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As a part of the Merce Cunningham Centenary festivities taking place throughout 2019, this conversation with Claire Bishop (CBA ’18), Rashaun Mitchell, Moriah Evans, Mina Nishimura, and Netta Yerushalmy (CBA ’19) explored what it means to unpack and extend a choreographer’s archive and influence. This program was co-presented with NYU Skirball, expanding upon their separate event, Cunningham Centennial: Conversations with Merce.
A light reception on the second floor followed the program.
The Center for Ballet and the Arts’ 2019 public programming is made possible by American Express.
Claire Bishop is a professor in the PhD Program in Art History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her books include Installation Art: A Critical History (2005) and Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (2012), for which she won the 2013 Frank Jewett Mather award, and Radical Museology, or, What’s Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art? (2013). She is a regular contributor to Artforum, and her essays and books have been translated into eighteen languages. She is currently working on a collection of essays about changing patterns of attention in contemporary art and performance.
Rashaun Mitchell is a choreographer, performer and teacher living and working in NYC. He is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of a 2012 “Bessie” (New York Dance and Performance Award) for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer, and a 2011 “Bessie” for “Sustained achievement in the work of Merce Cunningham” (2004-20012). He is a member of the Cunningham Trust and a licensed stager of the repertory. Mitchell is currently the Associate Chair of the Dance department at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. His recent work with ongoing partner, Silas Riener, involves the building of collaborative worlds through improvisational techniques.
Moriah Evans is an artist working in and on the form of dance. Her choreographies navigate utopic and dystopic potentials and tendencies within dance, approached as a fleshy and matriarchal form sliding between minimalism and excess. Evans was an Artist-in-Residence at Movement Research, The New Museum, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Issue Project Room, Studio Series as New York Live Arts, and MoMA/PS1. She initiated The Bureau for the Future of Choreography, a collective apparatus involved in research processes and practices to investigate participatory images of performance and systems of choreography. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Movement Research Performance Journal, Curatorial Advisor for the Tanzkongress 2019: Long Lasting Affair, and a facilitator/curator for Dance and Process at the Kitchen with Yve Laris Cohen. She received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2017) and a Bessie Award nomination for Emerging Choreographer (2015). Notable works include: Configure (The Kitchen 2018), Figuring (SculptureCenter 2018); Be my Muse (Villa Empain, Brussels 2016 and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden 2018); Social Dance 9-12: Encounter (Danspace Project 2015); Social Dance 1-8: Index (Issue Project Room 2015); Another Performance (2013); and Out of and Into (8/8): STUFF (2012). Her choreographic work has been commissioned and presented in New York by The Kitchen, SculptureCenter, Whitney Museum of American Art; MoMA PS1; Danspace Project; ISSUE Project Room; Movement Research at Judson Church; and the American Realness festival; and in Washington DC at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and in Minneapolis by FD-13; as well as internationally at Kampnagel (Hamburg, Germany); Theatre de l’Usine (Geneva, Switzerland); Villa Empain (Brussels, Belgium); Atelier de Paris Carolyn Carlson (Paris, France) and Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai).
Mina Nishimura is a dance artist from Tokyo. She studied butoh and improvisational dance through Kota Yamazaki’s teaching while attending Merce Cunningham Studio’s International Program for 4 years. In New York, she has been performing and collaborating with ground breaking dance, theater, film and music artists, in most recent years, such as John Jasperse, Dean Moss, Neil Greenburg, SIA, Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Vicky Shick, Nami Yamamoto, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Ursula Eagly and Ellen Fisher. Her recent choreographic work has been commissioned by Danspace Project, UC Davis, Mount Tremper Arts and Gibney Dance and developed through AIR programs at The Camargo Foundation, Movement Research, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and Chez Bushwick. In recent years, she also served as a curator for Movement Research Spring Festival, Danspace Project/Food for Thought, Mount Tremper Arts/Watershed Program, Sundays on Broadway and whenever wherever festival (Tokyo). Nishimura is a 2019 recipient of Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists award, and is a current faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and Movement Research.
Netta Yerushalmy is an award-winning choreographer based in New York City. Her work aims to engage with audiences by imparting the sensation of things as they are perceived, not as they are known, and to challenge how meaning is attributed and constructed. Honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Jerome Robbins Bogliasco Fellowship, a National Dance Project Grant, a NYFA Fellowships, a Six-Points Fellowship, and recently a 2018 Grant to Artists from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Yerushalmy’s dances have been commissioned and presented by venues such as the Joyce Theater, American Dance Festival, Alvin Ailey Foundation, Danspace Project, New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Centre National de la Danse (Paris), Suzanne Dellal Center (Tel-Aviv), Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).
Yerushalmy works across genres and disciplines: she contributed to artist Josiah McElheny’s Prismatic Park at Madison Square Park, choreographed a Red Hot Chili Peppers music video, collaborated on evenings of theory and performance at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (Berlin), and is involved in the production of Spinning by composer Julia Wolfe and cellist Maya Beiser. She has received repeated support from the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Djerassi Art Program, and Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center. Guest artist engagements include The Juilliard School, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, University of the Arts, and HaMaslool Conservatoir. Commissions from repertory companies include Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Zenon Dance Company, and SPDW. As a performer, Yerushalmy has worked with Doug Varone and Dancers, Pam Tanowitz Dance, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and Joanna Kotze, among others. Originally from Israel, Yerushalmy relocated to New York in 1996 to earn a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.