Danspace Project was founded in 1974 to provide a performance venue for contemporary dance. Its performances are held in St. Mark's Church in the East Village area of the Manhattan borough of New York City.
History and mission
Danspace Project – also familiarly known as Danspace – is an international leader in the commissioning and presentation of contemporary dance. Danspace Project’s mission is to stimulate, promote, and present challenging new work in dance from a broad range of artistic voices within a distinguished and nurturing environment. Danspace Project encourages choreographers to take risks and is committed to assisting artists in realizing their creative visions within a professional setting. Danspace also welcomes a receptive public to engage in and be transformed by the work of artists.
Danspace Project was founded by artists to provide an accessible venue for independent experimental choreographers. It combines a rich history (rooted in work by dance pioneers including Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Ruth St. Denis) with an unstinting commitment to that which is contemporary, creative, and cutting-edge. Three defining characteristics have secured its position as a leading advocate for contemporary dance: Commissioning and presenting new dance work from New York, the U.S., and abroad; nurturing independent experimental choreographers at all stages of their careers; and professionally producing dance in the uniquely flexible and communal setting of St. Mark’s Church in the East Village.
Upwards of twenty-five weeks of contemporary dance are fully presented by the Danspace Project each season, providing artists with technical, promotional, and front-of-house support. Programs include the City/Dans series (featuring the work of New York City choreographers), Global Exchange (international choreographers), Danspace@ (performance at alternative sites and a semi-annual showcase series at BRIC Studio in Brooklyn), DraftWork (free informal performances followed by moderated dialogue and a reception), and Rap-Ups (post-performance discussions with the artists).
Danspace has presented a number of artists at early stages of their careers including Douglas Dunn, Bill T. Jones, John Kelly, and David Rousseve. Danspace also serves established artists such as Seàn Curran, Yve Laris Cohen, David Gordon, Iréne Hultman, Bebe Miller, and Meredith Monk who return to Danspace for its supportive environment, often to show work-in-progress or work specifically developed for the space.
Danspace Project fully presents twenty-five to thirty weeks of contemporary dance (including local, national, and international artists) each season.