Making Dance: A Monthly Cohort

Making Dance is a new approach to professional creative process education at Gibney Dance. Each month, a different artist will lead participants through process, feedback, and more. Over the month, a consistent group of students will gain cumulative information for a more comprehensive exchange of choreographic methods.

View upcoming sessions below.


August: Alexandra Beller

Thursday, August 10 / 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Tuesdays, August 15, 22, and 29 / 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Thursdays, August 17 and 24 / 12:00 – 2:00 pm

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This installment of Making Dance will focus on questioning our process, our product and our habits. Through applying a series of questions to our work, and answering them through movement practices, we will try on and discard artistic identities and build skills at making and editing quickly and painlessly. Some of our questions may include:

  • How do you invent movement that is fresh and unique? How do you challenge habitual forms and patterns?
  • How does architecture between bodies and space create resonant imagery?
  • How do we sensitize the mind to one’s personal practice of making work?
  • What are the uses of text within a dance and how do we respect the power of language and of movement equally without overshadowing one or the other? How can both speaking and moving be acts of survival?

Alexandra Beller, Artistic Director of Alexandra Beller/Dances (MFA University of Wisconsin, BFA University of Michigan) was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company 1995-2001. She has taught in Hong Kong, Korea, Cyprus, Russia and guest choreographed at the University of Michigan, Rhode Island College, The University of South Florida, MIT, Texas Woman’s University, Connecticut College, and Bates College, among others. Alexandra’s choreography has been presented at and commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop, 92nd St. Y, Aaron Davis Hall, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s, Joyce SoHo, P.S. 122, WAX, HERE Art Center, The Connelly Theater, SUNY Purchase College, The Frederick Loewe Theatre, and Jacob’s Pillow.

September: Nia Love

Friday, September 8 & Saturday, September 9 / 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Friday, September 15 & Saturday, September 16 / 12:00 – 3:00 pm

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Intuition: Dancing Without Walls

This movement-based, living art workshop creates space where “we the people/the artist” can study ways to [per/form] and respond/ [re]spawn to our world meaningfully, powerfully and truthfully through the rigors of building improvisation(s) at the intersections of dance, nature, and urban structures.

Words- slippery, risky business, dangerous, instability

With movement, discourse, journaling, drawing, story-telling and choreographic scoring while in site-specific areas, we aim to hone new and creative ways to rethink.question. partner with historical land marks and bridges as ‘uncontrolled’ and ‘controlled’ space(s).
The aim of this workshop is to create a workable praxis that bonds us to autonomy. In this month workshop we will create dangerous work that engines itself by way of improvised maneuvers as we look at racial and sexual micro and macro-aggressions, erasures and misnaming(s).
Nia Love Biography: I am a woman, sister, daughter,wife, grandmother, dancing activist, conceptual artist/anarchist. I also belong to the snake totem and the daughter of a blacksmith and the great-great granddaughter of a tea leaf reader. I am the daughter from metal and ocean respectfully- Ogun and Yemanjah, not because it was read to me but because I remember.
I live in Harlem and am completely informed and affected by genocidal affects of gentrification first hand. I am a product of institutionalized learning, a graduate from Howard University and Florida State University two completely different experiences placing me in the hold again and again. Most recently I am recovering from 25 years of addiction with applying for tenure-track positions and just now got off the gravy train and I didn’t have to do the 12-step program… It feels great.And….I am clear that I am in the wake of slavery, it has been my womb and gut that have served me and in turn seeded more understanding that blackness powers my improvisation and instigates resistance and fuels rebellion any and everywhere. I am reading and in conversation with Fred Moten, Saidiya Hartman, Christina Sharpe, NorbeSe Philip and Benin Ford. I am a 2016-17 Movement Research Artist -in-Residence and asst. professor adjunct at Queens and Hunter colleges. I will be teaching at the New School this fall 2017.

October: Jennifer Nugent

Monday, October 23 – Thursday, October 26 / 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Friday, October 27 / 12:00 – 4:00 pm

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With ideas, dreams, images, and agendas in mind we will practice making from a place of personal importance and task based assignments as a catalyst for movement invention. Repetitively disposing of self to gain new perspectives and explore a real time experience, this week hopes to foster the freedom to work truthfully and slowly move into deeper states of presence.

Jennifer Nugent danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company from 2009-2014 and David Dorfman Dance from 1999-2007, receiving a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for her work in the company. She has also had opportunities to perform and work intensively with Martha Clarke, Lisa Race, Doug Elkins, Bill Young, Colleen Thomas, Kate Weare, Barbara Sloan and Dale Andre. Jennifer’s teaching and dancing is inspired by all her teachers and mentors, most profoundly by her time working, performing with, and learning from Daniel Lepkoff, Wendall Beavers, Gerri Houlihan, David Dorfman, Bill T. Jones, Janet Wong, Wendy Woodson, and Patty Townsend. Her choreography and duet collaborations with Paul Matteson have been presented in New York City and throughout the U.S. She teaches regularly in NYC and abroad and has been a guest artist at numerous universities and dance festivals including The American Dance Festival, the Bates Dance Festival, and SaltDanceFest. This year Jennifer is a teaching artist at Smith College and Amherst College in Western MA and is making work collaboratively with Angie Hauser and Paul Matteson.