Friday, January 18, 2019

In step with Joséphine: Julia Bullock at The Met

Soprano Julia Bullock
(photo: Kevin Yatarola)

Julia Bullock
Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine
The Great Hall
Metropolitan Museum of Art
January 16-17

The two-page, finely-written program notes Julia Bullock contributed for her production, Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine, performed on the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum's Great Hall, takes me back to a practice I abandoned a couple of years ago--saving programs from all the shows I see. I no longer save them much beyond the year of their season, but this one, this one, will live with me, just as the life, struggles and example of Joséphine Baker clearly live with Bullock, a Black opera singer of profound insight and commitment to social justice.

Bullock--the Met's 2018-2019 Artist in Residence--starts her notes by quoting famed New Yorker writer Janet Flanner whose references to Baker's "caramel-colored body" and "lovely animal visage," the "dawning intelligence" of her look, along with Baker's apparent failure to have "heard of Mozart" are like textbook examples of white supremacist arts criticism. Dropping this nightmare on the page, Bullock then proceeds to hail Baker for achieving superstar--and super-paid--status during Jim Crow when her level of success was unimaginable for any Black performer. Further, for anyone obsessed with the image of caramel-colored Baker dancing in a costume made of bananas, Bullock notes Baker's role in the French Resistance and our own Civil Rights movement, and even the way the entertainer turned her simplistically-eroticized image--her skin turned into a costume, as she says, her body a "shattered object" that wants a home, wants to be owned--into one of self-defined, self-determined Black power and woman power.

The essay--which goes on to detail a creative process encouraged by director Peter Sellars with a team of remarkable collaborators--ends in a proud, uncompromising affirmation of the complexity of human nature, Baker's and Bullock's as well. Both women aim to rip our stereotypes right out from under us.

Is it possible to not only save program notes forever but stand up and give them a rousing cheer?

Bullock's soprano has depth and edge; it draws you into a resonant cave. When she first comes into view, high on the Great Hall's grand staircase, she stands stockstill, an icon draped neck to toes in formal black, her hair a dark-russet 'fro which will eventually be lit to halo-ing effect. Remote and rigid, she seems an apparition from the grave, her face, seen from a distance below, a cloudy blur that does not resolve into recognizable features.

That will change. Bullock does descend, at times, to a mid-point landing to join the work's composer Tyshawn Sorey (percussion/piano) or to the lower steps where members of International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) craft a sinuous and textured sonic fabric for her plainspoken testimony as Baker, channeled by writer Claudia Rankine. "One day, I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be Black," Bullock says, as Baker. And she calls the US "barbarous."

It's haunting, confusing, disturbing when she reveals that her dancing was actually a form of running. Would that mean fearful escape? Or would it mean resistance? Or some combination? How are we to understand this Joséphine (or this Julia who identifies so closely with her)?

The long-ago familiar--a dancing of the Charleston, a warbling of "Bye Bye Blackbird"--are rendered with an insistent, high-strung dissonance. Bullock's training in dance becomes clear immediately, but the entirety of the performance rests on her skillful ability to move various energies of feeling through her body--from the initial, regal dignity to mischief to brooding quiet to unnerving thunderclaps of anger and power.

Creative team:

Julia Bullock, soprano
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE):

  • Alice Teyssier, flute
  • Ryan Muncy, saxophone
  • Rebekah Heller, bassoon
  • Daniel Lippel, guitar
  • Jennifer Curtis, violin 

Conceived by Peter Sellars
Tyshawn Sorey, composer, percussion, and piano
Zack Winokur, director
Claudia Rankine, text (featuring the words of Josephine Baker, adapted by Julia Bullock and Zack Winokur)
Michael Schumacher, choreographer
Mark Grey, sound design
John Torres, lighting design
Carlos Soto, clothing design

Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine concludes this evening with a performance at 8pm. Seating is very limited and likely sold out, but for information, click here.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue (enter at 81st Street main entrance), Manhattan


DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve as Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.


