I Heart Gibney: Interviews on Dance & Love - Gibney
Week of July 15, 2020
Making space for

I Heart Gibney: Interviews on Dance & Love

6 different photos of people dancing

A Celebration of all things Gibney, I <3 Gibney is our annual performance showcase, presenting works by Gibney’s vibrant community of staff, renters, teachers, colleagues, and supporters. 

Senior Curatorial Director Eva Yaa Asantewaa sat down with the presenting artists and hosts to hear more about how dance is a form of love. 

Get your tickets for I <3 Gibney on February 11, 2020 at The Theater at Gibney 280 Broadway.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: Who is your most loved dance ancestor?

Leal Zielinska (Gibney Company Artistic Associate): Whenever I steer away from the reason to dance, I rewatch Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Werner Herzog’s incredible documentary film. It follows explorers, as they access the never-before researched Chauvet Cave in southern France, discovering ancient visual art dating over 30,000 years. The thought of our early ancestors having the need to create, express themselves, to tell stories and share their identities, moves me to think of what dance must have meant to them! It never fails to inspire me to see the inevitability of humans being artists. Read Leal’s full interview here

Kevin Gotkin (Gibney’s 2019 Moving Toward Justice Cohort Member): Lisa Bufano, a disabled interdisciplinary artist well-regarded for her work in dance, performance, doll-making and animation. The first time I saw her work, she was using Queen Anne-style table legs as prosthetics that created stunningly novel aesthetics and animacies. I love the way her work attends to the exquisite specificity of disabled bodies and draws on so many forms of artistry at once. Read Kevin’s full interview here.

Woman in a saturated pink light as she moves.
Photo of Gibney Company Artistic Associate Leal Zielińska by Nir Arieli.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: What do you love most about dance?

Chanon Judson (Gibney Partner & Co-Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women): I love how dance has continued to grow me as a person, as a woman, as a spirit. There is a quote from Dr. Pearl Primus when she says that “Dance has been my teacher.” I heard that before I understood it and, now, absolutely. This is how I understand the world around me, and the world I cannot see, through this art form, this discipline. Read Chanon’s full interview here.

Thuy Wyckoff (Gibney Company Assistant & Artistic Director of WyckoffCollective): It is a way for us to pass on knowledge, experiences and feelings through real and raw movement. I love dance because, through our research, effort and exhaustion, we continuously surprise ourselves with our capability. Read Thuy’s full interview here.

Kevin Gotkin: I love that dance allows us to use bodies and movement as texts. So much of our world is designed around texts as written and spoken communication. Dance lets us ask: “What can we do without having to say anything?” Read Kevin’s full interview here.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: How is dance a form of love?

Nicole Von Arx (Gibney Teacher & Artistic Director of NVA & Guests): When we dance there is a unique essence of vibrancy that comes out of our bodies. It’s when our body and mind become one—it’s love.

And then there is dancing with someone else! You have to listen, respond, be patient, guide, support, give and receive… Isn’t this the same as in a true love relationship? Read Nicole’s full interview here.

Tessa Brinza (Gibney Research & Projects Manager & Artistic Director of freshcoast movement): This may be naive, but I think that love is being fully committed even though the future is unknown. As artists, we are well acquainted with the idea that we may not know where our next paycheck comes from or when we might get an opportunity, yet we do our best to keep at it. In art and in love, you have to be willing to take the risk and to give a part of yourself that may not be returned. Read Tessa’s full interview here.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: What do you think could help more people love dance?

Kadie Henderson (Gibney Community Actionist & Founder of We Makin’ It): More dance parties! More slow dances in the kitchen with something good on the stove! Making more memories where dance created closeness for folks! Read Kadie’s full interview here.

Mee Jung (Gibney renter & Artistic Director of i KADA Contemporary Dance Company : Dance education is very important to help spread the world of dance. For this, every person should try to give a chance to those who want to learn by creating events and stages. This would in return allow people to express themselves and be engaged in the world of dance. Additionally, dance can also be used therapeutically. Parties, shows, concerts, and other energizing events allow people to be content by healing them through an experience of a lifetime. Because of these experiences with dance, many people fall in love with it. Read Mee’s full interview here.

Woman in red dancing on stage.
Photo of i KADA Contemporary Dance Company by Kyung Uk Kim.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa: What do you love about Gibney?

Preston Miller (Gibney’s Digital Media Director): I love that this is a place that’s on its way to humanizing the art form. I genuinely feel that we’re on that journey. It may be because I’m from uptown, and everything feels forced. I know how to make a great physical athlete because I was made into that in this forced way. The body will do that if you do it everyday. But you can spend just as much time cultivating the mind. Read Preston’s full interview here.

Chanon Judson: What I’m really loving, that I’m seeing more and more right now, is how Gibney is being this incubator for new artistsand organizers. I had an opportunity to cross paths with some young people who are part of the Moving Towards Justice initiative.  I had an opportunity to be a mentor to Nana Chinara in that program. A Brilliant mind! For these practitioners to have an opportunity to have a support structure around crafting their workand templates to grow their creative organizing practice is really notable. 

I’m also enjoying seeing artists, through the various outlets, being able to showcase their work. I was very excited to see Italy Welton’s work here, produced for the first timenot just studio showingsbut platforms for a fuller, fleshier vision of an artist’s work is really special. Read Chanon’s full interview here.

FEB 11, 7:00 PM

Photos (left to right, top to bottom): WyckoffCollective by Alice Chacon; NVA & Guests by Anjolo Toro; Urban Bush Women by Ian Douglas; i KADA Contemporary Dance Company by Kyung Uk Kim; Kevin Gotkin by Mengwen Cao; Tessa Brinza by Gail Schulman.