Teen Arts Conference

TAC Banner

For over 15 years, Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s Teen Arts Conference (TAC) has provided teen performing artists (ages 13-18) across New York City and beyond an opportunity to come together as part of a wider cultural community of learners and practitioners. The free, day-long conference, for invited participants, offers a range of theater, dance, and movement workshops; panel discussions with professional artists, companies, and leaders in the field; and culminates with a Performance Gala in the BAX Theater, where the teen groups perform their work for each other and a public audience. For more information about the 2017 Teen Arts Conference, email: casey@bax.org.

Saturday, March 11, 2017 | Performance Gala at 7:30pm, $5 tickets at the door.

Morning Workshops: Led by expert performers and arts educators, the conference kicks off with nine hour-long skill-building and performance workshops.

Panel Show/Talks: The morning workshops are followed by three different moderated panel discussions during which professional artists, including BAX Artists In Residence, share original work and discuss their creative process.

Networking: Serving 100-125 students and performing arts teachers, participants will share a community meal together to network and exchange ideas and information with individuals from training schools, public and private high schools, and recreation and community groups.

Performance Gala: The conference will culminate with an evening Performance Gala showcasing the participating teen groups’ original works.

2017 Teen Arts Conference Schedule:

Morning Workshops-

Following morning orientation, the conference kicks off with three different back-to-back, high-energy technique workshops in dance, theater, and movement (each hour-long session includes three different workshop choices): 10- 11am, 11:05-12:05pm, and 12:10-1:10pm.

Freeing the Form – Donna Costello (10:00-11:00)

As dancers, we translate set movement material through our bodies based on our histories and experiences. In this workshop we will utilize repetitive learned movement to discover the play within ourselves of how this movement can morph and change to feel authentic to ourselves. Using our relationship to time, weight, energy and rhythm in the material, we will see how our individual choices relate and differ in the cohesive container of group work.

Into/Out of the Floor – Maira Duarte (10:00-11:00)

In this workshop we will focus on how to apply tumbling moves to modern dance, exploring fast and fluid ways to move out and into the floor, there will be inversions, shoulder rolls, slides, runs, and more.

Physical Theater – Billy Schultz (10:00-11:00)

Participants will explore pantomime, dance, group movement, and physical comedy as a way to inspire creative performance work. The technique activities, games and exercises will give each participant a new lens through which to inspire dance or theater work while tapping into the confidence-building, respectful and dynamic power of team work.

Swing Dance – Helen Tocci (11:05-12:05)

Meet other dancers, show off your rhythm, and have a swinging time as you explore the footwork, turns, and partner connection of this vintage dance.

Theater Dance – Kevin Carillo (11:05-12:05)

Participants will engage in a high-energy theater dance intensive. The class will dissect the role a choreographer has in telling a story through the musical theater medium. Students will assume the artistic responsibilities of a physical storyteller in collaboration with all participants.

Contemporary Dance Technique – Danté Brown (11:05-12:05)

This workshop will look at technique as an arena for physical investigation in contemporary dance. We will excavate notions of dynamic qualities in phrase material through improvisation and metaphorical frameworks that encourage performance. We will end this workshop with a variant phrase and discuss the many ways to think about dynamics in contemporary dance.

Hip Hop – Skye Montante (12:10-1:10)

In this choreography-based hip hop class we will use bare feet, top rocks, classic hip hop grooves, individuality, and lots of laughter and creativity to learn, breakdown, and rework an original hip hop dance phrase.

ThIS Body Tumbles – Diane Tomasi (12:10-1:10)

This workshop is an upbeat, judgment-free class for people of all abilities and body types. It explores tumbling and partner acrobatics to build strength, flexibility and coordination. Exploring various levels of cartwheeling, hand standing/balancing, forward rolling and weight sharing we will work on communication skills and building confidence in relying on one’s own body as well as trusting that of a partner (or two).

From the Big Screen to the Small Stage – Julia Cavagna (12:10-1:10)

This workshop will explore how detailed images from “big screen” cinema can be transformed onto the “small” live stage. After a warm up with improvisation and physical theater exercises, we’ll look at three different short film scenes and work with such film concepts as close-ups, angles, slow motion and more, to adapt the scenes for the stage using our bodies only.

Afternoon Panels-

The morning workshops (and lunch) are followed by three different moderated panel discussions taking place simultaneously (from 2:00-3:00pm) during which professional and pre-professional artists share original work and discuss their creative process with you. This is a professional development experience to see, hear, and ask questions about the process of generating work.

BAXco Panel: The Creative Process within Reconstruction (2:00-3:00)

Join BAX’s youth company, BAXco, with Director Danté Brown and have a glimpse in the reconstruction process of Oscar Trujillo’s “Moments Bestowed”. BAXco members will perform a small excerpt of this exciting new work, then share their experiences within a creative process that is a reconstruction of a repertory work. Participants will provide feedback on what they witnessed, as well as have the opportunity to learn material from “Moments Bestowed”.

Show/Talk with BAX Artist Services Staff (2:00-3:00)

During this panel, view 3 short performances by professional artists, BAX Artists in Residence, and have a guided talk back afterwards. Bring questions!

Artivists (Art + Activists) in NYC Panel (2:00-3:00)

Ever wondered how you can combine your creative talent with social activism? Come meet powerfully talented professional artists from Brooklyn doing exactly that. Be ready to move, think, listen, and share with some of NYC’s most engaging and dynamic artists.

2017 Conference Participants

92 Harkness Repertory Ensemble
MCC Theater Youth Company
Life Lines
Irondale Young Company
Developing Artists/Rebel Verses
Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center 


Pizza for The Teen Arts Conference was provided by Two Boots in Park Slope.
BAX thanks Two Boots for their generosity and partnership.