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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sounding off with Miguel Gutierrez at The Chocolate Factory

Center: Dance artist Miguel Gutierrez
brings his new work,This Bridge Called My Ass,
to The Chocolate Factory Theater
(photo: Paula Lobo)

Miguel Gutierrez
This Bridge Called My Ass
American Realness at The Chocolate Factory Theater
January 9-19

Before the messy mound of fabric scraps, chairs, step stools, electric cords and other discards at center space gets picked through for eccentric props; before festively-colored lights blink on and draw attentions to unexpected places; before dancers, without a shred of self-consciousness. display more and more bare flesh and sexual inclinations, there is sound.

In the beginning of This Bridge Called My Ass, there is the word--or many, really--some written by Miguel Gutierrez. A Spanish call-and-response--all the performers are of Latin American heritage--and a kind of chant that seems derived from an elementary school classroom or a language lesson for the non-Spanish speaker. The pacing and forceful energy of the choral readings of this text sound like a choir filled with conviction. But not a choir without the capacity to be flippant; if you were placed just right, you would have noticed a sly gaze-and-grin passing between Gutierrez and Oakland burlesque dancer Xandra Ibarra.

As things spread out--and lordy, how they do spread out--so does resonant sound of voice, music, props making bizarre impact against the floor and each other. As things spread out, they sometimes come in precarious contact with other things or nearly so. I worried much over the safety of so much unprotected flesh in the presence of hard metal wielded with abandon and also fretted over the safety of a MacBook with a rather large step stool weirdly balanced on the edge of its opened cover. Who takes this kind of risk?

Sprawling over the mess, toying with it, the dancers get tangled apparently without any of the fear I, from the relative safety of my front row seat, was feeling. Nor do they inhibit themselves or others. Soft and hard things are just things. Things are just things, and you might find yourself hallucinating that the inanimate is animate, and very much vice versa. These juxtapositions are truly audacious, monstrous connections. You have to give yourself over to the in-the-moment pointlessness and futility of it all, because the dancers definitely do.

Presented without intermission, the piece is about 90 minutes and feels really endless. Towards the end, though, there's an interesting shift that I resist interpreting. In fact, I resist interpreting anything here. All I will say is that the execution of it has--again, the best words I can find for this show--energy, resonance, to an impressive degree. There's something here that lives beyond the initial mess.

Created by Miguel Gutierrez and performed by Gutierrez with Alvaro Gonzalez, John Gutierrez, Xandra Ibarra, nibia pastrana santiago and Evelyn Lilian Sanchez Narvaez

Dramaturg and assistant director: Stephanie Acosta
Lighting design: Tuçe Yasak

This Bridge Called My Ass runs through January 19. For information and tickets, click here.

The Chocolate Factory Theater
5-49 48th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens


DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve as Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.


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Saturday, December 29, 2018

InfiniteBody Honor Roll 2018

Eva Yaa Asantewaa
InfiniteBody Honor Roll 2018

Michael B. Jordan (left) and Chadwick Boseman
face off as rivals for power in The Black Panther.
(courtesy of Marvel Studios)
Two marvelous stars--
Alex Borstein (left) and Rachel Brosnahan--
of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
(courtesy of Amazon Studios)
Alice Sheppard (above as "Andromeda")
and Laurel Lawson ("Venus")
duet in DESCENT.
(photo: Rain Embuscado)

Acclaimed hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris
accepted the challenge of crafting a two-act dance, Lazarus,
for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in record time
in celebration of the beloved troupe's 60th Anniversary.
(photo: Paul Kolnik)

The year 2018 started off with me nursing the flare-up of an old back injury, avoiding subfreezing climes and a "bomb cyclone" and going stir-crazy while catching up to these excellent streams:

@The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon Prime (premiered 2017)

@One Mississippi, Amazon Prime (premiered 2015)

@Six Feet Under, Amazon Prime (premiered 2001)

@Scandal, Netflix (premiered 2012)

