The CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI) is an unprecedented model for collaboration between the City University of New York (CUNY) — the nation’s largest public urban university system — and the NYC dance field. A residency program that opens the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance companies, CDI supports local artists, enhances the cultural life and education of college students, and builds new dance audiences at CUNY performing arts centers. Since its official launch in 2014, CDI has subsidized and facilitated a total of 82 residencies — from emerging choreographers to established dance companies — at 13 CUNY colleges in all five boroughs.
The CUNY Dance Initiative receives major support from The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the SHS Foundation, the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. CDI is spearheaded and administered by The Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. www.cuny.edu/danceinitiative
Friday May 11 7:30
FRIDAY MAY 11 7:30PM
Matthew Westerby Company is motivated to create projects that foster community, building works that are accessible to all as participants and audience. Westerby’s choreographic approach is inclusive yet challenging by nature, asking each performer for unique contributions to the process, ensuring the work has the imprint of each participant.
Letters to the End is a full length contemporary dance work created by choreographer Matthew Westerby with composers Rick Smith and Bryan Senti. The work explores self-identity, physical trauma, repressed memory and personal and family connections and relationships. The work asks questions about who we are and how our past can often shape our present and future selves. This full company work for seven dancers is characterized by the athletic movement vocabulary of Matthew Westerby and the classical and electronic sounds of Bryan Senti, marking their third collaboration.
FRIDAY MAY 11 7:30PM
Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC is a community of artistic dare devils that choreographically and conceptually concentrate on the thorough excavation of the human subconscious through movement. Using conversation and difference as an inspiration for creation, the collective of artists are devoted to acknowledging the connection between performance and human understanding.
on the action of black&white is a reflective performative practice that spills from the stage into reality. Inspired by political images, audience expectation, and personal moments of soliloquy, Mercer guides an ensemble through various familair environments/modes as he comments on, surrenders to, and constructs a world based on dual opinion, influence, artistic demand, proposition, and instinct.
This is the second process-memoir of eight, the practice shared is a part of a 8-part creation process towards "and to the decades of hell", a two part work documenting and questioning the development of the millennial generation and its metamorphosis into post-contemporary ideas.
This work was made possible with support from Abrons Arts Center through the AIRspace Grant Residency Program, the Cuny Dance Initiative as resident artists at York College, as well as with support from RestorationARTS as Choreoquest AIRS 2018.
The Queensboro Dance Festival is an annual 6-month season of community events + performances throughout Queens neighborhoods, featuring only Queens-based cultural and contemporary dance companies. QDF offers participating companies free master dance classes, rehearsal space, networking events, teaching opportunities, and special access to Queens arts institutions. QDF presents a tour of evening-length performances across unique Queens public spaces and theaters, and includes audience dance engagement activities & dancer talkbacks.
FRIDAY May 11, 7:30PM
SMDT was founded in 2016 by Billy Blanken as a launchpad for exploring movement. With his exposure to wide range of styles in his career, his experience provides an access point to creating classical works with a uniquely modern aesthetic. He teaches open class Ballet in New York City. @birryb @sheepmeadowdancetheatre @SMDTNYC
Choreographer: Billy Blanken
Piece Title: VESUVIUS
Length: 6 minutes
from Long Island City, Queens
Rastro is a contemporary dance company founded in New York (1998) by Julieta Valero, Venezuelan dancer. Valero moved to NY in 1996. Two years later she produced the show, "Andar el Comienzo" which marks the birth of Rastro. The company has performed at Joyce SoHo, ICA, London; Brazil; CPR Brooklyn, NY, among others. Valero was invited to DanzaExtrema Festival Internacional in México and this winter performed at Theater for the New City and Dixon Place.
Choreographer: Julieta Valero
Piece Title: Venezuela
Length: 12 minutes
from Long Island City, Queens
Vissi made its international debut in Sardinia, ITALY in the summer of 2008 and then again in 2009, performing at the Gran Gala della Danza in Porto Rotondo. Most recently, Vissi opened the Fall Season at York College Performing Arts Center.
Choreographer: Courtney Ffrench
Piece Title: Busting Out
Length: 11:45 minutes
from Jamaica, Queens