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Summer 2017 Dance Residency


Residency I: May 21 - June 10, 2018
Residency II: June 11 - July 1, 2018

This dance program is based on strong technical training, achieved by concentrating on the healthy and efficient use of the body to realize each person’s physical potential, and the development of the imaginative and creative elements of each individual. To this end, we integrate the instruction from Tisch’s permanent faculty of master teachers with that of major guest artists and company members.

Each residency is for the intermediate-to-advanced NYU and visiting dance student.

Residency I
DANC-UT 1400 (4 units)
NCRD-UT 5004 (Noncredit tuition is $3,954)

Residency II

DANC-UT 1401 (4 units)
NCRD-UT 5005 (Noncredit tuition is $3,954)

(2018 Companies TBA)

Each visiting company presents a lecture/demonstration on the first day of its residency and teaches a week of contemporary technique and, in the afternoons, repertory. Students also have the opportunity to observe open rehearsals, showings of works-in-progress, and public performances. Together, the companies provide a multileveled, kinetic, and aesthetic experience. Students are expected to arrive at 9:00 a.m. the first day of each residency.

The director will discuss program policies/procedures and placement class.  Students will also receive a packet which includes information about Summer Residency performances. Each three-week workshop meets Monday through Friday, typically from 9:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. The day begins with a one-and-three-quarter-hour ballet class focused on alignment, strength, balance, line, and coordination and continues with a one-and-a-half-hour class in contemporary dance.

Rehearsal space is available to students who wish to pursue their own personal choreographic interests, and informal showings of these works can also be held.

All instruction is held at the Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Dance, 111 Second Avenue.

Residency I
May 22 - 26 - David Dorfman Dance
May 29 - June 2 - VIM VIGOR Dance Shannon Gillen
June 5 - 9 - Company SBB - Stefanie Batten Bland

Residency II
June 12 - 16 - Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance
June 19 - 23 - Complexions Contemporary Ballet
June 26 - 30 - Raja Feather Kelly


David Dorfman Dance
May 22-26
Artistic Director:  David Dorfman

Since its founding in 1987, David Dorfman Dance (DDD) has performed extensively throughout North and South America, Great Britain, Europe, and Central Asia most recently in Greece, Tajikistan, Turkey, Armenia, Russia and Poland. DDD has regularly performed in New York City at major venues, including The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, Danspace Project/St. Mark’s Church, La Mama Theater, The Duke on 42nd Street, and the 92nd St. “Y”/Harkness Dance Festival. David Dorfman, the company’s dancers, and DDD’s artistic collaborators have been honored with eight New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards.

DDD promotes the appreciation and critical understanding of dance by realizing the creation of new works by choreographer David Dorfman and his artistic collaborators. In advocating his mission “to get the whole world dancing,” Dorfman’s work has enjoyed broad and diverse audiences nationally and internationally. Dorfman creates dance that seeks to de-stigmatize the notion of accessibility and interaction in post-modern dance by embracing audiences with visceral, meaningful dance, music and text.

For over twenty-five years, DDD has effectively engaged audiences worldwide, with community-based projects playing an important role, particularly in the 1990’s. In Out of Season (The Athletes Project) and Familiar Movements (The Family Project), the members of the company rehearsed and performed with groups of volunteer athletes or family members selected in the communities to which the company toured. In No Roles Barred, DDD examined the personal roles assumed, formed and interwoven in our modern social construct, engaging groups ranging from corporate executives and “at-risk” youths to college administrators, doctors, carpenters and social dance enthusiasts. The company’s three community projects have been presented over 30 times in 18 states and two foreign countries.

Photo: John Slaughter

Photo: John Slaughter

Photo: John Slaughter

VIM VIGOR Dance Company
May 29 - June 2
Artistic Director: Shannon Gillen

In 2014, in response to popular demand following a successful run in Germany as both a choreographer and dancer, Shannon Gillen returned to New York City to form VIM VIGOR. Interested in founding a collaborative think tank, where the most innovative and profoundly gifted artists could come together to create cutting edge dance theater, VIM VIGOR represents not only a paradigm shift in the creative process, with all original music, writing, set, media and movement created collaboratively by the company but also in the aim of shaping the direction of dance itself. Utilizing the full physical and theatrical skill-sets of each performer, VIM VIGOR seeks to engage a wider audience through its signature combination of bombastic contemporary movement with cinematic dreamscapes. In this light, the company's creations are able to transcend the formalized boundaries of a 'dance audience' to reach those who have never seen or enjoyed 'modern dance' because it dares to be accessible. Developing trust with an audience means that you can open people to new forms. VIM believes that the ability to bring people into a high art experience that doesn't require years of viewership to receive something from it, is necessary to the sustainability of dance as an American art form.

In addition to being a platform for Shannon Gillen's collaborative works, VIM VIGOR is nationally recognized non-profit dedicated to providing a new platform for contemporary dance-theater education. Through company classes, workshops and the company's immersive summer program, VIM VIGOR has reached over 1500 in the past twelve months.

