MANCC Forward Dialogues

Laboratory | May 15 - 25, 2017

MANCC Forward Dialogues

As a part of its mission to raise the value of the creative process in dance, MANCC has piloted a new program, MANCC Forward Dialogues (MFD), with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts. This new laboratory program was 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 artists, this new initiative aids in developing relationships with the next generation of dance makers by learning about and supporting their evolving artistic practices. MANCC Forward Dialogues hosted nine collaborative pairs of artists in a 10-day immersive lab. Candidates were invited to apply based on nominations from field leaders nation-wide. Selection 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 to bring with them, in cohort, to MANCC. Collaborators ranged from intellectual to artistic, including performers, composers, designers, writers, filmmakers, and dramaturgs, who acted as thinking partners to develop ideas at and beyond the time spent at MANCC.

Selecting the participating pairs and facilitating the program were field-leaders in dance and performance: New York City based writer and critic Eva Yaa Asantewaa; Curator of Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Yolanda Cesta Cursach; and choreographer and Assistant Professor of Dance at University of Colorado-Boulder Gesel Mason. Participants engaged in a process-oriented lab that fostered critical thinking through peer-showings, facilitated dialog, reflective writing, explorations in the studio, and documentation in order to develop, examine, and articulate their nascent choreographic ideas.

MFD participants were provided the following resource packet at the beginning of the lab, which provides an overview of the intentions of the lab and schedule of activities as well as the bios and headshots of all the participant artists and facilitators. Participant Resource Packet PDF


  • MANCC Director Carla Peterson welcomes the group to Tallahassee at an opening night reception.
  • Collaborative pair Santoli & Shapiro (both NY) share their intersecting interests with the group on day 2.
  • Collaborative pair Vince Johnson and Francois Zayas (both PA) share their work.
  • Collaborative pair Vince Johnson and Francois Zayas (both PA) share their work.
  • Participants share feedback on each other's work.
  • Facilitator Yolanda Cesta Cursach leads a group discussion.
  • Participants Fana Fraser and Maya Jordan work with facilitators Gesel Mason and Yolanda Cesta Cursach.
  • End of day wind-down / dance party.
  • End of day wind-down / dance party.
  • Nana Adusei-Poku (Netherlands) and NIC Kay (NY/IL) share a site-specific performance with the group.
  • Peer-cohort Nana Adusei-Poku (Netherlands) and NIC Kay (NY/IL) discuss their piece with the group.
  • Choreographer Vince Johnson (PA) collaborates with peer-cohort and composer Francois Zayas (PA).
  • Aimee Plauche (FSU BFA '10) and Megan Carvajal (FSU MFA '16) discuss their collaborative process.
  • Participant Megan Carvajal (FSU MFA '16) experiments with improvisational scores.
  • Peer-cohort Sarah Rose (FSU MFA '19) and Ross Daniel (FSU MFA '17) explore movement vocabulary.
  • Sarah Rose and Ross Daniel share work.
  • Participant Maya Jordan (CA) shares her work.
  • Participants join in a work process led by Maya Jordan.
  • Participant Maya Jordan (CA) performs an improvisation with the group.
  • MFD participant Fana Fraser (NY) creates new work in the studio.
  • Lisa Harris, Georgia Wall, Megan Carvajal, and Aimee Plauche with facilitator Gesel Mason.
Lily Bo Shapiro, Julia Santoli, Georgia Wall, Lisa Harris, Vince Johnson, Francois Zayas, Evvie Allison, Lora-Faye Ashuvud, Maya “Mayanicol” Jordan, Sonia Malfa, NIC Kay, Nana Adusei-Poku, Fana Fraser, Roya Carreras, Aimee Plauche, Megan Carvajal, Ross Daniel, Sarah Rose [Artist Participants], Gesel Mason, Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Eva Yaa Asantewaa [Facilitators]

Featured Artist

Okwui Okpokwasili

Bronx Gothic
June 1 - 29
The Young Vic
(London, UK)


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