Artists in Residence AIR

Throughout its 80-year history, the Harkness Dance Center has supported dance innovators—like José Limón, Doug Varone, Eleo Pomare and Pearl Lang—with residencies and space grants, and as a performance venue. This season we are proud to expand our Artists in Residence (AIR) program, hosting multiple choreographers at various stages of their careers, from fresh talent to dance legends.

Be a part of their creative process—observe rehearsals, engage in dialogue and have a rare peek at special performances—only at Harkness.

The Harkness Dance Center Artists in Residence (AIR) program receives funding from the Harkness Foundation for Dance and Howard Gilman Foundation, Inc.

Photo credits (l-r): John Jasperse Project, photo by Yi-Chun Wu; Tina Croll + Company; Christopher Williams, photo by Dave Jones; Okwui Okpokwasili, photo by Ian Douglas


2015/16 Artists in Residence

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Tina Croll herself is an exquisitely calm, controlled mover, with the courage to be simple on stage.
L.A. Herald Examiner

Tina Croll + Company will be performing Mar 18-20 as part of the 2015/16 Harkness Dance Festival

A pioneer in the New York dance community, Tina Croll is a founding member of Dance Theater Workshop.  After graduating from Bennington College, Croll studied with Merce Cunningham, Erick Hawkins and Nina Fonoroff and performed in the companies of Jose Limon, Jeff Duncan, Jack Moore, Arthur Bauman, James Cunningham, and Judith Dunn among others. She established Tina Croll + Company in New York City and performed with her company at Judson Church, Dance Theater Workshop, the Theatre of the Riverside Church, Clark Center, and other theaters in the city. The company also toured extensively throughout the United States. After a period spent exploring the spiritual aspect of dance, a quest that took her to India and Europe, Tina Croll moved to the west coast. Here she formed a new company. “Tina Croll herself is an exquisitely calm, controlled mover, with the courage to be simple on stage.” (L.A. Herald Examiner).

In 1993, Croll returned to her roots in New York City and has been performing her work at Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, P.S. 122, The Kitchen, Movement Research at Judson Church, New York University, The Kaye Playhouse, Joyce Soho, The Duke on 42nd Street, and other locations in the city. Kate Mattingly of the Washington Square News describes her recent work: “Croll invents movement that stretches our idea of what is kinetically possible, and then ties this movement to music in such a sophisticated manner. . . . She keeps a viewer in suspense.” Ms. Croll joined with Wendy Perron, Douglas Dunn and Kenneth King to form an improvisation group The Gang of Four. They performed at P.S.122 and were featured in the 1995 Improvisation Festival at Judson Church. Recent productions commissioned by Danspace Project include Ancient Springs an evening-length work for 20dancers and Balkan Dreams, a collaboration with Zlatne Uste, a twelve piece Balkan Brass Band, where 8 modern dancers and 12 folk dancers joined with 18 musicians. Croll and Jamie Cunningham continue to work together on their ongoing project, From the Horse’s Mouth, which has been produced for the past 12 years around the United States in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto as well as at Jacob’s Pillow and the American Dance Festival. Ms. Croll is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, The Harkness Foundation, Dance Theater Workshop, Bennington College, the Gutman Foundation and other organizations.


John Jasperse, one of the best of the truly experimental artists, allows for no excess. New ways of moving are at the heart of his work and his dramatic images, especially in sly uses of nudity, and they can be startling. 
New York Times

John Jasperse projects is an non-profit production structure supporting the artistic and choreographic work of dance artist John Jasperse.  John Jasperse projects presents live performances of contemporary dance and engages in a broad range of residency activities in the United States and abroad. John Jasperse projects focuses primarily on the development of the new works.  The ongoing focus of the organization and its work is to challenge and engage its audiences in rich and innovative aesthetic and intellectual experiences, thereby expanding the form of contemporary dance and its relevance to the greater culture.

