Katelyn Halpern & Dancers will present a new work-in-progress at HATCH on Saturday, 11/19 at Jennifer Muller/The Works Studio in Chelsea, New York. Tickets are $15-20 at the door.
Dance for Westbeth Elevator Lobby & Gold Shoes premieres April 30 at 2p on WestFest 2016's All Over Westbeth site specific concert. We are preparing. Are you?
At 55 Bethune St. in the West Village there's a building called Westbeth, and as far as I can tell it is a glorious place to be an artist.
Westbeth is primarily an artist residence (my tour guide told us that over a thousand artists live here), and the waiting list for an apartment is currently seventeen years long; they closed the waiting list nine years ago. It takes so long to get an apartment because the residents stick around. Many are established or aging artists who have lived at Westbeth for decades and demonstrate little inclination to leave their enclave. And why? The place has a gallery, dance studio, community room with piano, studios, courtyard, and, in places, a grandeur left over from the building's previous occupants: Bell Labs' executives, who had the place from 1868-1966. Any parts of the building that were used as executive offices are decorated with a little something extra - fancy tile work, high ceilings, and so on.
One particular place this antique grandeur comes through is in 11th Ave. elevator lobby, which looks out past a few lanes of traffic to the Hudson River. The floor of the lobby is beautifully tiled with precise little white, green, red, and black squares, and the doors, windows, and elevators are framed with dark, carved wood. The ceiling is painted royal blue. Now, though, it's not a lobby meant for fancy executives but for residents going about their business. Concessions have been made. There is a radiator and an industrial carpet, a building map behind plexiglass that was unceremoniously screwed to the wall, a "No Smoking" sign, a bulletin board, and the utilitarian trappings of the elevators. Plus, the space is dim, unevenly lit, and hasn't been maintained very well over the years. This stew of a room is, I'm happy to say, the home of my upcoming site specific dance piece Dance for the Westbeth Elevator Lobby & Gold Shoes.
Let's just come out and say it - Aleks Karjaka is a fantastic photographer. His style is striking and elegant, his work historically informed and forward thinking, and his studio manner loving and demanding.
I am so excited that he and I are making art together.
I am medium excited that I was in the test shoot we conducted for our upcoming project.
In the coming month, Aleks and I will embark on a dance photography journey that will carry us across space and time to the farthest reaches of form, light, and beauty. We are sure it will be as magical as it sounds. When it's all over and done, we'll turn our space ship around and share what we've discovered. Please stay tuned.
In the meantime, you can (and should) check out more of Aleks' work here.
Photographs by Julia Discenza
October 6 from 4-7pm, I'm hosting a little something called Open Rehearsal - 13 Moves at the impressive Anita's Way. Open Rehearsal - 13 Moves is a modern-dance movement exploration I'm putting on public view. During the rehearsal, dancers will learn, manipulate, and thoroughly investigate a short solo phrase consisting of 13 moves. Throughout their exploration, they'll find points of connection and contact with each other and the accidental audiences they find on the street or sidewalk. Come see us!
137 West 42nd Street
(The through block connecting W 42nd and W 43rd St. btwn 6th Ave and Broadway)
New York, NY
This project is supported in part by a space grant from chashama.
chashama empowers artists in NYC by transforming unutilized real estate into affordable work and presentation space, and by promoting and educating artists through our programs.
chashama, which means “to have vision” in Farsi, was founded in 1995 to connect artists and performers with untapped reserves of temporarily vacant commercial real estate. In 2007, chashama expanded into studio spaces at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and 126th St in West Harlem, and has operated with a strong presence in these buildings ever since. Currently, chashama also programs 15 presentation spaces throughout NYC.