Presenters from far and wide flock to New York in early January for a plethora of contemporary dance performances. From widely respected venues such as theJoyce Theater, Danspace Project and New York Live Arts to experimental festivals such as American Realness, COIL and Under the Radar, there is plenty of vibrant and innovative work to experience.
Fondly known as APAP (Association for Performing Arts Presenters), this annual conference is a time when successful work from the previous season is replayed, re-envisioned and re-presented, as in the special presentation of Tere O’Connor’s “Bleed” at Danspace, or Michelle Boule’s “Wonder” at American Realness. It is also an opportunity to see excerpts of new works; NYLA previews its upcoming season with “Live Artery.” In the world of APAP, it’s quite common see four shows a day at three theaters, representing a variety of aesthetic and conceptual ranges.
With more than 1,000 showcases, the presenting industry meets artists from many disciplines hoping to find work that syncs with the cultural palette of the community they represent. “Focus Dance” at the Joyce featured four split-bill programs, with highlights including Nora Chipaumire’s “Dark Swan” (which kicked off Urban Bush Women’s 30thanniversary tour) and the NY premiere of Mark Haim’s “This Land Is Your Land” (which was performed in Seattle and Paris last year). Bessie Award-winning choreographer Joanna Kotze re-presented her work “it happened it had happened it is happening it will happen” at Danspace Project, while Emily Wexler and Ishmael Houston-Jones shared their new work, “13 Love Songs: dot dot dot,” at Abrons Art Center through American Realness.
The plethora of performance available during this time is daunting – and exciting. New York lives up to its reputation as the international hub for dance, transforming into a meeting place for artists, audiences and curators from across the globe.