CUNY Dance Initiative Sets 2016 Residencies

CUNY Dance Initiative Sets 2016 Residencies

Published on December 11, 2015
Chloe Arnold's Syncopated Ladies. Copyright of the artist.

23 Dance Companies & Choreographers Receive Residencies At 12 CUNY Colleges

The CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), a university-wide residency program heading into its third season, is awarding 23 dance companies/choreographers residencies at 12 CUNY colleges in 2016. CDI, led by New York City’s public university system, is a new model for collaboration. By facilitating residencies for New York City choreographers and dance companies on CUNY campuses, CDI aims to support dance artists, enhance college students’ cultural life and education, and build new audiences for dance at CUNY performing arts centers.

Between January and December 2016, 12 CUNY colleges in all five boroughs will host a total of 23 residencies. The residency artists and their projects represent a wide range of ideas and styles that reflect the diversity of the CUNY communities. In addition to providing space for artists to create work and rehearse, all of the CDI projects include programs for students and faculty (master classes and open rehearsals), along with public events such as work-in-progress showings and performances. CDI directly assists colleges with artist fees, rehearsal expenses, and marketing efforts. Artists are selected through an open application process, and each campus chooses its residency companies.

"We are very pleased to offer residencies to 23 dance companies and choreographers throughout CUNY. The previous residencies added an important dimension to the cultural life of our campuses with performances and opportunities for our students and faculty to follow the creation of an art form through open rehearsals and master classes," said James B. Milliken, Chancellor of The City University of New York.

CDI supports both established and emerging choreographers, and most of the artists choose to develop new work during their residencies. Held in studios and on stage, these residencies can take the form of early exploratory rehearsals or a refining of a nearly finished work for performance.

Chalk and Soot by Dance Heginbotham.

Chloe Arnold, Director of the Syncopated Ladies, stated, “In 2014 the CUNY Dance Initiative gave us a history-making platform to present our first full-length, all-female tap show in New York City. We are thrilled to be returning to CUNY through a CDI residency at City College Center for the Arts in 2016 and are excited to be creating and presenting new work.”

John Heginbotham, another returning choreographer, commented, “Dance Heginbotham had such a wonderful, productive experience during our residency at On Stage at Kingsborough last year, and we are honored to have been chosen to participate in a residency in 2016 at Brooklyn College. One of the major hurdles to the creation of new dance work in New York City is finding affordable rehearsal space. We are so grateful to the CDI and the presenter partners for this invaluable resource.”


List of 2016 Residencies

Baruch College: Baruch Performing Arts Center

  • Gyre and Gimble/Gabrielle Lamb
  • Urban Bush Women


Brooklyn College: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

  • Dance Heginbotham
  • Makeda Thomas


The City College of New York: Center for the Arts

  • The Black Iris Project
  • Syncopated Ladies


College of Staten Island: Department of Performing and Creative Arts

  • luciana achugar
  • Melissa West


Hostos Community College: Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture

  • Bennyroyce Dance
  • MAWU


John Jay College: Gerald W. Lynch Theater

  • Dzul Dance
  • Melissa Riker/Kinesis Project Dance Theatre


Kingsborough Community College: On Stage at Kingsborough

  • Carlos dos Santos
  • Ja’Malik


LaGuardia Community College: LaGuardia Performing Arts Center

  • Humans Collective
  • Miki Orihara


Lehman College: Department of Dance and Theatre

  • jill sigman/thinkdance
  • Khaled Barghouthi and Zoe Rabinowitz


Queensborough Community College: Department of Health, Physical Education, and Dance

  • Marjani Forte & Works
  • Sydnie L. Mosley Dances


Queens College: Kupferberg Center for the Arts

  • Caleb Teicher & Company
  • Vim Vigor Dance Company

Tribeca Performing Arts Center at BMCC

  • Azul Dance Theatre
Photo © Azul Dance Theatre


For more information about the CUNY Dance Initiative, visit or follow CDI on Facebook.


Related Features

View More Features