On a normal day, Gibney’s 23 studios are a bustling artistic nexus. We love walking down the hallway and seeing different artists, different projects, and different communities making each space their own. We are missing that feeling, and want to find a way to share it with you.
We’ve asked a group of renters whose rehearsals, showings, workshops, and events have been postponed or suspended to give us a glimpse of what they’re working on, share the ways we can support them right now, and tell us what the first thing they’ll do is once they’re back in the studio.
The first thing we’ll do? Close our eyes, feel the floor supporting us, and take a deep breath of gratitude.
RENTER SPOTLIGHT: ACCENT DANCE NYC
“The First thing I will do as soon as I return to the studio is give a real, long hug to each of my Accent Dance co-workers.”
Who are you?
Accent Dance’s mission is to inspire youth through dance education; to enlighten through multicultural dance performances; and to empower through lasting community partnerships. We celebrate the rich cultural history and diversity of our audiences and beyond while recognizing dance’s unique ability to unify.
Accent Dance NYC is an education and performance initiative that champions learning and communication through dance. The company celebrates a diverse array of styles including ballet, contemporary, tango, hip hop, salsa, and more. The dancers hail from Cuba, Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Colombia, and the United States, and have performed with the Cuban National Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New Jersey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Metropolitan Opera.
How can we support you right now?
Here are our social media handles; we would be most grateful if you could help us share them with your network:
Our current COVID-19 response fund is:
The effects of COVID-19 have been especially brutal for families in the under-served areas where Accent Dance NYC conducts its programming. In response, Accent Dance NYC is putting live lessons on our Facebook page that school faculty are distributing to students at The Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, PS 23, and the Mott Haven High School, all in the Bronx, and the Amani Public Charter School in Mt. Vernon East. Each video already has an average of 358 views, and students from Casita Maria and Amani have reached out to tell Elisa how much better the lessons make them feel.
Accent Dance NYC is also teaching a class for healthcare workers at New York Presbyterian Children’s Hospital. Elisa Toro Franky, lead teaching artist, is conducting a salsa class for nurses during their break. The collaboration is a part of a larger effort to provide various wellness programs for healthcare workers during this time.
Additionally, Accent Dance NYC is currently in partnership with Casita Maria Center for the Arts, teaching online sessions for Elementary and Middle School students in the Bronx. This provides children a much needed outlet for creativity and movement, and for them to channel through dance their voices in response to the quest for social justice.
We need the support of individuals who want to make a difference. Any contribution to this campaign will go to youth and communities who are, more than ever, in need.
What is your favorite memory of working in Gibney’s studios?
Having rehearsed and performed at the Gibney studios, and also having attended other performances there, are among my most treasured memories in New York. These performances have been experiences of high artistic and community value that I wish to live again in person, not just virtually.
What is the first thing you will do when you are back in the studio?
Honestly, the first thing I will do as soon as I return to the studio is give a real, long hug to each of my Accent Dance co-workers. Then, we may proceed with the creative endeavor.