New Movement Residency at USC Kaufman Selects 3 Choreographers

CONTRA-TEMPO. Photo by Eric Wolfe, courtesy of USC Kaufman

The inaugural season of the New Movement Residency at USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance launches this month, giving three choreographers—Ana Maria Alvarez, Seda Aybay and Loni Landon—a space to explore, create and prepare works for touring and presentations.

"The applicant pool was incredibly strong, coming from four states and two countries and with experience spanning from 3 to 20 years," USC Kaufman vice dean and director Jodie Gates says. "We looked for a different set of angles, tools and experiences to find who—in this moment in time—is at the brink, right before they book a tour or are about to book an agent."

Alvarez founded L.A.-based CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater in 2005, and her work spans social dance, political activism, community organizing and art making. Her company's arts education residencies have positively impacted L.A. and New York City public schools.

Aybay, founder of Kybele Dance Theater, creates work that deconstructs Turkish sociocultural references and ideologies. She's won multiple awards for her choreography, from YAGP Las Vegas in 2018 and Washington University in St. Louis, among others.

Landon is a New York City–based choreographer who runs Loni Landon Dance Project, has won multiple awards, and co-founded The Playground in 2013 as a place for emerging choreographers and dancers to explore their work.

While any professional choreographer can apply, the program is designed to support Los Angeles–based and/or female dance creators. Applicants consider choreography as their primary outlet, are at least three years out of college and work as professional choreographers. They submit recent regional and national touring history or have the strong potential to tour with the work they create.

Residency artists gain access to the new 54,000-square-foot Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center and, if they choose, can be matched with a faculty member who serves as a peer mentor. "It's not often we see mid-career mentoring," Gates says. "So, if these artists are interested in receiving critiques and showing their works-in-progress in a safe and lovely space, we are happy to provide feedback in a constructive, nurturing way."

BFA dance program students at USC Kaufman will also have the opportunity to participate in the residency artists' creative processes—by observing or documenting the work, shadowing or interviewing dancemakers or serving as apprentices. "Our students will be able to connect with L.A.'s dance community, and that's one of the reasons we created the residency," Gates says. "Artists are looking for creative and talented dancers, and that's what we're training here. It could work beautifully in every way."

The residency began this week and culminates in a works-in-progress showing on June 9.

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