Friday, April 01, 2005

Dance Grows in Brooklyn

Before I filled my springs (and my falls) (puns really not intended) with Wagner classes, I often participated in dances by my friend Abby Bender, who is 1/5 of Triskelion Arts. The ladies are part of a feature today in the NYTimes on dance studios in Brooklyn.

About them:
If Fort Greene, with its central organization and government subsidies, is fast becoming a little Europe, then Williamsburg is California circa 1849. There is gold to be sure, but its rivers may well run to silt before you can say "Starbucks." In the late 1990's, Williamsburg looked like an oasis of affordable space. From 2000 to 2004, at least 10 spaces devoted to dance opened in Williamsburg and Bushwick. Some, like the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, Soundance at the Stable, and Context Studios, once the East Village home of Movement Research, were Manhattan transplants. Others, like Triskelion Arts, a rehearsal space on North 11th Street founded by five friends from Bard College, were new arrivals.
Triskelion's lease is up in 2009. "I can't imagine we'd get a new lease anything close to what we have," said Cary Baker, 31, a founder. Moreover, the pitch of total commitment needed to run the studio was easier to maintain for a twentysomething than it is for a thirtysomething. "We're getting older," Ms. Baker said. "Some of us are getting married, some are thinking about moving. There's not the same driving force."
As a bonus, my previous employer, Theatre for a New Audience also get a mention.
Across town, in Fort Greene, Harvey Lichtenstein, the man who put the Brooklyn Academy of Music on the map and is now chairman of the BAM Local Development Corporation, plans to marshal some $650 million in a coordinated effort to help break that cycle by creating a subsidized arts district. Six new theaters are either open or planned, including the $35.8 million home for Theater for a New Audience, designed by Frank Gehry and Hugh Hardy and expected to open at the end of 2008.

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