The annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference overtakes New York City each January. Over the course of the weekend thousands of showcases and mini-festivals take place in efforts to ‘market’ performing arts to curators and theater directors. This year was no exception, as MANCC and FSU continue to expand their presence.
In one showcase by prominent artist and former MANCC guest choreographer John Jasperse, FSU’s 2010 BFA graduate Maggie Cloud’s handling of the physical and mental challenges of the complex work-in-progress are a testament to her as a performer and to her rigorous training at FSU. Cloud is having an extraordinary year and is being billed the “new hot performer in NY”. At the Skirball Theater, which hosted one of APAP’s affiliated mini-festivals, FOCUS Dance, Indira Goodwine (BFA ‘08), prepared for choreographer Camille Brown’s performance. Goodwine serves as company manager for Brown, one of dance’s up and coming creative voices. Goodwine also performs with alumna Toni Renee Johnson (MFA ‘05) and works as the Programming Associate for Harlem Stages.
Danspace Project hosted Tere O’Connor’s sold out BLEED, a work developed at MANCC in August 2013. In the front row, reserved seats were held for MANCC Director Jennifer Calienes and two FSU alumni and former MANCC staff members, Ellie Covault (MA ‘11) and Lauren Slone (MFA ‘12). Covault, former MANCC
Residency Coordinator works as the Academic Affairs Coordinator in Julliard’s Pre-College Division and Slone, former MANCC Administrative Fellow (a position funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) is now the Program Coordinator for the treasured MAP Fund, a
program of the Creative Capital Foundation, and one of the most progressive funding programs of contemporary performing arts today. Slone is also a talented choreographer and highly regarded teacher in the city.
Leading the way at APAP were MANCC artists who create in FSU’s studios year round. Twenty-five MANCC choreographers shared work at APAP this year, ten of whom shared work they developed at MANCC (these include two FSU alumni, Darrell Jones (MFA ‘95) and Adele Myers (MFA ‘00)). Reviews are still pouring in over MANCC Choreographic Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili’s “Bronx Gothic”. Pick your critic and outlet – Village Voice calls the work “Evocative and Fresh”, Hyperallergic “beautiful and masterfully executed”, and Front Row Center “brilliant”.
Those who take full advantage of their surroundings and opportunities at FSU acquire the skill set needed to navigate the real world through a foundation of training that includes technique, historical perspective, administrative realities, spawning a curiosity about process and contemporary context. They exit FSU far more networked in the field they are entering than many of their peers. If APAP is an indication of where the field is headed, FSU need not look far to acknowledge the many successes of MANCC artists and the School of Dance program. Bravo to all.