Dance/NYC Announces Recipients of Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dance/NYC Announces Recipients of Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program


The service organization Dance/NYC and its program partner Gibney are pleased to announce the fall recipients of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, made possible by the generous support of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. The purpose of the residency program is to expand opportunities for dancers with spinal cord injury (SCI) and other disabilities, and to advance accessibility and inclusion within the larger dance, residency, and presenting communities. 

The recipients of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, from August 15, 2019 to December 15, 2019, are:
Heidi Latsky Dance
Kinetic Light
Yo-Yo Lin

Heidi Latsky Dance, based in Manhattan, will focus a residency on two artists who emerged from a recent pilot program for people with SCI, furthering the artistic inquiry begun during this period. Kinetic Light, based in Los Altos, California, will commission the creation of a new work by Douglas Scott, where the integration is at the level of a nondisabled choreographer for two disabled artists (including one with SCI), instead of one disabled and one nondisabled dancer. Yo-Yo Lin, based in Ridgewood, NY,  will explore a practice in which her spinal cord injury generates unique movement, developing a work entitled ‘the walls of my room are curved.’

“The Neilsen Foundation is pleased to support Dance/NYC’s leadership role in championing opportunities for dance artists with spinal cord injury,” stated Jane Otto, Program Officer for the Creating Opportunity & Independence portfolio. “The Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program confronts the primary barriers faced by dancers and choreographers with SCI: accessibility and inclusion. In doing so, Dance/NYC is helping to define a new paradigm for dance artistry.”

“With the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency program, Dance/NYC aims to provide an ecosystem of support to disabled dance artists,” said Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director of Dance/NYC. “In doing so, we will continue to put disability front and center as a positive artistic and generative source.”

Each grantee will receive an honorarium of $5,000, an additional stipend of $1,000 for personal care assistant(s) if needed, up to 60 hours of rehearsal time at Gibney, a ten-class card at Gibney, administrative space, and marketing and convening support. 

These three grantees were selected by panel review and were among a competitive pool of self-identified disabled dance makers that submitted applications in response to an open call. Key evaluation criteria included artistic excellence; central roles for dance artists living with SCI; a commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion; and diversity of participant types and perspectives.

Dance/NYC and its program partners Gibney and Spaceworks established the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program in 2019, as part of its Disability. Dance. Artistry. Initiative and made possible by the generous support of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund. Inspired by a Craig H. Neilsen Foundation grant to the Vermont Studio Center to establish residencies for visual artists and writers with SCI, Dance/NYC’s new program will advance the cultural ecosystem to expressly and equitably foster opportunities for disabled dance artists. It responds directly to recent 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.

In March 2019, Dance/NYC announced the following spring recipients of the residency program: AXIS Dance Company, Carina Ho, Infinity Dance Theater, Mark Travis Rivera/marked dance project, and Pelenakeke Brown. Read the full announcement at Dance.NYC.

About Dance/NYC (Dance.NYC)
Dance/NYC’s mission is to promote the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan New York City area. It embeds values of justice, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the organization. It works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.

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Visit Dance.NYC/DDA for details on Dance/NYC’s Disability. Dance. Artistry. initiative.

About Gibney (
Founded in 1991, Gibney is a performing arts and social justice organization. Its mission is to tap into the vast potential of movement, creativity, and performance to effect social change and personal transformation through three interrelated areas of activity - Community Action, Company and Centers. Community Action is a worldwide leader in arts and social action and since 1999 has used dance to give voice to survivors of intimate partner violence through empowering creative workshops. More recently its Hands are for Holding program uses dance as a tool for anti-violence advocacy and to promote healthy and respectful relationships among underserved New York City youth. Gibney Dance Company is a new model that actives dancers as Artistic Associates whose work comprises artistry, advocacy and activism. Gibney Centers provide a powerhouse of cultural support for the performing arts community and the City itself with three remarkable spaces – Gibney Studios at 890 Broadway; Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, and adjacent Next Phase Space at 280 Broadway. The Centers comprise 52,000 square feet and feature 23 studios, 4 performance spaces, a Gallery, Community Action Hub, Learning and Leadership Studio, and Digital Media Lab.

About the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those affected by and living with spinal cord injury.

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