Choreographers Convening: Dance at The Kitchen in the 1980s and 1990s

Contact Sheet Meier 1986 Crop2

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The second event in The Kitchen’s 50th Anniversary Conversation Series brings together a group of choreographers to explore The Kitchen’s dance programming in the late 1980s and 1990s and its place within the broader ecologies of dance. Across two panel discussions, participants will discuss the program models that The Kitchen devised to support dance and the material conditions across the field of dance in this era. Participating choreographers include DANCENOISE (Anne Iobst and Lucy Sexton), Neil GreenbergIshmael Houston-Jones, koosil-jaSarah Michelson, Dean Moss, and Tere O’Connor. Following the Convening, The Kitchen will publish texts by two respondents, Moriah Evans and Trajal Harrell. Organized by Alison Burstein, Matthew Lyons, and Tere O’Connor.

Panel 1: Working in The Kitchen

Featuring choreographers who have presented work at and served as dance curators for The Kitchen, the first panel explores the question of how The Kitchen’s models for dance programming responded to—and possibly helped to inform new directions in—dance throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. A focus of the conversation will be on the unique characteristics of The Kitchen’s Dance and Process program, which was initiated in 1990 with the title Working in the Kitchen and relaunched as Dance in Progress in 1995 before taking on its current name in 2005. Dance and Process invites selected choreographers to workshop new pieces with other participants and facilitators regularly over the course of several months before presenting the work to the public.

This panel includes Neil Greenberg, Sarah Michelson, and Dean Moss and is moderated by Tere O’Connor.

Panel 2: Material Conditions

The second panel takes a broader look at the conditions of the field of downtown dance in this era, examining topics such as changes in funding structures and sources of support and the evolution of the institutional landscape. This conversation will center on the question of how such material conditions impacted the multi-directional shift in aesthetics that choreographers were undertaking across these years.

This panel includes DANCENOISE (Anne Iobst and Lucy Sexton), Ishmael Houston-Jones, and koosil-ja and is moderated by Tere O’Connor.

About the 50th Anniversary Conversation Series: In anticipation of our 50th anniversary in 2021, The Kitchen is proud to begin a series of conversations among artists across generations who will discuss their work and their perspectives on the organization’s evolving role in the cultural landscape. These programs create opportunities to draw out connections within The Kitchen’s community and to reflect on the organization’s history through the lens of first-hand accounts. The first event in the series featured Dara Birnbaum and Sondra Perry In Conversation.

This program is made possible with support from Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image: Yvonne Meier with Carol McDowell and Jennifer Monson and music by Guy Yarden and Katie O’Looney at The Kitchen, 1986. Contact sheet of performance photographs. Photographer Unknown.

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