I was grateful to finally heal and make it out to my first live show of the year: @Panorama by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò with actors of the Great Jones Repertory Company at La MaMa, December 29, 2017-January 21, 2018

@Caleb Teicher & Company at American Dance Platform, The Joyce Theater, January 9 and 14

@Mugen Noh Othello, directed by Satoshi Miyagi, for The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival at Japan Society, January 11-14

@8th Annual Bronx Artists Now: Showcase & Conversation, produced by Jane Gabriels for Pepatián, January 12

Thomas F. DeFrantz
(photo: SLIPPAGE/Shonda Corbett)

@White Privilege, a lecture performance by Thomas F. Defrantz/Slippage with Sonicscape by Quran Karriem, American Realness festival, Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, January 15

@We Wait In The Darkness by Rosy Simas, American Realness Festival, Abrons Arts Center, January 13-15

@THIS by Adrienne Truscott, American Realness Festival, Abrons Arts Center, January 14-16

@Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) by Split Britches, The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival at La Mama, January 4-21

@The Post (film), directed by Steven Spielberg (20th Century Fox/Dreamworks), released 2017

Left: Choreographer David Thomson with Paul Hamilton
in he his own mythical beast(photo: Maria Baranova)

@he his own mythical beast by David Thomson at Performance Space New York, January 31-February 4

@Reflecting Rhythms: Kazunori Kumagai and Kaoru Watanabe at Asia Society, February 2

@Come Ye finale by Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE at The Joyce Theater, February 6-11

@"Everything you have is yours?" by Hadar Ahuvia at 14th Street Y, February 8-10

@The Black Panther (film), directed by Ryan Coogler (Marvel Studios), released February 16, 2018

@In a Rhythm by Bebe Miller Company in The Making Room: Bebe Miller Company & Susan Rethorst at New York Live Arts, February 21-24

@Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, February 28 through May 28

@Rosalie by Marion Spencer at Work Up 4.1, Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, March 2-3

@Okay, I'm Gunna Start Now by Evelyn Lillian Sánchez Narvaez at Work Up 4.1, Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, March 2-3

@Eurythmics in the Southern Burn by Jonathan González in The Dossier Charrette: A Series of Working Dance Essays, part of Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) at Danspace Project, March 8-10

@leaning by Angie Pittman in The Dossier Charrette: A Series of Working Dance Essays, part of Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) at Danspace Project, March 8-10

@Oba Queen King Baba--Excerpt One by Ni'Ja Whitson in A Shared Evening: Keely Garfield Dance, Same As Sister and Ni'Ja Whitson, part of Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) at Danspace Project, March 15-17

@The Exciting Event... by Same As Sister, part of Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) at Danspace Project, March 15-17

@DESCENT by Alice Sheppard, New York Live Arts, March 22-24

@...they stood shaking while others began to shout by Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, part of Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) at Danspace Project, March 22-24

Dance artist Gesel Mason
(photo: Enoch Chan)

@No Boundaries/Dancing The Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers by Gesel Mason Performance Projects at The Billie Holiday Theatre, April 6-7

@We live this (film), directed by James Burns (2016), at Moving Body-Moving Image: A Dance on Screen Festival, Barnard College, April 7

@Six Solos (film), directed by Simon Fildes with choreography by Sang Jijia (2016), at Moving Body-Moving Image: A Dance on Screen Festival, Barnard College, April 7

@Shamar Wayne Watt in The Dark Swan's Last Breath of Life by Nora Chipaumire at The Rubin Museum of Art, April 18

@(re)Source, an investigation-in-process (showing) by Maria Bauman, MBDance, at BAX, April 27-28

@Indumba by Fana Tshabalala, performed by Deeply Rooted Dance Theater at BAM Fisher, April 28 and 29

Kyle Abraham solos in INDY at The Joyce Theater
(photo: Steven Schreiber)

@A.I.M. (Kyle Abraham) season at The Joyce Theater, May 1-6

@Sen Koro la (work-in-progress) by Lacina Coulibaly at e-moves at Harlem Stage, May 2-5

