Context Notes: Fresh Tracks

Fresh Tracks is New York Live Arts’ signature program for identifying and supporting new voices in contemporary dance and performance.  The program’s considerable legacy extends back to the very formation of Dance Theater Workshop itself in 1965, and it became the organization’s longest running program, migrating through a number of monikers — Studio Series, Choreographers’ Showcase, finally landing on “Fresh Tracks” in 1984. The fundamental core of the program’s mission, however, has remained the same throughout; to respond to the needs of artists and the field itself. With New York Live Arts’ support and commitment, it has continued its evolution from being primarily a performance showcase for many years into the year-long comprehensive performance and residency program that it is today, with New York Live Arts as its home.  As a result, Fresh Tracks continues as a leading program that seeds the field with the next generation of promising new voices.

The program’s current architecture is based on the direct needs and feedback from the young artists themselves and from our audition panelists over recent years.  Following this weekend of fully produced performances, each artist receives 50 hours of creative residency space in our studios in the spring and one-on-one sessions with an Artistic Advisor, Levi Gonzalez.  Additionally, the artists together participate in professional development workshops and “Dialogue Sessions,” moderated by Levi, fostering an exchange of ideas about artistic process and challenges encountered in the field.

The Fresh Tracks program indeed provides key pragmatic tools to these young artists that directly relate to building a life as an artist. Moreover, the program gives these younger artists an important boost in a wider environment that often delivers such support sparingly, if at all. The program also gives a fundamental aspect of creative work, the idea of curiosity, a home, allowing other artists and audiences a peek into the early ideas that may well inform the next generation of makers and the form itself. And finally, the program keeps us as staff and institution connected to young, emerging ideas as they are forming within our current cultural terrain; it helps our efforts to stay nimble and open-minded in identifying what and who might deserve the important support our institution, New York Live Arts, can provide.

We are so pleased to welcome this year’s Fresh Tracks artists, Martita Abril, Maximilian Balduzzi, Ben Grinberg & Nick Gillette, Daniel Holt, Leslie Parker and Gabrielle Revlock.  This year’s group represents a range of contemporary investigations by makers early in their careers that look at personal histories, spoken language, a range of codified dance forms and a look at the cultures that inform those respective forms.  Like all the artists before them, these artists come with an insistent need to be heard. We are thrilled to give this new generation of voices an important and visible platform and, in turn, build a circular partnership where we too can learn from each of them.

Dance, like any artistic form, always counts on fresh and provocative ideas to catalyze and propel the form forward. We look forward with great interest to what these young makers do and accomplish as they carve out their artistic journeys, and we welcome them, and you, our audiences, into our home for this season!

— Carla Peterson (Artistic Director) and Benjamin Kimitch (Producing Associate and Assistant to the Artistic Director)

Fresh Tracks
Featuring Martita Abril, Maximilian Balduzzi, Ben Grinberg & Nick Gillette, Daniel Holt, Leslie Parker and Gabrielle Revlock.
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