Beth Gill

Beth Gill is an emerging choreographer who makes contemporary dance and performance in New York City. She has accumulated a body of work that critically examines issues relating to the fields of contemporary dance and performance studies, through a focused exploration of aesthetics and perception. Ranging from short-term improvised structures to long-term choreographed performances, her work has been commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop and New York Live Arts as well as performed internationally.

Beth is a 2012 Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship recipient, a New York City Center Choreography Fellow for 2012-2013, and a member of the inaugural cohort The Hatchery Project (2013-2015) including: Luciana Achugar, Paul Lazar & Annie B. Parsons, Reggie Wilson, Jennifer Calienes (MANCC), Sara Coffey (Vermont Performance Lab), Craig Peterson (Live Arts Brewery), Brian Rogers & Sheila Lewandowski (The Chocolate Factory Theater).

In 2011 she was awarded two New York State Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and the Juried Award for the choreographer exhibiting some of the most interesting and exciting ideas happening in dance in New York City today. Dance Magazine named her one of the top 25 artists to watch and Time Out New York called her most recent work Electric Midwife one of the best dances of the year.

Gill is one of seven choreographers profiled in Michael Blackwood’s documentary New York Dance: States of Performance, which continues the focus of his two highly regarded previous documentaries: Making Dances: Seven Post-Modern Choreographers (1980) & Retracing Steps: American Dance Since Postmodernism (1988). Her work will soon be part of the growing catalog of dance online presented through On The Boards TV.

Beth is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has been a guest artist at Barnard College, Eugene Lang College the New School for Liberal Arts and Arizona State University.

Returning Choreographic Fellow | January 18 - 31, 2016

Catacomb

Beth Gill returned to MANCC to work on Catacomb, which is a new site-specific performance installation inspired by archetype, the imagination and the subconscious. As she is conceiving of the project, a symbiotic pair with a mysterious and ever-present bond, a lone heroic female, and a glowing, otherworldly presence inhabit a dreamlike, sensory-rich world that draws the audience into an immersive act of witnessing.

While in residence, Gill worked on creating an intimate, surrealist space, building on the formalism of her past several works (Electric Midwife, New Work for the Desert), while forging new psychologically driven terrain through explorations of role, the gathering and layering of meaning and being, and, ultimately, disappearance. Gill is influenced by the architecture of the space in which her work is situated and used a scaffold to demarcate the verticality of the walls as well as illustrate the final audience’s elevated point of view on the work.  She focused, as well, on movement creation and worked with longtime collaborator Jon Moniaci on the development of an original sound score.

As a means of exploring the themes in her work, Gill hosted an informal focus group during the first days of the residency. The curated group included representatives from Florida State University’s Psychology & Neuroscience, Dance, Theater, Visual Art, and Communications departments.  After viewing an excerpt of the movement material, Beth oriented the audience around her interest in their impressions of the work: How did they organize and categorize the bodies? What associations did they make about the performers and their relationships? Their varied responses, from the vantage points of their disciplines, contributed to Gill’s investigation.

Catacomb will premiere at The Chocolate Factory in May 2016.

  • Marilyn Maywald and Heather Lang rehearse
  • Marilyn Maywald
  • Beth Gill directs Stuart Singer
  • Jennifer Lafferty and Marilyn Maywald
  • Gill directs Singer and Lang
  • Marilyn Maywald and Jennifer Lafferty
  • Beth Gill
  • Beth Gill directs rehearsal
  • Gill simulates audience perspective
  • Stuart Singer and Heather Lang
  • Gill directs Stuart Singer and Heather Lang
  • Beth Gill sets up rehearsal space in Black Box Studio
  • Beth Gill sets up rehearsal space in Black Box Studio
  • Marilyn Maywald and Stuart Singer
  • Stuart Singer and Heather Lang
  • Sound Designer Jon Moniaci
  • Beth Gill leads rehearsal
  • Beth Gill guides Florida State University faculty focus group
  • Curated Focus Group
  • Curated Focus Group
  • Lafferty, Lang, Singer, Maywald
  • Maywald, Lang, Singer
  • Singer, Lang, Maywald, Lafferty
  • Maywald, Lafferty, Singer
  • Heather Lang
  • Lang, Singer, Maywald
  • Jennifer Lafferty
  • Curated Focus Group discussion

Collaborators in Residence: Jennifer Lafferty, Heather Lang, Marilyn Maywald, Stuart Singer [dancers], Thomas Dunn [lighting designer], Jon Moniaci [sound designer] 

Slideshow photos by Chris Cameron

Hatchery Project Artist | December 5 - 15, 2013

New Work for the Desert

Bessie award-winning choreographer Beth Gill had her first MANCC residency in December 2013 with support from the Hatchery Project for a concentrated research period to develop New Work for the Desert.

At MANCC, Gill worked with the full cast and sound designer, Jon Moniaci to create a vast space in which the body struggles through form, gesture and contact to express something real and fictitious, old and new, foreign and familiar.  Gill invited a group of faculty and scholars to view the work at the onset of the residency alongside poet and NY Times critic Claudia LaRocco in efforts to push the work forward from the beginning of the residency.

In ArtForum, LaRocco described the experience in her top list of 2013.  “As part of the residency, [Gill] did the inevitable in-process showing. This one was notable for being interrupted by an emergency alarm (apparently brought on by a misfiring steam machine): It happened right in one of the quietest, stillest sections of a quiet and still dance. So, we got to see it again, after an impromptu intermission on the lawn out front. Architecture. The edifice. Sun on palm fronds. The slow laborious movement of the maker, the liquid embodiment of influence. Bodies as archives, the kind that don’t keep. Get thee to NYLA in March.”    

New Work for the Desert will premiere at New York Live Arts March 20-22, 2014.

This residency is part of The Hatchery Project, a new collaborative residency initiative with The Chocolate Factory  (Long Island City, NY), RED Arts Project (Philadelphia, PA), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), and Vermont Performance Lab  (Guilford, VT) and is made possible with major funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support by the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • <i>New Work for the Desert</i> rehearsal
  • Stuart Singer
  • Beth Gill rehearses <i>New Work for the Desert</i>
  • Jennifer Lafferty
  • Heather Lang
  • Sound Designer Jon Moniaci
  • Singer and Lang
  • Jennifer Lafferty, Kayvon Pourazar and Marilyn Maywald
  • <i>New Work for the Desert</i> rehearsal
  • Jennifer Lafferty in the <i>New Work for the Desert</i> informal showing
  • <i>New Work for the Desert</i> informal showing
  • <i>New Work for the Desert</i> informal showing
  • <i>New Work for the Desert</i> informal showing
  • <i>New Work for the Desert</i> informal showing
  • <i>New Work for the Desert</i> informal showing
  • Beth Gill leads a discussion on <i>New Work for the Desert</i>
  • Claudia LaRocco, Hatchery Project Documentor/Evaluator comments on Gill's work
  • FSU scholars and students engage with performers in a post showing discussion

Collaborators in residence: Christiana Axelsen, Jennifer Lafferty, Heather Lang, Marilyn Maywald, Kayvon Pourazar, Stuart Singer [performers], Jon Moniaci[sound designer] and Claudia LaRocco, [Hatchery Project Documentor/Evaluator]. Slideshow photos by Chris Cameron and Al Hall.

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