Bronx Moves is an on-going outdoor performance project that focuses on artists as catalysts who can draw attention to the residents, history and approaching changes happening to the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx and its environs.

Bronx Moves featured Hunts Point Homes (Spring 2013), and S.P.E.D the BX (Spring 2014).

S.P.E.D the BX  —  Larissa Velez Jackson and dancers (Tyler James Ashley, Miguel Angel Guzmán, Sarah Holcman) created a durational site-specific work that culminated at Casita Maria for an audience of 70 children and BRONXNET cable television.  The dancers toured local arts centers by car and performed at outdoor locations (with a mobile sound system) to help heighten awareness of the arts and cultural work in the area, and create additional bridges between residents and venues. Performance date: Friday May 2, 2014

Presented in collaboration with Casita Marian Center for the Arts and Education and BAAD!, with additional support from the Bronx Music Heritage Center and The Point.

S.P.E.D. The Bronx by Larissa Velez-Jackson Schedule and location info.

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© Melissa Bunni Elain, 2014

LVJ SPEDBX 8.5x11 Flyer Final

 

Spring 2013 featured Hunts Point Homes

 

 

 

Hts Pt Homes pix groana melendez 2013

© Groana Melendez, 2013

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Spring 2013 featured Hunts Point Homes

Artists residency with: dancer/choreographers Alicia Diaz and Matthew Thornton, Marion Ramirez and Jung Woong Kim, and multi-media artist Hatuey Ramos Fermin. Informal showing: May 19, 2013

Spring 2013 ARTIST RESIDENCY at BAAD!

Artists: dancer/choreographers Alicia Diaz and Matthew Thornton, Marion Ramirez and Jung Woong Kim, and multi-media artist Hatuey Ramos Fermin. Informal showing: May 19, 2013.  The project was supported, in part, by BAAD! and Majora Carter.

At BAAD!’s theater space, the artists rehearsed, and met with local art and community leaders: Petrushka Bazin Larsen (The Laundromat Project), Kellie Terry-Sepulveda (The Point C.D.C.), Majora Carter (Majora Carter Group/MacArthur Fellow), Charles Rice-Gonzalez (author and co-founder of BAAD!/Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) as part of their local research. Arthur Aviles, choreographer and co-founder of BAAD!, also generously gave the artists a personal tour of his neighborhood.

The artists used research material gathered from the residents/cultural workers in this micro-residency project to create an informal performance work grounded in the surroundings and stories of Hunts Point. The showing took place in BAAD!’s theater space and outside – along Barretto and Manida Streets. Audiences were located outside and then inside to see the work shown in both theater and outdoor locations. Audience included urban planners, other artists and scholars, local residents who contributed to the Q&A. The project brought others outside of the art field into Hunts Point to create a place of exchange about urban space, entrepreneurship and gentrification, and personal story. This community project aimed to help celebrate and highlight current and future needs and histories in the area through its residents and cultural workers. This residency was meant to be a first step towards cultivating a series of small-scale, site-specific community-based performing arts projects in the area.

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© Marisol Diaz, 2013

 

Hunts Point Project was first launched at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, May 2012.

All photos © Miguel Anaya, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/miguelanaya/sets/72157629864245818/

 

Curatorial Statement: Danspace Project

Urban Conversations: City as Choreographer

If you take the train to a location that you travel to often, do you chose where to stand on the platform so that when you enter the train car, you will get off just in front of the staircase that will lead you to the closest exit to your destination?

The city choreographs us daily, in many ways. Yet there are few ramps for the parents to push their strollers up from one platform to another level, the elevators are often slow, smelly, and full, and there are few landing sites along the staircases for an older person to sit and catch their breath.

We are more often contained than supported.

How do we continue to create a conversation with the city where we live?

I’ve been thinking about the possible role that artists who work with movement improvisation can play in urban design.

Urban design has to do with the physical improvement of the public environment—the function, arrangement and appearance of towns and cities, and especially with the shaping and use of urban public space. Here we also include semi-public spaces, which include this space, a place where everybody can come if they pay. Urban design is about making connections between movement and urban form, between people and places, nature and built fabric.

