2015 Summer + Fall Space Grants

BAX’s SPACE GRANT PROGRAM is designed to give Brooklyn and Queens 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.

The 2015 Summer Space Grant Recipients are:

Mieke D  |  Julián J. Mesri  |  Mina Nishimura

The 2015 Fall Space Grant recipients are:

Taja Lindley  |  Jules Skloot  |  Tamara Williams

Mieke D

Mieke D is an interdisciplinary performance artist, an aspiring acrobat, and a Teaching Artist in New York City public schools. Mieke’s original solos and duets have been presented at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Nuyorican Poets Café, Dixon Place, Dance New Amsterdam, Under St. Marks, Bushwick Open Arts, NYU, and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She has produced community-based performances and festivals about belonging, identity, and transformation with Ping Chong + Co, Cornerstone Theater Company, and the Foundry Theatre. Other collaborators, past and present include: zavé martohardjono, Kyoung Park, Julia Crockett & Colin Self, La Pocha Nostra, Taylor Mac, Brooke O’Harra & the Dyke Division of the Two-Headed Calf, Target Margin, Stephen Wangh, John Jeserun, and A Beautiful Desperation, her all queer, multimedia, experimental performance collective. Mieke earned her BFA in Drama and Applied Theater at the Experimental Theater Wing, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU in 2008; graduated from EMERGENYC – an artist-activist residency program at New York University’s Hemispheric Institute — in 2009; and participated in NEEDING IT ALL (with Dan Fishback) and the EmergeLAB at BAX in 2014.

As a queer, mixed-race person of Asian and European descent, Mieke D is continually drawn to aesthetics of hybridity and story structures that cross space and time. In her solo work, she weaves together elements of dance, autobiography and myth to create performance journeys that are at once deeply personal and wildly allegorical. Through writing and performance, Mieke D hopes to destabilize rigid definitions of race, gender, and nationhood, while celebrating the inherent resilience and intelligence of the body.

You can most often find her on a really long commute chowing down on a burrito, pho, or a big pork bao. She accepts high fives and treats along the way!


Julián J. Mesri

Julián J. Mesri is a New York-based Argentinean-American director, playwright and composer. He is the artistic director and founder of Sans Comedia, a bilingual theatre company.  Recent work with the company includes Lisa and Her Things(The PIT, INTAR), Immersion (The Treehouse) and Oedipus Gol (Dixon Place). His production of Lope de Vega’s “Fuenteovejuna” at Repertorio Español won the 2013 Gilberto Saldivar Outstanding Production HOLA Award and two ACE Award nominations for Classical Theatre productions. He served as Artistic Director for the 2013 PEN World Voices: New Plays from Spain festival, bringing together 7 notable Spanish playwrights with contemporary New York City directors and actors during a two day-festival at The Martin Segal Theatre Center He is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, where he was a 2012-2013 Emerging Artist of Color Fellow. He represented the United States in the 2012 edition of Panorama Sur, a seminar sponsored by Siemens and the Goethe Institut, featuring playwrights from all over Latin America led by distinguished Argentine writer/director Alejandro Tantanian. He was also the 2010-2011 Van Lier fellow at Repertorio Español, where he directed Rafael Spregelburd’s “La estupidez” in its New York premiere (ACE nominee, Best Direction) and Calderón de la Barca’s “La dama duende”. Other recent work includes a production of Mar Gomez Glez’s 39 Defaults, and the adaptation of “The Weavers” with Pace University’s International Performance Ensemble, which showed in May 2014 at the Accidental Festival in the UK. He currently is an adjunct Professor of Performing Arts at Pace University.  www.sanscomedia.com // www.julianmesri.com

Mina Nishimura

Mina Nishimura was born and raised in Tokyo. She was introduced to butoh and improvisational dance through Kota Yamazaki’s teaching while studying at Merce Cunningham Studio where she completed the international program in 2005. Nishimura has performed nationally and internationally with Kota Yamazaki, Neil Greenburg, David Gordon, DD Dorvillier, Yoshiko Chuma, RoseAnne Spradlin, Daria Fain, Trajal Harrel, Mårten Spångberg, Cori Olinghouse, Moriah Evans among others, and also has appeared in theater and film productions, such as Harry Partch’s Delusion of Fury (directed by John Jesurun) and Haruki Murakami’s Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (directed by Stephen Earnhart), as a body-based actress.

After 6 months residency in Senegal to assist a cultural exchange project, Nishimura started making her own work. Her works have been presented by DTW (currently NYLA), The Kitchen, Danspace Project, Movement Research, Harlem Stage, Roulette, Whenever Wherever Festival (Tokyo), Bennington College, and most recently by Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival. Nishimura was the danceWeb scholar at Impuls Tanz (Vienna) in 2009, was a curator for Movement Research Spring Festival 2013 “Alternate/Shelter”. She was int the AIR program at Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2010-2011, at Chez Bushwick in 2013 and at Movement Research in 2013-2015. Nishimura has taught at Bennington College (Vermont) and Ferris University (Japan) as a guest artist as well as at Movement Research, Brooklyn Studios for Dance and Moving Lab at Earthdance. Her new work, “Celery of Everything” will premier at Danspace Project this fall.

