GoshAbout: Space For Performance – Spring Gala

Performance Space 122 Spring Gala 2016

Editor in chief: Najaam Lee

Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger

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I was looking forward to attending the Performance Space 122 Spring Gala 2016 at the legendary Jing Fong on April 28th, 2016.

Diverse attendees with various backgrounds enjoyed the huge space, wide open views – a plus for the Silent Auction of over 50 unique items , plus enjoyed delicious dim sung that this place is noted for, along with a full open bar – large selections of  red, whites and rose wines of different varietals. Beautiful tunes provided by Jonathan E. Jacobs aka the Vintage DJ.
It  was a pleasure speaking to Melissa Feldman, President of MF Productions, Gala Production Company.

Great magical hosts and performances by the talented Elephant Room Magic Society, includes Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle.

Absolutely proud of the organization’s progress, Vallejo Gantner, the Performance Space 122 Artistic Director since 2005,  has developed a set of programs to reestablish the value of live performance.

Joseph V. Melillo presented the Shining Star Award to Nicole Birmann Bloom of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City as Program Officer for Performing Arts from 2008, and Program Coordinator from 1999. She was decorated with the insignia of Chevalier in the order of Arts and Letter that was presented by the French Government in a ceremony at 972 Fifth Avenue.

Next, a performance by Cynthia Hopkins, an acclaimed musical performance artist, singer, songwriter of several albums, and performances that intertwine truth and fiction.Cynthia has produced seven musical performance works, eight albums of original music, and one museum installation. She has been honoured with many awards such as 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award, a 2015 Grants to Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2007 Albert Award in Theater.

Jonathan Demme, writer, director and producer of more than 40 movies and has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards, presented PS122 Honoree Awards to Annie B. Parson (Choreographer and Co-Director) co-founded Big Dance Theater in 1991. Annie has choreographed and co-created over 20 works for the company, ranging from pure dance pieces for Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Japan Society, The Walker Center, The National Theater of Paris/Maillot in Lyon, and many others.

Beside her work in Big Dance, Annie B. Parson choreographed for operas, pop stars, television movies, theater, ballet, and symphonies. She has choreographed for David Byrne’s musical Here Lies Love and the Public Theater and the National Theater in London. She recently choreographed David Bowie/IVO Van Hove’s new work Lazarus at New York Theater Workshop.

She has been honored with many awards such as: Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2014), an Olivier Award nomination in choreography (2015), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2014), USA Artists Grant in theater (2012), Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography (2007), two BESSIE awards (2010, 2002), and three NYFA Choreography Fellowships (2013, 2006 and 2000). BDT received an OBIE (2000) and the first Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award (2007). Parson has been nominated for the CalArts/Alpert Award seven times and has received three Lucille Lortel nominations (2014, 2012, 2011). She was a YCC choreographer at The American Dance Festival

Next award went to  Paul Lazer , Co-Artistic Director and a founding member of Big Dance Theater, of the PS122 Honoree. He has co-directed and acted in many productions for Big Dance since 1991, including commissions from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Walker Art Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Classic Stage Company and Japan Society. Outside of Big Dance, Paul directed Christina Masciotti’s Social Security at the Bushwick Starr in 2015, Elephant Room at St. Ann’s Warehouse for the company Rainpan 43 in 2012, and Young Jean Lee’s Obie Award winning, We’re Gonna Die in 2011.

Paul has acted in over 30 feature films, including Snowpiercer, The Host, Mickey Blue Eyes, Silence of the Lambs, Beloved, Lorenzo’s Oil and Philadelphia. His awards include two Bessies (2010, 2002), the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award in 2007, and the Prelude Festival’s Frankie Award in 2014, as well an Obie Award for Big Dance in 2000. He currently teaches at New York University and has also taught at Yale, Rutgers, The William Esper Studio and The Michael Howard Studio.





Performance Space(PS122) has been supporting the creative risks taken by artists from diverse cultures, perspectives and genres for over 35 years. The space was a former abandoned school building but thanks to Charles Dennis, Tim Miller, Charles Mouton, and Peter Rose, they made it a reality.

The space is located in New York, on 150 First Avenue in the East Village with their flexible, air-conditioned ground floor black box theater and 2nd floor main stage theater.

Various talented and wellknown artists have performed at this space such as: John Leguizamo, Jonathan Ames, Eric Bogosian, the Blue Man Group and Annie Dorsen.

PS122 also hosts two free events each year in May as part of the Lower East Side History Month!

Thanks to the City of New York, Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Design and Construction they have helped provide the funds since 2013 for much needed interior renovation.

To learn more about Performance Space – PS122 and to support please click www.ps122.org




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