Resident Commissioned Artist

The Resident Commissioned Artist program was created in 2011 by New York Live Arts to address what we perceive to be an overall lack of support for mid-career artists. The program is by-invitation only and offers a salary, health benefits, two years of residency time and a commission of a new work to premiere at New York Live Arts. Select works will then be chosen for a fully produced national and/or international tour managed by New York Live Arts.

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Kyle Abraham/ Abraham.In.Motion

The Watershed, an evening-length work for nine dancers, is a commanding and provocative cross-cultural exploration of freedom. Featuring Abraham’s signature style of mellifluous fluidity juxtaposed with sharp accents, The Watershed follows the universal aspiration toward freedom and simultaneously references the emancipation following the Civil War, the political tumult of 1960s and the civil rights challenges of our present day. The work features arresting scenic design by world-renowned visual artist Glenn Ligon and a score ranging from a contemporary cello suite to the soulful sounds of Otis Redding. 

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Kyle Abraham/ Abraham.In.Motion

When the Wolves Came In, a stand-alone repertory-based program, explores the historical legacy of two totemic triumphs in the international history of civil rights: the 150thanniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 20th anniversary of the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. The works take their inspiration from Max Roach’s iconic 1960 protest album We Insist: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, which celebrated the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation and shed a powerful light on the growing civil rights movements in South Africa and the U.S. The potent themes inherent in these historical milestones are evident in Abraham’s choreography, evocative scenery by visual artist Glenn Ligon, the visceral power of Roach’s masterwork and original compositions of Grammy® Award-winning jazz musician Robert Glasper. 

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