Shannon Gillen
Named among New York’s top 20 artists by Brooklyn Magazine, called ‘mesmerizing’ by VOGUE and recently championed as ‘vastly gifted’ by Deborah Jowitt, Shannon Gillen has had an extensive career as a dancer and choreographer in NYC and Europe. She was a member of the Johannes Wieland Company based at Staatstheater Kassel in Germany; won commissions from Mainfranken Theater Würzburg, the International Solo-Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart (3rd Prize Dance) and the TIF Theater in Kassel; and was selected as a THINK BIG choreographer-in-residence at Staatsoper Hannover. Upon returning to the States, Shannon founded VIM VIGOR DANCE COMPANY as the home for her collaborative choreographic and educational endeavors. The company debuted in NYC to sold-out audiences and during its inaugural year has had commissions in California, Canada, and Central America. Additional projects for Shannon include commissions from fashion label PHELAN, Springboard Danse Festival in Montreal, Hubbard Street 2, and BEACH SESSIONS in NYC; notable festivals and venues where her work has been seen include New York Live Arts, Judson Church, PULSE Fair at Art Basel, Bryant Park Presents, NYC’s River to River Festival, the Joyce Theater, and Jacob’s Pillow. Dedicated to contemporary dance theater education, Gillen is on faculty at SUNY Purchase College, teaches at the B12 workshops in Berlin, The Juilliard Summer Program, MIP at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and with VIM VIGOR’s summer intensive: focused on floorwork, partnering, improvisation, composition and acting. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and earned her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and maintains close creative relationships with both conservatories.

Photo: Arnaud Falchier

Photo: David Bazemore

Company SBB - Stefanie Batten Bland
June 5-9
Artistic Director: Stefanie Batten Bland

Unguarded by abstraction and undeterred by convention, the emotional content of Stefanie Batten Bland’s work is directly accessible; its social and philosophical message is visceral. Her work, interdisciplinary dance installations, integrate movement with the visual and music arts. They are site-specific and designed to embrace space and community within. Beginning in New York City, followed by over ten years in Europe before a return to Soho six years ago, Stefanie Batten Bland’s career has taken a geographically circuitous path to her present status as a Jerome Robbins Award honoree.

In 2008, while head choreographer of the Paris Opera Comique, in France under direction of Jérôme Savary, Stefanie founded Company SBB so that she might better investigate the human condition and relationships within our natural world. Her pieces, a passionate response to world issues with an optimistic belief in community, radiate with profound humanity, generosity and keen observation of human nature. They have been acknowledged with great acclaim.

In addition to dances commissioned by the Second Avenue Dance Company (New York City), Modlin Center for the Arts (Richmond, VA), Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis, MN), Transitions Dance Company (London), Alvin Ailey ll Company (New York City) and Frontier Danceland (Singapore), Batten Bland’s work for her own troupe, Company SBB , has been seen in the United States, Europe and Asia.

While the majority of her creative efforts are committed to creating site specific installations, Batten Bland has created nine films that have been seen in international festivals in Europe, South America, the United States and South Africa. She has also choreographed for Guerlain Perfumes, Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton, SYTYCD-Poland and the French Presidential Gala of Cannes in 2012.

Awards include: 2016 Jerome Robbins Award, 2016 Schonberg Fellow The Yard, 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artists Choice Award, 2014/15 Alvin Ailey Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab Fellow, 2014 Joffrey Ballet Choreographer of Color and a 2010-2012 Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artist/Jerome Robbins NEW Fellow.

As a performer Batten Bland danced for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Sean Curran Company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Angelin Preljocaj and Julie Taymor, Compagnie Georges Momboye, Compagnie Linga, Pal Frenak, Pina Bausch Tanz Theater Wüppertal and Punch Drunk. She is currently completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts with concentration in Performance Creation at Goddard College in Vermont and teaches improvisation and contemporary partnering at Ailey/Fordham BFA program.


Photo: Kisha Bari, of Patient(ce) Performer Yeman Brown

Photo: JC Dhien

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company
June 12-16
Artistic Director:  Bill T. Jones

Now in its 33rd year, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company was born out of an 11-year collaboration between Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (1948–1988). During this time, they redefined the duet form and foreshadowed issues of identity, form and social commentary that would change the face of American dance. The Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 40 countries on every major continent and is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the dance-theater world.

The repertory of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is widely varied in its subject matter, visual imagery and stylistic approach to movement, voice and stagecraft and includes musically-driven works as well as works using a variety of texts. The Company has been acknowledged for its intensely collaborative method of creation that has included artists as diverse as Keith Haring, Cassandra Wilson, The Orion String Quartet, the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, Fred Hersch, Jenny Holzer, Robert Longo, Julius Hemphill and Daniel Bernard Roumain, among others. The collaborations of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with visual artists were the subject of Art Performs Life (1998), a groundbreaking exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.

The Company has distinguished itself through extensive community outreach and educational programs, including partnerships with Bard College, where company members teach an innovative curriculum rooted in the Company’s creative model and highly collaborative methods; and with Lincoln Center Institute, which uses Company works in its educator-training and in-school repertory programs. University and college dance programs throughout the U.S. work with the Company to reconstruct significant works for their students. The Company conducts intensive workshops for professional and pre-professional dancers and produces a broad range of discussion events at home and on the road, all born from the strong desire to “participate in the world of ideas.”

