2019/20 Space Grants

BAX’s SPACE GRANT PROGRAM is designed to give NYC-based dance, theater and performance artists the opportunity to create new work in a setting that is conducive to working deeply and exploring new territory.


Catie Leasca is a dance artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. With roots in Massachusetts, she has traveled and danced abroad in Israel, France, Belgium, and Germany. Catie has presented her work at Gibney Dance as a Work Up 5.0 artist, Brooklyn Arts Exchange as an Upstart artist, CPR as part of UArts/Chez Bushwick Creative Exchange, Movement Research through Judson Church, Dixon Place and STUDIO4. She has worked professionally with Netta Yerushalmy, Helen Simoneau Danse, Jessie Young, Mary Grace + Artists, and Bryn Cohn + Artists. She is a Brooklyn Arts Exchange 2019 Summer Space Grant Recipient and a LiftOff Resident Artist at New Dance Alliance. Catie graduated with her B.F.A. in Dance from the University of the Arts in May, 2017. www.catieleasca.com
Jeremy Tiang‘s plays include A Dream of Red Pavilions (Pan Asian Rep) and The Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth, London), as well as translations of scripts by Wei Yu-Chia, Xu Nuo, Chen Si’an, Zhang Zai and others, which have been performed or read at the Segal Center, Royal Court (London) and Royal Exchange (Manchester). Jeremy is also the author of a novel, State of Emergency (Singapore Literature Prize, 2018), and the translator of books by Jackie Chan, Zhang Yueran, Li Er and many others. He trained as an actor at Drama Centre London, and now lives in Brooklyn. www.JeremyTiang.com
Kayla Farrish/Decent Structure Arts is an emerging company combining filmmaking, photography, and dance. She’s received three choreographic commissions: Of Bones Dance (2014) and Houses on the Moon Theater Company (2016), and Danspace (2019). She co-choreographed Gods and Accepting Darkness with Nik Owens (2015). Studying photography and film with Yara Travesio, Benjamin Heller, and Brooklyn Central, she created Beloved Loveless portraits, premiered With Delicacy and Permanence interdisciplinary solo, and formed 5 short films through Chez Bushwick Residency in 2017. In 2018, she developed live works: Wager/With grit From, Grace, Black Bodies Sonata, and Why I Can’t Hold Strangers performing at Judson Church, Danspace, BAAD!, and other spaces. She produced Spectacle Film and Live Performance evening length work through Pepatian DYF Residency. In 2019, she is creating The New Frontier Film and (My Dear America) pt.1 live work through Keshet MSE program, BAX Summer Space Grant, Petronio Residency Center, and Danspace Fall 2019 Commiszion. Following, Farrish will share excerpts at BAX Fall Space Grant Showcase December 2019 and Belinda McGuire’s OFFSET Dance Festival in January 2020. She looks forward to the new upcoming creation through Gibney’s New Voices: Spotlight Commission in March 2020!
Nami Yamamoto, from Matsuyama, Japan, graduated from New York University in 1993 with a MA in Dance Education. Her work has been funded by Creative Capital, Jim Henson Foundation, Suitcase Fund from Dance Theater Workshop and others. She has been inspired by her residency experience at Movement Research, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s Warehouse and Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. Her most recent work, Headless Wolf (2017) received The New York Dance and Performance Awards (the Bessies) for an outstanding production. Currently, she teaches at New York City public school through Movement Research’s Dance Maker’s program.
Nile Harris is a Brooklyn based interdisciplinary artist and performer. His work has been presented at Palais de Tokyo, Dixon Place, Secret Project Robot, Movement Research at Judson Church, and The Watermill Center, where his commissioned installation, curated by Robert Wilson, was featured in publications such as New York Magazine, W Magazine, Art News, and Slate. He has performed in the with work of various artists including Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, 600 Highwaymen, Nia Witherspoon, Miles Greenberg, and Malcom-X Betts performing in venues and festivals around the world including New York Live Arts, Museum of Modern Art, The Walker Art Center, EMPAC, Danspace Project, EFA Project Space, American Repertory Theatre, and the Dublin International Theatre Festival among others.
Ogemdi Ude is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Harlem. Her work has been presented at Danspace Project, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, Lewis Center for the Arts, and for BAM’s DanceAfrica festival. She is a 2019-2020 Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU Resident Fellow and 2019 BAX Space Grantee. She currently serves as Head of Movement for Drama at Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in English, Dance, and Theater from Princeton University.


