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Street Arts: An Earth Day Celebration Dance, Music & More on West 103rd Open Street between West End Avenue & Broadway

April 24, 2021

StreetopiaUWS, Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance, and the West 103rd Street Open Streets Community Coalition announce “Street Arts: An Earth Day Celebration” on Saturday, April 24 from 12 noon–5:30pm on West 103rd Open Street between West End Avenue & Broadway. This festive afternoon of dance, art and music will demonstrate the healing qualities and joyful expression that happen when neighbors come together in community. The program includes performances by Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance, jill sigman/thinkdance, the Max Dolgin Trio Plus, Songs to Inspire with Chelsie Nectow and Eric Parker, and Met Orchestra Musicians. The All Street Journal will be orchestrating participatory muralling while Bridge for Dance and Harmony by Karate offer free family classes. https://www.timelapsedance.com/

At 2pm, Time Lapse Dance presents the latest iteration of “Plastic Harvest,” a collaboration between choreographer Jody Sperling and composer Matthew Burtner investigating plastic pollution. Radically transformed by costuming fashioned from hundreds of plastic bags the dancers (Sperling, Maki Kitahara and Andrea Trager) appear as plastic monsters foraging and frolicking in their street habitat. Collected over months from family, friends, and neighbors, these plastic bags serve as a visual and kinetic archeology of our current moment. Costumes by Lauren Gaston.

Time Lapse Dance also presents excerpts from “Bunhead’s Back,” the comic and poignant portrayal of a Degas ballerina who discovers her head is screwed on backwards. TLD’s Maki Kitahara performs in an ingenious mask created by Erin K. Orr. The piece is an updated revisiting of Sperling’s original choreography from 1998.

In a nod to the pandemic moment, jill sigman/thinkdance shares an improvisation “healing (trying)” with dancers Dani Cole, Donna Costello, Malaika Rinyire, Jill Sigman, Mary Suk
Kayva Yang, and Rishauna Zumberg. 

During their furlough from the MET Opera in April 2020, the MET Orchestra Musicians have actively performed and taught to keep the music alive. For Street Arts, a string quartet of MET Orchestra Musicians presents a lively selection of music by Mozart, Joplin, and other composers.

12noon-12:30pm – Max Dolgin Trio Plus
12:30-1pm – Bridge for Dance – FREE family class
1-1:45pm – jill sigman/thinkdance
2-2:45pm – Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance
3-3:30pm – Max Dolgin Trio Plus
3:30-4pm – Harmony by Karate – FREE family class
4-4:30pm – Met Orchestra Musicians
4:45-5:15pm – Songs to Inspire – Chelsie Nectow & Eric Parker


A NYC-based dancer-choreographer, Jody Sperling is the Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance. She has created more than 45 works and is the leading exponent of the style of early performance technologist Loïe Fuller (1862-1928). Sperling has expanded Fuller’s genre into the 21st century, deploying it in the context of contemporary and environmental performance forms. Sperling earned a World Choreography Award nomination for her work on the French feature film “The Dancer” and was commissioned to create new work featured in a forthcoming Fuller documentary. In 2014, Sperling participated in a polar science mission—as the first choreographer-in-residence aboard a US Coast Guard icebreaker—and danced on Arctic sea ice. Since then much of Sperling’s artistic work has focused on engaging with climate change. Currently, Sperling is developing a dance practice called ecokinetics that cultivates the relationship between the moving body and environmental systems while providing strategies for climate-engaged artmaking. Time Lapse Dance (TLD), is an all-women 501(c)3 dance company founded by Sperling in 2000. TLD envisions dance as a powerful force that can help move us toward a more embodied, sustainable and equitable future. The work aims to investigate the relationship of the moving body to the ecologies we inhabit through performance, media, education, and activism.

Matthew Burtner (Composer) (www.matthewburtner.com) is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist who creates music from materials and data of climate change, particularly related to the Arctic. Burtner spent his childhood in the far north of Alaska and this profoundly shaped his musical language. He is a pioneer in the field of eco- acoustics and has worked extensively with systems of climatology applied to music. His work has recently been featured by NASA, National Geographic, the US State Department, Earther, and the Ringling Museum. First Prize Winner of the Musica Nova International competition, and an NEA Art Works and IDEA Award winner, Burtner’s music has received honors and prizes from Bourges (France), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), Darmstadt (Germany) and The Russolo (Italy) international competitions. He teaches composition and computer music at the University of Virginia, and directs the environmental arts non-profit organization, EcoSono (www.ecosono.org).

Jill Sigman is an interdisciplinary artist and agent of change who choreographs with bodies and materials. She founded jill sigman/thinkdance in 1998 to think about pressing social issues through the body, and in 2016, she founded “Body Politic”, a program of workshops and performance laboratories to ask salient political questions somatically. Working with things we throw away such as “garbage” and “weeds”, Sigman helps us to understand the connections between social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice and to envision a world in which we re-connect with the natural world and each other in meaningful and empathic ways. Sigman was the first Gibney Community Action Artist in Residence; has been in residence at Movement Research, Guapamacátaro Interdisciplinary Residency in Art and Ecology (Mexico), The Rauschenberg Residency, MANCC, and the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research at NYU; and is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University. She was born and raised in Brooklyn. In response to the pandemic, jill sigman/thinkdance has been evolving into a fluid vehicle for movement, dialogue, connection, and healing with a constellation of dancers committed to social justice and community care.

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by Open Plans.


April 24, 2021