Photo: Ian Douglass

Photo: Ian Douglass

Photo: Ian Douglass

Complexions Contemporary Ballet
June 19-23
Artistic Director: Desmond 

Complexions was founded in 1994 by Master Choreographer Dwight Rhoden and the legendary Desmond Richardson with a singular approach to reinventing dance through a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures. Today, Complexions represents one of the most recognized and respected performing arts brands in the world. Having presented an entirely new and exciting vision of human movement on 5 continents, over 20 countries, to over 20 million television viewers and to well over 300,000 people in live audiences, Complexions is poised to continue its mission of bring unity to the world one dance at a time.

Complexions has received numerous awards including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award. It has appeared throughout the US, including the Joyce Theater/NY, Lincoln Center/NY, Brooklyn Academy of Music/NY, Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts/New Orleans, Paramount Theatre/Seattle, The Music Center/Los Angeles, Winspear Opera House/Dallas, Cutler Majestic Theater/Boston, New Victory Theater/NY, and Music Hall/Detroit, The Bolshoi Theater, The Kremlin, The Mikhailovsky Theater, Melbourne Arts Center, and will make it's debut at the Kennedy Center in 2017, as a part of Ballet Across America.

The Company has appeared at major European dance festivals including Italy’s Festival of Dance ,the Isle De Dance Festival in Paris, the Maison De La Dance Festival in Lyon, the Holland Dance Festival, Steps International Dance Festival in Switzerland, Łódź Biennale, Warsaw Ballet Festival, Kraków Spring Ballet Festival, the Dance Festival of Canary Islands/Spain, and the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur/Canada.  In addition Complexions has toured extensively throughout the Baltic Regions, Korea, Brazil, Japan, Egypt, Israel, Russia, New Zealand, Bermuda, Serbia, Jamaica, and Australia.

The company’s foremost innovation is that dance should be about removing boundaries, not reinforcing them. Whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue, or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole.

In 2006, Complexions held their first Summer Intensive program, serving 80 students in its first year. The program has grown to multiple cities and serves over up to 600 students annually. Since 2009, a Winter Intensive was added to the roster, serving an additional 400 students, and CCB added its Pre- Professional Program in 2016. Complexions’ artistic directors and company members teach master classes throughout the world, sharing the Complexions technique with dancers of all levels. 

Together, Rhoden and Richardson have created in Complexions an institution that embodies its historical moment, a sanctuary where those passionate about dance can celebrate its past while simultaneously building its future. In the 23 years since its inception, the company has borne witness to a world that is becoming more fluid, more changeable, and more culturally interconnected than ever before—in other words, a world that is becoming more and more like Complexions itself.


Photo: Rachel Neville

Photo: Jae Man Joo

Raja Feather Kelly
June 26-30
Artistic Director: Raja Feather Kelly

Recipient of the 2016 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography, Raja Feather Kelly was born in Fort Hood, Texas and is the first and only choreographer to dedicate the entirety of his company’s work to Andy Warhol. He is the creator of Andy Warhol’s 25 Cats Name Sam; Andy Warhol’s Drella (I love you Faye Driscoll)Andy Warhol’s 15: Color MeWarholAnother Reasons 37 To Cry (Another Warholian Production); Andy Warhol’s Tropico; and many short works, all of which have been created and performed throughout various theatres in New York City. For over a decade, Kelly has worked throughout the United States and abroad (Austria, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, and France) in search of the connections between popular culture and humanity and their integration into experiential dance-theatre. Kelly currently choreographs, writes, and directs his own work as Artistic Director of the feath3r theory, a culture-driven dance-theatre company.

He is a two-time recipient of Jerome Foundation commissioning funds for emerging artists (Dixon Place 2015, Danspace Project 2016), Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant recipient (2013–2015 Paris + Lyon, France), 2016 Dancemapolitan Commissioned Choreographer, 2015 Dixon Place Dance Artist in Residence, LMCC Workspace Resident Recipient, and an Emerging Choreographer residency at Bates Dance Festival. He has been the Guest Choreographer in Residence at Princeton University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Florida, University of Utah, and Middlebury College; the Harkness Choreographer in Residence at Hunter College; 2009 and 2011 Dance Web Scholar (Vienna, Austria); and has received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Kelly is a 2016 Gelsey Kirkland Academy Artist in Residence.

Kelly can be seen in the work of Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, Rebecca Lazier, and Christopher Williams. He has formerly been a company member with David Dorfman Dance, Zoe | Juniper, Racedance, and PearsonWidrig DanceTheater. Kelly collaborates with Tzveta Kassabova and Paul Matteson. He has had the pleasure of performing in the work of Colleen Thomas and Dancers, and Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion. He received his BA in both Dance (with honors, concentration in Choreography and Performance) and English (with honors, concentration in Poetry) from Connecticut College. Raja lives in Brooklyn, New York with loved ones and continues his quest for enlightenment through self-help books and memoirs.

Photo: Aitor Mendilibar