2019 MAP Fund grantee Davalois Fearon is a critically-acclaimed dancer, teacher, and choreographer born in Jamaica and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is one of Dance Magazine’s seven ‘Up-and-coming Black Artists to Have on Your Radar’ and a Bessie Award recipient for her performance in “the skeleton architecture, or the future of our world’s.” She is the founder and Artistic Director of Davalois Fearon Dance, a company with a mission that pushes both artistic and social boundaries. Her choreography has been presented nationally and internationally, on Broadway at the New Victory Theater, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the world-renowned Joyce Theater. She has been commissioned by the likes of Pentacle, Harlem Stage, Barnard, SUNY Purchase, and The Bronx Museum and received awards such as the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO, Mabou Mines Suite/Space Residency, and Alvin Ailey New Dance Directions Choreography Lab. She has received awards from the Bronx Council on the Arts, Groundworks Hudson Valley and The MuKha Arts & Science Foundation among others. Fearon is the recipient of the Mabou Mines Suite/Space Residency, Restorations Arts Choreoquest residency, and is an Alvin Ailey New Dance Directions Choreography Lab fellow.
Leyna Marika Papach is a musician and interdisciplinary artist from Japan and the United States. Her compositions house the languages of dance, theater, sound, and image. Leyna’s performative work has been presented internationally in Europe, Japan, and the US. She has written and directed four evening-length dance-theater pieces alongside her work as a composer and violinist. Her work and research have been supported through residencies and grant programs such as HARP (HERE Arts Center), Arts International, and Frank Huntington Beebe Fund (for music+dance research in the Czech Republic and West Africa), Japan/US Friendship Commission (six-month fellowship in Japan–funded by the NEA and Ministry of Culture in Japan), amongst many other smaller grants.

As a composer and violinist, she has worked with a wide range of artists, both as a collaborator and interpreter (Clarinda Mac Low, Taylor Mac, Eric Ting, J.G.Thirwell, Geraldind Fibbers/Nels Cline and many others), performing in venues/festivals such as; Unlimited Festival (Austria), HAU (Berlin), International House (Japan), Dance Afrique Dance (Paris/Tunisia) All Tomorrow’s Parties (US) and New York venues such as BAM, St.Marks Church, UNESCO, MoMA, St.Anne’s Warehouse, The Stone, Issue project room and many others.

Leyna holds an MFA in interdisciplinary studies from Bard College, MA in Theater and Dance studies from DasArts, Amsterdam. She studied dance with Germaine Acogny at L’ecole des Sables, Senegal, and studied violin at the Prague Academy of Music and UMKC Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, where she received her Bachelor’s degree.
Anna Gichan is a moderately-severe to severely-profound Deaf artist. She graduated with a B.F.A in dance from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She also spent a year studying Dance at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
Currently, Anna is exploring the relationship she has with sound through visuals and movement. annagichan.com
Naja Gordon is a dancer and choreographer from New York City. She studied pre-professionally at the Alvin Ailey School for 12 years, under the training of Tracy Inman, Earl Mosley, Judith Jamison, and Pedro Ruiz. During her time as a student at Ailey, Naja was fortunate to receive the “Fellowship Award,” performing in the Macy’s Day Parade, on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and as a junior company member performing “Revelations” at Alvin Ailey’s 50th Anniversary Gala.
At Bard College, while earning her Bachelor of the Arts in Dance, she studied under Leah Cox, Stuart Singer, Leah Morrison, Maria Simpson, and Peter Kyle, and led the Bard Dance Club for two consecutive years, where she curated film screenings, and hosted free movement workshops. There, she continued her passion for movement, health, and education, at the Abigail Lundquist Botstein nursery school, as a movement specialist for nursery school aged-children. Her choreographed works have been presented at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.
Currently, Naja works at BAX as the Artistic Programs Associate, previously serving as a Group Leader for the Summer Arts Program and School Breaks Programs, and considers BAX to be a second home. She is working administratively with artists Marya Warshaw, Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born. While not dancing, Naja enjoys practicing Yoga Nidra, writing, and spending time with family.
Kayla Hamilton is a movement artist and teacher originally from Texarkana, Texas and now reside in Bronx, NY. Kayla earned a BA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and an MS Ed in Special Education from Hunter College. She is a member of the 2017 Bessie-award winning collective of the Skeleton Architecture, the future of our world's curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa. In addition to Skeleton Architecture, Kayla dances with Gesel Mason Performance Projects, Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, and Maria Bauman/MBDance. Kayla’s embodied explorations have been supported by Paloma McGregor/Angela’s Pulse, Dance USA’s Institute of Leadership Training, and Bronx Council of the Arts. When Kayla is not dancing, she's a special education teacher at the Highbridge Green School who loves to watch Law and Order on Hulu while sipping on peppermint tea.