Dance Lab New York and The Joyce Theater Foundation have partnered to support female choreographers of color through the establishment of a developmental lab, allowing for these artists to create new work in classical, neoclassical, and/or contemporary ballet dance.
From October 14–November 10, choreographers Preeti Vasudevan, Micaela Taylor, Amy Hall Garner, and Margarita Armas will explore new works, culminating in a showcase at Guggenheim's Works & Process.
Each choreographer will have access to rehearsal space at the Joyce Artist Residency Center, eight paid professional dancers, a rehearsal director, as well as a stipend and financial and logistical operations support over the course of 30 working hours.
“As the conversation is shifting within the field of ballet to the lack of female choreographers, and more specifically the lack of opportunities for female dance makers of color, The Joyce has entered into a unique collaboration with DLNY to help address gender and racial inequity through shared resources”, said Joyce Executive Director Linda Shelton in a statement. “This collaboration prioritizes research and development with no expectation of a final 'product' as an essential step forward. True to The Joyce’s and DLNY’s shared values, this pilot partnership embraces the concepts of risk, experimentation, and trial and error.”
Vasudevan is a descendant of classical Indian dance and choreographs contemporary work from the Indian tradition. Her accolades include the Lincoln Center Award and the Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellowship. Taylor is the founding artistic director of her own professional dance company, the TL Collective, and is known for her work in hip hop. Garner is a graduate of The Juilliard School and is know in both the dance and theatre communities for her choreography on Ailey II and The Color Purple (Milwaukee Repertory Theater). She was one of the first recipients of the Joffrey Ballet’s Winning Works Choreographic Competition. Armas currently trains with the Pacific Northwest Ballet School Professional Division program in Seattle, Washington. She was featured in the second season of Teen Vogue’s Strictly Ballet.
A panel of five women from the Joyce and DLNY chose the four recipients: Lourdes Lopez (artistic director of Miami City Ballet; Virginia Johnson, artistic director of Dance Theater of Harlem; Janet Wong, associate artistic director of New York Live Arts; Theresa Ruth Howard, founder/curator of the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet; and Renae Williams Niles, associate dean of administration for USC Kaufman School of Dance.
DNLY Founding Artistic Director Josh Prince established the Dance Lab in order to foster exploration, originality, and risk-taking in dance in a safe and supported space. The organization has provided resources to such choreographers as Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Bandstand, Hamilton, In The Heights), Tony nominee Camille A. Brown (Choir Boy, Once On This Island), and Drama Desk nominee Lorin Latarro (Waitress).