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Leading a new era of international cultural exchange by exporting
American creativity and crafting global relationships.
February 2021

American Dance Recon Virtual

On January 26 and 27, ADA welcomed nine New York based artists and 12 international programmers to a virtual edition of American Dance Recon. Begun in 2012, ADR invites international programmers to the U.S. to see live performances, to visit the studios where artists rehearse, and to deepen personal connections between the programmers and the artists. 

ADR was launched in New York City, home to the largest and most diverse dance community in the U.S. Although we planned to return to NYC in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led us to this virtual visit. ADR Virtual remained an immersion into dance in New York and provided new opportunities to see a variety of work, hear from artistic directors and choreographers, and deepen relationships.

Each day began with showcases from the companies and concluded with breakout rooms where the artists and programmers personally connected. Topics ranged from post-COVID planning to what has been inspiring them lately. While ADR was virtual, it provided a platform to connect in genuine and heartfelt ways.
The nine dance companies that participated were Doug Varone and Dancers, Kyle Abraham/A.I.M., Bridgman/Packer Dance, Martha Graham Dance Company, Stephen Petronio Company, Kimberly Bartosik/daela, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Gibney Dance, and Ballet Hispanico.
The 12 international dance programmers included Alistair Spalding (England), Claire Verlet, (France), Athelyna Swee and Swee Boon (Singapore), Martin Inthamoussu (Uruguay), Atanas Maev (Bulgaria), Kirsten Seeligmüller (Germany), Eleno Guzmán Gutiérrez (Mexico), Malco Oliveros (Denmark), Cathy Levy (Canada), Emma Chianchi (Italy), and Roberto Cassarotto (Italy). 
American Dance Abroad is grateful to the Howard Gilman Foundation for its support of this program.

Awards and Special Recognitions

Recognizing awards and special recognitions received by American artists both at home and abroad.
Click here to submit an award for inclusion

The 2021 USA Fellows will receive a $50,000 unrestricted award that recognizes their contributions to the field and allows them to decide how to best support their lives. These Fellows were chosen for their bold artistic vision and significant impact. Each artist demonstrates generosity and care toward field-building that continues to inspire and propel their discipline. The following artists were selected in the dance field:
Portrait photo by Mark Poucher
Ishmael Houston-Jones
Ishmael Houston-Jones’ improvised dance and text work has been performed worldwide. Drawn to collaboration as a way to move beyond boundaries and the known, Houston-Jones celebrates the political aspect of cooperation. He is the recipient of three New York Dance and Performance Bessie Awards and has received support from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Houston-Jones is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Experimental Theatre Wing and a master lecturer at the University of the Arts School of Dance in Philadelphia.
Portrait photo by Juan C. Malavé
They have participated in workshops in writing, movement, acting, and semiotics with the group Malayerba in Ecuador and with the London-based Candoco Dance Company. In 2016, they worked with Bravo in her Instalaciones coreográficas at the Santurce Fine Arts Center in Puerto Rico. From 2016 to 2018, they worked with the theater group Jóvenes del 98, directed by Maritza Pérez, until moving to Oakland, CA, to join AXIS Dance Company, working with choreographers Robert Dekkers, Arthur Pita, and Jennifer Archibald. They are an integrated dance instructor who has practiced the art of Drag Queen. JanpiStar’s mission is to empower people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.
Portrait photo by Tracy Rector and Melissa Ponder
Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. Johnson is a land and water protector and an activist for justice, sovereignty and well-being. A Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, she is based in Lenapehoking / New York City. She is of the Yup’ik Nation and since 1998 has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as portals and care processions; they engage audienceship within and through space, time, and environment—interacting with a place’s architecture, peoples, history and role in building futures. She is trying to make a world where performance is part of life, where performance is an integral connection to each other, our environment, our stories, our past, present, and future.

Portrait photo by LaTosha Pointer
Cynthia Oliver

Cynthia Oliver is a dance maker, performer, and scholar reared in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Her work incorporates textures of Caribbean performance with African and American aesthetic sensibilities. She has toured the globe as a featured dancer with the contemporary companies David Gordon/Pick Up Performance Co(s), Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Bebe Miller Company, and Tere O’Connor Dance and as an actor in works by Laurie Carlos, Greg Tate, Ione, Ntozake Shange, and Deke Weaver. She earned a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University, a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for choreography, a 2016 Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Mellon fellowship, and a 2011 University Scholar award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was a 2017 Center for Advanced Studies associate and currently serves as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation in the Humanities, Arts, and Related Fields at UIUC, where she is a professor in the Dance Department with affiliations in African American Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies.


Portrait photo courtesy of the artist.
Ni'Ja Whitson

Ni’Ja Whitson (New York/Los Angeles) is an award-winning, Queer, Nonbinary Trans multidisciplinary artist and futurist. Whitson engages transdisciplinarity through a critical intersection of the sacred and conceptual in Black, Queer, and Transembodiedness—site, body, and spirit. They are a Creative Capital awardee (2019), a two-time recipient of the Bessie Award (2017, 2019), a Hermitage Fellow (2020), and an artist in residence at 18th Street (Los Angeles) and New York Live Arts (2020–23)They hold an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Plainfield, VT. Whitson is an assistant professor of Experimental Choreography at the University of California, Riverside, and a sought-after speaker, consultant, master class facilitator, and conversationalist, with appearances at notable institutions and events.

To view the artists full biographies and to see the winners from other categories please click here.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Visit American Dance Abroad's Events & Opportunities page for all the latest deadlines. Contact to submit an opportunity for inclusion.

Choreography Competition
Due: March 12, 2021
Learn more
Dancin'Bo World Connection
Open Call for Video Festival
Due March 10, 2021
Learn more
Creative Capital 2021
Application for Funding
Due: March 1, 2021

Learn More
Istanbul Fringe Festival
Open Call for Festival Applications
Due March 27, 2021
Learn more
USArtists International
Call for Grant Applications
Due: March 31, 2021
Learn more
Choreography 35
Choreography Competition Aplications
Due March 26, 2021
Learn more
*The inclusion of an opportunity or event posted on American Dance Abroad's newsletter should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that opportunity. American Dance Abroad has created this listing in an effort to increase access to and knowledge about international opportunities.

News From the Field  

American Dance Abroad brings you links to relevant COVID-19 articles of international importance. Please send us your suggestions for new links to include next month.

How should dance organizations think about that difference when considering faculty additions, casting, marketing, and commissions?
An encouraging Dance Data Project report reveals movement toward gender equity in programming and leadership at dance festivals.

A $970,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has become a ray of hope for L.A.-based Lula Washington Dance Theatre and signals a breakthrough for a Black arts group historically passed over for foundation funding of this magnitude.

When choreography is created, is it protected by copyright? Yes and no.
Herman Cornejo is collaborating with the “photo-scientist” Steven Sebring to create an immersive onscreen dance experience.
January study reveals alternative venue plans, need for digital content revenue strategy 
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