Tag Archives: Higher Ground

2020 Higher Ground Festival: “One For the Ages”

Contemporary dance and new music; Julia Bengtsson and Neil Rolnick. At the end of 2019, Neil visited some friends who live in a retirement community of 1300 homes, all inhabited by retired couples, widows and widowers. Seeing a community so intentionally segregated by age brought to the fore the richness and beauty of New York’s artistic community, where it is normal to work across
all kinds of divides of identity, including gender, race, economic status – and age. A year ago Julia created the choreography for Neil’s composition Messages, which premiered at the Higher Ground Festival in uptown Manhattan, and has since been performed in venues such as Roulette, Frederick Lowe Theater (NYU), and New York Dance Week. Working on Messages, we never thought about nor were we inhibited by our age difference: Neil is 72, Julia is 26. We are drawn to exploring how we are able to collaborate artistically, despite, or maybe because of the 45 year difference in our ages. Basing our new collaboration on material gathered in interviews with the very young and the very old, One For The Ages, for dancers and electronic sounds will be streamed from the Higher Ground on October 17, 2020.

We are excited to announce the 2020 Higher Ground Festival will be happening from Oct. 3rd – Oct. 17th, virtually, in collaboration with Arts ON AIR livestream. The festival will be livestreamed on Arts ON AIR’s YouTube (Arts ON AIR) and Instagram (Arts ON AIR) as well as HGF’s Instagram (Higher Ground Festival), later to be posted on the HGF YouTube. It will be promoted on these platforms
as well as Facebook Event Pages per each performance. Higher Ground Festival brings Northern Manhattan artists together to network and create interdisciplinary collaborations that are presented free to the community. This will be HGF’s 5th as a notable arts festival in the upper Manhattan community. Presently all performances are slated for 5:30pm EST start time, however the time may adjust to 5:00pm as the days become shorter.

2020 Higher Ground Festival: “are you carrying more than you need?”

Contemporary dance and new music; Evan Fisk, Caitlin Javech, Will Stackpole. This piece, adapted from a duet made in 2017, is an exploration of the differing ways that grief or loss can impact an individual. The cloth, functioning as a third body in the work, becomes an expression of a burden, a veil, a lost loved one, or an impediment for connection. When do we as people recognize that certain memories we choose to hold on to, are holding us back from living our most vibrant life? How can we recognize this in others and within to help to let go of what we no longer need to carry? If we openly explore the past trauma, grief, and heavy memories that are held in the body, how do we face and learn to free ourselves of these burdens?  The soundscape will rise and fall synchronously with the emotional evolution of the work. This soundscape will include compositions by Will Stackpole, creating a dreamlike atmosphere, supporting the choreographic development from beginning to end. This will invite the audience through the screen and into the
world we are creating.

We are excited to announce the 2020 Higher Ground Festival will be happening from Oct. 3rd – Oct. 17th, virtually, in collaboration with Arts ON AIR livestream. The festival will be livestreamed on Arts ON AIR’s YouTube (Arts ON AIR) and Instagram (Arts ON AIR) as well as HGF’s Instagram (Higher Ground Festival), later to be posted on the HGF YouTube. It will be promoted on these platforms
as well as Facebook Event Pages per each performance. Higher Ground Festival brings Northern Manhattan artists together to network and create interdisciplinary collaborations that are presented free to the community. This will be HGF’s 5th as a notable arts festival in the upper Manhattan community. Presently all performances are slated for 5:30pm EST start time, however the time may adjust to 5:00pm as the days become shorter.

2020 Higher Ground Festival: “Ignition”

Contemporary dance and new music; Emily Erekson and Maya Kite.
“Ignition” is a collaboration between Maya Kite and Emily Erekson that explores the establishment and collapse of conformity. What makes us individuals? What happens when we assert our individuality? What draws us to established systems and what propels us to break away? Pressure infuses the piece as the
performers explore the dynamic relationship between movement and sound. Sometimes the dancers move painfully slow against an aggressive musical backdrop. Other times they move in unison to a metronomic, percussive pulse. As the dance progresses, the unison becomes unbearable and the performers struggle to break free–only to find themselves drawn into new systems of conformity. Over and over again the pattern repeats, but the tension, energy,
and chaos build until the group dissolves entirely. In the last moments of the dance, the performers finally see each other. They see that they are each different and accept themselves and each other as unique individuals.  This collaboration will not be aired live, it will be a pre-recorded video and posted on Higher Ground’s Instagram and YouTube.

