancers of our time. Most recently, to be seen (2020), a new solo for American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Calvin Royal III, premiered during the virtual Fall For Dance Festival. Abraham created Ash (2019), a solo work for American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland that also had its premiere at Fall for Dance. The Serpent and The Smoke (2016) toured as part of Restless Creature, a pas de deux for Abraham, and acclaimed Bessie Award-winning and former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan. Off the stage, Abraham choreographed the music video for Sufjan Stevens’ Sugar (2020), and the feature-length film The Book of Henry (2016) for acclaimed director Colin Trevorrow. OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama” (2011). Abraham is the recipient of a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for The Radio Show (2010), a Princess Grace Award for Choreography (2010), and was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” (2009).

Click here to see the Platform calendar & purchase tickets

Danspace Project’s sixteenth Platform is guest-curated by Kyle Abraham, the Princess Grace and McArthur grant-awarded choreographer, performer, and Artistic Director of A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham.

A loving and loyal friend to Danspace, Abraham’s first evening-length work, the Bessie Award-winning The Radio Show, was commissioned and presented by Danspace Project in 2010.

Platform 2024: A Delicate Ritual reflects Abraham’s interest in performers’ rituals, desires, and artistic exchanges. Abraham invited artists Nicholas Ryan Gant & Shamel Pitts, taisha paggett & David Roussève, and Vinson Fraley & Bebe Miller to be in conversation with one another in a process of artistic and intergenerational exchange with the following questions in mind:

How does nature’s relationship with humanity communicate/jostle/live in your body?
How present is a history of love in your relationship to or ritual of prayer?
How does change affect your relationship to ritual and prayer?

Alongside the performances and exchanges, the Platform honors Abraham’s dear friend and mentor, the choreographer and teacher Kevin Wynn. A series of Saturday morning dance classes in the style of Wynn will be taught by his former student and friend, choreographer, teacher, and actor Jason Rodriguez. A memorial for Wynn took place on May 11.

The Platform 2024 print catalogue includes conversations between the featured Platform artists along with unlikely “blind date” exchanges between choreographer Beth Gill & photographer Carrie Schneider; director Charlotte Brathwaite & ecologist Marisa Prefer, arborist Ethan Woods & acupuncturist Steve Pang. To these thoughtful pairings, Abraham posed questions on “location in relationship with healing, connections to home, water, ritual, prayer, and love in a creative practice.” Photographer Gioncarlo Valentine responds to Abraham’s prompts in images.


Thank you to our major institutional supporters the Howard Gilman Foundation and the Lambent Foundation for their critical support of this Platform.

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


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 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 nearly 600 new works since its inception in 1994.

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