DANCE NEWS: Dance/NYC Announces Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program Grantees

DANCE NEWS: Dance/NYC Announces Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program Grantees

Published on December 23, 2021
Larissa Velez-Jackson's "Star Pû Method" at Princeton University

The dance service organization Dance/NYC and its program partner Gibney are pleased to announce the 10 recipients of the second iteration of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, made possible by the generous support of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund, and the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. The purpose of the residency program is to expand opportunities for dancers with disabilities, including spinal cord injury (SCI) and other impairments, and to advance accessibility and equity for disabled dance artists within the larger dance, residency, and presenting communities.

The recipients of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, from December 6, 2021 to March 5, 2022, are:

• x
• Sonya Rio-Glick
• Ogemdi Ude
• Larissa Velez-Jackson / LVJ Performance Co.
• iele paloumpis
• Elisabeth Motley
• Elisa Hernandez
• David Lee Sierra
• Anna Gichan
• Alison Kopit

Image: A collage of headshots of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. 2021-2022 Grantees. From left to right and top to bottom:

Sonya Rio-Glick. Photo by Amelia Wright. A black and white image of Sonya from the chest up seated outdoors. Sonya is a petite white 20-something woman with layered shoulder length dark hair and dark facial features. Her body is facing slightly to the left, her head turned to the camera. There is a slight curve in her posture. Her face is alive, lips parted slightly. Her hair is flipped to the left, exposing a side shave on the right side of her head. She wears a sleeveless black and white striped top revealing muscular arms.

David Sierra. Photo courtesy the artist. David Sierra, a white trans woman with light skin and dark blonde hair parted in the center, looks toward the viewer. She tilts her head while her body, visible from torso up, faces left in side profile over a light gray background. Her eyes are soft and direct as she gazes outward. She wears a black silk button-down, silver chain-link earrings, and a thin silver nose ring.

Ogemdi Ude. Photo by Sophie Schwartz. A dark skinned Black femme with dark brown hair stares at the camera with a slight smile on her face. She is wearing pink and green earrings and a white top, and is seated in front of a white and mustard painted wall, with small white plaster sculptures attached to it.

iele paloumpis. Photo courtesy of iele paloumpis. iele takes a selfie on a ferry boat. iele is a white genderqueer person with dark curls and eyes. They wear a large fur-lined hood and wire-rimmed glasses, and look content with a subtle closed-mouth smile. Their lips are a bit rosy from the cool air. In the background, there is the East River and NY city skyline at sunset. The colors in the sky range from pale blue to light orange, with a couple of soft grey clouds. The water reflects the light from the sky in ripples. 

Elisabeth Motley. Photo by Iki Nakagawa elisabeth, a white woman with short brown hair throws their head back to their left. Wrists and arms curl outward. They wear a sparkling tank top and turquoise/black pants. behind them is the stone marble of the alter at Judson Church.

Alison Kopit. Photo by Aster Harrison. Alison, a white femme with long brown hair and blue eyes smiles up at the camera. She is wearing light purple lipstick, wire glasses, and green earrings with a blue floral button-up dress. Dark stones are blurry in the background.

Larissa Velez-Jackson. Photo by Gregory Kramer. A black and white portrait of middle-aged, Latina, cisgender woman with curly black hair and touches of grey. She snarls her upper right lip while looking with both eyes to the right, wearing a sequined top and jacket that sparkles with a large ring on her right hand that touches her cheek.

x. Photo by Samantha Bajonero. x, a Black, hypermobile, agender person stands with their face and body turned at a slight profile angle standing against a light colored wall. x has dramatic rouge on their cheeks and nose and is wearing dark gray coveralls with their dark hair in two afro puffs.

Anna Gichan. Photo by Gail Shulman. Anna, a white young woman with rosy cheekbones and a warm closed smile looks at the camera with clear brown eyes. Her long brunette hair drapes over her left shoulder revealing a turquoise blue earring. She’s sitting in front of a white wall wearing a navy top that ties at her collarbone. 

