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92Y's Inaugural Future Dance Festival Begins April 9

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Panelists include Kyle Abraham, Janet Eilber, Jennifer Stahl, Jessica Tong, Victor Quijada, and Eduardo Vilaro.

92Y's Inaugural Future Dance Festival Begins April 9

Aiming to provide a bridge connecting the next generation of creators with the current generation of directors, the 92nd Street Y put out an open call for submissions to emerging choreographers to be part of a new virtual event - the Future Dance Festival. The call was met with an unprecedented amount of talent, authenticity, and inspiration as 185 individuals submitted work representing an impressively diverse gathering of new voices, new visions, and new vocabularies, with a plan for panelists Kyle Abraham, Janet Eilber, Jennifer Stahl, Jessica Tong, Victor Quijada, Eduardo Vilaro to choose three finalists apiece.

This year's inaugural Festival is now expanded to present a total of 21 works, with seven shown on each weekend - April 9-11, April 16-18 and April 23-25. These represent three choices from each panelist as originally planned, plus three additional selections chosen by Taryn Kaschock Russell, 92Y Harkness Dance Center director, who was moved by the wealth of talent represented by the submissions to include more. Each program also features taped interviews with Russell and the panelists about what drew them to each of those choreographer's works.

Tickets are available at 92y.org/event/future-dance-festival and the programs are available from noon Friday through midnight Sunday of each weekend.

"When the idea for this festival was born, we sought to provide both connection and hope for a generation of emerging artists who found themselves abruptly and indefinitely halted from moving forward in their careers, comments Russell. "As the submissions continued to come in, it became apparent that it was about an even larger idea - how to rethink our arts ecosystem to not only provide opportunities for visibility but also begin to work towards meaningful investment in networks and pathways to help elevate new voices."

As Russell and the artistic leaders on the panel sifted through the vast amount of talent and perspectives among the submissions, they discussed ways to invest in diverse choreographic voices, and are working on forming a network of directors and presenters to provide mentorship, advice and opportunities for these new voices to continue on their path.

"We are so much greater together and if, coming out of this pandemic, we return to being siloed in our own buildings or organizations, we will have lost the collective consciousness we gained over this difficult year. The seeds which have yet to blossom are all our responsibilities. We need to work together to grow the future of dance."

Festival applications were limited to choreographers with only one professional commission to date but the finalists have a wide range of international credits, including Judson Church, Jacob's Pillow, Mark Morris Dance Center, Hubbard Street Dance, Ballet Hispanico, Danspace Project, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Batsheva, Staatstheater Nuremburg, the national tour of Phantom of the Opera, Tap in Rio, and Kaatsbaan, among others.

Panelists:

Janet Eilber, Artistic Director, Martha Graham Dance Theater
Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director, Ballet Hispanico
Jessica Tong, Associate Artistic Director, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Kyle Abraham, Artistic Director, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham
Victor Quijada, Artistic Director, RUBBERBAND
Jennifer Stahl, Editor in Chief, Dance Magazine
Taryn Kaschock Russell, Director, 92Y Harkness Dance Center


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