CUNY Dance Initiative announces Winter 2024 performance and new call for applications

CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), an extensive program providing NYC choreographers and dance companies with creative residencies on CUNY campuses.

Announces public hearings in winter 2024 and another open call for applications. CDI is also pleased to announce expanded support from the Howard Gilman Foundation.

The CUNY Dance Initiative, now in its 10th year, provides residencies for 23 early- to mid-career choreographers at 13 CUNY colleges and three partner arts organizations in all five boroughs. While providing access to CUNY studies and internships is the driving force behind CDI, the program has always recognized the need to accompany the space grant with artistic scholarship. With expanded, multi-year support from the Howard Gilman Foundation, CDI is pleased to significantly increase its base fee for artists-in-residence in the future.

CDI residencies are in full swing this winter, and public performances by A Palo Seco Flamenco Company, ZCO/DANCEPROJECT, Amanda Selwyn Dance Theater, and Kizuna Dance are scheduled for February and March 2024. Details of these performances, including the three premieres, are listed below. Many artists also work in CUNY studios, rehearsing and developing new projects, including Nora Alami, Les Ballet Afrik, CocoMotion / NuTribe Dance Company, Gotham Dance Theatre, Orlando Hernández, Sloka Iyengar, Camille J., Enya Kalia Creations / Enya-Kalia Jordan , LayeRhythm, Sekou McMiller and Friends, Rachna Nivas, onCUE Chronicles / Quilan Arnold, Passion Fruit Dance Company and Hussein Smko.

CDI is also announcing an open call for applications for its next residency cycle. Applications can be submitted between January 11 and February 15, 2024. All New York-based choreographers and dance companies are eligible to apply. CDI supports residencies that are rehearsal-only or may culminate in a public performance, and all awards include an honorarium in addition to a space grant. Through its CUNY consortium of colleges and arts organizations, CDI expects to award 22 to 24 residencies from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025.

More information about residential stays and the application can be found on the CDI website:


Palo Seco Flamenco Company

Hostos Center for Arts and Culture (Bronx)

Saturday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.

$10 general / $8 seniors / $5 students and youth

Described as “a feast for the eyes and ears” (Theater OnLine), A Palo Seco Flamenco explores new possibilities between traditional forms and contemporary perspectives. The company name “A Palo Seco” comes from a phrase that refers to the raw style of flamenco music and captures the emotional rawness at the heart of flamenco. The performance at Hostos features some of the company’s most acclaimed repertoire and a sample of them Fierce, a powerful new work that conveys the struggles and strengths of abuse survivors.


Memory variations (world premiere)

Jamaica Performing Arts Center (Queens)

Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m.

20 dollars

ZCO/DANCEPROJECT, a physically integrated company dedicated to integrating people with disabilities into dance and society, premieres Memory variations. Choreographed by Chris Heller, this piece explores the resonance of memories—both joyful and challenging—to illuminate the essence of our shared experiences. The program will also include works by Zazel-Chavah O’Garra, Wendy Ann Powell Rush Johnson and Maguette Camera, which reflect on the theme of memory. The ZCO/DANCEPROJECT residency at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning is held in partnership with York College.

Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre

Formed habit (world premiere)

BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (Manhattan)

Friday–Saturday 1.–2. March at 7:30 p.m.

$40 / $30 students

Join Amanda Selwyn’s dance theater on a journey that reveals how we can be strengthened by our habits, not damaged by them. Choreographed by Amanda Selwyn, it uses a playful, athletic and sensual movement vocabulary, Habit formed explores how habits are formed and broken in our lives, and how many forms these structures and patterns can take.

The Kizuna Dance

FATHER’S ABSENCE | MOTHER MA (world premiere)

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (Manhattan)

Saturday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m.

$25 / $20 students

Kizuna Dance creates works that use the similarities and differences—linguistic, historical, aesthetic—between American and Japanese culture as a primary driving force. For the company’s 10-year anniversary in 2024, Kizuna Dance premieres a deeply personal work by Artistic Director Cameron McKinney. Dealing with the recent death of his father, who left the family at a young age, FATHER’S ABSENCE | MOTHER MA brings a hyperphysical focus to the Japanese concept of “ma,” or the possibilities inherent in the empty spaces between objects and bodies. Through a movement language that combines styles of street dance, capoeira and contemporary floor work, the piece will explore the multifaceted nature of loss and the emotional residue of abandonment.

CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI)

The CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI) is a transformative incubator that provides two vital but scarce resources—rehearsal time and performance space—for New York City choreographers and dance groups. Housed within the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest public urban university system, CDI is a residency program that supports local artists, enhances the cultural life and education of undergraduate students, and builds new dance audiences at CUNY’s performing arts centers. .

CDI was developed in response to 2010 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Report “We Make Do” who cited how the destabilizing lack of affordable rehearsal space in the New York City is into the dance sector. Since its inception in 2014, CDI has facilitated 220 residencies at CUNY’s 13 colleges across all five boroughs, providing artists with more than 11,000 hours of studio and stage time; sponsored workshops and master classes for more than 5,000 students; and attracted more than 20,000 New Yorkers to shows and performances at CUNY’s Performing Arts Centers.

In addition to working with CUNY’s 13 colleges, CDI also works with three borough arts organizations: Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island); Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (Queens); and Brooklyn Arts Exchange (Brooklyn).

He is at the head of the program Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. Alyssa Alpine has been the director of the CUNY Dance Initiative since its inception in 2014.

The CUNY Dance Initiative receives major support from the Howard Gilman Foundation and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Additional support is provided by the SHS Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and public funds from New York City The Department of Culture in cooperation with the City Hall.

More information about the CUNY Dance Initiative is available at

Photo credit: Amore, Chirstopher Williams.


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