Jasperse has created numerous shorter works and fifteen evening-length works: Fort Blossom revisited (2000/2012); Canyon (2011), Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies (2009), Misuse liable to prosecution (2007), Becky, Jodi, and John (2007), Prone (2005), CALIFORNIA (2003), just two dancers (2003), Giant Empty (2001), Madison as I imagine it (1999), Waving to you from here (1997), Excessories (1995), furnished/unfurnished (1993), Eyes Half Closed (1991), and Rickety Perch (1989), as well as various projects in collaboration with other artists. Recent shorter works include PURE (2008), Fort Blossom (2000), and Scrawl (1999).
Jasperse’s work has been presented by festivals and venues internationally by presenting partners including:

  • In the United States:  The American Dance Festival, Durham, NC; Diverseworks, Houston, TX; The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington, VT; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Chicago, IL; On the Boards, Seattle, WA; Philadelphia Live Arts, PA; Summer Stages, Concord, MA; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.

  • In New York City: The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, The Kitchen and Performance Space 122.

  • throughout Europe:  La Biennale di Venezia; Cannes International Dance Festival; Dance Umbrella, London; EuroKaz, Zagreb; Kampnagel, Hamburg; Montpellier Danse, Tanz im August, Berlin; TanzQuartier Wein, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt; and the VEO Festival, Valencia.

  • additional international touring engagements in Brazil, Chile, Israel, Japan and Panama.

Under the umbrella of the Thin Man Dance, Inc., Jasperse has created several works for other companies: See Through Knot, commissioned by the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation for White Oak’s Dance Project (2000); The Rest, commissioned by the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel (2000); á double face for the Lyon Opéra Ballet, France (March 2002); missed FIT for The Irish Modern Dance Theater, Dublin, Ireland (October 2002); Highline, as part of the Montana Suite Project for Headwaters Dance Company, Missoula, MT (2007), and most recently Spurts of Activity Before the Emptiness of Late Afternoon for Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Salt Lake City, UT (2010).

Jasperse is the 2011 US Artist Brooks Hopkins Fellow and has been awarded many prestigious prizes and fellowships including the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (2003), the Tides Foundation’s Lambent Fellowship in the Arts (2004), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1998), the National Endowment for the Arts (1992, 1994, 1995-96) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (1988, 1994, 2000, 2010). Jasperse received a 2001 New York Dance and Performance a.k.a. Bessie Award for the body of his work, and John Jasperse Company dancers received a collective Bessie in 2002 for sustained achievement as an ensemble.

In addition to numerous commissions for new works, Jasperse’s work and Thin Man Dance, Inc. have been supported by grants from Altria Group, Inc., American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Arts International, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, Dance Magazine Foundation, Fonds d’Aide á la Production Chorégraphique du Conseil Général de Seine-Saint-Denis (France), Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Greenwall Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Heathcote Art Foundation, Jerome Foundation, James E. Robison Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer, the Multi-Arts Production Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts BUILD program, New York State Council on the Arts, the Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund, established in The New York Community Trust by the founders of The Reader’s Digest Association, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.


Sometimes when people push themselves to certain extremes physically, they find that there’s a softening of the skin, or a kind of sloughing off. You’ve just pushed yourself into another mode.
Okpokwasili in an interview with Time Out New York

Okwui Okpokwasili is a New York-based writer, performer and choreographer. In partnership with collaborator Peter Born, Okpokwasili creates multidisciplinary projects that are raw, intimate experiences. Their first New York production, pent-up: a revenge dance premiered at Performance Space 122 and received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award for Outstanding Production; an immersive installation version was featured in the 2008 Prelude Festival. Bronx Gothic is their second collaboration, which continues to tour nationally and internationally. Their current project in development is Poor People’s TV Room; an early iteration was presented by Lincoln Center in the David Rubinstein Atrium in June 2014. Okpokwasili has been selected for a number of artist programs and awards and is a graduate of Yale University. Recently named as a Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts, she is working on a large part of the development of the Poor People’s TV Performance iteration at NYLA over the course of the next 2 years. The Poor People’s TV Room Installation is a component of Okpokwasili and Peter Born’s Poor People’s TV Room, a production of MAPP International Productions. The Installation has been created with support from LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program. The full production of Poor People’s TV Room will be created in association with New York Live Arts, with lead support from New York Live Arts’ Resident Commission Artist program. It has been commission by the American Dance Institute and the Walker Art Center. It is supported by developmental residencies at The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL; Brooklyn Creative Arts LAB (BRIC) in New York; The Rauschenberg Residency (Robert Rauschenberg Foundation) on Captiva Island, FL; and Wesleyan University (Middlebury, CT).  An early work-in-progress iteration of Poor People’s TV Room was presented by Lincoln Center in the David Rubinstein Atrium in June 2014.