Taja Lindley

Taja Lindley is an interdisciplinary performance artist. Through a combination of movement, text, installation, ritual and multi-media she is creating performance art that is concerned with freedom and healing.  This January, Lindley’s installation and ritual performance “This Ain’t A Eulogy: A Ritual for Re-Membering” was featured in La Mama’s SQUIRTS, New Voices in Queer Performance Art. In 2014, Lindley was selected as a Laundromat Project Create Change Fellow where she co-created a socially-engaged art installation in BedStuy Brooklyn which dealt with memory and gentrification. That same year Lindley also participated in EMERGENYC – an artist-activist residency program at New York University’s Hemispheric Institute.

Lindley considers herself an artist, healer and activist and is currently developing a series of work drawing parallels between discarded materials and the violent treatment of Black people in the United States. People in the African Diaspora have a long history of repurposing, remixing and transforming oppressive systems and practices into affirmation and cultural value through art. Lindley is exploring how discarded materials can be symbolic of this legacy. In this post-Ferguson moment, Lindley is imagining how to recycle the energy of protest, rage, and grief into creating a world where, indeed, Black lives matter.

Jules Skloot

Jules Skloot is a dancer, performance maker, and teacher based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Jules received a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA in dance from Sarah Lawrence College. Jules frequently collaborates and performs with Katy Pyle and others as assistant director of the Ballez. In addition to BAX Jules has presented his own work at Dixon Place, the University Settlement, Lava Studios, and at AUNTS events. Jules teaches dance at the Brooklyn Friends School, and is assistant director of an arts and social justice focused summer camp.


Tamara Williams

Tamara Williams is a native of Augusta, GA where she began her dance training at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. She has shared her knowledge as a dance teaching artist in Augusta, Tallahassee, and New York City. Tamara participated in Georgia’s Governor’s Honors Program for dance during the summer of 2001, attended Philadanco’s summer intensive in 2004, and experienced Chicago during the summer of 2005 studying at Deeply Rooted Productions. She fulfilled two years in Dance Repertory Theatre at Florida State University under the direction of Lynda Davis. She earned her BFA in Dance from Florida State University, is a certified GYROTONIC(R)  Trainer, Reiki Practitioner and Capoeirista. She is a candidate for her MFA in Dance from Hollins University in collaboration with The American Dance Festival, The Forsythe Company and Frankfurt University.

Tamara’s performing career includes work with Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, David P. France Dance Company, Errol Grimes Dance Group, Millicent and Company, Angela’s Pulse, Maverick Dance Experience, and UB2 (Urban Bush Women’s apprentice company). She performed works by prestigious choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Theo Jamison, Kevin Iega Jeff, Jawole Zollar, and Fred Benjamin.  Tamara’s choreography has been performed nationally and  internationally at the Student Kultural Center in Belgrade, Serbia; the Voltahalle in Basel, Switzerland; The National Museum of Trinidad & Tobago; and at Espacio Xisto in Salvador, Brazil.

In June of 2012, Tamara produced an evening dance performance entitled, The Makings of You,with Tamara LaDonna Moving Spirits, Inc. and special guests Laurie M. Taylor/Soul Movement and Francine Ott at Dance New Amsterdam. In October 2013, Epic Narratives; an evening of dance, visual art, theater and social commentary, was produced at the Actors Fund Arts Center in Brooklyn.  In February 2015, Tamara presented Moving Spirits to Enlightenment. The event featured Moving Spirits, Inc., Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, Andre M. Zachary/Renegade Performance Group, students of El Puente and students of the Brooklyn Friends School in response to police brutality towards Black Lives.

For the past five years, Tamara has trained intensely in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil in Silvestre Technique and Afro-Brazilian dance. She is a 2012 recipient of the Artist Residency Fellowship at the Dance & Performance Institute in Trinidad, a 2013 recipient of the Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall Fund for New Work grant, and a 2014 Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Fund Grantee.  Tamara was the 2014 Lecturer/Emerging Artist-in-Residence at Penn State University- Altoona and was a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Leadership in Jamaica, Queens.

Tamara has taught master classes in New York City, Tallahassee, Charlotte, Altoona and Trinidad. She is currently offering free master classes to the general public through Moving Spirits, Inc. Tamara has worked as a Program Director for the Arts and Literacy Program in Brooklyn and is dedicated to continuous work in low-income communities.

Photo by David P. France.