Jawole Willa Jo Zollar "is an artist who understands how to pull things out to find the essence of a work," says Robert Battle. Here, Zollar in the studio with Ailey dancers. Photo by Erica Hochstedler, Courtesy AAADT
Coming this fall to the ever-expanding Ailey organization is an intriguing new event: the Choreography Unlocked festival. From Oct. 12–14 and 26–28, the Joan Weill Center for Dance will host workshops, performances and panel discussions. It is an extension of Ailey's New Directions Choreography Lab, an annual residency fellowship for four emerging and mid-career choreographers, founded by artistic director Robert Battle in 2011.
Cameron McKinney working with students at The Ailey School through the New Directions Choreography Lab. Photo by Nicole Tintle, Courtesy AAADT
The festival offers a rare experience for choreographers to work collectively on their craft, and for students and public audiences to interact firsthand with the process of creating dance. "Choreographers tend to section off on their own, so I wanted to offer classes for them to come together and vibe off each other," says Battle. He also hopes to demystify the choreographic process for audiences.
Netta Yerushalmy (back left) deconstructs masterworks in Paramodernities. Photo by Paula Lobo, Courtesy Yerushalmy
In Paramodernities, Netta Yerushalmy deconstructs dance masterworks and presents their movement alongside scholarly essays that contextualize them. Yerushalmy has had a sterling dance career, working with Doug Varone's company and freelancing with notables like Joanna Kotze, as well as making her own dances. This particular project is in demand in such places as Jacob's Pillow this month, and later at venues across the country, including multiple New York City sites.
Kotze and her collaborators in rehearsal. Photo by Carolyn Silverman, Courtesy NYLA
Joanna Kotze can twist and lurch in surprising ways. Her rigorous, vigorous, juicy and slightly zany choreography has been gaining attention in recent years. For What will we be like when we get there, she collaborates with dancer Netta Yerushalmy, visual artist Jonathan Allen and composer Ryan Seaton to explore intimacy and all its accompanying fantasies and flaws. New York Live Arts, March 28–31. newyorklivearts.org.