From the very beginning, we found ways to serve the larger community at the intersection of music and dance with unique service programs that fill a void in the arts scene in New York City and beyond. Here’s what we were doing:

The Periapsis Open Series

In our early seasons, we’d invite other choreographers to perform new work on our season performances and help them discover music by living, mostly emerging composers. They’d work with their own dancers but use our musicians (and often be in touch with the composers), gaining a collaborative opportunity that was extremely rare in New York City. This program has been discontinued, but it planted the seeds for a new program that became a major presence in New York.

In the spring of 2016, we initiated the Periapsis Open Series, a paid performance opportunity for New York-based choreographers who are creating work with composers and/or performing with live music. Curated by artistic director Jonathan Howard Katz, artists were chosen through an open application process. Through dedicated Open Series programs and by incorporating Open Series guests in our company’s programs, we’re able to showcase a huge range of talent, covering an impressive variety of artistic styles and ways in which the music and dance worlds can be brought together. This was a unique and valuable platform for artists who are creating their own innovative collaborations.

During COVID, the Ipseities program, also developed by Katz, presented guest choreographers in a similar way to the Periapsis Open Series, but focused around a particular artistic project.

Between the Periapsis Open Series and the other, similar programs, we’ve presented a staggering amount of work, including:

The Periapsis Open Series was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Emerging Artist Residencies

In June, 2017, at the end of our fifth season, we launched the pilot program of our Emerging Artist Residencies. Over two weeks, two pairs of choreographers and composers created new work on our company members (dancers and musicians), receiving valuable feedback along the way from guest teacher Janis Brenner. A culminating works-in-progress showing, with audience discussion, completed the program.

Selection was extremely competitive, with over fifty artists applying for only four spots. The following years were even more competitive; our 2018 and 2019 programs were hosted by NYU Tisch Department of Dance and brought in guest teachers Tiffany Rea-Fisher in 2018 and Janis Brenner again in 2019.

The Emerging Artist Residencies program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Online Resources and Other Programs

We found that there are many ways to facilitate choreographer/composer collaborations, even when not directly producing a performance. Our free informational resources were one way in which we explored these possibilities.

The Composer List was a way for choreographers to find composers who had expressed interest in dance collaborations. It was free, uncurated, and organized by city. Choreographers could just click on a name to visit that composer’s website, listen to their music, and get in touch with the composer if they chose to do so. By the end, a total of 644 composers had signed up, coming from 39 US states/territories and 55 other countries.

Other online resources included a text guide for choreographers working with musicians, and some Instagram videos touching upon topics of music copyright and licensing.

We also hosted networking events for composers and choreographers (collaborating with The Joyce Theater, NYU Tisch, and the Actors’ Fund), produced occasional live music workshops for choreographers, and offered a variety of educational programs.