@Living Our Legacies, featuring Maria Bauman and work by J. Bouey with Wendell Gray II, Shelby "Shellz" Fenton, Alethea Pace and Jason Samuels Smith, curated by Rashida Bumbray, at Dancing While Black 5th Anniversary, at BAAD!, May 4

@Dear White People (Season 2), Netflix, streaming from May 4

@The Story of Tap: 20th Anniversary, hosted by Hank Smith, with Derick Grant, Jason Samuels Smith and Ayako Shirasaki at Dixon Place, May 16

@Untitled (NYC 2018) (showing) by Keith Hennessy at Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, May 21

@Raising the Bar at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, May 25

@to ascend past numbness and witness birth. showing of a "process-memoir" by Johnnie Cruise Mercer at Jack Crystal Theater, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, May 31-June 1

@Rennie Harris: Funkedified at The New Victory Theater, May 31-June 10

@Four Questions (featuring Regie Cabico, Gary Champi, Aviva Jaye, Ni'Ja Whitson and Shannon Matesky), curated by Shannon Matesky for La MaMa's Squirts at La MaMa Downstairs, June 10

Rachel Bloom as Rebecca,
titular lead character in Netflix's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

@Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Netflix (premiered 2015)

@THEM by Chris Cochrane, Dennis Cooper and Ishmael Houston-Jones at Performance Space New York, June 21-28

@garment (Director's Choice) by Sidra Bell at New York Live Arts, June 28-30, July 1

@Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury at Soho Rep, June 2-July 22

@Tap City's Rhythm in Motion at Symphony Space, July 11

@50 Years of Dance Theatre of Harlem: Experiencing History on Pointe and in Color panel at New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, August 4

@Hot to Trot (film), directed by Gail Freedman (Hot to Trot Productions, LLC; distributed by First Run Films), August 24

@Homeland, The CURRENT SESSIONS at wild project, August 18-19

Top: Members of Move(NYC) Young Professionals
(photo: Matthew Karas)
Below: Move(NYC) executive team
left to right: Niya Nicholson, Nigel Campbell and Chanel DaSilva
(photo: Lelund Thompson)

@Move(NYC) Young Professionals Program Summer Finale Showcase, August 25-26

@Magdalena by Gabri Christa at Theaterlab, September 12-22

@Pino-Latino: The Intersection of the Latino and Asian Cultures, featuring Ballet Hispanico in works by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Bennyroyce Royon at Fridays@Noon at 92Y Harkness Dance Center, September 14

@Elena Rose Light and Evelyn Lillian Sánchez Narvaez in By Association: Elena Rose Light, Pallavi Sen, Bully Fae Collins at Abrons Arts Center, September 20-22

@A Memorial and Celebration of the Life of Sam Miller (1952-2018) at Danspace Project, September 15

@What Remains by Claudia Rankine and Will Rawls at Danspace Project, September 25, 27-29

@Ten by Deborah Hay in Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done at Museum of Modern Art, October 4-6

@Y by RoseAnne Spradlin at New York Live Arts, September 27-29, October 4-6

@another piece apart by Jennifer Nugent & Paul Matteson at New York Live Arts, October 10-13

@Emily Coates & Josiah McElheny/Emmanuéle Phuon/A Shared Evening of New Work at Danspace Project, November 8-10

Musician, vocalist and actor Rhiannon Giddens
(photo: David McClister)

@Sisters Present (Rhiannon Giddens Residency) at Symphony Space, November 17

@DoublePlus: Kayla Hamilton + Jerron Herman at Gibney, November 29-December 1

@Skeleton Architecture: An Evening of Performance at Danspace Project, December 8

@Lock 'em Up by DANCENOISE at New York Live Arts, December 12-15

@BBB by Fana Fraser, DoublePlus at Gibney, December 13-15

@Lazarus by Rennie Harris for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center, November 28-December 30

@Soles of Duende at Dixon Place, December 7-21

@A Star is Born, directed by Bradley Cooper (Warner Bros.), released October 5, 2018

@Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Participant Media and Esperanto Medio; Netflix), released November 21, 2018

And those of us without the $$$ for Broadway got to see why.
Thank you, Netflix!

