Archive for the ‘Conversations’ Category

LIVESTREAM Fall Festival Studies Project: Artist Conversation between Nelisiwe Xaba and David Thomson


Artist Conversation between Nelisiwe Xaba and David Thomson

Tuesday, December 1, 6:15pm
Gibney Dance at 890 Broadway
890 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10003 FREE
Click here to RSVP 

This event will be an informal introduction to choreographer Nelisiwe Xaba who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa and is a participating artist in the festival. David Thomson will lead a live interview and discussion with Xaba around the political and aesthetic resonances in her work.

Presented as part of the 2015 Fall Festival: VANISHING POINTS curated by Beth Gill and Cori Olinghouse. More info at

Live stream will begin at 6:15pm.

Click here for live stream

Podcast: Studies Project 10/6/2015 – What I’ve Learned about Choreography from Watching Movies, Films (and TV)

Movement Research Studies Project, “What I’ve Learned about Choreography from Watching Movies, Films (and TV)” – October 6, 2015
Conceived by Melinda Ring
Moderated by Ryan Hill
With panelists Layla Childs, Tere O’Connor, Melinda Ring, Sonya Robbins and Larissa Velez-Jackson

Listen to the Podcast here:
Studies Project 10/6/15: What I’ve Learned about Choreography from Watching Movies, Films (and TV)

How do the things we watch inform our dance making? What have our (guilty) pleasures, high and low, taught us about form, timing, structure, etc? Does our connection to TV, film and movies keep us attuned to this moment’s mind-image zeitgeist, and conversely, does a lack of attention to these mediums create a gap in relevance of this art form to contemporary culture? Panelists discussed their perspective on these questions followed by a group conversation with everyone present.

Podcast: Studies Project 5/6/2014 – Vulnerable Bodies and the Embodiment of Resistance

Movement Research Studies Project, “Vulnerable Bodies and the Embodiment of Resistance”
Conceived by 2012 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence Cristiane Bouger (Brazil/USA)
With panelists Dominika Laster (Poland/USA), Mariangela Lopez (Venezuela/USA), Marcos Steurnagel (Brazil/USA), and Tan Temel (Turkey)

Listen to the Podcast here:

Drawing from artistic practices that reveal or subvert the strenuous adversity of social control, this panel aims to address a myriad of perspectives on the embodiment of political resistance.

Artists and scholars will address works and practices that were informed or influenced by the experience of undergoing the restrictions imposed by dictatorial regimes in the Middle East, South America, and Eastern Europe. By approaching culturally diverse and unrelated geopolitical contexts, the event aims to give visibility to the bodies and interstices of experience that are not immediately seen by the foreign gaze.

  • July 8th, 2015
  • Movement Research Staff

Apr 29 Studies Project: Dance and Labor


Studies Project: Dance and Labor

Tuesday April 29th, 2015 /// 6:30-8pm///

Gibney Dance at 890 Broadway, 5th Floor

Organized in dialogue with Movement Research, luciana achugar, Abigail Levine and Kathy Westwater

With panelists David Thomson and Yve Laris Cohen

Click here for live stream.

How is dance labor valued? How has it been valued? How might it be? And how can we affect the value assigned to this labor? These questions will be considered across a spectrum of contexts, including individual and institutional, organized and spontaneous, and historical and anecdotal to explore how performance and dance function within our current artistic, economic and labor realities.

  • April 28th, 2015
  • Movement Research Staff

Apr. 7 Studies Project: being a body out loud



Studies Project: being a body out loud

Tuesday April 7th, 2015 /// 6:15-8pm///

Gibney Dance at 890 Broadway, 5th Floor

Conceived by Ni’Ja Whitson Adebanjo, Edisa Weeks and Tara Aisha Willis

Panelists include Allison Joy, Jumatatu R. Poe and Social Health Performance Club



Living a body that shouts through the underbelly, a protested or protesting body, a black body, a body of the multitudes, a body of color, a body no one believes, a body of rage or exhaustion, a body on the ground outlined in chalk. Our current moment’s choreographies and vocabularies – gestures, chants, dances, collective actions – reveal (and disrupt) practices of living. What experiences do we hold in memory and body, and how do we hold them? With reverence? Power? Performers and writers respond with you.

