Kinesis Project Dance Theatre Presents The First Performance Of Bridge Matter/The Reach And Community Event

On Friday, June 28, Bridge Matter/The Reach will debut at 6:30pm along the expanse of the water's edge, one block south of the historic Little Red Lighthouse.

By: Jun. 20, 2024
Kinesis Project Dance Theatre Presents The First Performance Of Bridge Matter/The Reach And Community Event
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Presented by Summer on the Hudson, Kinesis Project dance theatre, the New York City based large-scale, outdoor dance company, has announced the first public performance of Bridge Matter/The Reach on Friday, June 28, 2024 at 6:30pm and Sunday, June 30, 2024 at 6pm at Fort Washington Park, The Little Red Lighthouse, NYC.

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On Friday, June 28, Bridge Matter/The Reach will debut at 6:30pm along the expanse of the water's edge, one block south of the historic Little Red Lighthouse. In costumes inspired by the sunset, dancers intertwine, guide and surprise as music surrounds the audience; conjuring a performance built on echos, care and how we (and the earth) bridge divides.

On Sunday, June 30, 4pm-6pm, Kinesis Project is hosting and co-creating a Durational Installation of Care, a simple participatory art installation for anyone who would like to register. Kinesis Project invites NYers to take part in the first ever, large-scale, community installation of care along the water's edge beginning at 4pm. Everyone is welcome, no dance experience is needed. Registration for a time slot and a color scheme is available here: The installation is in collaboration with Movement of the People/Joya Powell and Marcela Xavier (of Bread and Yoga).

The dance performance of Bridge Matter/The Reach will grow out of the community installation around 6pm as dancers appear in colorful jackets with exquisite design.

Bridge Matter/The Reach is a dance of echos, listening and how we bridge the cracks between us. Kinesis Project has an extraordinary ability to bring spectacle and intimacy into an environment. This developing work, placed in a historic NYC location with sweeping and expansive views, is a moment to be shared with friends old and new. Audiences will be led along pathways with gorgeous dancing, sunset toned floating costumes by Rebecca Kanach incorporating bold whirlwind shapes designed by visual artist Celeste Cooning and live music by Grammy and Obie Award winning musician, Johnny Butler.

Bridge Matter/The Reach is a second collaboration with the research of geoscientist Dr. Missy Eppes and her colleagues, studying how our shifting climate is affecting even the bedrock of our earth

To reach the Little Red Lighthouse:

From the north, enter the Park via the pedestrian bridge at 181st Street and Plaza Lafayette. Follow the path south towards the George Washington Bridge.

From the south, follow 158th Street all the way west and enter the park via the stairs or ramp. Turn right on the Hudson River Greenway and continue north towards the George Washington Bridge.

Summer on the Hudson is the Riverside Park Conservancy's season-long celebration of culture, nature and New York City. Featuring more than 300 free events and activities for all ages and interests, our robust line-up includes full-day festivals, concerts, movies, dance parties, fitness classes, learning opportunities, and so much more. In 2024, the Conservancy is increasing our focus on parks equity and community partnership with new uptown programs at the 145th Street Lawn, including sunset yoga, movie nights, birding walks, and site-specific dance activations.

Johnny Butler, Composer, is a Brooklyn-based, Grammy-award winning musician and arranger for his work on Beyoncé's "Love on Top." Butler received a 2022 Lucille Lortell Award and a 2023 Obie Award for his work on Heather Christian's Oratorio for Living Things (2022). Butler plays the saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, guitar, composes, engineers audio, dances, and makes films. Butler uses a wireless microphone and handful of electronics to create vast soundscapes while dancing onstage, blending the music, the dancer, and the daydream.

Celeste Cooning, Visual Art Design, is best known for creating large-scale integrated art installations. Aside from various exhibitions, her work adorns city parks, storefronts, special events, and the stage. 2013 marked the transformation of Cooning's signature cut paper aesthetic into a permanent outdoor sculpture for the city with support from 1% for Public Art and Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture. Bounty functions as a threshold for Jackson Park Perimeter Trail in north Seattle's Pinehurst neighborhood. The stylized, ornate fronds function as a bouquet of sorts extolling the virtues of the Pacific Northwest landscape. Cooning's 21' x 21' swirling and back-lit Seed of Life can be found on a central wall in the city of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Rebecca Kanach, Costume Design, is a Barrymore Award-winning costume designer. In New York, her work has been seen at The Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim, Ars Nova's ANT Fest, La MaMa, The New Ohio, Joe's Pub and outdoors in Seattle, Riverside Park and on Little Island with Kinesis Project dance theatre. Regionally, her work has been seen at companies including The Arden Theatre Company, Opera Philadelphia,and People's Light and Theater Co. Academic work includes Bryn Mawr College, Drexel University, Temple University, Swarthmore College, and University of the Arts. As a skilled draper, many of her builds can also be seen throughout numerous productions in the region.

Rebecca is a co-founder and the resident costume designer of The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and a company member of Lightning Rod Special, whose performance of The Appointment was listed as one of the New York Times' Best Theater of 2019. She is a MFA graduate from NYU Tisch, USA 829.

