News on your favorite shows, specials & more!

Kinesis Project Dance Theatre to Present Bridge Matter/The Reach, An Excerpt In Prelude In The Parks: Performances For The Planet

Addressing environmental and climate change issues on June 7, 2024, at Inwood Hill Park.

By: May. 29, 2024
Kinesis Project Dance Theatre to Present Bridge Matter/The Reach, An Excerpt In Prelude In The Parks: Performances For The Planet  Image
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

Kinesis Project dance theatre, the New York City based large-scale, outdoor dance company, will present an excerpt of Bridge Matter/The Reach as a part of Prelude in the Parks: Performances for the Planet, CUNY's Martin Segal Center's "pop-up" festival of performances by artists whose work addresses environmental and/or climate change issues on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 6pm at Inwood Hill Park, 218th St and Indian Road Entrance, NYC.

For more info and to RSVP, visit

Prelude in the Parks: Performances for the Planet, is a free, three-day, outdoor, city-wide pop-up festival of environmental art works co-curated by Frank Hentschker, Curator/Director of the Segal Theatre Center, and Robin Schatell, Founder/Director/Creative Producer of Mov!ngCulture Projects. The festival runs from Friday, June 7 to Sunday, June 9, 2024 in parks and gardens throughout the five boroughs. All offerings are between 25 minutes and one hour in duration and will be offered "off the grid" (i.e., without electricity) and rain-or-shine. To learn more, visit

On June 7 at 6pm in Inwood Hill Park, Kinesis Project's Bridge Matter/The Reach is a dynamic dance of echos, listening, care and how we bridge the cracks or distance between us. Kinesis Project has an extraordinary ability to bring spectacle and intimacy into an environment.

Placed near the only old growth forest on the island and the Inwood salt marsh, Riker says "We are honored to be a part of Prelude in the Parks and are looking forward to sharing this experience with anyone who is curious. I am so excited to have Kinesis Project presented in Inwood Hill Park, surrounded by friends and neighbors!"

Audiences will be led along pathways, waterways and bridge views with gorgeous dancing by Sabrina Canas, Abigail Linnemeyer and Yolette Yellow-Duke in incredible costumes by Rebecca Kanach in collaboration with visual artist Celeste Cooning (a longtime Kinesis collaborator) and the live music of 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.

Johnny Butler 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 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 is a Barrymore Award-winning costume designer. In New York, her work has been seen in at The Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim, Ars Nova's ANT Fest, La MaMa, The New Ohio, Joe's Pub and outdoors in Riverside Park 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.

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.