  • April 3rd, 2015
  • Movement Research Staff

Mar. 3 Studies Project: Dance and Publish










Studies Project: Dance & Publish 
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 ///  6:15-8pm ///
Gibney Dance at 890 Broadway, 5th fl.

Hosted By
Moriah Evans, Editor-in-chief, The Movement Research Performance Journal
Biba Bell & Will Rawls, co-Editors, Critical Correspondence.

LIVE STREAM BEGINS AT 7PM (with group discussion portion)


It is with pleasure and anticipation that we invite you to an upcoming Studies Project sponsored by Movement Research. As MR’s two publications—the Performance Journal (semi-annual print edition) and Critical Correspondence (monthly web edition)—move into their respective 3rd and 2nd decades, the editorial teams hope to enter into a more robust dialogue with their colleagues in the field.

The two-hour event will bring together agents of the dance publishing world in New York and members of the interested public. Buoyed by wine and modest vittles, we will break into three working groups focused on three themes: Design, Circulation and Content. Each working group will have auxiliary prompts and exercises to guide a hands-on, brains-on practicum leading to a larger, group conversation. The salon will be hosted by Moriah Evans, Editor-in-chief, The Movement Research Performance Journal, and Biba Bell & Will Rawls, co-Editors, Critical Correspondence.

In preparation, we ask only that you bring a clutch of journals, periodicals, catalogs and/or websites that serve as your primary sources for dance content.

Anonymous letter from an artist in a school

In response to the recent “Studies Project: Artist in K-12 Schools,” Movement Research received the following writing as an anonymous letter. We’re posting it as part of our effort to foster more dialogue among teachers and teaching artists. The letter expresses the viewpoint of the author, one artist in the Movement Research community. It does not represent the organizational viewpoint of Movement Research. Check out the “Arts in Education” tag on the blog to read and see more artists’ viewpoints and to keep the conversation going.

The anonymous letter reads as follows, without any editing on the part of Movement Research:


“This week I found myself receiving an email from an administrator from a teaching artist organization I work for that relayed a request from a school coordinator to boost numbers in an afterschool club I run by putting my regular students on, and I quote, ‘autopilot’, in order to literally teach a simultaneous afterschool program in gaming or animation… I am disgusted and horrified by the request. Not only did this coordinator ask me to teach two programs literally at the same time (which is of course impossible) for no increase in wage, but worse, he actually asked me to ignore the 46 students that have been coming to my program regularly… I am now experiencing a deep sadness for the state of the arts in education and the public education system as a whole. I know all of this is quite complicated and wrapped up in policy and funding and what it takes to ensure that a school receives funding regularly… it is all very sad… anyways, earlier today, when I sat down with the school coordinator and explained to him my background as an artist, what I currently teach and create, attempting to propose a way of collaborating together to find some sort of program that would fit the schools desires, he shrugged off the conversation and told me that he would have to consider a menu of options that said organization had provided him that was literally sitting on his desk. I then felt I am the lowest, I am insubordinate, I am a waiter that brings food. Literally the artist who enacts 95% of the delivery and creation of the arts programing is null next to some document of curriculums that said organization has compiled and published what is something like 25 years old… Yes! I know there is an incredible amount of administrative work that goes into it both from this organization and on the school coordinators part, but also from me! (and I’m not paid for any administrative or planning time!) Everyone is underpaid in ways and undervalued in ways… I write my curriculums, I find my sources, I go to the art store and buy materials, I scan the internet for children friendly dance music, I read pages upon pages of graphic novels to make sure there is no inappropriate content for use in lessons, I create the choreography, I wake up at 5:45 to travel to the Bronx (some of my students wake up earlier), I sweat, I get home too tired to go to the studio to work on my project after 8 hours of teaching dance classes, I show up to my school early and on occasional days that I don’t teach to hand out fliers and visit classrooms to promote my afterschool program UNPAID (I shouldn’t do this or I should demand payment from the organization), I get blamed when a school is unhappy because the customer is always right, and I have no idea how much my organization makes from my teaching residency (because that information is literally hidden from me, and I am asked to hide how much I make from the schools… hmmm…) but I would make a lot more money and have a lot more freedom and probably create a lot better and more effective programming if I were just contracted independently with the school which I know does happen at private schools and can in certain cases happen at public schools (I think, I could be wrong).

