In our previous episode, we explored the stories and experiences of two Black dance leaders, their leadership styles, how they navigate their Blackness in their workplaces, as well as ways that they advocate for their Black dancers. Today, we’re peeling back another layer, getting to know two dance leaders in dance advocacy and dance management. We examine how our culture influences our work, and what it’s like to represent and advocate for Black dancers, and dancers of color, on both a local and global level.
Candace Thompson Zachary is a performer, choreographer, fitness professional, cultural producer, teaching artist, Caribbean dance specialist, and Manager of Justice, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives at DanceNYC. Sophie Myrtil-McCourty is the President of Lotus Arts Management, where she represents leading dance companies such as Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE, AIM by Kyle Abraham, Reggie Wilson Fist & Heel Performance Group, Bereishit Dance Company, and CONTRA-TIEMPO.
*PDD listeners receive a discount on tickets to the Dance Now February chapter with code PDDCH421 – see below for details!
In this installment of PDD’s spring series covering the Dance Now 25th anniversary season, Paul Hamilton speaks with the extraordinarily talented dancer, choreographer and teacher Maleek Washington. Maleek is one of four commissioned artists presenting works in February’s chapter (#4), along with Alice Shepard, Subject: Matter, and Kate Landenheim. The lineup also includes archival works from Mark Gindick and Adam Barruch.
In the interview Maleek shares his thoughts about navigating a path in the dance profession. He covers everything from working with brilliant choreographers Camille Brown and Kyle Abrahams, to how the ongoing pandemic has affected his career, to his newly commissioned work for Dance Now. You can find more information about the Dance Now season here or check out the full season and ticketing options at https://dancenow.online/!
Dance Now is offering Pod de Deux listeners a discount on tickets to Chapter 4 of the DANCE NOW Story! For just $7 (regular price is $10), PDD subscribers will have access to Chapter 4’s new and archival dance pieces until June 30, 2021. You can watch the digital performances at your leisure or join the Watch Party on Thursday February 11 at 6pm EDT.
The PDD subscription offer is good starting TODAY (Feb. 9th) through Feb 16th!
For more info and to purchase a Chapter 4 ticket, visit: dancenow.online. Use the code: PDDCH421
A native New Yorker from the Bronx, Maleek Washington is a performer, choreographer, and teaching artist. Washington began his dance training at Harlem School of the Arts, Broadway Dance Center, and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. He attended Boston Conservatory on a full scholarship and began his professional career with Commonwealth Ballet, CityDance Ensemble, and Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M. for four seasons. Following that, Washington performed with Punch Drunk’s “Sleep No More” as the first African American male performer. He is currently in his third season with Camille A. Brown & Dancers.
In our previous series on the LLAB, we spoke with Black dancers about their experience as dance students in undergraduate and graduate programs and the challenges they faced being minorities in those spaces. This week, we started a new two-episode topic, re-centering the conversation on what it’s like to be a professional dancer while Black. We meet concert dancers Rena Butler and Maleek Washington, and talk about their unique experiences dancing with both predominantly Black and non-Black companies, as well their experience of being overqualified.
Rena is a dancer, director, and choreographer dancing with Gibney Dance Company. Maleek is a dancer, choreographer, and educator dancing with Camille A. Brown and dancers.
This is the 3rd episode in our new fall series, The LLAB with Antuan Byers. LLAB stands for listening, learning, and building. The overall goal of this series is to create a space to share marginalized Black voices, to learn from their experiences, and dream for ways in which we can move forward.
In this second week of COVID quarantine in New York City, Michael and Clara had the privilege of connecting with multi-disciplinary art maker Gabri Christa over Zoom. Gabri is a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, scholar and all-around artist with a rich history and intriguing body of work. She told us about the cross-roads culture she experienced growing up in the Dutch Caribbean island nation of Curaçao, where she took yoga with adults and absorbed cultural dance forms before encountering modern dance when she attended university in the Netherlands. Hearing Gabri’s story of choreographing and performing at a young age on the island was an inspiring reminder that the urge to create comes not from formal training but from a well of creativity within. Most recently, Gabri has been touring her multi-media project, Magdalena, which took shape in response to her mother’s dementia, and hosting/curating the second Moving Body-Moving Image festival of dance films at Barnard. The festival theme this year is aging. It will take place completely online on April 4th from 12-6pm – we hope you’ll tune in! https://www.movingbodymovingimage.com/festival
Multi-disciplinary and wide-ranging in form, Gabri Christa’s art-making spans film, choreography, performance, curation, writing, and more. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College and a member of Mayor de Blasio’s Cultural Advisory Commission. Gabri has danced and choreographed with companies such as Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, DanzAbierta and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Awards include the Guggenheim for Choreography, and five Jerome Foundation grants. Her choreographies have been presented nationally, internationally and locally at Central Park Summer Stage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Symphony Space, PS122 and for five seasons at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts).
We made it to episode 10 and what a year it has been! In this episode, we talk to dancer/choreographer/sound designer/DJ Jeremy Nedd about dancing in New York City for dance luminary Kyle Abraham and his experience in Europe as a dancer, choreographer and sound designer. We chatted and wondered about dance snobbery, audience engagement, and intellectual and conceptual dance traditions. Our favorite quote from Jeremy: “Ballet is a feeling.” We could not agree more. Jeremy Nedd studied at SUNY Purchase and danced in New York City before relocating to Europe to dance with the Dresden SemperOper and the Basel Ballett. He has had the opportunity to perform works by Forsythe, Kylian, Thoss, Ekman and others.