DNA Is Here to Stay

June 5, 2012

It was almost two years ago that an email landed in my inbox with the disheartening subject line, “Dance New Amsterdam Faces Eviction.” The thought of this organization losing its home—a center for dance education, creation, and performance that serves countless dancers, teachers, and choreographers in New York—was unfathomable to me. Eviction from its six studios and 130-seat theater in the Sun Building, where it moved after 9/11 as part of an effort to revitalize Lower Manhattan, would have been an enormous loss to the city’s dance community.

The idea was unfathomable to DNA, too. For three years, the 28-year-old nonprofit (formerly known as Dance Space Center) has been in negotiations with its landlord Fram Realty and Abro Management to devise an amended lease—with victorious results. At a press conference last Friday, June 1, State Senator Daniel Squadron and DNA’s executive and artistic director Catherine Peila announced the news of an agreement to lower DNA’s monthly rent and rental debt. In short: DNA is staying put, and all of the artists, performers, students, educators, and dance enthusiasts it serves can breathe a collective sigh of relief. —Siobhan Burke