Oct 14, 2022
Digital Program for A.I.M by Kyle Abraham
Claude "CJ" Johnson and Dorchell Haqq. Photo by Peter Hönnemann
A.I.M by Kyle Abraham. Photo by Peter Hönnemann
Requiem: Fire In the Air of the Earth is a timely Afro-futurist reflection on ritual and rebirth. Through personal catharsis Choreographer Kyle Abraham gives birth to an abstract dance between the vulnerability of human life and the supernatural possibilities of death that is both universal and urgent. His signature gumbo of styles, ranging from contemporary ballet to hip-hop, pairs perfectly with music producer Jlin’s electronic movement transcription of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor. Timeless costumes created by renowned fashion designer Giles Deacon blur the lines of past, present, and future to illuminate an other-worldly cast of characters that harken the African Orishas. The masterful staging of Dan Scully colorfully reflects their range of realities through transitioning from regal to raw, joy to pain. Requiem positions A.I.M by Kyle Abraham as a company that is living our ancestor's wildest dreams.
Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth was supported by The Harkness Foundation for Dance; and New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Howard Gilman Foundation, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.
Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth was created in part through a residency at the Pillow Lab at Jacob’s Pillow; and during a “bubble” residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park and LUMBERYARD, made possible by the Mellon Foundation.
Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth was co-commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; the Boston Celebrity Series; International Summer Festival Kampnagel; Stanford University; and the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
A.I.M by Kyle Abraham. Photo by Peter Hönnemann
Contemporary dance company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, considered “one of the most consistently excellent troupes working today” (The New York Times), provides multifaceted performances, educational programming, and community-based workshops across the globe. Led by acclaimed Choreographer and Artistic Director Kyle Abraham’s innovative vision, the work of A.I.M is galvanized by Black culture and history, and grounded in a conglomeration of unique perspectives; described by Abraham as a “post-modern gumbo” of movement exploration.
A.I.M is one of the most active touring dance companies in the United States, with an audience base as diverse as A.I.M’s movement vocabulary, drawing inspiration from a multitude of sources and dance styles. Since A.I.M’s founding in 2006, Abraham has created more than 15 original works for and with the company. To expand its repertoire and offer a breadth of dance work to audiences, A.I.M commissions new works and performs existing works by outside choreographers, such as Trisha Brown, Bebe Miller, Andrea Miller, and current A.I.M dancer Keerati Jinakunwiphat.
Kyle Abraham’s unique vision and illumination of poignant and relevant issues set him apart from his generation of choreographers as a leading creative force in dance. A.I.M extends this vision and amplifies surrounding artistic voices to share movement and community-based work with audiences around the world.
For more information, to get involved, or to purchase your A.I.M merchandise, please visit aimbykyleabraham.org. Follow A.I.M on Instagram @aimbykyleabraham and Kyle Abraham @kyle_abraham_original_recipe.
Abraham serves on the advisory board for Dance Magazine, and in 2020 was selected to be their first-ever guest editor. Abraham also sits on the artistic advisory board for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the inaugural Black Genius Brain Trust, and the inaugural cohort of the Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab, a partnership between the Prada Group, Theaster Gates Studio, Dorchester Industries, and Rebuild Foundation. In addition, Abraham was named a Kennedy Center Next 50 Leader (2021), a list of leaders who exemplify the Center’s mission to help shape culture and society through the arts.
Rebecca Bengal of Vogue wrote, “What Abraham brings … is an avant-garde aesthetic, an original and politically minded downtown sensibility that doesn’t distinguish between genres but freely draws on a vocabulary that is as much Merce [Cunningham] and Martha [Graham] as it is Eadweard Muybridge and Michael Jackson.”
In addition to performing and developing new works for his company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Abraham has been commissioned by a wide variety of dance companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The National Ballet of Cuba, New York City Ballet, and the Royal Ballet.
Abraham’s third work for New York City Ballet, When We Fell (2021), was reviewed by The New York Times as “among the most beautiful dance films of the pandemic.” Other recent works include The Weathering (2022), commissioned by The Royal Ballet; Abraham’s collaboration with NYCB Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley on Ces noms que nous portons (2020), a Lincoln Center and NYCB commissioned solo; and Unto The End, We Meet (2020), commissioned by the National Ballet of Cuba. Abraham was the final choreographer commissioned by Paul Taylor before his passing, creating Only The Lonely (2019) for Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. The Runaway (2018) was recognized on the Best Dance of 2018 list by The New York Times, and Untitled America (2016), a 3-part commissioned work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was described by The New York Times as “potent and explosive and wonderfully of the moment.”