@Springsteen on Broadway, directed by Thom Zimny (Netflix), released December 15, 2018

@If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins (Annapurna Pictures), released December 25, 2018

Okay, that's my honor roll for 2018! 
What's on yours?

--Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Zahava Griss: the sacred work of transforming white culture

A list of the skills Zahava Griss has amassed and roles they have played might fill this entire blog post--gender-transcendent dance artist, erotic ritualist, bodyworker, educator, coach, anti-racist activist and so much more. Recently, Griss contributed a chapter of perceptive writing to a new anthology of essays, Sacred Body Wisdom: Igniting the Flame of Our Divine Humanity, out soon from Flower of Life Press.

Their chapter, “Transforming the Culture of Whiteness in Dance and Sexuality Communities,” outlines ways in which white artists and activists like themselves can approach creative and social justice work--as well as the relationship with their own and others' bodies--with greater openness, awareness, respect and joy.

Sections of the essay deal with issues of white culture within ballet (where authoritarian traditions predispose dancers to follow rules and not speak up for themselves), within sexuality and within the complex challenges of community building across differences. Griss notes, "so many of the body-centered events and communities I have explored are mostly white people, white leadership and white culture." And, by that, Griss means “certain ways of communicating, an aesthetic of what is valued and acceptable, an unspoken way of framing what being a body is, what ‘safety’ is, what spirit is, what having a body means, what success or beauty means that is familiar to a dominant white often unconscious culture that has been created by those who came before us that does not acknowledge or reflect awareness and respect for people of color, who make up the majority of people on this beautiful earth.”

Griss continues, “I wrote this so we could better observe white culture, vision what we want to replace it with, clarify what diversity means to us personally, and take action to create the society we want to live in.”

Sacred Body Wisdom: Igniting the Flame of Our Divine Humanity will become available on on January 21. Learn more about it here. For more on Zahava Griss and their projects, visit


DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve as Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.


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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Get ready for '(W/HOLE)" at Invisible Dog

AORTA Films and the A.O. Movement Collective proudly present (W/HOLE), an artful work of queer-feminist--if otherwise uncharacterizable--porn commissioned by The Invisible Dog and sure to be a highlight of its season.

Directed by Mahx Capacity, this evening-length film is handsome in choreography, performance and camera work, sometimes sunlight bright, sometimes dungeon dark, with robust poetry and wit. From a symphony of f-bombing in all its expressive permutations to an extended sex scene where watchful attendants--as elusive as black-clad kuroko--hold glass spray bottles at the ready, keeping the lovers moist and dewy. The way the cast affirms that every body, and everything about the body, is erotic can be both amusing and profound. Leave it to dancers to come up with something like this.

(W/HOLE) runs at The Invisible Dog on Friday, January 4 (9pm), Saturday, January 5 (7pm) and Sunday, January 6 (2pm and 7pm). Hurry for tickets, though. They're selling fast. Click here.

The Invisible Dog
51 Bergen Street (between Smith Street and Boerum Place), Brooklyn


DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve as Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.


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Friday, December 21, 2018

Soles of Duende asks Can We Dance Here? Please do!

Left-to-right: Amanda Castro, Arielle Rosales
and Brinda Guha of Soles of Duende
(photo: Spinkick Pictures)

Can We Dance Here?
Soles of Duende
Dixon Place
December 7-8, 14-15 and 20-21

I'm not sure I follow the progression of existence to seeking permission to gaining trust to arriving at freedom alluded to in program notes for Can We Dance Here? Something about the "Transtheoretical Stages of Change" as the underpinning of the story this new dance wants to tell. But while I'm not hip to all that, I do know the three grounded, skillful and vivacious dancers of Soles of Duende--Amanda Castro, Arielle Rosales and Brinda Guha, 2018 Artists in Residence at Dixon Place--make a compelling argument for the power of women and the joy of women making really big sound together. Six pounding feet rattled the floor beneath our chairs like a tremblor. Anyone placing their bar drinks on that floor surely risked a spill.

