With generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, MANCC was thrilled to host the second iteration of its early career artist laboratory, MANCC Forward Dialogues (MFD). Piloted in 2017, this program is designed to support and catalyze the ideas of emergent movement-based artists by providing access to a stimulating environment that encourages experimentation, exploration, and life-long learning.
While MANCC has primarily served mid-career professional artists since its founding in 2004, this initiative aids in developing relationships with the next generation of dance makers by learning about and supporting their evolving artistic practices. In August 2019, MANCC Forward Dialogues hosted seven collaborative pairs of artists in a 14-day immersive lab. This year’s pairs included Chicago-based Joanna Furnans and Christine Wallers; Los Angeles-based DaEun Jung and Melody Shim; and New York City-based artists Beatrice Capote and Farai Malinga; Londs Reuter and Jacob Slominski; J. Bouey and Peter Louis 'Tear-Drop' Mercedes-Phipp; Ashley Yergens and Eli Tamondong; and Kim Savarino and Lai Yi Ohlsen. New this year, MANCC also hosted an emerging writer, Melanie Greene (dance artist and contributing writer for The Dance Enthusiast, Dance Magazine, and co-host of the Dance Union Podcast), and an emerging documentarian, Jessica Juachon (2019 MS in Public Interest Media and Communication, with a certificate in Digital Media Production, FSU). All 16 artists worked to further their practices within the larger group setting of the lab.
Movement-based makers were invited to apply based on nominations from field leaders nation-wide and prior participants from 2017. Selection, handled by the program facilitators, was based on 1) a demonstrated commitment to artistic practice, 2) a vision for the future of one’s creative practice, and 3) an openness to collaboration. As a means of fostering a sense of community and building relationships within and across the dance/performance field, each applicant was asked to propose one peer, or collaborator, to bring with them to MANCC. These collaborators, who ranged from performer, composer, visual artist, writer, scholar, Korean opera singer, and DJ, acted as thinking partners to develop ideas at and beyond their time at MANCC.
Facilitating the program were field-leaders in dance and performance: Yolanda Cesta Cursach, who is an independent curator and creative producer, Artistic Director at High Concept Labs, and former Curator of Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Gesel Mason, a nationally recognized choreographer and faculty member in dance at the University of Texas at Austin; and Ishmael Houston-Jones, an award-winning choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. Throughout the laboratory experience, participants had various opportunities to engage with and seek feedback from these three highly respected experts in the field. Additionally, New York City based writer, critic, and curator Eva Yaa Asantewaa led a one-day writing ritual for all participants.
Throughout MFD, participants engaged in a process-oriented lab that fostered critical thinking through peer-showings, facilitated dialogue, reflective writing, explorations in the studio, and documentation in order to develop, examine, and articulate their nascent choreographic ideas. They also had opportunities to further their research outside of the studio through tours at the Riley House Museum (a historic home that serves as an archive of Tallahassee’s flourishing African American community in the early 1900s) and The National Magnet Lab at FSU (magnetic research facility that is the largest and highest powered of its kind in the world) . The laboratory culminated with work-in-progress sharings from all of the artists.
MANCC Forward Dialogues was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the writing components, as part of MANCC’s Embedded Writers Initiative. Funding was also provided by the Sustainable Arts Foundation to support parent artists in residence.
Participant Resource Packet PDF