This season, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) hosted eleven artists and their collaborators in residence, seven of whom premiered their works shortly after their time at MANCC.
In fall 2018, Donna Uchizono came to MANCC to develop two works: Iron Jane and March Under an Empty reign, which focus on her interests in shared vulnerability and hidden emotional burdens. March Under an Empty reign premiered in the NY Quadrille at the Joyce Theater in Fall 2018. Dance Enthusiast writer Trina Marinno described the structure of the work as “rigorous.” Read the full feature here. Iron Jane will be co-presented by the Chocolate Factory and Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC in May 2020.
Also in the fall, NYC-based artist Neil Greenberg came into residence to develop To The Things Themselves!, which proposes that an experience of “the thing itself” necessarily includes the conditions of both a phenomenon’s production and reception. To The Things Themselves! premiered at The Chocolate Factory, NYC, December 5-15, 2018. In a New York Times Review, critic Siobhan Burke explains that Greenberg has “[created] a world that’s difficult to explain but easy to enjoy, a series of moments to get lost in.” The full review is available here.
To kick off the new year and offer a departure from postmodernism, Minneapolis-based artist Susana di Palma, who works within the form of contemporary flamenco, utilized her residency to further develop Casita. di Palma is interested in the stories of homeless women and committed to an exploration of what “home” means in various contexts. Casita premiered at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis in April 2019.
Following di Palma, MANCC welcomed Kathy Westwater to further her work Rambler, Worlds Worlds A Part, which explores pain and the body, including the pain of others. In this work, the dancers respond to the profound music of post-minimalist composer Julius Eastman. Rambler, Worlds Worlds A Part premiered at New York Live Arts, a co-presentation with, and commissioned by, Lumberyard, February 14-16, 2019.
In another aesthetic turn, Chicago-based artist Ginger Krebs came to MANCC to develop Escapes & Reversals, a performance that looks at relationships between digital movement constructed for screens and exertion by live, gravity-bound bodies. Escapes & Reversals premiered as part of the In>Time Performance Festival on March 7-9, 2019 at Unity Lutheran Church in Chicago. In Chicago’s New City Stage, Sharon Hoyer raved about the work, noting how its content was simultaneously funny, pleasurable to watch and chilling.” Read the full review here.
MANCC’s next artist was Kota Yamazaki, who splits his time between New York and Japan and is inspired by the intersection of Eastern and Western philosophies from modernist French thinkers, Deleuze and Guattari, and butoh pioneer, Tatsumi Hijikata. Yamazaki returned to MANCC for his second of three residencies to develop the final piece in his Darkness Odyssey trilogy, entitled Part 3, Non-Opera, Becoming. Combining these seemingly disparate lineages, Yamazaki imagines the body as a black hole with the ability to absorb everything it encounters. The work premiered at New York Live Arts on April 3-6, 2019, almost immediately following the late March MANCC residency.
Following Yamazaki, NY-based artist Jonathan González was in residence at MANCC with their collaborative team of Lucifer Landing II to focus on theatrical elements in relation to the performative component. Using Ableton software to convert MIDI notes into DMX standard lighting, the team was able to sync the lights and sounds. The work premiered at MoMA PS1’s Sunday Sessions on April 19-21 (Lucifer Landing I) and Abrons Arts Center on May 2-4 (Lucifer Landing II). Brooklyn Rail writer Dillon Heyck commented, “The work’s activist ambitions–to critique environmental destruction and inhumane violence—are indeed large, so it is good that Lucifer Landing is a serialized performance with hopefully more parts to come.” The review is available here.
MANCC looks forward to continuing to raise the value of the creative process in dance through artist residencies in its upcoming season. Next up, MANCC will host the second iteration of its emerging artist laboratory, MANCC Forward Dialogues, August 2-15, which is again being supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more and view photos and videos from the 2017 lab, visit our website.