Elisa Hernandez. Photo by Nina Hernandez.
Elisa is a white woman with her brown hair tied in a low ponytail, and her large brown eyes looking towards the camera with a slight smile. She has a few large freckles scattered around on her face. She is wearing medium sized hoop earrings, and is standing in front of a window with a grey curtain that is exposing a sliver of sunlight.

Grantees will participate in either in-person residencies hosted by Gibney in New York City or digital residencies in which Gibney hosts a virtual gathering space. The 10 grantees include representatives from two boroughs of New York City, The Bronx (1) and Brooklyn (6); one representative from upstate New York; one representative from Georgia; and one representative from Pennsylvania. Dance/NYC is pleased to be able to expand the reach of the program beyond New York City in recognition of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which have led to the migration of many dance artists. Grantees are majority African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) and majority women-identifying, transgender, and gender nonconforming/non-binary/genderqueer individuals.

This residency includes, for the first time, a component which connects each grantee with a professional mentor for ten hours of dedicated consultation during the residency period. Drawn from across the arts ecosystem, the mentors represent an incredible range of expertise and experience. Mentors and grantees were matched based on grantee goals for their residency work and artistic career, in the categories of professional, artistic, or production development. This program component is crafted and guided by consultant Laurel Lawson, a choreographer and artist-engineer.

“The Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency program has consistently offered valuable resources to disabled dance artists, and I am happy to bring my work as an artist, researcher, and consultant in support of this program, disabled artists, and the field as a whole,” said Laurel Lawson, Director, Rose Tree Productions.

“With this iteration of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, Dance/NYC remains committed to building an ecosystem of support to ensure that disabled dance artists can continue to develop their artistry and have access to the resources they need to thrive,” said Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director of Dance/NYC. “As we continue to respond to the drastic shifts within our sector instigated by the global pandemic, it is critical that this time leads our sector to seed the current and next generation of disabled arts workers as we continue to center disability as a positive artistic, generative source.” 

"Gibney is deeply committed to advancing disability artistry and is proud to partner with Dance/NYC in this crucial work. We are honored to welcome this incredible cohort of grantees into our spaces and community in the coming year," said a Gibney representative. 

Each grantee will receive an honorarium of $5,000, an additional stipend of $1,000 for any accessibility needs, up to 36 hours of rehearsal time over the course of one week for in-person residencies or two consecutive weeks for digital residencies, a ten-class card at Gibney for in-person or digital dance classes, a 2-hour public activity with production support provided by Gibney, 10 hours of goal-directed mentorship or professional development consulting from an expert in the field, participation in two cohort convenings focused on professional development, and marketing support through Dance/NYC’s platforms. 

These ten grantees were selected by panel review and were among a competitive pool of 23 self-identified disabled dance makers or integrated dance companies led by people with disabilities that submitted applications in response to an open call. Key evaluation criteria included artistic excellence; potential to benefit from a residency; a commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion; and a diversity of participant types and perspectives. 

Dance/NYC established the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program in 2019 with its program partners Gibney and Spaceworks as part of its Disability. Dance. Artistry. Initiative. The first iteration of the program awarded residencies to a total of eight disabled dance artists and integrated dance companies across two rounds. The program responds directly to Dance/NYC’s research, Performing Disability. Dance. Artistry. (Dance.NYC/PerformingDDA18), which underscores the need and opportunity to engage residency centers in the professional development and training of disabled artists and to provide critical training to presenters, driving mentorship and shared learning among artists and presenters. 

The Dance Enthusiast Shares news from the dance world and creates conversation.
For more Dance News pieces, click here.
If you have important news to share, please send announcements or press release to!

The Dance Enthusiast - News, Reviews, Interviews and an Open Invitation for YOU to join the Dance Conversation.

Related Features

View More Features