Announcing the Recipients for Our 2019-20 EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies!

Katie Cox

Exploring the Metropolis (EtM), the only nonprofit organization dedicated to analyzing and resolving the workspace needs of performing artists in New York City, today announced the recipients of the 2019-20 EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies.

A panel of choreographers and dance professionals picked an eclectic group of New York City-based choreographers and composers. Each artist receives a three-month residency at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) plus a $1,500 stipend.

Three collaborative teams and one individual choreographer will create and develop new work and present one free public program in coordination with Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. Thanks to the generous support of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, each artist will receive an additional $500 upon completion of their public program.

“Every year, the applicant pool for our EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies becomes more and more competitive. This year, we have an impressive and diverse mix of emerging and established artists,” said David Johnston, Executive Director of Exploring the Metropolis, Inc.  “It’s a roster that truly represents what’s best in New York City dance.”

“EtM’s resident choreographers and composers not only use JCAL’s studio, community and theater spaces to develop new work, they also make themselves available to the community. Audiences get a close up glimpse into the world of creation between artists of different disciplines and have the opportunity to discuss the process with the artists directly,” said Catherine Peila, Director of Programs and Artists Services at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning.

“An EtM residency is not only a gift of space and time to develop work but also honors the importance and potency of the choreographer/composer collaboration. I don’t know of another opportunity quite like it,” said Kimberly Bartosik, choreographer. “Being awarded this, along with my composer, Sivan Jacobovitz -rather than me receiving it and inviting him to participate- truly deepened our commitment to our work and process through validating what we’ve been building together.”

The EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies grew out of EtM’s 2014 study, Queens Performing Artists and Workspace: “I Want to Do More than Survive – I Want to Thrive.” Funded by the David Rockefeller Fund, this study analyzed the workspace needs of Queens-based performing and interdisciplinary artists. One significant finding of the study was the identification of Jamaica as an area of great potential growth in arts and cultural activity.

The residency is open to NYC-based choreographers, at any stage in their career, applying with or without a composer.


The recipients of this year’s residencies are:

KIMBERLY BARTOSIK (choreographer) + SIVAN JACOBOVITZ (composer)


Choreographer, performer, educator KIMBERLY BARTOSIK creates viscerally provocative, ferociously intimate choreographic projects that are built upon the development of a virtuosic movement language, rigorous conceptual explorations, and the creation of highly theatricalized environments. Her work has also been presented by BAM Next Wave Festival 2018, LUMBERYARD, American Realness, FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival, Abrons Art Center, The Kitchen, Wexner Arts Center, Supersense Festival (Melbourne, Australia), Dance Place, ADF, The Yard, MASS MoCA/Jacob’s Pillow, The Flynn, Bates, Columbia College, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Festival Rencontres Chorégraphique Internationales de Seine-Saint Denis, and others. Kimberly is a 2017-20 New York Live Arts Live Feed Residency Artist. Select Awards include: 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship; 2019-20 Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU Virginia B. Toulmin Women Leaders in Dance Fellow; Harkness Dance Center Artist-in-Residence; National Dance Project; Map Fund; Creative Arts Initiative; Jerome Foundation; FUSED; USAI; New Music USA; Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists. Kimberly was a 9-year member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and received a Bessie Award for Exceptional Artistry in his work.


SIVAN JACOBOVITZ is a producer/musician living in New York City. As frontman of electronic/post-punk act Glass Gang, Sivan’s work has been featured by The New Yorker, BBC Radio 1, Nowness, Dazed & Confused, i-D, and more. Ongoing dance collaborations include: Kimberly Bartosik’s I Hunger For You (BAM Next Wave, LUMBERYARD) & upcoming evening length work in 2021 (New York Live Arts); Shamel Pitts’ Black Hole (Dock 11 – Berlin, Festival Cena Brasil Internacional – Rio De Janeiro, Israel Museum – Jerusalem, CROSS Award – Verbania) and Shamel Pitts / Deville Cohen’s MENAGERIE in collaboration with Gibney Dance Company. BFA in Music Composition & Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


ALBERTO LOPEZ HERRERA (choreographer & Artistic Director, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company) + GEORGE SAENZ (composer & Music Director, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company)


