Renter Spotlight: Celestine Woo - Gibney
Week of August 5, 2020
Making space for

Renter Spotlight: Celestine Woo

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: CELESTINE WOO

“I love the inventiveness of these new remote classes, and they allow me to take dance a lot more frequently than pre-quarantine, but still, you don’t get the energy from actually being in the space.”

Who are you?
I’ve been a modern dancer for over 30 years, and have published a chapbook of poetry, as well as poems in print journals and online. This is my first full-length poetry book. I’m also an English professor at Bard High School Early College in Newark, NJ.

How can we support you right now?
My book, Frost Fair Dance, contains poems centered on two themes that I love: modern dance, and winter. My poems use imagery and terminology from dance. The book is dedicated to all Gibney dancers, past, present, and future, in gratitude for the dance community that has been so important a part of my life.

It’s available from the publisher (NOT on Amazon), below, for $15.99. Or, you can get it cheaper directly from me (email me).

www.claresongbirdspub.com 

celestwoo@gmail.com

What is your favorite memory of working in Gibney’s studios?
This is from before this space was Gibney, and it was still Dance New Amsterdam—I was living and teaching in CO in the early 2000’s, and choreographing for my college’s annual dance show. I would come back to NYC on holidays, soak up as many dance classes as I could possibly cram in, and invent my own shorthand to describe movements and combinations that I wanted to remember. I always created my own choreography having been inspired by what I did myself in these studios.

What are you most looking forward to about being back in the studio?
Having space to really move, and being surrounded by other dancers. I love the inventiveness of these new remote classes, and they allow me to take dance a lot more frequently than pre-quarantine, but still, you don’t get the energy from actually being in the space.