“In some ways it feels to me that this very well known arts education organization has become a monopoly in its field, literally selling artistic programing to schools citywide via ‘menus’. Yes, I know that organizations like this fulfill a need for arts programming in public schools, they also give me a job, thus paying my rent, thus keeping another artist alive. Any 45 minutes a week a child gets to dance or draw or think creatively or is not yelled at to shut up is a good 45 min. But, after today I reflect about the organization (any organization) as a parasite to the artist. It feels that the educational administrators from organizations such as this hire us artists to fulfill a predetermined agenda that a school may have (and obviously since we artists are the currency a predetermined income that the organization must make in order to pay its admin and keep the organization running) without actually meeting who will be teaching or what they might actually know. A completely impersonal exchange. It is problematic that I, a cisgendered white male contemporary dancer, am repeatedly asked to go into schools of predominantly black and latino populations and teach Hip Hop In the one case in which I actually have ‘taught’ this I was explicit that I was ‘teaching’ something inspired by ‘Hip Hop’, and had the kids make up most of the choreography after researching and learning a small vocabulary of Hip Hop moves. In a recent post on facebook asking for friends who teach or do Hip Hop if they would be interested in teaching through the organization I work for I got at least ten comments or tags of friends within a day… organizations need help from artists in communities of the curriculum that they offer, and they need to utilize the skills of the artists they have when they provide programing to schools.

“I know, in reality, that many schools are willing to work with the artist despite what the organization may have sold them also, when approached or under duress to provide artists the organization I work for will also collaborate with the artists to sell a residency that utilizes their skills. More times than not I have gone into a school and the coordinator is open and flexible and excited about what my idea for the program could be. The problem, however, with this incident is that the skills, ability, and interests of the artist are not honed on a personal level from the get-go. There are too many organizations where this is the case. Alternatively, there is one organization I have encountered that is very different, I have only started working for them recently. I’m not sure what to call them, or if they would wish to be associated here, but they have been an experience which has been a complete 180 from this first organization I described their entire approach to arts education has been renewed in the past few years to embrace contemporary artists (not fear them!). They engage schools with the artists on a personal one to one level. Through this new organization, I have had personal conversations with administrators about what my skills, training, interests are as an artist, and when matched to teach a my first residency which couldn’t have more perfectly met my background and interest, I personally sat down with educational programmers and the school coordinator to advocate for the potential of what it was I could offer as an artist. Instead of being devalued as a server to relay and reinforce curriculum, I was valued as a skilled expert. I was no longer a history teacher there to teach some form or to support some A-rrelevant knowledge (made up word for tangentially related…), but I was there as a contemporary to have a process with and facilitate an experience for students to create art BECAUSE ART AND ARTISTIC PROCESS IS VALUABLE ON IT’S OWN. This not only raises the importance of the arts, but respects and affirms the creative potential of children.

“My pursuit in emailing you these thoughts is to emphasize that not all organizations are valuing artists in the same way that Movement Research may value an artist’s process. Some organizations that offer jobs to dance makers to teach in school systems K-12 are certainly not doing this. From being in the MR community, I know that you are already working as hard as you can for more hours than you can and for less money than you can (as many of us do), but nevertheless, I behoove you and others at this panel discussion, to please not only discuss the utopian image of what it might look like to be a dance artist visiting public schools sharing your contemporary process, but to reflect upon the realities of arts education, the systems that stop us from doing this and those that create and actualize opportunities for us to do this as well, I urge us as a community of artist to actively cultivate and increase alternative structures where this utopia is enacted.

“I hope your discussion will inspire the hiring of more artists through organizations that work personally with them in public schools need us. I hope your discussion will create more relevant jobs, will link community members to educational administrators that will meet and employ them. I hope that your Studies Project will create happiness for children. In reality these things won’t all happen (at least) at once. That is no reason to not try. Public schools need you. Public schools need me. Public schools need artists. Administrators like you are needed. Events like yours are needed.