Founded in 2005 by Bessie Award winning choreographer, Joya Powell, Movement of the People Dance Company is dedicated to addressing historic and present sociocultural injustices through dance. Primarily a Dance Theater company, their choreography combines dynamic Contemporary Dance with traditional dances, and develops a sensitive balance of pedestrian gestural phrases with grounded visceral movements that use breath and musicality at its core. The company is comprised of dancers from diverse multicultural backgrounds and international experiences. Over the years MOPDC has performed in various celebrated dance festivals and venues including: BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House, Lincoln Center's Meet the Artist Saturdays, SummerStage, Casita Maria (Resident Performing Artist 2014-2015), The Bronx Museum of the Arts, La Mama, Triskelion's Split Bill Series, FLICfest, Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Dance on the Greenway (commission), The Performance Project @ University Settlement (Artist-in-Residence 2012-2013), chashama (Resident Artist 2015 & 2016), Movement Research @ Judson Church, Amnesty International's Human Rights Art Festival (Maryland & NYC), York University (Toronto, ON), The Southern Vermont Dance Festival, Riverside Theatre, BAX, Huntington Arts Festival (Long Island), Dance New Amsterdam, The FLEA Theater, BAAD!, Mudlark Theater (New Orleans), Evoke's Celebrate Dance Festival (San Diego), and The Outlet Dance Festival (New Jersey), among others. Awards and recognition include: EtM Choreographer + Composer Residency 2018-19, 2017-18 Women in Motion Fellowship, 2017 Schusterman Family Foundation Make it Happen Grant Recipient, 2017 + 2018 Gibney Dance Space Grant Recipient, 2016-17 Dancing While Black Fellowship. In April 2015, MOPDC was featured in Dance Magazine for their choreographic journey in their company repertory piece Her Veiled Reflections. MOPDC has facilitated workshops and residencies at various colleges and community spaces nationally and internationally, and holds an annual Free Day of Dance and acclaimed Winter Intensive. MOPDC is dedicated to connecting cultures through dance, composing socially conscious choreography, exploring the similarities and nuances of traditional world dances, and community engagement.

Melissa Riker is Artistic Director / Choreographer of Kinesis Project dance theatre. She is a dancer and choreographer who emerged as a strong creative voice in the mid 2000's NYC performance world. Riker is the Executive Producer of the EstroGenius Festival, Founder and Co-Director of Women in Motion and Founder and Collective Member of Dance Rising. Riker's dances and aesthetic layer her training in ballet, modern dance, martial arts, theatre and circus. She invents large-scale out-door performances and spontaneous moments of dance for public spaces.

In 2022 Riker was the Artist in Residence for the Progressive Failure of Brittle Rocks Conference (PRF22) an international conference of Geologists, Geomorphologists and Mechanical Engineers, convened by Dr. Missy Eppes and her colleagues. In 2023, Riker's work as a dance advocate is through Dance Rising and Dance/NYC as a community organizer and master facilitator of the Dance Industry Census Roundtables.

Martha Cary (Missy) Eppes, PhD, is a professor of earth sciences at UNC Charlotte. Her research interests center on natural rock fracture, soils, and landscape evolution on Earth and other planetary bodies. Dr. Eppes is a fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and a US Fulbright Research Scholar. She is a recipient of GSA's Kirk Bryan award - their highest honor awarded for quaternary geology and geomorphology - and the American Geophysical Union Earth and Planetary Surface Processes group's Marguerite T. Williams Award given for her "groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research linking rock fracture mechanics and surface processes."

Kinesis Project is a dance organization that creates dance as public art, facilitates educational programs and produces site-specific performances with diverse communities. A company at the forefront of the international discussion of placemaking, art engagement and the cultural imperative of art in public space, Kinesis Project dance theatre invents large scale, space-changing, breath-taking experiences.

In 2023, Kinesis Project and Opera on Tap toured Capacity, or the Work of Crackling to Los Angeles, Strasbourg France, Seattle and New York City.

Even during 2020 Riker kept Kinesis Project working and creating consistently on both coasts thanks in part to COVID Relief Grants from Dance/NYC, the Indie Theatre Fund and generous donors. The company live-streamed multiple performances from Riverside Park South presented by Summer on the Hudson and continued creating and developing new work on both coasts in person throughout 2021 and into 2022, from Vashon Island, to Seattle to NY's Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Since 2005, Kinesis Project's work has been experienced in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Vermont, Florida and in New York City at such venerable venues as Danspace Project, Judson Church, Joyce Soho, The Minskoff Theatre, The Cunningham Studio, West End Theatre and Dixon Place. In 2019-2020, the company's work was experienced in Seattle, Brooklyn, NY, Riverside Park, supported by New York City Parks, and in Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. The company dances outside in sculpture gardens, universities, and annually since 2006 in Battery Park's Bosque Gardens and The Cloisters Lawn as well as hosting more than 30 surprise performances all over New York City and the tri-state area as an element of the company's earned income and outreach programming with volunteer populated flash mobs. Residencies include: Earthdance 2006, Omi International Arts Center 2008, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center 2011, TheaterLab 2014, Adelphi University 2014. Ms. Riker is a 2016, 2017 and 2019 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency Fellow, 2015 LMCC Community Arts Fund grantee, 2019 Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Grantee. In 2020 Riker and Kinesis Project received a Dance/NYC COVID Recovery Grant and Indie Theatre Fund Recovery Grant. She has been commissioned by The Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a surprise large-scale work and performances of her work Secrets and Seawalls at Omi International Arts Center, Long House Reserve, Gateway National Park in partnership with Rockaways Artist Alliance. Ms. Riker has received commissions from Carson Fox and the Ephemeral Festival in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for large-scale outdoor events, NYU in 1998, for a pop-up outdoor work long before "flash mob" was coined, 2006 and 2008 grants from the Puffin Foundation for her work Community Movements, a dance work with community volunteers, Fellowships from the Dodge Foundation, Space Grant Residencies from 92nd St Y, The New 42nd St Studio, Gibney Dance Center, and The Joyce Theatre Foundation, and grants from The New York State Council on the Arts, The Bowick Family Trust, John C. Robinson and Amerigo Falciani and Melissa Graule to support the continued work of Kinesis Project dance theatre.