We are excited to announce the 2020 Higher Ground Festival will be happening from Oct. 3rd – Oct. 17th, virtually, in collaboration with Arts ON AIR livestream. The festival will be livestreamed on Arts ON AIR’s YouTube (Arts ON AIR) and Instagram (Arts ON AIR) as well as HGF’s Instagram (Higher Ground Festival), later to be posted on the HGF YouTube. It will be promoted on these platforms
as well as Facebook Event Pages per each performance. Higher Ground Festival brings Northern Manhattan artists together to network and create interdisciplinary collaborations that are presented free to the community. This will be HGF’s 5th as a notable arts festival in the upper Manhattan community. Presently all performances are slated for 5:30pm EST start time, however the time may adjust to 5:00pm as the days become shorter.

2020 Higher Ground Festival: “Communication in Limbo, Spaces of Waiting, Waiting Spaces, Entangled, Quantum Beings/Being Quantum”

Contemporary dance, world dance, and electronic music; Matt Burkett, Da’Von Doane, Sloka Ivengar, Chris Kaczmarek. Communication in Limbo, Spaces of Waiting, Waiting Spaces, Entangled, Quantum Beings/Being Quantum is an exploration of the modes of communication by which we find ourselves operating. The development of the piece, initially focused on movement’s function as a means of communication, soon concentrated on the medium by which we as collaborators communed during the pandemic and ensuing lockdown-video conferencing. Given the heightened role and presence of technology in our daily lives, we hope to distill
a new physical manifestation which can be guided, like movement, to human expression, while investigating the challenges in communication posed by a lack of in-person interaction.

We are excited to announce the 2020 Higher Ground Festival will be happening from Oct. 3rd – Oct. 17th, virtually, in collaboration with Arts ON AIR livestream. The festival will be livestreamed on Arts ON AIR’s YouTube (Arts ON AIR) and Instagram (Arts ON AIR) as well as HGF’s Instagram (Higher Ground Festival), later to be posted on the HGF YouTube. It will be promoted on these platforms
as well as Facebook Event Pages per each performance. Higher Ground Festival brings Northern Manhattan artists together to network and create interdisciplinary collaborations that are presented free to the community. This will be HGF’s 5th as a notable arts festival in the upper Manhattan community. Presently all performances are slated for 5:30pm EST start time, however the time may adjust to 5:00pm as the days become shorter.

2020 Higher Ground Festival: “Howl”


Howl: Contemporary dance and spoken word. Double Take Dance (Ashley Carter & Vanessa Martinez de Baños) and Zara Lawler.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpKmCAXt4vQ

…”I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by wedding
planners, dieting, in shapewear,…” DoubleTake Dance presents a dance choreography to the spoken word performance of Zara Lawler. Choreographed by Vanessa Martínez de Baños
and Ashley Carter, and using text from the poem “Howl” by Amy Newman, dance and poetry come together to form a voice. In a collaborative project, they will be fusing various art forms as a means to explore the obscure and obvious ways in which girls/women are denied experiences, and are limited in
the world (or how they are viewed by the world). “Howl” explores the oppression outcasted women endure in a male-dominated, patriarchal culture, and the entrapments of their socio-gender. The artists will play with the juxtaposition of masculine/feminine, notions of androgyny, and the interplay of cadence with
movement.We are excited to announce the 2020 Higher Ground Festival will be happening from Oct. 3rd – Oct. 17th, virtually, in collaboration with Arts ON AIR livestream. The festival will be livestreamed on Arts ON AIR’s YouTube (Arts ON AIR) and Instagram (Arts ON AIR) as well as HGF’s Instagram (Higher Ground Festival), later to be posted on the HGF YouTube. It will be promoted on these platforms as well as Facebook Event Pages per each performance. Higher Ground Festival brings Northern Manhattan artists together to network and create interdisciplinary collaborations that are presented free to the community. This will be HGF’s 5th as a notable arts festival in the upper Manhattan community. Presently all performances are slated for 5:30pm EST start time, however the time may adjust to 5:00pm as the days become shorter.