Abraham has also choreographed for many of the leading dancers of our time. Most recently, to be seen (2020), a new solo for American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Calvin Royal III, premiered during the virtual Fall For Dance Festival. Of this solo, The New York Times observed “how skilled [Abraham] has become at mingling the ballet vernacular with other forms, from hip-hop to West African movement” and his unique talent for “finding the person within the dancer and the bodies within a body.” Abraham created Ash (2019), a solo work for American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland that also had its premiere at Fall for Dance. The Serpent and The Smoke (2016) toured as part of Restless Creature, a pas de deux for Abraham and acclaimed Bessie Award-winning and former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan. Off the stage, Abraham choreographed the music video for Sufjan Stevens’ Sugar (2020), and for the feature-length film The Book of Henry (2016) for acclaimed director Colin Trevorrow.
In his early career, Abraham served as a choreographic contributor for Beyonce’s British Vogue cover shoot (2013) and was named a Joyce Creative Residency Artist (2017-18), a City Center Choreographer in Residence (2015), the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient (2012), a USA Ford Fellow (2012), and the New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist (2012–2014). Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Abraham’s Another Night (2012) at New York City Center. OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama” (2011). Abraham is the recipient of a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for The Radio Show (2010), a Princess Grace Award for Choreography (2010), and was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” (2009).
Abraham’s choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad. Notable venues and festivals include Brooklyn Academy of Music, Danspace Project, Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, Harlem Stage, The Joyce Theater, and Lincoln Center in New York; Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Los Angeles Music Center in California; Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago in Illinois; ICA Boston and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts; Bates Dance Festival in Maine; American Dance Festival in North Carolina; The Andy Warhol Museum, The Byham, and The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in Pennsylvania; Performing Arts Houston and TITAS in Texas; On The Boards and Seattle Theatre Group in Washington; and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Internationally Abraham’s works have toured to Théâtre Paul Eluard, Maison de la Danse, Théâtre de la Ville, and L’Onde in France; Tanz Im August and Kampnagel Festival in Germany; Project Arts Centre in Ireland; The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum in Japan; and the Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells in the United Kingdom, among others.
Donovan Reed. Photo by Peter Hönnemann
Joe Buckingham (Visual Art) is a visual artist who was born in Germany, raised in Hollis Queens, and presently living in Long Island, NY. His art is a reflection of his experiences growing up in New York, where he was inspired by the visuals of the 1970's and 1980's including the gritty texture and layers juxtaposed with colorful graffiti. His work has been seen in galleries in NYC, Tokyo, and more. He is a graduate of the High School of Art & Design (NYC) and New York Institute of Technology (NY).
Charlotte Brathwaite (Artistic Advisor) As a creator and director, Brathwaite’s genre-defying works illuminate the realities and the dreams of the marginalized and center unheard, unseen, and overlooked stories. Dealing with subject matter from the historical past to the distant future, her work brings to light issues of social justice, race, sex, power and the complexities of the human condition. Awards: Art Matters, Princess Grace, Creative Capital, United States Artist, Map Fund. Associate Professor Theater Arts MIT.www.charlottebrathwaite.com
Sam Crawford (Sound Editor) completed degrees in English and Audio Technology at Indiana University in 2003. Crawford’s recent compositions and sound designs have included works for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (Venice Biennale, 2010), Kyle Abraham (Pavement, 2012), Camille A. Brown and Dancers (BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, 2016), and David Dorfman Dance (Aroundtown, 2017). La Medea, Crawford’s live multi-media collaboration with director Yara Travieso, premiered at PS122’s Coil Festival in January of 2017.
Dan Scully (Lighting & Scenic Design) is a New York based lighting and projection designer, and has been the resident lighting designer for A.I.M since its founding, including for the full-length evening works Pavement, Live! The Realest M.C., and the Bessie Award winning The Radio Show. Recent dance work includes designs for New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey / American Dance Theater, BODYTRAFFIC, Hubbard Street Dance Project, Misty Copeland, among others. Theater and concert credits include Rocky (Broadway), Jedermann (Salzburger Festspiele), The Orchestra Rocks! (Carnegie Hall), and Peter and The Wolf (John Lithgow / Carnegie Hall). Regional: Trinity Rep., GEVA, Asolo Rep., Cleveland Playhouse, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Two River Theater Company. MFA-NYU/Tisch.