As a performer, Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with award-winning director Ralph Lemon, including How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?; Come home Charley Patton (for which she also won a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award); a duet performed at The Museum of Modern Art as part of On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century; and, most recently, Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room. She has appeared as an actor in many productions, including Nora Chipaumire’s Miriam; Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Kristin Marting’s Sounding; Young Jean Lee’s LEAR; Richard Foreman’s Maria del Bosco; Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys and Indians; and Joan Dark (The Goodman Theater/The Linz European Capital of Culture). Film credits include Malorie’s Final Score, Knut Åsdam’s Abyss, The Interpreter, The Hoax and I Am Legend.

Okpokwasili‘s residencies and awards include The French American Cultural Exchange (2006-2007); Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Choreographic Fellowship (2012); Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist-in-Residence (2013), NewYork Live Arts Studio Series (2013); Under Construction at the Park Avenue Armory (2013); New York Foundation for the Arts’ Fellowship in Choreography (2013); Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Program (2014-15); The Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ artist grant in dance (2014), BRIClab (2015), Columbia University (2015) and the Rauschenberg Residency (2015).


Peter Born is a director, designer and filmmaker. In addition to his work with Okpokwasili, he is currently collaborating with David Thomson on a cycle of installation/performances revolving around a post-sexual incarnation of Venus, happening throughout 2015-16.  He designed and created the set for Nora Chipaumire’s rite/riot, and he has created performance videos with Chipaumire, Thomson and Daria Fain among others.  He works as an art director and prop stylist for video and photo projects with clients such as Vogue, Estee Lauder, Barney’s Co-op, Bloomingdales, Old Navy, “25” magazine, Northrup Grumman and The Wall Street Journal, with collaborators including Kanye West, Barnaby Roper, Santiago and Mauricio Sierra, Quentin Jones and NoStringsUS Puppet Productions.  He is a former New York public high school teacher, an itinerant floral designer, corporate actor-facilitator and furniture designer. His collaborations with Okwui Okpokwasili have garnered two New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards.


He’s one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there.
The New York Times

Christopher Williams, hailed as "one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there" (The New York Times) and "the downtown prodigy" (The New Yorker), is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, and puppeteer devoted to creating new movement-based works in New York City and abroad since 1999. In addition to touring internationally in France, Italy, Spain, Colombia, Holland, Russia, and England, as well as nationally in Kalamazoo, Princeton, and Philadelphia, his work has been presented in many New York City venues including City Center, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, the 92nd Street Y, Dance New Amsterdam, Joyce SoHo, Symphony Space, Galapagos Art Space, BRIC Studio, HERE Arts Center, P.S. 122, La Mama Experimental Theater Club, Dixon Place, One Arm Red, The John Ryan Theater, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, Solar One, The Mulberry Street Theater, Judson Church, as well as in the Late Night Cabaret of the Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, and via American Opera Projects in OPERA America′s New Works Forum.

He has been commissioned by the Martha Graham Dance Company, 10 Hairy Legs Company, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, the Harkness Dance Festival, the Harkness Repertory Ensemble, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Bates Dance Festival, as well as the Dream Music Puppetry Program, and has set original works on students at Princeton University, NYU′s Tisch School of the Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, and Dickinson College. He has also had the great fortune of collaborating with many distinguished artists including world-renowned theatre director Peter Sellars, composers Gregory Spears, Robert Een, Peter Kirn, David Griffin, and Ivan Jiménez, costume designers Andrew Jordan, Ciera Wells, and Carol Binion, lighting designer Joe Levasseur, visual artist Rosario López, choreographer Kindra Windish, puppeteer and set designer Tom Lee, as well as with Ensemble Pygmalion, The New York Consort of Viols, the Sebastian Chamber Players, and with members of the internationally acclaimed vocal ensembles, Anonymous 4 and Lionheart. Most recently, his collaboration with director Michel Fau and musical director Raphaël Pichon on a production of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Dardanus for the Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles won the Grand Prix du Syndicat de la Critique 2015 in the category of "best Spectacle Lyrique of the year" and his collaboration with Peter Sellars on a production of Henry Purcell's The Indian Queen for the English National Opera, Teatro Real, the Perm Opera & Ballet Theater, and the Bolshoi Theater won five Golden Mask Awards in Moscow.