ALBERTO LOPEZ HERRERA is a Choreographer, Wardrobe Designer & Maker, and Teaching Artist with over 30 years of experience in Mexican folk dance and story-telling. He aims to expand Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s folk repertoire and develop productions with cross-cultural narratives. Mr. Lopez also seeks to share his knowledge of Mexican traditions in dance with younger generations via Calpulli Community. Originally from San Antonio Chiltepec in Puebla, Mr. Lopez began his studies of Mexican folkloric dance at the age of 12 at the Centro Escolar Benito Juarez de Acatlán de Osorio. At the same time, he began to develop skills in garment making, a craft that would later compliment his dedication to dance. He completed the National Dance Institute’s intensive Teaching Artist training in New York. In the USA, Mr. Lopez was a dancer and choreographer with Grupo Folklórico de Greatneck, Don Juan Dancers, and the Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Nueva York, working with distinguished choreographers Francisco Nevarez, Daniel Jaquez, and Noemy Hernandez.


Trombonist/Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and educator, GEORGE SAENZ is originally from Laredo, Texas on the U.S./Mexican border. He grew up listening to a multitude of different genres of music including the music of his Mexican-American Heritage and Jazz. In May 2005, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts to study brass performance and jazz composition at Berklee College of Music. Since graduating in 2008, his path has led him to perform with multiple award-winning artists such as Gloria Estefan and The Edge (U2). George has also shared the stage with Ruben Blades, McCoy Tyner at the Montreal Jazz Festival, performed in the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra with Bob Mintzer (2006), and a performance at the world renowned, Carnegie Hall in New York City with The Cornerstone Chorale and Brass Ensemble. He also represented Berklee College of Music throughout the city of Boston in performances with Eddie Palmieri and The Harvard Jazz Big Band led by Tom Everett, The Beantown Swing Orchestra, The Ryles Jazz Club Big Band, and with the Eguie Castrillo Latin Jazz band. In November 2007, he performed with Maria Schneider and The Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra, and at the Beantown Jazz Festival with Phil Wilson’s Rainbow Band.


JOANNA KOTZE (choreographer) + RYAN SEATON (composer)

JOANNA KOTZE is a Brooklyn-based dancer, choreographer and teacher. She was awarded the 2013 “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and has received support from the Jerome, Mertz Gilmore, and Harkness Foundations, NYFA BUILD, New Music USA, Brooklyn Arts Council, Yellowhouse, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Her choreography has been presented at the Wexner Center, Velocity, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, The Yard, Bates Dance Festival, Stonington Opera House, Baryshnikov Arts Center, American Dance Institute, Bard College, Danspace Project, New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research at Judson, and other venues and galleries. She has had residencies across Europe, the US and in New York City and has created new works on professional and student companies. Joanna currently dances in Kimberly Bartosik’s work and has danced for Wally Cardona, Stacy Spence, Netta Yerushalmy, Sam Kim, Sarah Skaggs, Christopher Williams, the Metropolitan Opera ballet, Daniel Charon, and others. She is originally from South Africa and has a BA in Architecture from Miami University.


RYAN SEATON is a Bessie-nominated, New York-based composer and multi-instrumentalist. Seaton has created sound design, horn arrangements, vocal works and electronic compositions for many recording and performing artists including Joanna Kotze, Emel Mathlouthi, Zsuzsa Rozsavolgyi, Lance Gries, Dark Sky, Steven Reker, Beth Gill and Mara Hoffman. His work has been featured at BAM, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Kitchen and Danspace. His band, Callers, released 3 acclaimed records and toured internationally for years. Dubbed “stark in execution, dazzling in effect” by Pitchfork, Callers have often been featured on NPR and have appeared in various local and international festivals.


CYRAH WARD (choreographer)


CYRAH WARD was raised in Dayton, Ohio, and began technically training during her sophomore year of high school at the age of 16. Cyrah is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University where she crafted her choreographic research to present black bodies in dance with new perspectives on the importance of their presence in an artistic space. The relevance of her work lies in the continuous uneasy racial climate that the “United” States of America is in. Through her call to activism, she created her most recent works entitled Worthless Freedom and Blackened Tradition. Her works have been featured in dance festivals, commissioned by Columbus, Ohio’s Lincoln Theatre, and The Maroon Arts Group. Cyrah believes dance should be utilized for something much deeper, rather than simply showcasing bodies for entertainment. It is through this belief that she has vowed to submerge herself in art transcendent of “just an experience”.


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