Downtown Brooklyn Rehearsal Residency Initiative

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s initiative to provide free outdoor rehearsal space to artists and arts organizations.

In response to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the NYC cultural landscape, DBP created the Downtown Brooklyn Rehearsal Residency Initiative to provide free outdoor rehearsal space to artists and arts organizations.

The Initiative continues in 2021 with two rounds of residencies, each providing space on a recurring basis for 12 consecutive weeks.

The first round of the Initiative took place at MetroTech Commons from April - June, while the second round takes place at the Plaza at 300 Ashland from July - October. DBP invited artists and arts organizations to request use of these spaces seven days a week.

Check out press around the Initiative here and here.

Meet the Artists:

Downtown Brooklyn Rehearsal Residency at the Plaza at 300 Ashland (at Flatbush + Lafayette), July 11 - October 7.

Beatriz Castro is a Brooklyn-based dancer. She is interested in expanding her work, “Cuidado, Piso Mojado (Slippery When Wet)”, which explores the possibilities of the body as both content and container. The body as a fluid entity, contained physically and abstractly, and the body as a container of fluidity. (Wednesdays, 12-3pm, beginning 9/1)

BodyRa Movement will rehearse for their outdoor Soca dance performance presented by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership as part of Bare Feet Downtown Brooklyn with Mickela Mallozzi. Representing Trinidad and Tobago, the company is led by Soca powerhouse Careitha Davis, who mixes traditional folklore with popular dance styles, bringing the dynamic Caribbean energy of carnival season to Downtown Brooklyn. (Thursdays, 3-6pm and Sundays, 12-3pm through August 26)

Chaery Moon will work on Project Algorithm, a deeper investigation of a previous contemporary ballet work, Algorithm: randomforest, a duet about AI creatures becoming more humanized. Five dancers will move around/between bodies to create relationships, pathways, and randomness. (Tuesdays, 3-6pm, beginning August 24)

Dancers Unlimited’s Edible Tales, in development during the pandemic, explores food-related topics and creates stories of space, time and people. Based on cultural and social research on food-related topics (ie. heritage, accessibility, food security, and cultural exchange), community engagement, and movement exploration, the debut of the new work is scheduled for November 2021. The performers include company dancers and NYC-based chefs, to share their food stories and guide us in cultural explorations at the rehearsals. (Tuesdays, 12-3pm)

Hivewild’s a sigh of origin, directed and choreographed by Katherine Maxwell, invites viewers to consider how identity and perspective play into the role of the psyche. Defined by pivotal moments throughout a lifetime or perhaps an isolated year, dancers beg for the questions to be answered via movement - Who was I? Who am I now? It was presented as a work-in-progress at The Breslin restaurant at the Ace Hotel New York in November 2020 and will be developed into a 30-minute dance film. (Thursdays, 12-3pm)

Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet will use its residency to create a new work entitled Never Break, a multi-disciplinary dance that is a reflection of the year 2020. This work will take a look back at the Black Lives Matter Movement and will also pay tribute to essential workers who are tirelessly on the front lines of the pandemic. (Saturdays, 12-4pm)

JKing Dance Company (JKDC) will continue to develop Dear Friend..,’ a new work-in-progress which embodies an emphatic look at friendship, loyalty, dysphoria, and the overt aggression in girls. This visual enactment through dance has been inspired by conversations with and created to expose the stressors living inside our children. (Thursdays, 3-6pm beginning September 16)

Lavy engages with processes involving visibility of Queer identity curation, multi-spacial intersection, and interdisciplinary engagement, aiming to utilize modalities of physical embodiment, visual architecture, character development and text/vocal work. VErnaculAR is a new production that asks: how does one inform memory while also being informed by the memory that already exists when entering space? How do we exist in a multiplicity of identities, as our bodies viciously engage with sensory stimuli (physical aesthetics, cognitive consumption, navigation of space)? (Mondays, 12-3pm)

Marija Krtolica is a Brooklyn based choreographer with a Ph.D. in dance. In the evening long work “Re-Inventing Love”, which will premiere in June 2022 at the Players theater, the artists collaboratively examine love as a truth procedure. With performers Julie Fotheringham, Michael Mangieri & Dustin Maxwell, musician Jason Ciaccio, and costume designer Yanis Grief. (Wednesday, August 18, 3-6pm)

Monét Movement Productions: The Collective, founded in May 2020 is a Brooklyn-based dance collective. Their rehearsal residency piece, Crack will feature a trio that cracks the surface of what it means to create more space for the fusion of traditional (modern and contemporary) and non-traditional (Caribbean, African and Afro-Caribbean) dance forms. (Sundays, September 19 & 26, 12-3pm)

NYC Ska Orchestra is an 18-piece big band consisting of a “who’s-who” of top New York musicians, playing original compositions and arrangements of popular songs across reggae, ska, rock steady, and jazz. (September 11, 18, and 25 from 5-8pm)

Project.KB will continue to share its creative process that focuses on sustainability with its community. The movement and narrative highlight how to reduce consumption and waste. (Wednesdays, 3-6pm in September)

ZCO/DANCEPROJECT is a physically integrated dance company based in Brooklyn. ZCODP is committed to showing audiences what dance can be and who can do it. During the residency, they will rehearse Episodes of the Soul which reflect the inner demons, turmoil, joy and anger that we struggle with every day, especially during the pandemic. (Sundays, 3-6pm)

Downtown Brooklyn Rehearsal Residency at Brooklyn Commons, April - July 2021

Artichoke Dance Company pairs dance with environmental activism. Participating in the residency for a second cycle, they rehearsed Distanced Dance, a work based numerically on the number six, referencing the common idea of safe socialization at six feet.

Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra rehearsed in advance of a performance at Little Island featuring the music of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

Babacar Top of Topdance Dance Company is a movement artist whose work draws from his Senegalese culture and traditions. The residency was Top’s “Dance Laboratory,” an immersive learning environment for artists coming from different perspectives that combines a collective and individual practice of inquiry. The research focused on understanding and establishing a greater context for specific dance forms in West Africa, particularly the Sabar.

Batalá New York is an all-women, woman-led banda de percussão (percussion-based band) that promotes Afro-Brazilian culture and empowerment of women through high energy, visually stimulating performance of drumming. They used their time in Brooklyn Commons to rehearse for events they have scheduled throughout the summer, including the Metropolitan Museum’s 150th anniversary celebration. They have not been able to rehearse safely indoors because of the pandemic.

Dancewave Company Program is a rigorous modern and ballet dance training program that builds ability, artistic integrity, and leadership skills with rehearsals with renowned choreographers and a variety of performing opportunities. The most advanced company, Dancewave Company I, rehearsed for the end of year performance which encompassed all the choreography they learned and developed throughout the Spring Semester.

Dancewave Seniors worked together with their choreographer to build a piece that represents them as individuals and as a group.

Jamal Jackson Dance Company explores the connection between African and American cultures through movement. The company’s work has been presented at venues including Mark Morris Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow, SummerStage, and the DanceNow Festival. They rehearsed company repertoire.

Project KB shared its creative process, focusing on sustainability with its community. The movement and narrative highlighted how to reduce consumption and waste.