Risa Steinberg (Artistic Advisor) has been an active member of the dance community for more than 35 years as a performer, teacher, re-constructor of the works of José Limón, and mentor to young and emerging choreographers. She has traveled the world performing and teaching extensively. She was born in New York City and graduated from the Juilliard School earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts. A former principal dancer with the José Limón Dance Company, Bill Cratty Dance Theater, Annabel Gamson, Anna Sokolow’s Player’s Project, Colin Connor, and American Repertory Dance Company of Los Angeles, Ms. Steinberg has also been a guest artist with choreographers including Wally Cardona, Sean Curran, and DanzaHoy of Caracas, Venezuela. She has been on the faculty at the Juilliard School since 2001 and she held the position of Associate Director of Juilliard Dance from 2008-2016. She was a dance panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts; now sits on the Artists Advisory board for the José Limón Dance Foundation and is on the selection committee of The Bessies. Ms. Steinberg is a cast member of Sleep No More.
Karen Young (Costume Design) is a New York based costume designer who has designed clothes for many of Kyle Abraham and A.I.M’s works including: Drive, the Gettin’, INDY, Meditation, Big Rings, and An Untitled Love. Recent design for dance includes projects with: the Martha Graham Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Basel, Brian Brooks, Lucinda Childs, Pontus Lidberg, Troy Schumacher, Sonya Tayeh, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Acosta Danza, Malpaso Dance Cuba, Miami City Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She designed the costumes for Wendy Whelan's projects Restless Creature and The Day and is currently directing the reconstruction and design of the costumes of Martha Graham’s entire repertoire for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Recent design for theater includes Geoff Sobelle’s Home(BAM) and Third Rail Projects highly acclaimed immersive shows Confection (Folger Theater) and Then She Fell. karenyoungcostume.com
Artistic Director: Kyle Abraham (he/him)
Executive Director: Sydnie Liggett-Dennis (she/her)
A.I.M Board of Directors:
Kyle Abraham (he/him)
Stephen Simcock (he/him/chair)
Cheryl Bergenfeld (she/her)
Chris Calkins (he/him)
Adrienne Edwards (she/her)
Suzanne Hall (she/her)
Mark A. Leavitt (he/him)
Glenn Ligon (he/him)
Bebe Neuwirth (she/her)
Carrie Schneider (she/her)
Gilda Squire (she/her)
Julia Strickland (she/her)
Company and Tour Operations
General Manager: Hillary Kooistra (she/her)
Rehearsal Director: Jessica Tong (she/her)
Artistic Engagement Manager: Matthew Baker (he/him)
Company Manager: Amber Lee Parker (she/her)
Production Stage Manager: Meredith Belis (she/her)
Lighting and Video Supervisor: Gabriel Esparza (he/him)
Production and Lighting Advisor: Dan Stearns (he/him)
Director of Development: Lauren Cronk (she/her)
Development Manager: Kristine Liwag (she/her)
Press and Marketing
Head of Marketing: Kirsten Magwood (she/her)
Marketing Associate: Catherine Kirk (she/her)
Press Agent: Lisa Labrado (she/her)
Finance Manager: Lucy Mallett (she/her)
For booking information, contact Lotus Arts Management, Sophie Myrtil-McCourty, President, at 72-11 Austin Street, Suite 371, Forest Hills, NY 11375. Tel: 347.721.8724; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.lotusartsmgmt.com
Donovan Reed. Photo by Peter Hönnemann
(See Program tab)
Generous support for A.I.M is provided by: American Dance Abroad; Nathan M. Clark Foundation; Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Ford Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; The DuBose & Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund; The Hyde and Watson Foundation; The International Association of Blacks in Dance; Joyce Theater Foundation; Mellon Foundation; New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; New Music USA; New York Community Trust; Princess Grace Foundation-USA; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Samuel H. Scripps Foundation; and The Shubert Foundation. Public funding provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
A.I.M is supported through the Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI) | Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance, a program of The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) in partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund with support from the Mellon Foundation.
A.I.M is a proud supporter of Dancers Responding to AIDS, which helps ensure that those most in need receive the care and comfort they would otherwise do without. Founded in 1991 by former Paul Taylor Dance Company members Denise Roberts Hurlin and Hernando Cortez, DRA relies on the extraordinary compassion and efforts of the performing arts community to fund a safety net of social services for those in need. Together, we can make a difference for those less fortunate than us. Donate at www.dradance.org/donate.
Support the creation of new work and community engagement! Contributions may be made payable to “Abraham.In.Motion, Inc.” P.O. Box 986, New York, NY 10113. Abraham.In.Motion, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN: 82-4790161). All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
The Walker Art Center’s Performing Arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury; Sarah Lutman and Rob Rudolph; Emily Maltz; Leni and David Moore, Jr./The David and Leni Moore Family Foundation; Annie and Peter Remes; Therese Sexe and David Hage; and Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney.
The Northrop Advisory Board is committed to the growth and awareness of Northrop’s mission, vision, and the continued future of presenting world-class dance and music in our community. If you would like more information about the advisory board and its work, please contact Cynthia Betz, Director of Development, at 612-626-7554 or email@example.com.
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