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jill sigman/thinkdance's 25th Anniversary and Premiere of "Re-Seeding (Encounter #3: The Commons)"

jill sigman/thinkdance's 25th Anniversary and Premiere of "Re-Seeding (Encounter #3: The Commons)"


jill sigman/thinkdance


Gibney 280, Studio D
280 Broadway (entrance at 53A Chambers Street)
New York, NY 10007


Friday, June 21, 2024 - 7:00pm
Saturday, June 22, 2024 - 3:00pm, 7:00pm
Sunday, June 23, 2024 - 3:00pm



jill sigman/thinkdance

For 25 years, jill sigman/thinkdance has worked with bodies, found materials, and alternative geographies to envision a future in which we reconnect with the natural world and each other in the service of personal, communal, and environmental healing. This June, jill sigman/thinkdance celebrates its milestone 25th anniversary with the world premiere of Re-Seeding (Encounter #3: The Commons) and a series of pre-show events and conversations at Gibney. 

Continuing the company’s movement, sound, and visual research practices, Re-Seeding (Encounter #3: The Commons) is a rigorous ritual-based process grounded in an exploration of our interconnectedness to land and each other. It grows out of Sigman’s many years of making dances and installations about environmental and social justice issues. Building on this, Re-Seeding asks what it could mean for humans to “re-seed” themselves on land where they are not native—land that has been colonized and occupied — in a way that moves toward healing. What would it mean to understand the past and aspire toward collective well-being? What can those living in diaspora learn from plants that root themselves in new places and contribute to ecosystems in positive ways? In essence, it is a search for a better way to live on and with this land and its history.

For Sigman, Re-Seeding is at once personal and political. “It has its origins in my relationship to New York as a settler born on traditional Munsee Lenape homeland in what is now called Brooklyn,” said Sigman. “Through the interrelated practices of dancing, researching, foraging wild plants, and working with clay, I try to metabolize a lineage of Jewish grief, genocide, and displacement on land where that same lineage makes me part of a history of colonial trauma. And at the same time, that lineage of violence now heartbreakingly reinvents itself and inflicts genocide on the people of Gaza. Re-Seeding asks how we break these patterns.” 

As part of the artistic process, the dancers engaged in a series of activations at different sites, researched their own family lineages, and met with Indigenous artists and activists, to experience the entanglement of their own embodied histories of displacement with the histories of the land they rehearsed on. This particular iteration of Re-Seeding is performed in a space that overlooks the historic site of the public commons of colonial New York City. As with all of Sigman’s work, the research-gathering has shaped Re-Seeding’s multilayered vocabulary and underlying rhythm, energy, and logic. The piece is composed of detailed improvisational scores that, taken together, form a ritual calling for deep listening, relationality, and transformation. 

The live movement and sound scores are created and performed by dancers Dani “dan” Cole, Donna Costello, zavé martohardjono, J’nae Simmons, Stacy Lynn Smith, and Sigman. Re-Seeding features a live score for voice, electronics, and percussion by Kristin Norderval (composer, voice, laptop), Gustavo Aguilar (percussion), and Miguel Frasconi (glass), and live painting with plant pigments by visual artist Paula Walters Parker. Dramaturgical support by Marguerite Hemmings. Ceramics by Jill Sigman. Contributions to the process by Amala’ika Rinyire.

Performances are Friday June 21, at 7pm, Saturday, June 22, at 3pm and 7pm, and Sunday, June 23, at 3pm. The performances on Friday and Saturday will be followed by a discussion with the artists. Following Sunday’s performance, there will be a 25th anniversary celebration with light bites, tea, and company memorabilia.


Pre-show gatherings in the Gibney Gallery:

Friday, June 21 & Saturday, June 22 @ 6pm: Pre-Show Tea With Special Guests

Join jill sigman/thinkdance for wild edible tea in a casual setting where guests can meet a fascinating array of scholars, activists, and artists whose work intersects with the company’s projects, and hear their ideas about environmental justice, plants, waste, and repair.

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