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Posts Tagged ‘independent artists’

Maida Withers Dance Film Screened at Turkish Festival


Maida Withers film was shown at Istanbul Dance on Camera. (Photo by Linda Lewett)

A film by Washington, DC dance artist and choreographer Maida Withers, Thresholds Crossed/Art Angar, was selected and screened at the Istanbul Dance on Camera Festival in Turkey in November as part of the “Amerika seckisi” (film selection from America).

Dance Camera Istanbul is an international dance film and photography festival founded by a group of independent artists and art explorers who seek to build a greater awareness of multicultural art forms in connection with the field of dance.

Thresholds Crossed/Art Angar is a political dance film, shot in Soviet-era architectural structures on Solovki Island. The film makes connection between Russia’s gulags (forced labor camps) and America’s Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the treatment of terrorism suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. One building shown was the hanger for a dirigible that delivered supplies to the gulag. It later temporarily housed the Art Angar Center for Contemporary Arts, which sponsored the dance residency on the island of Withers and fellow dancer Anthony Gongora.

The film can be viewed online at For more information, visit


Bessie Awards Return to Honor Top NYC Dance Works, Performances


After a one-year break, the New York Dance and Performance Awards, known as “the Bessies,” named top honorees from both the 2008 to 2009 and 2009 to 2010 dance seasons Monday night at Symphony Space in New York.

Established in 1983, the Bessie Awards—named in honor of dancer and teacher Bessie Schonberg—acknowledge outstanding creative work by independent artists in the fields of dance and related performance in New York City, including choreography, performance, music composition, and visual design.

The awards were suspended for the 2008-09 season. During this hiatus, the producers began the work of re-imagining the awards to better meet the needs of both the dance/performance community and the public and to retain and enhance the value of the awards. For more information on the Bessies, visit

According to a news item in, winners included:

  •  837 Venice Boulevard, choreographed by Faye Driscoll.
  •  Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance; created and choreographed by Okwui Okpokwasili.
  •  Stolen; choreographed by Yvonne Meier.
  •  Crotch (all the Joseph Beuys references in the world cannot heal the pain, confusion, regret, cruelty, betrayal, or trauma…); choreography, performance, installation, and visuals by Keith Hennessy.
  • Dark Horse/Black Forest, direction and choreography by Yanira Castro.
  • Be In the Gray With Me, choreographed by Pam Tanowitz.
  • Comme Toujours, Here I Stand, by Big Dance Theater.
  • Grupo de Rua: H3; direction and choreography by Bruno Beltrao.
  • Last Meadow, created and choreographed by Miguel Gutierrez in collaboration with the performers.
  • parades & changes, replays; conception and artistic direction by Anne Collod in dialogue with Anna Halprin and Morton Subotnick.
  • Puro Deseo, concept and direction by luciana achugar.
  • The Radio Show, choreographed by Kyle Abraham.

Recipients of Bessies for performances from the past two seasons (2008–2010) include: Michelle Boule, David Leventhal, Kayvon Pourazar, Heather Olson, Miki Orihara, Paradigm, and Latysha Antonio, Sofia Britos, Non Griffiths, and Allegra Herman for their performance in Sarah Michelson’s Dover Beach.


Chicago Grant Programs Encourage Creation of New Choreography


Choreographers are encouraged to create new dance works through two Chicago-area grant programs sponsored by The Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Dancemakers Forum, a consortium of independent artists and representatives from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Dance Center of Columbia College, and alternative-performance venue Links Hall.

Creative Force: The Joffrey’s Choreographers of Color Award, is co-sponsored by the Sara Lee Foundation and will grant two recipients 18 or older $2,500 each and the opportunity to create choreography for academy trainees of the Joffrey Ballet. There is no application fee, and winners whose primary residence is more than 100 miles from the Loop will be provided with housing during the two-week creation period (dates to be announced in January and/or February, 2011). Deadline is November 1.

The Greenhouse Program will award $5,000 each to five emerging artists with two to nine years’ experience in dance making, either independently or through company affiliations, to support the creation of a new work. The creation period lasts six months beginning in January 2011, with tentative performance dates scheduled for June 24 to 26, 2011. Application deadline is October 22.

For more information, visit


U. of Michigan Seeks Fellowship Applications


A team of scholars at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is looking for up to ten fellows (graduate students, faculty, independent artists, and writers) to come together on February 18 and 19 for “Movement, Somatics and Writing: A Practice-Based Research Symposium.”

Chosen fellowship applicants will be asked to workshop, to use performances and presentations as provocations, and to plumb methods of merging art practice and critical writing. The specific topics will depend on applicants’ interests.

“This is not a conference to share the results of previous research or practice,” the conference team cautions. “Thus, we are not looking for papers, performances, portfolios, or readings; we plan to experiment. Come and share the excitement of your creative and critical research, present a workshop based on your passions, and find out what could happen.”

The conference team members are:

Amy Sara Carroll, assistant professor of English and American culture (Latina/o Studies), UM; Thom Donovan, poet and essayist, co-editor of ON: Contemporary Practice and the weblog Wild Horses Of Fire; Kate Elswit, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in drama and dance, Stanford University; Bhanu Kapil, assistant professor, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa University; Jina Kim, Ph.D. student, English/Women’s Studies, UM (Visual Culture); Petra Kuppers, associate professor of English, UM (Performance Studies); and Eleni Stecopoulos, poet, writer, educator, and curator of the Poetics of Healing project at the Poetry Center, San Francisco State University.

Applicants should send a short curriculum vitae, a sample of their writing (creative, experimental, performative, or critical), and a brief statement about why they would like to participate, to They can also send URLs or a DVD or CD with performance or visual arts material. Query first about a snail mail address by emailing the symposium director: Petra Kuppers,

The application deadline is October 1. Those chosen will be notified by October 20.

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