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Breathing with Strangers at Snug Harbor

Saturday, Oct 12, 2019 at 2:00PM

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

  • Oct 2019

    12 Sat


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Breathing with Strangers at Snug Harbor

Saturday, Oct 12, 2019 at 2:00PM

Staten Island, NY , United States of America

Dance Initiative and

Project dance theatre


with Strangers

site-specific, multidisciplinary performance

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

12, 2019


CUNY Dance Initiative
 and Kinesis
Project dance theatre
present the site-specific dance performance 
with Strangers
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 2pm and 4pm, at Snug Harbor Cultural
Center & Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island,
NY 10301. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased


Riker/Kinesis Project dance theatre's newest large-scale, outdoor
performance, Breathing with Strangers, is a ragged,
sweeping and surprising love-song to New York City. Dancers appear
and disappear as the choreography twists around and within the
levels, buildings, and hillsides of Snug Harbor's Shinbone Alley.
This project invites the audience to witness, interact, and follow
the performance -- and consider how generous moments between
strangers can occur.


Project dance theatre is led by New York City-based
choreographer Melissa Riker, who emerged as a strong performance and
creative voice in the dance and circus worlds during the 1990's.
Through Kinesis Project, Riker is democratizing dance by placing
large-scale dance theatre in public spaces. Kinesis Project often
works with urban renewal organizations such as HighLine Network
members, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, or institutions like the
South Street Seaport or Queens Botanical Garden.


Project's performance is the culmination of a residency at Snug
Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in partnership with the
CUNY Dance Initiative and the College of Staten Island.


season's PASS performances at Snug Harbor explore the depths of time,
memory, and ritual, opening up exciting spatial and sonic
possibilities through movement and performance. Kinesis Project dance
theatre, led by CUNY Dance Initiative artist-in-residence Melissa
Riker, activates the richness of our historic campus by staging a
site-specific performance in Shinbone Alley," said Melissa West,
Vice President of Curation, Visual & Performing Arts at Snug
Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.


with Strangers
 is made possible in part with funding from
the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and
administered by LMCC.


more information, visit



scale and transformative, Kinesis Project took on the space between
an urban backdrop and the natural world beyond in Traces of
. From their scattered shouts over the noise of the Alaskan Way
Viaduct to their tight gathering at the waterfront edge, gesturing at
the sunset, the dancers delighted and awed throughout."
Seattle Dances



Kourlas, The New York Times wrote about the
company's recent piece:

Riker explores ideas about how vulnerability exists both in people
and in structures; it comes to life within an immersive environment
of movement and whispers."


 is Artistic Director and Choreographer of Kinesis
Project dance theatre. She is a New York City dancer and
choreographer who emerged as a strong performance and creative voice
as the NYC dance and circus worlds combined during the 90s. Riker's
dances and aesthetic layer her training as a classical dancer,
martial artist, theatre choreographer and aerial performer. She
creates dances on site - and in context. Riker invents large-scale
outdoor performances and spontaneous moments of dance for individuals
and corporate clients. Audiences and critics have called Riker's work
"a Marx Brothers' routine with soul," "A movable
feast." And from The New York Times, her
choreography is: "comically acrobatic, gracefully classical,
visually arresting."


 is a dance organization that produces dance
concerts, facilitates educational programs and creates site-specific
performances with diverse communities. A company at the forefront of
the international discussion of placemaking, art engagement and the
cultural imperative of art in public space, Kinesis Project dance
theatre invents large scale, space-changing, breath-taking


2005, Kinesis Project's work has been experienced in San Francisco,
San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Vermont, Florida and in New
York City at such venerable venues as Danspace Project, Judson
Church, Joyce Soho, The Minskoff Theatre, The Cunningham Studio, West
End Theatre and Dixon Place.  In 2019, the company's work will
be experienced in Seattle, Brooklyn, NY, Riverside Park, supported by
New York City Parks, and in Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten
Island. The company dances outside in sculpture gardens,
universities, and annually since 2006 in Battery Park's Bosque
Gardens and The Cloisters Lawn as well as hosting more than 30
surprise performances all over New York City and the tri-state area
as an element of the company's earned income and outreach programming
with volunteer populated flashmobs. Residencies include: Earthdance
2006, Omi International Arts Center 2008, Kaatsbaan International
Dance Center 2011, TheaterLab 2014, Adelphi University 2014. Ms.
Riker is a 2016, 2017 and 2019 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency
Fellow, 2015 LMCC Community Arts Fund grantee, 2019 Upper Manhattan
Empowerment Zone Grantee. She has been commissioned by The Brooklyn
Botanic Garden for a surprise large-scale work and performances of
her work Secrets and Seawalls at Omi International Arts Center, Long
House Reserve, Gateway National Park in partnership with Rockaways
Artist Alliance. Ms. Riker has received commissions from Carson Fox
and the Ephemeral Festival in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for
large-scale outdoor events, NYU in 1998, for an outdoor work long
before "flash mob" was coined, 2006 and 2008 grants from
the Puffin Foundation for her work Community Movements, a dance work
with community volunteers, Fellowships from the Dodge Foundation,
Space Grant Residencies from 92nd St Y, The New 42nd St Studio,
Gibney Dance Center, and The Joyce Theatre Foundation, and grants
from The Bowick Family Trust and John C. Robinson to support the
continued work of Kinesis Project dance theatre.


Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
 is the result
of more than four decades of restoration and development to convert a
19th century charitable rest home for sailors to a regional arts
center, botanical gardens, and public park. It is a place where
history, architecture, gardens, agriculture, visual and performing
arts, and education come together to provide a dynamic experience for
all ages. Snug Harbor consists of 28 buildings, fourteen distinctive
botanical gardens, a two acre urban farm, wetlands and park land on a
unique, free, open campus. Six of Snug Harbor's original structures
were the first designated landmarks for New York City's Landmarks
Preservation Commission in 1965, including the majestic Main Hall
(built in 1833) and Music Hall (built in 1892), one of the oldest
concert halls in New York City. Fourteen distinctive gardens spread
across the campus and include the celebrated New York Chinese
Scholar's Garden and the Richmond County Savings Foundation Tuscan
Garden. Snug Harbor offers programs and attractions to benefit the
residents of Staten Island and of New York. It is home to the
Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island Museum, Staten
Island Children's Museum, Noble Maritime Collection, Art Lab,
Children's Harbor Montessori School, and Staten Island Conservatory
of Music. Snug Harbor is proud to be a distinguished Smithsonian


with Strangers

part of the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), a program that opens
the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance
companies. CDIreceives major support from the Howard Gilman
Foundation and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Additional support is
provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the SHS Foundation, the
Harkness Foundation for Dance, and Dance NYC's New York City Dance
Space Subsidy Program, made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation. CDI is spearheaded and administered by the Kupferberg
Center for the Arts at Queens College.



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