Allison Costa

Performa 19: Unlimited Bodies

a seven-day interdisciplinary pedagogical experiment

dancer, collaborative transmedia artist

cover image from Performa 19's Unlimited Bodies webpage showing a group of dancers moving outside

One of 13 graduate students, Allison collaborated in this seven-day interdisciplinary experiment, proposed by CalArts Dean of Dance Dimitri Chamblas and art historian Sigrid Pawelke and inspired by the radical pedagogies of the Bauhaus (1919-1933) and Black Mountain College (1933-1957), where each member fluidly changed roles throughout the week: from participant to session leader and from originator to critic. The residency experiment culminated in a 2-hour performance at Performa’s HUB space.

This pedagogical experiment entitled UNLIMITED BODIES brings together participants from various backgrounds and disciplines (critical studies, dance, theater, visual arts) to multiply perspectives. For the occasion, Performa partners with CalArts School of Dance, NYU, University of Giessen, and Paris École des Beaux-Arts. Participants meet every day at the Performa Hub and conduct throughout the day private and public sessions structured around themes such as: the anthropogenic body, artificial intelligence, and migration. Throughout the week, UNLIMITED BODIES evolves according to its participants’ inputs with each person actively contributing to the program by intermittently taking on the role of teacher and suggesting group actions, visits, people to meet or readings to discuss. For seven days, New York City is their campus.

Participants: Alexis Alleyne-Caputo, Anaïs Barras, June Chee, Allison Costa, Madison Hicks, Tatum Howey, Cianci Kalid Melo-Carrillo, Mun Wai Lee, Jiaoyang Li, Alice Nogueira, Allison Smith, Félix Touzalin, and Siye Zhang. Special thanks to François-Thibaut Pencenat.

Screenshot of Performa 19's Unlimited Bodies webpage including project description, dates, and credits

Unlimited Bodies final day Public Presentation at Performa 19’s Hub, November 2019. Photos by Paula Court.

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Allison Costa is a dancer, creative technologist, and multi-media artist based in New York City. Her transdisciplinary practice is process-focused and collaborative and she is always interested in exploring new pathways and partnerships for creative experimentation.

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