Late last night, a new chapter in the saga surrounding NYC dance organizations' struggles with space was confirmed. The Wall Street Journal reported that Gibney Dance has just signed a new 20-year lease for space in 280 Broadway, the former home of Dance New Amsterdam. Gibney Dance will keep its current studio space in the 890 Broadway building and expand offerings in both locations.
While many may still be lamenting the recent loss of Dance New Amsterdam, there are certainly many positives to this announcement—most of all that NYC is not losing a hub for dance. New York City is a primary stakeholder of 280 Broadway, and when it was rebuilt following 9/11, it was earmarked as a cultural institution. After DNA declared bankruptcy in May and finally closed its doors in October, the city was on a hunt for a new dance group to inhabit the building.
Gibney's new dance center will open as soon as possible following renovations; plans include the creation of a digital media center, a high-tech performance lab and a black box theater. (In the meantime, all scheduled classes will continue at 890 Broadway until further notice.) The new space will also host Gibney Dance Center classes, though rehearsal and performance space for emerging artists is its primary goal. To prevent some of the financial woes that plagued DNA, Gibey plans to continue its current model of renting space to both commercial and non-profit groups—but at different rates. (A Broadway show, for instance, can pay much more than a burgeoning dance group, and the fees from a large commercial venture can subsidize the reduced rates for non-profits.)
Have thoughts on the new space? Gibney Dance wants to hear from you. They're hosting an open forum (in conjunction with Dance/NYC) on January 29 to "share ideas, assess needs and discuss the future of the space." It will be held from 6–7:30pm at 280 Broadway. Click here for details.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.
I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.
I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.
That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?