BWW Interview: Dante Brown and the DB/WD WORKSHOP

BWW Interview: Dante Brown and the DB/WD WORKSHOP

BWW Interview: Dante Brown and the DB/WD WORKSHOP

Dante Brown/Warehouse Dance (DB/WD) will be hosting its first annual workshop May 19-21, 2017 at the Gowanus Loft in Brooklyn, NY. Over the course of three days, professional artists (ages 18 and over) will be able to interact with a range of choreographers who are leaders in the dance community, making provocative work. The artists will lead a workshop based on their choreographic interests as well as share excerpts of their work in an evening performance. Partial proceeds from the program will be donated to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dante Brown/Warehouse Dance (DB/WD) is a collaborative space where movement artists aim to generate compelling thematic environments within a process of physical and theoretical inquiry. Through investigating theatrical moments from a given theme and their respective emotive counterparts, the goal is to produce work that is approachable and physically innovative.

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Dante Brown regarding the DB/WD workshop:

Q: What is the DB/WD workshop?

A: The DB/WD workshop is a time and place where dancers can meet and have access to other dancers. It's a platform to allow for intimate interactions with dancers and choreographers to make and create dance in a way that is accessible and affordable. It is also a way to bring the dance community together and share our unique voices.

Q: How did the idea of the workshop come about?

A: The idea came about out of the challenges of being a dancer in NYC. The dance community here is so big and there is a lot of competition. It is very easy to get frustrated and quit. I wanted to create a community using dance. I wanted to re-think what community is and develop a way to help and support dancers. We as dancers seem to lack access to other dancers and it is important to connect with each other.

Q: How does the Black Lives Matter movement fit in?

A: I was inspired by the movement and their sense of community. There is a way they are able to bring people together that I believe the dance community does so naturally. I also love the whole idea of all bodies matter. And as a way to give back, I wanted to support and donate a portion of the proceeds to their cause.

Q: What is the overall goal of the weekend?

A: Building on the idea of "inclusion," I wanted to showcase different social justice themes. The timing of this was by accident, but worked so perfectly. But we have to remember that these are not new issues. These are things we were dealing with and talking about before. But now really is the time to talk about it. When it comes to the dance community, I want to be able to help re-define the meaning of community. There is a yearning to connect, there's a yearning for hope that I want to help to create.

The DB/WD Workshop will take place on May 19-21 at the Gowanus Loft in Brooklyn. Each day will consist of three movement workshops led by an esteemed roster of artists followed by an evening performance. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at Take advantage of the early bird special now through March 31 and receive a 10% discount! Packages are available for those who want to take three or more workshops, which include a free drink and ticket for one evening performance.

Photo Credit: Mike Esperanza


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Caryn Cooper Caryn Cooper is an arts administrator, educator and performer from Long Island, NY. She began her dance training at a young age studying ballet in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) technique and other dance forms such as tap, jazz, hip hop, modern and West African. She has had the opportunity to perform at various venues in the Greater New York City Area including, Radio City Music Hall, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, the 92Y, Ailey CitiGroup Theater, Central Park, and The Wild Project. Administratively, she has worked for a number of arts organizations including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico, and the New York City Center. Currently at Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, she works to plan arts education programs for schools and seniors in underserved communities throughout Queens and the New York City Metropolitan area. Caryn is currently a Moving for Life Certified Instructor (MFLCI) where she uses dance to help breast cancer recovery patients and those dealing with pain caused by chronic illnesses. She is currently pursuing a certification as a BodyMind Dancing (BMD) Instructor, under the direction of Dr. Martha Eddy, to guide students as they reflect and learn about the 3-dimenionality and repatterning of the body. Caryn is a member of Americans for the Arts, the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), the New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA), and sits on the Young Professionals Committee of The Possibility Project and the Board of Trustees for Moving for Life, Inc. She is also a Contributing writer for BroadwayWorld Dance. She is the proud recipient of the 2016 Field Diversity Award and the 2017 Jessica Wilt Memorial Scholarship through the Americans for the Arts.