Kevin Wynn Memorial – Danspace Project

Kevin Wynn Memorial

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

Saturday, May 11 | 1-4:30PM
Welcome by Jana Hicks and Kyle Abraham

Remarks by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Remarks by Michael Foley

Colleen Thomas and Marc Mann
De toi à moi

Choreography: Kevin Wynn in collaboration with the original dancers, Christian Canciani and Mia Mansfield, premiere October 21, 1989 at Ethnic Folk Arts Center, 179 Varick Street, NYC
Performers: Marc Mann and Colleen Thomas
Music: Chinsagu No Hana by Ryuichi Sakamoto

Remarks by Karen More

Performance by Roderick George

Remarks by Hattie Mae Williams and Mark Drahozal

Purchase Dance Company

Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, SUNY
Stagers: Paul Giarratano, Keerati Jinakunwiphat, Claude CJ Johnson
Rehearsal Assistants: Larry Clark, Stephanie Tooman
Student Representative: Kaitlyn Irby
Dancers: Isabelle Bringle, Julienne Buenaventura Janiye Burnett, Christian Butts, Alexa Campbell, Arianna Carson, Minylan Echols, Chisato Fujii, Maria Golici, Libiya Gray, Rose Halley, Georgia Henderson, Joey Hodge, Kaitlyn Irby, Kaden John, Juliette Neveu, Mia Shaughnessy, Niya Smith, Tamya Stevenson, Carmella Pliego, Spirit Priester, Kirsten Velasco, Isa Viteri, Emma Blacksmith, and Zhewen Xiang

Closing remarks by Jana Hicks and Kyle Abraham


Kevin Wynn (1957-2023) received his training at Cal Arts and the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. As a dancer, he worked with the José Limón Dance Company, Dianne McIntyre’s Sounds in Motion Dance Company, Mel Wong, Daniel Nagrin, Jacques d’Amboise, Kazuko Hirabayashi, and Warren Spears, among others. He was an international teacher/choreographer with a commitment to art in education, Wynn has been commissioned by the London Contemporary Dance Center, the Amsterdam Dance Academy, Tisch School of the Arts, 2nd Ave. Dance Company, Rotterdam Dance Academy, North Carolina School of the Arts, Ailey/Fordham BFA program, Dance in Education Fund, Yale University, Boston Conservatory of the Arts, San Diego State University, Brown University, Gothenburg Academy, University of Colorado in Boulder, UCLA, American Ballet Theater Intensive, Joffrey Contemporary and Jazz Intensive, Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, and the Bat-Dor Dance School of Tel Aviv, among others. Wynn has also completed residencies all around the world and throughout the United States. His awards include fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Harkness Foundation, and an award of appreciation for unprecedented commitment through the years to D.R.A. (Dancers Responding to AIDS). Wynn was a part-time, tenured Associate Professor at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College is wonderfully missed by his colleagues, students, family, and friends!

Kyle Abraham is a 2018 Princess Grace Statue Award Recipient and a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. In addition to performing and developing new works for his company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Abraham most recently received two international commissions from the Royal Ballet, which opened to rave reviews. Abraham premiered his third creation for New York City Ballet in 2021, and collaborated with NYCB Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley on Ces noms que nous portons, a Lincoln Center and NYCB commissioned solo. Abraham’s first evening-length work, the award-winning The Radio Show, was commissioned and presented by Danspace Project in 2010.

Jana Hicks holds a BFA in dance from SMU, moved to NY in 1990 to work with the Limon Company, and then danced with a variety or companies and choreographers. She currently teaches dance, yoga, and is a mentor and teacher for Y4C (Yoga for Cancer). Jana had the great honor of dancing with and managing The Kevin Wynn Collection from 1996, and therefore, considers herself among the luckiest people in the world. She and Kevin quickly became close lifelong friends. I miss and love ya KW.

From Kansas City, Missouri, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar trained with Joseph Stevenson, a student of the legendary Katherine Dunham. After earning her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she received her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In 1984, Jawole founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change.

Michael Foley is currently a Professor of Dance at the University of South Florida and divides his time between Florida and Paris, France where he has been directing a study abroad program for university-age dance majors since 2007. Michael danced with the Kevin Wynn Collection from 1991- 1997 and is grateful to be part of today’s celebration of Kevin’s extraordinary life and legacy.

Marc Mann (KWC 1993-2012) and Colleen Thomas (KWC 1989-1997) met Kevin Wynn at Purchase College. His presence and influence changed both of their lives and dance trajectory. As with everyone Kevin touched, he made them feel like they belonged, they were chosen. Kevin’s energy, talent and love influenced the rest of their lives. Marc went on to dance for every dance company in New York and Colleen danced for a few ;) Marc is the Director of Food and Beverage Coterie Senior Living. Colleen is the Chair and Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College of Columbia University.

Christian Canciani danced with Kevin from 1986-1996. He is a Professor for Contemporary Dance at Palucca University in Dresden, Germany.

Mia Mansfield Lamm danced with Kevin from 1988-1992. She is Associate Faculty, Senior Instructional Designer Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Karen More danced with the Kevin Wynn Collection beginning in 1995. It was the most free she felt and the most fun she ever had dancing. And she danced a lot. I love you Kevin.

Roderick George was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He spent his formative years’ training at Ben Stevenson’s Houston Ballet Academy, The Alvin Ailey School, and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). George was a bronze winner of the Youth American Grand Prix in 2005 and a YoungArts Winner and Presidential Scholar of the Arts in 2003. He has danced for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Basel Ballet/Theater Basel, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, and The Forsythe Company. He has performed the work of choreographers such as Marie Chouinard, Peeping Tom, Jorma Elo, Jacopo Godani, William Forsythe, Johan Inger, Jiří Kylian, Sharon Eyal, Ohan Naharin, Benoit Swan-Pouffer, and Richard Wherlock.

Hattie Mae Williams is a Mother, holder of space, director, energetic voice, teacher, and wild woman, who received her B.F.A from The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater/Fordham University program and her Masters from Goddard University in Interdisciplinary Arts. In 2003 she established her dance company The Tattooed Ballerinas, in NYC, which formed roots in site specific dance. Hattie Mae’s studies and community collaborations are inspired by embodied experiences, art as political, disrupting the mundane, and African Diaspora folklore and spirituality. Her work has traveled nationally and internationally to Holland, Italy, London, Los Angeles, New York, Kentucky, and Miami. Williams is full of gratitude to have danced professionally with The Kevin Wynn Collection, The Francesca Harper Project, Joanna Mendel Shaw “Equus dancing with horses project,” Edisa Weeks, and Nickelodeon. As the world shifts in different directions the need to create unorthodox ways of sharing, documenting, and building creative spaces, are of the utmost importance. Williams’ path as an artist is to move authentically and play in worlds that unapologetically create liberation for all. For more info go to:,,

Mark Drahozal (aka Tall Mark) danced with the Kevin Wynnn Collection from 1996-2009. Mark is honored be here in this space and time, with everyone who loves Kevin, celebrating his life and work.

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 will honor 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 will take 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.

Abraham will be honored at Danspace’s 50th anniversary Gala alongside Kristy Edmunds and Carol Mullins on May 7, 2024.


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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