Tonight we will see three works by artists who all use internal energy practice and awareness along with improvisation as the starting point of their work. These artists are also interested in working in public, urban contexts to claim and inhabit these spaces and break conventional ideas of how space can be used for movement. Through their physical and/or conceptual works, the artists have experience engaging with others and using that interaction as a means to further support their own artistic practice. This evening offers a glimpse into different points of development of each of their future community art projects. Each project centers on ideas of specific location, history and future of particular spaces. This evening celebrates the graduation and changing ground of Noemí Segarra’s project, PISO, as well as the beginning of a new artistic collaboration with five artists: Alicia Díaz and Matthew Thornton, Marion Ramirez and Jung Woong Kim with new media artist Hatuey Ramos Fermin.

Noemi Segarra first began working on her project PISO in her home studio in Santurce, Puerto Rico. When Segarra was selected for a Fellowship by Beta-Local, PISO then moved to the semi-public space there in San Juan. Since June 2011, Marili Pizarro, PISO’s core practitioner, and Segarra, PISO’s moderator/director, have been continuously practicing this form together. PISO is a platform to engage and question displacement through the body. PISO (in English: floor) is a mobile wood platform that houses corporeal investigation and movement research. PISO cultivates the practice of improvisation through mentorship and contemplation and has been conceived to situate art and daily life in a transitory and more attainable relationship. During her Fellowship, Segarra, Pizarro and other students and practitioners brought PISO to more than twenty outdoor sites: parking lots, residential areas, demolished or abandoned sites, Plaza del Mercado, in front of specialized public schools, outdoor dance and music hang out spots.The opportunity to show PISO at Danspace is something of a celebratory graduation of the work Segarra has established in Puerto Rico and an introduction to its potential here in NYC.

The shared evening of work with Agua Dulce Dance Theater (Alicia Díaz and Matthew Thornton) with Kim Ramirez (Marion Ramirez and Jung Woong Kim) is the continuation of an artistic relationship that began in 2005 when Marion and Alicia began working together on a collaborative performance. Tonight’s presentation of their separate works is also a next and beginning step towards the development of a project that we plan to launch in Spring 2013 as a collaboration with Pepatian at BAAD! and the surrounding area of Hunts Point. This project, Hunts Point Homes, is the springboard for an artistic collaboration that is firmly tied to place with interviews of residents who live on nearby Manida Street to create a final multidisciplinary project in and around BAAD! in 2013-14. During the process of artists’ residencies, there will also be opportunity for an invited group of urban planners, architects, scholars, community members and other artists, local business owners, community board members, and other venue directors to table around the location, history and future of Hunts Point. Changes are happening and this project endeavors to “get ahead” of these developments to further integrate a response and an engagement as the changes occur. The artists’ work is the centerpiece of this community-minded project.

The introduction of practioners of parkour to architects has created change in urban design. Here we also hope to suggest that movement improvisers could also offer some contribution to design and suggest possibilities of unscripted movement that supports interconnectivity and ownership in urban public spaces. In Hunts Point especially, there is also more of a population of working class residents, mostly from the Spanish Caribbean, who are often not part of the urban discussion for plans that change their neighborhood. In the case of the Hunts Point Vision Plan, many local organizations were solicited for their opinions and were drawn into the plans for the area, but even so, there is often a feeling of nervousness and uncertainty when change happens. This project, Hunts Point Homes, hopes to bring more people into the conversation through ongoing workshop/discussions, artist’s residencies, online and real time documentation to promote more points of engagement and discussion about what is next for the area.

PISO and Hunts Point Homes endeavor to promote greater thoughtfulness about home and what home is going to be, along the intersections of improvised movement practices and urban design.

We hope you enjoy the evening of works as each artist presents their independent creative vision, and you are very welcome to participate in the post-performance discussion with Arthur Aviles of BAAD! and Michy Marxauch of Beta-Local. We hope you will stay and join us. -Jane Gabriels