In 2005, Christopher received a New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” Award for his work Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins and an impromptu Ishmael Houston-Jones "Messie" Award for his work The Golden Legend,which was listed among the 10 best dance performances of 2009 by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker. He has also been awarded fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Bogliasco Foundation for multiple residencies at The Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy, and received a Bessie Schönberg Memorial Endowed Fellowship for a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. He has also been granted creative residencies at Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, The White Oak Plantation, The Yard, Bates Dance Festival, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Mt. Tremper Arts, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, on Captiva Island via the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, through Movement Research, the Harkness Dance Center at the 92nd Street Y, the HERE Artist Residency Program, and at Yaddo where he was named for the Charles and Candace Wait Residency in 2014. He has also received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation, the O′Donnell-Green Music & Dance Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Music Center′s Live Music for Dance Program, the International Festival Society, and the Greenwall Foundation.

Christopher has danced for Douglas Dunn & Dancers, Rebecca Lazier, Tere O’Connor Dance, Yoshiko Chuma & the School of Hard Knocks, John Kelly, David Neumann, Sally Silvers, Mina Nishimura, Michou Szabo, Yvonne Meier, Jon Kinzel, Renée Archibald, Edisa Weeks, Risa Jaroslow, Eliza Miller, Nanine Linning, Beppie Blankert, Wendy Rogers, Lisa Gonzales, and Anita Cheng, and has also performed for Peter Sellars, Fred Ho, and Charles Atlas. As a puppeteer, Christopher has worked with the award-winnning master puppeteer Basil Twist, both serving as the Ballet Captain for the puppets’ choreography as well as developing roles in his versions of the ballets Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. He has also toured with the award-winning work of Dan Hurlin, including Everyday Uses for Sight no. 3 and Hiroshima Maiden, has collaborated with Phantom Limb Company, and has appeared in puppet works by Chris Green, Erin K. Orr, and Lake Simons.

Christopher was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Syracuse, New York where he began early studies of gymnastics, drama, music, and ballet. He earned a diploma from the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris where he studied physical theatre, acrobatics, and mask traditions from 1996-1998, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999 from Sarah Lawrence College where he studied choreography with the late Viola Farber and puppetry with Dan Hurlin. He has also studied contemporary dance and ballet most notably with Jeremy Nelson, Vicky Shick, Douglas Dunn, Rebecca Lazier, Janet Panetta, John Jasperse, and at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, where he received three scholarships for participation in their professional training program. He currently serves on the Artist Advisory Board for Danspace Project and lives in Washington Heights.



Since 1935, 92Y has been at the forefront of dance innovation—welcoming modern dance legends like Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Jerome Robbins and Merce Cunningham to perform, teach and create here.

As part of our commitment to dance and with the support of the Harkness Foundation, 92Y has nurtured talent with artist and dance company residencies and space grants, offering rehearsal space, funding, teaching opportunities and performance venues for major dance talent, including resident companies José Limón Dance Company and the Don Redlich Dance Company in the 1970s.

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Harkness is proud of its involvement with major choreographers who have changed the way we see dance and understand the experiences of others, including Pearl Lang who premiered her seminal work The Possessed here in 1976 and Eleo Pomare whose politically-charged work first appeared in the 60s. Both artists continued to perform, teach and create at the Harkness Dance Center with long-standing space grants through the 1990s.

From 2007-2015, Harkness Dance Center resident company Doug Varone and Dancers brought its kinetic energy, technical mastery and innovative approach to dance to 92Y. Varone conceived of and curated the Stripped/Dressed format for the Harkness Dance Festival inviting artists to “strip down” to discuss the creative process before performing works.

Other notable residents and space grant recipients include Janis Brenner, Edisa Weeks and John Jasperse who returns as a 2015/16 Artist in Residence.

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