Teen Arts Conference

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Teen Arts Conference Schedule:

Saturday April 21, 2018

Morning Workshops-

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

The Body as a Vehicle of Expression- Donna Costello (10:00-11:00)

Our bodies are our instruments as artists and there is so much to tap into as we look to express ourselves in our art.  This workshop will focus on all that this rich instrument  can do with movement, sound, space and in relationship to others.  We will warm up using movement of  the body, the voice and the space in a holistic approach while sharing ideas we are currently working on in our art forms.  We will end the workshop by creating small studies using the framework of these areas of focus and encouraging  full expression with our bodies and taking space!

ThIS Body Tumbles- Diane Tomasi (10:00-11:00)

An upbeat, judgment-free and social workshop for all people of all genders, sexualities, body types and experience that uses dance, tumbling and partner acrobatics to build strength, flexibility and coordination. Exploring various levels of cartwheeling, handstanding/balancing, rolling and weight sharing one will gain communication skills and confidence in relying on one’s own body as well as trusting that of a partner(s).

Improvisation and composition: discovering the self through the body- Maira Duarte (10:00-11:00)

In this workshop students will explore the body’s relationship to space, surfaces, and  surrounding matter. Following a warm up, we will transition to movement, respond to different stimuli, and utilize momentum. Participants will be given improvisational movement scores and partner work instructions to generate material by reconnecting the body to its inner impulses and physical surroundings.

Drag Performance- Kelindah Schuster (11:05-12:05)

This workshop will touch briefly on the tradition of drag performance in Brooklyn and how it has exploded as a result of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and queer pop culture in the mainstream. Through full group ensemble games and improv exercises participants will explore expressive movement, lip sync, comedic caricature and clowning. Individually, artists will experiment with writing prompts about what gender performance means to them personally and the role gender plays in their daily lives. This workshop will culminate with an informal and optional share of in-process work and reflections.

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.

What do you See, What do you Say? Physical Theater and Improv- Billy Schultz (11:05-12:05)

This workshop will explore two different approaches to scene creation. First, we will work with body language (physical theater) and investigate what we are saying without making a sound. We’ll look at dynamics of a group on stage. Secondly, we’ll work with improvisation to create dialogue inspired by what we were seeing in the physical work. Participants will leave with two different approaches to developing theater work while tapping into the confidence-building, respectful and dynamic power of team work.

Swing Dance– Helen Tocci (12:10-1:10)

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.

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.

Umfundalai- Angie Pittman (12:10-1:10)

As a Pan-African dance technique, the Umfundalai technique draws upon key movements from different ethnic groups and many nations in Africa along with movements of Black cultures in the United States, Caribbean, and South America. The literal word, Umfundalai, means “essence” or “essential” in Kiswahili. In this workshop, conference participants will work on rhythm, body alignment, and core movement as well as vocabulary of the Umfundalai technique to generate collective and self-expression.

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. This is a professional development experience to see, hear, and ask questions about the process of generating work.

Irondale Panel: To Protect, Serve and Understand – a look at an improvisation workshop bringing Police Officers and Community members together (2:00-3:00)

Join Terry Greiss, Irondale’s Executive Director, and past participants of To Protect, Serve and Understand to learn about how to use improvisation to improve communication and empathy. After a short film about the project, civilians and NYPD officers will share the monologues they created for performance. The panel will then invite the audience to participate in a discussion about how actor training tools can be used to affect and enhance the lives of people outside of the arts world, and how they intersect with the goals of people in myriad jobs.

Those who are not able to join us at the Conference Kick Off Event at Irondale, April 18th, will have priority attendance for this panel.

Show/Talk with BAX Artist in Residence Tanisha Christie (2:00-3:00)

During this panel, view a short performance conceived and written by BAX Artist in Residence, Tanisha Christie (2016-18), Iona Flies Away: A listening party. A concert/storytelling/theaterish work in progress. A story of a girl from a family who becomes a woman because that’s what happens. Music by and featuring Kelly Erin Sloan. Music Direction Chris Vega. With Sauda Jackson, Kyana Brindle and others. A few songs and chapters will be shared and guided talk back will follow the presentation of work. Bring questions!

Are You Ready to Run?: Performance and Discussion with BAX Space Grantees Nia & Ness (2:00-3:00)

Black, lesbian, dancer-poet performance art duo Nia & Ness invite you to view excerpts of their evening-length piece, run. Created in part during their BAX 2017 Summer Space Grant, run. is a story of the couple’s daily struggles and joys while living in NYC, with all original music by Garrett Miller. Following their performance, Nia & Ness will share their ideas about how their love and art are intrinsically intertwined with their activism.


Following the afternoon panels and a dress rehearsal for the evening public performance, participants will share a community meal together to network and exchange ideas and information with peers from various training schools, public and private high schools, and recreation and community groups.

Performance Gala | 7:30pm Saturday, April 21, 2018 | $5 tickets at the door

The conference will culminate with an evening Performance Gala showcasing the participating teen groups’ original works. This is open to to public.

2018 Conference Participants

BAX Dance Performance Workshop Level III (DPW III)
Irondale Young Company
MCC Youth Theater
Cora Youth Company
407 Moves
Jessica Lewis Arts Youth Company
CAT Youth Theatre


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

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    New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
    NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council
    Council Member Brad Lander
    Jody and John Arnhold
    Bank United
    The Bay and Paul Foundations
    Con Edison
    The Copper Beech Foundation
    Corcoran Cares
    The Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
    Houlihan Lokey
    M&T Charitable Foundation
    The Pritchard Family Foundation
    Sterling National Bank
    The Beth M. Uffner Arts Fund
    … and our generous individual donors.