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Emily Coates - New Project
Quick Center Residency
March 1-8 2024

Emily Coates (dancer, choreographer, writer) will be in residence at the Quick Center developing a new project that uses George Balanchine’s short-lived yet pivotal history in New England as a point of departure to think about how the body and spirit of dance artists scatter, living on in unexpected places. As a former member of New York City Ballet who has carried that bodily knowledge into the diverging aesthetic experiments of  Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, and Yvonne Rainer, and having now lived in New England for a decade, Coates plans to create a performance that collages the far-flung traces of Balanchine discovered in archival materials drawn from the Wadsworth Atheneum, Houghton Library, and Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, with the living knowledge embodied in the aging bodies of the dancers who worked with him and passed on his style. Stories that surface from the region in the process of research will thread through the performance, with particular attention to New England’s underappreciated contribution to dance, and tracing histories of women and artists of color through the major events of twentieth century ballet history.

She will be joined in the March 2024 development residency by two core collaborators: Ain Gordon (director and dramaturg, Pick Up Performance Co), and Derek Lucci (actor-mover and founder of Open Sky), with a third collaborator Charles Burnham (musician-composer) on speed dial. The final performance will include a diverse intergenerational cast of performers.

Supported by NEFA’s New England Dance Fund, co-produced by Emily Coates and Pick Up Performance Co.

Artist Bios

Emily Coates (writer, dancer, choreographer) has performed internationally with New York City Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, Twyla Tharp and Yvonne Rainer. Highlights include three duets with Baryshnikov, in works by Erick Hawkins, Mark Morris, and Karole Armitage; principal roles in works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins; and Rainer's work from 1961 to the present. Her choreographic projects have been commissioned and presented by the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, Wadsworth Atheneum, Quick Center for the Arts, Hopkins Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, Danspace Project (NYT Critic’s Pick 2017, NYT Fall Dance to Watch 2018), Performa (Best Dance 2019, with Yvonne Rainer), and most recently in the performance exhibition Hard Return at the Neuberger Museum, with support and fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Center for Ballet and the Arts, Jerome Robbins Dance Division/New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts. She is professor in the practice and director of dance studies at Yale University, where she created the dance curriculum. She co-authored Physics and Dance with physicist Sarah Demers (2019), and co-edited Remembering a Dance: Parts of Some Sextets, 1965/2019 with Yvonne Rainer (2023). emilycoates.art

Ain Gordon (director & dramaturg) is a three-time Obie Award-winning writer/director/actor, two-time NYFA recipient, Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2023 Creative Capital Awardee. In 2023/24 Gordon’s Relics And Their Humans is being presented at Krannert Center (IL), Wexner Center (OH), La MaMa (NY) and Arizona Arts Live. Previous works presented/developed at BAM Next Wave, New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep., Public Theatre, 651 ARTS, Dance Theater Workshop/NYLA, PS 122/PSNY, Poetry Project, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and HERE (all NY); UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, & Mark Taper Forum (both CA), George Street Playhouse (NJ), Flynn Center (VT), Quick Center, Arts & Ideas, & Connecticut College (all CT), MASS MoCA, Williams College, Jacob’s Pillow, Boston University, & The Yard (all MA), William Way LGBTQ Community Center, & the Painted Bride (both PA), and DiverseWorks (TX), among many others. Gordon is a former Core Writer of the Playwright’s Center (MN), has twice held the post of Visiting Artist at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (PA), a former Artist-In-Residence at NYU Tisch School of The Arts, former Resident Artist at The Hermitage (FL), and was a 2020 Pabst Endowed Writer-In-Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Director of the Pick Up Performance Co since 1992.

Derek Lucci (research collaborator & actor) - 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous, NYT Critic’s Pick at the Baryshnikov Arts Center NYC/ Los Angeles; The History of Asking the Wrong Question, Old Comedy, Classic Stage Company; Amici Ascoltate, Naked Angels; Betrothed, Ripetime; Aristophanes in Birdonia, St. Marks; Uncivil Wars, The Kitchen; Of A White Christmas; Clubbed Thumb; StendahlSyndrome; Primary Stages; Williamstown Theater Festival; The Shakespeare Theater; The O’Neill Theater Center. Adjunct faculty NYU/Tisch School for the Arts, Experimental Theater Wing; Head of Primary Actor Training NYU/Tisch/Playwrights Horizons. MFA, Yale School of Drama.  Derek is the founder of Open Sky, Inc. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organized to teach conservatory actor training within the U.S. state prison system. Open Sky began its work in New Hampshire in 2019.  www.openskynh.org

Charles Burnham (musician & composer) is a NY based musician who has been a participant in the American music pageant for the past fifty plus years.  He began his professional career as a teenager, focusing on the violin as his main instrument.  In 1982 Charles joined James Blood Ulmer’s Oddessey Band which brought him to the attention of international critics and music lovers.  Since that time, Burnham has performed around the world with such luminaries as Cassandra Wilson, Henry Threadgill, Wynton Marsalis, Nora Jones, and many more.  He has become known for his blue approach to violin playing, particularly for his use of the wah wah pedal when playing electric violin. Currently Mr.Burnham can be heard playing both original songs and classic repertoire with his own band, The Charlie Burnham trio, and with Martha Redbone, We Free Strings, The Human Language Quartet and Smokey’s Roundup.

Learn more about Emily Coates →