Magazine article Dance Magazine

Choreography Unlocked: Ailey Launches a New Festival Focused on the Choreographic Process

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Choreography Unlocked: Ailey Launches a New Festival Focused on the Choreographic Process

Article excerpt

Coming this fall to the ever-expanding Ailey organization is an intriguing new event: the Choreography Unlocked festival. From Oct. 12-14 and 26-28, the Joan Weill Center for Dance will host workshops, performances and panel discussions. It is an extension of Ailey's New Directions Choreography Lab, an annual residency fellowship for four emerging and mid-career choreographers, founded by artistic director Robert Battle in 2011.

The festival offers a rare experience for choreographers to work collectively on their craft, and for students and public audiences to interact firsthand with the process of creating dance. "Choreographers tend to section off on their own, so I wanted to offer classes for them to come together and vibe off each other," says Battle. He also hopes to demystify the choreographic process for audiences.

The key component of the festival is process-oriented choreography classes geared toward critical thinking. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar will lead master classes for numerous New Directions alumni and other invited choreographers. Battle wanted to give an array of dancemakers the opportunity to work directly with Zollar because "she is an artist who understands how to pull things out to find the essence of a work." Stefanie Batten Bland will do the same for select Professional Division students at The Ailey School, and further workshops will be open to the public.

Two performances will showcase pieces by Camille A. …

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