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Danspace Project and BRIC Studio will present the second installment of "Out of Space" at BRIC Studio on May 14 and May 15. The series is curated by Marya Wethers, who works out of the Danspace headquarters in Manhattan’s St. Mark’s Church, and features innovative work performed by a number of emerging female dancers and choreographers.

"I wanted to give emerging choreographers the opportunity to be seen in smaller settings and promote independent modern dance," Wethers told GO Brooklyn. "Women of color was definitely something that was important to me, and queer artists as well."

Ron Brown/EVIDENCE dancer Shani Collins will perform her solo work, "But Some of Us Are Brave," set to the Nina Simone song "Images" about "a brown woman who doesn’t know her glory," said Collins.

The piece is informed by the concept of rape, both physical and cultural, as well as migration, movement and the raw energy of nature, said Collins. It has also been influenced by the African Yoruba religion in which deities known as "Orishas" are personified aspects of nature and spirit. (Thus Oshun represents love and sexual energy, and Yemaya is the ocean and one who protects.)

The work was inspired by the documentary video, "Quiet as it’s kept," created by her younger sister, Phakiso Collins, and will be accompanied by Bobby Scott singing "Images" live.

Collins, who lives in Flatbush, says she’s happy to be performing at BRIC because she’s "looking forward to seeing what everybody’s creating."

Yanira Castro, 32, who formed her own company in 1997, will perform "Verano," a duet, with company member Nancy Ellis. The piece comes from a larger work performed in 2002 at the old American Can factory in Gowanus at Third Street and Third Avenue.

"The project used the four seasons as an abstract expression of a love affair," said Castro. "Verano represents the sexual side. It’s kind of like being on a beach. It’s hot on the beach, but there’s also the heat of sexual activity." Both dancers will wear only the bottoms of bathing suits.

Castro has choreographed the dance for two women moving separately but in unison.

"It’s like they are each dancing without partners," said Castro.

Although the piece was originally site-specific, Castro believes it can be effective wherever it is performed.

"I make dances that can stand on their own, although the site enhances the pieces," she said.

Site-specific work "can be quite difficult in Manhattan," said Castro, which is one of the reasons she welcomes the opportunity of working in Brooklyn. Her company is currently creating a site-specific project, "Beacon," which will premiere in January 2005 at the Brooklyn Lyceum.

"Brooklyn is where people are experimenting - going out and being bolder," said Castro. "It’s a slightly younger crowd."

Zoe Klein, a dancer, acrobat and lighting designer (she is a technical director at both Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Danspace Project), will perform "Desire Is Illegal," a sensuous dance journey that takes a personal look at coping with loss. The piece, which incorporates vocals by Saria Young and music by Nightmares on Wax, uses movement, text and a heaping bin of chocolate kisses to demonstrate how memory is distorted into fantasy and pleasure is punished.

Nilaja Richards, aka Diva, is a breakdance artist who has choreographed for various hip-hop groups in the tri-state area. She describes her style as modern funk, a fusion of house, hip-hop, modern and street funk. She will perform "," her personal exploration of a young black woman’s journey within minority communities and society at large. The piece is accompanied by a soundscape of club music and original text she has written and recorded.

Sarah Van’t Hull’s "Caught," performed around a stool, is about contained tension and emotionally based movement expressed through the torso.

Wethers is particularly pleased to be back at BRIC.

"The setup of the space is interesting and enjoyable - cabaret-style and casual," she said. "In standard theaters the audience is restricted to seats. Here people can get up and buy a glass of wine or beer at the concession during the show. I really like that kind of setup."


"Out of Space" will be performed at BRIC Studio [57 Rockwell Place, second floor, at Fulton Street in Fort Greene] on May 14 and May 15 at 8 pm. Tickets are $10, $8 students. For more information, call (718) 855-7882, ext. 53 or visit

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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