Supported by the live music of Anjna Swarminathan (violin), Frank Malloy IV (drum) and JADALAREIGN (DJ), Castro brings tap; Rosales, flamenco; Guha, Kathak, all with great conviction that these three percussive dance forms belong in conversation. Can We Dance Here? is the perfect package for that exchange of life force--no more than an hour in length, superbly focused in structure, its staging of trios, duos and solos tight as a drum.

I caught the next-to-last evening of a show that has been running on weekends since December 7. So, you have one more shot--tonight. Can We Dance Here? is an offbeat holiday-season treat, but a treat it is.

Can We Dance Here? runs at 7:30pm. For information and tickets, click here.

Dixon Place
171 Chrystie Street, Manhattan


DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve as Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.


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Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Bessies to honor Japan Society's Yoko Shioya

Yoko Shioya, Artistic Director of Japan Society will receive
a Bessie: the 2019 Presenter Award for Outstanding Curation.

The Bessies organization (New York Dance and Performance Awards) has announced the recipient of its 2019 Presenter Award for Outstanding Curation--Yoko Shioya, Artistic Director of Japan Society. “Yoko has been an amazing force for good in the New York dance world, curating with a bold and discerning eye and bringing important work across cultures,” said Bessies Executive Director Lucy Sexton. “I am so pleased she is being honored with this award.” And I agree!

Celebrate with Shioya at the Bessies Presenters Gathering on Sunday, January 6 (5pm to 7pm) at La MaMa La Galleria. Free and open to all! RSVP here.

La MaMa La Galleria
47 Great Jones Street (between Bowery and Lafayette), Manhattan

Yoko Shioya became artistic director of Japan Society in 2006, overseeing the organization’s performing arts and film departments. Since assuming the position of Director of Performing Arts in 2003, she has enlarged the scale and number of commissions for the creation of new works related to Japanese culture by non-Japanese artists, and increased the number of tours of Japan Society-produced works throughout North America. Shioya also launched new initiatives, including co-producing commissioned work by international artists with presenting organizations in Japan, presenting works from East Asian countries, and establishing artists’ residency projects in New York City. Known in Japan as a writer and researcher on the public and private arts support systems in the U.S. and Japan, Shioya has been invited to speak at numerous symposia and lectures and on TV programs presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government, Keidanren, the Academy of Cultural Economics, and the Japan Council of Performers’ Organizations, among others. She has been a regular contributor to arts columns on performing arts and exhibitions for the Asahi newspaper, and has served as a committee member and selection panelist for numerous programs, including the Bessie Awards, Rolex Mentor and Protegé International Program, and the Toyota Choreography Awards. Shioya holds BAs in musicology and dance history from Tokyo National University of the Arts.
About the Presenter Award for Outstanding Curating
Established in 2017, the Bessies Presenter Award for Outstanding Curating recognizes a presenter or curator of work performed in the New York City area. It is presented to an individual or curatorial team whose work has had a palpable impact on artists, audiences, or the dance and performance field in general. While the award can recognize sustained achievement in curating or presenting over time, it can equally recognize a particular project, festival, or season that occurred in the past year. Visiting or guest curators, as well as full-time curators and presenters, are eligible. The recipient is chosen jointly by the Bessies Selection and Bessies Steering Committees. The first Presenter Award (in 2017) went to Judy Hussie-Taylor, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Danspace Project, for her curation of A Body in Places, Danspace Project Platform 2016 by Eiko Otake. The second awardee (in 2018) was Joseph V. Melillo, Executive Producer of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, for his championing of dance on the stages of BAM.


DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve as Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.


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