“As a final reflection, I dream of more artist run organizations where the artists are the administrators banded together to affirm and ‘legitimize’ the importance of what they can offer presented in understandable, accessible, and expansive potentials. That is the proposal that I have. That is what I would do with my current strategy of acting outside of current (ineffective and dead) structures.”


Week Ahead Mar. 1-7

This Week at Movement Research…


Morning Class with Levi Gonzalez
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-12pm

Qi Gong with Melanie Maar
Monday, Friday 10am-12pm

Ballet for Contemporary Dancers with Janet Panetta
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12-2pm

Klein Technique with Barbara Mahler
Tuesday, Thursday 10am-12pm

COREMOTION with Daria Faïn
Tuesday 10am-12pm, Wednesday 4-6pm

Morning Class with Michelle Boulé
Tuesday, Thursday 10am-12pm

Pilates Mat Class for Dancers with Johanna S. Meyer
Tuesday 2-3:15pm

Neuromuscular Preparation for Dance with Irene Dowd
Tuesday 3-4:45pm
*Anastasi Siotas teaching for Irene March 3. 

Body, Mind and Image with K.J. Holmes
Wednesday 10am-12pm

Feldenkrais with Jimena Paz
Wednesday 12:20-2pm

Alexander Technique with Emily Faulkner
Wednesday 2-4pm

Contact Improvisation with Charles Mosey
Wednesday 6:30-8:30pm

Skinner Releasing with Karl Anderson
Wednesday 6-9pm

Contact Improvisation – The Basics with Bradley Teal Ellis
Thursday 6-8pm

Athletics of Intimacy with K.J. Holmes
Saturday 11am-1pm


Sunday Process Lab with Will Rawls March 1

Sunday Process Lab with Kim Brandt March 15

Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad March 21-22


March 9 8PM
MR at Judson Church
Yve Laris Cohen, GodoyPradera Projects, Heidi Henderson, Lisa Kusanagi – Dance Expressionist
Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South 

March 10 7PM
Open Performance
Moderated by  Nami Yamamoto*
Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama, Marissa Rae Niederhauser, Sandra Wieser, Luciani’s Absolute Theater
Eden’s Expressway, 537 Broadway, 4th Floor

Feb. 3 Studies Project: Artists in K-12 Schools

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 3.49.28 PM











Artists in K-12 Schools
Conceived and moderated by Diana Crum
Panelists include:

Lynn Brown
Donna Costello
Randy Luna
Jessica Nicoll
Jules Skloot

What is the role of the dance teaching artist in schools? Many artists make a living by teaching grades K-12 in the NYC school system. Is their goal to share their artistic practice, the ideology behind their aesthetic, tools for making art, historical reference points, movement skills, or something else? Hear experienced voices from different arenas of dance-in-education and share your own questions and ideas. Reflect on your own practice and how the work of teaching artists impacts education and culture in this city.

Jan. 20th Studies Project: The Role of Class in Current Dance Practices

Organized by MR in collaboration with Beth Gill, Lance Gries, Eva Karczag and Gwen Welliver

What role does “class” play in current dance practices? As contemporary teaching artists attempt to articulate new methods of transmitting knowledge through the body, so too are performers of contemporary dance and performance work drifting away from relying exclusively on traditional and codifiable techniques. How can we get the most out of the structures that exist and/or create new ones as we relate these models to the way people make work now? This conversation with teaching artists and practitioners will engage these seemingly intangible questions with concrete practices and proposals.

Participating speakers include:
Julian Barnett
Michelle Boulé
Wendell Cooper
Barbara Forbes
Zvi Gotheiner
K.J. Holmes
John Jasperse
Joanne Kotze
Nia Love
Juliette Mapp
Cori Olinghouse
Janet Panetta
Shelley Senter
Vicky Shick
RoseAnne Spradlin
Karinne Keithley Syers
Jesse Zarrit

Watch the Live-Stream here: 10940416_10152512686335216_1114205404729462362_n

join our mailing list

upcoming classes & workshops

see all classes & workshops ›

upcoming performances & events

  • No Upcoming Performances or Events
see our performances & events ›

movement research feeds