Photo by Catalina Kulczar
April 18, 2023, Staten Island, NY – In partnership with Brooklyn-based choreographer and director Catherine Galasso, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is launching a performance of Galasso’s newest work: CITY OF WOM_N: HARBOR, the first installment in her five-borough series dedicated to the women of New York City. The preview performance is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, and premiere performances on Friday, May 12 and Saturday May 13, all at 8:00 PM in the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301. General admission is $25, with $15 for students, seniors, dancers, veterans, and Snug Harbor Members, and $50 for supporters of the arts. Attendees are encouraged to enter through the Building G wing of the Newhouse Center to access the event.
Galasso’s site-specific dance series CITY OF WOM_N is inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s iconic woman-centered NYC subway map (Nonstop Metropolis, UC Press 2016), in which the stops are renamed after women. Each installment will take place in a different borough of New York City, inspired by women of that borough, in collaboration with an all femme cast and crew. The project engages themes of activism, resilience, and legacy, interrogating how histories are written, and the criteria for who is remembered. For the Staten Island installment, Galasso works with local dancers Beatrice Abbate and Rosita Roldan, who have a particular history with Snug Harbor, as well as performers commuting from Brooklyn and Queens.
Galasso, an Izzie-Award winning, Bessie-nominated choreographer, was researching her CITY OF WOM_N series as a 2021 PASS Artist-in-Residence at Snug Harbor, when she approached Melissa West, Director & Senior Curator of the Newhouse Center, with support from Shawnakay Salmon, Gallery Manager, about building a new work for the Main Hall Gallery. Said Galasso:
“While seeking out a site for the Staten Island installment, I fell in love with this fantastic building, the architectural centerpiece of Snug Harbor. Inhabiting this site has taken the piece to new and unexpected directions, becoming much more visceral and abstract.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Catherine Galasso on the premiere of CITY OF WOM_N, which has been in development within this space since 2022. The Newhouse Center/Main Hall Gallery is Snug Harbor’s flagship building, containing nearly 200 years of history. This project embodies that history while creating something wholly unique and of this contemporary moment. The Newhouse Center at Snug Harbor is proud to serve as Staten Island’s leading incubator for bold and innovative art, with CITY OF WOM_N demonstrating what is possible when artists are given the space and time to work in site-responsive ways.” – Melissa West, Director & Senior Curator, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor.
Galasso created one previous iteration of the CITY OF WOM_N series, a city-wide version that conjures female luminaries from all five boroughs such as Shirley Chisholm, Maria Tallchief, Helen Keller, and sideshow performer Lady Olga. That iteration was developed with Snug Harbor’s PASS program, Gibney Dance-in-Process, and Guild Hall’s William P. Raynor Residency in East Hampton, NY, and will premiere in 2025.
For the Staten Island chapter, Galasso draws inspiration from various women who were either from or spent significant time in the borough: Alice Austen, Audre Lorde, Dorothy Day, Eileen Farrell, Mary Putnam Jacobi, the Black Angels, and Robbins Reef lighthouse keeper Kate Walker.
As part of their development time at the Newhouse Center, Galasso and her team will hold a workshop and discussion with local teens through Snug Harbor’s Youth Matters program.
CITY OF WOM_N: HARBOR is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. CITY OF WOM_N the series has also received support from the Guild Hall of East Hampton: William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residence Program, and from Dance in Process at Gibney.
Snug Harbor arts programming is made possible through generous support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, Humanities New York, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Con Edison – Arts al Fresco, Dance/NYC Rehearsal Space Subsidy, Howard Gilman Foundation and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation.
CITY OF WOM_N: HARBOR
Choreography by Catherine Galasso in collaboration with the performers
Performed by Beatrice Abbate, Katherine De La Cruz, Neva Guido, Rosita Roldan, Kim Savarino, Kimiko Tanabe, Meghann Trago
Live music composed and performed by Catherine McRae
Lighting by Christina Tang
Costumes by Karen Boyer
Dramaturgy: Sheryl Sutton
Assistant Director: Emma Rose Brown
Stage Management: Erin Gray
QUOTES ABOUT CATHERINE’S PREVIOUS WORKS:
“ENCHANTING… BURSTING WITH IDEAS AND INVENTION LIKE A TREASURE CHEST SO PACKED WITH JEWELS THAT THE LID WON’T STAY DOWN.”
~ Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle (December 2018)
“FULL OF SELF-CONSCIOUS HUMOR AND DYNAMIC REFRAMING OF WHAT IT MEANS TO PERFORM AND TO WATCH.”
~ Dasha Bulatova, Piedmont Post (December 2018)
“CHOREOGRAPHER CATHERINE GALASSO USES CESAR PELLI’S STAIRCASE AS A SINGULAR STAGE.”
~ Gia Kourlas, The New York Times (June 2018)
“NOTES ON DE GROAT WAS DONE WITH SUCH CLARITY, LOVE, AND SLY WIT THAT IT WON ME OVER. YOU FELT A TUG FROM THE PAST, BUT MORE THAN THAT, AN EXCHANGE WITH THE PAST.”
~ Wendy Perron, A Fresh Breeze: Galassos and de Groat (October 2016)
ABOUT CATHERINE GALASSO
Catherine Galasso is a Brooklyn-based freelance choreographer who has been creating site- and cast- specific performance works since 2006. She has choreographed dances for underground bank vaults, marble staircases, apple orchards, and opera houses. Her performances, realized with casts of 2-25 performers, are playfully self-aware, highly sculptural, and singularly reflective of the spaces they inhabit and the people inside. Galasso’s style is rooted in postmodern abstraction, but the tone is quirky, defiant, contrasting historical nods with a pop sensibility. Her work has been featured in the Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies, and she has been commissioned by Danspace Project, River To River Festival, Arts Brookfield, ODC Theater and the Kohler Arts Center, a.o. Her 2015 collaboration with Andy de Groat was nominated for a ‘Bessie’ Award and her 2018 Alone Together was awarded a San Francisco ‘Izzie.’
ABOUT SNUG HARBOR CULTURAL CENTER & BOTANICAL GARDEN
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden offers dynamic programming in the arts, horticulture, and agriculture for diverse communities and all ages, on our historic 83-acre campus. We envision being a locally impactful, globally renowned destination, true to our values of artistic vibrancy and community, inclusion and discovery, stewardship and conservation.
Snug Harbor is the result of more than four decades of restoration and development to convert a 19th-century charitable rest home for sailors into a regional arts center, botanical gardens and public park. One of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America, Snug Harbor encompasses 26 historic structures, 14 botanical gardens, a 2.5-acre urban farm, wetlands, forests and park land on a free, open campus. Snug Harbor is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate organization. Learn more at snug-harbor.org.
More photos by Catalina Kulczar available upon request.
For Immediate Release – Contact: Meredith Sladek, firstname.lastname@example.org, (718) 425-3515