Announcing Studio D as a Percussive Dance Friendly Space - Gibney
Week of August 14, 2020
Making space for

Announcing Studio D as a Percussive Dance Friendly Space

Studio D

Gibney is thrilled to announce that Studio D at Gibney 280 Broadway is now a percussive dance friendly space!  

We are committed to making space for percussive dance forms and the legacies they carry to thrive at our Centers. We hope that this beautiful studio will be a home for percussive dance for years to come.

New York’s percussive dance community was instrumental in creating this change, and we thank them for their advocacy. Thank you, especially, to the participants in our Town Hall for Percussive Dance Artists, organized by Senior Curatorial Director Eva Yaa Asantewaa with facilitators Ayodele Casel and Brinda Guha.

“I’m excited for our percussive dance communities and look forward to the opportunity to work more closely with these wonderful artists in my curation at Gibney. This development testifies to the power of speaking up for what you need and the parallel power of listening with respect. Let’s have more of this at Gibney and everywhere!” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Senior Curatorial Director

Screenshot of an Instagram Video.Video of Ayodele Casel tap dancing in Studio D, Gibney 280 Broadway.

“My deepest gratitude to Gina Gibney, Gibney, and Eva Yaa Asantewaa for not only listening to our committed and insistent percussive dance community regarding our marginalization in dance spaces but taking action in such a significant way. As a tap dancer and choreographer, I am inspired and joyful in anticipation of being able to create work in a studio filled with so much light, overlooking one of our city’s landmarks, that offers an expansive sprung wood floor necessary for the continued health of our bodies and the integrity of our art.” – Ayodele Casel, tap artist/choreographer/educator

To have a space that is committed to the development of dance that makes rhythm, makes music, makes NOISE, is pivotal to the equity us percussive dancers have been seeking for a long time. As a world dance artist, I know I speak for many when I say that these doors opening will most definitely minimize the space between the various dance communities that make up the tapestry of the larger dance-making fabric of our city. The possibilities are endless!” – Brinda Guha, contemporary Indian dance artist/choreographer/educator

Town Hall gathering of people about percussive dance.Photo from the Town Hall.

“Percussive dancers share a common relationship between sound, rhythm, and movement. Sprung, hardwood floors are our instrument, and are increasingly rare to find in appropriate sizes and at affordable rates in today’s competitive rental market. As space that accommodates the needs of percussive dance dwindles across the city, this announcement is a tremendous step forward for our community. We are beyond grateful for the reflection of values that this announcement demonstrates and thrilled to have the needs of these practices accommodated in full at a landmark space like Gibney 280.” – Donald Borror, Executive Director, Dorrance Dance

“In the ‘old days,’ I seem to remember more studios that just had wood floors where all kinds of dancing could happen⁠—like Clark Center, Fareta’s, Lesley’s, and of course Fazil’s. It just seems more studios now are more oriented to non-percussive dance. The folks at Gibney, at that follow-up session, seemed to get the message that tappers often feel like second-class folks, having to adapt to a space, rather than the space being ready to accept the tapper. Hopefully, there will be progress!” – Hank Smith, interdisciplinary performer, tap artist

Gibney extends sincere thanks to everyone who joined the Town Hall and the key participants in pushing this change forward: Ayodele Casel, Brinda Guha, Hanaah Bates, Donald Borror, Margaret Morrison, Hank Smith, Chris Buckley, Elyse Desmond, Mario Alberto Flores, Dayron Napoles Rubant, Mariana Spósito, and many more.