Artistic / Executive Director
Development Director | Dancer
Accessibility + Technology Director | Dancer
Social Media Coordinator | Dancer
Rehearsal Director | Dancer
Harry John Shephard
Film & Media Director
Board of Directors
Stephen E. Jones
Shannon E. O'Brien
Michele Kumi Baer
Bill T. Jones
Jay O. Sanders
The mission of Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) is to redefine beauty and virtuosity through performance and discourse, employing performers with unique attributes to bring rigorous, passionate and provocative contemporary dance to diverse audiences.
HLD is a New York-based modern dance company committed to making relevant, striking work across multiple disciplines. Since its inception in 2001, the company has received numerous commissions and residencies: Abrons Arts Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Danspace Project, JCC Manhattan, Joyce Theater Residency, Peak Performances at Montclair State University, New York University Hospital;
Awards: Creative Capital, The Gerald & Janet Carrus Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Jody and John Arnhold, Kessler Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Mayor’s Fund, Dance/NYC, O'Donnell-Green Music & Dance Foundation, New MusicUSA, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs since 2010, including new initiatives to advance Disability in the Arts.
This support has enabled a lengthy legacy of social change through art
Spanning nearly two decades
2006-2015: The GIMP Project
"When I walk out on stage, I’m inviting it, I’m courting it. I’m involving myself in this space where we change the rules, somehow. I’m not sure what those rules are, but I feel it, I feel it."
Original GIMP cast member & Communications Director,
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
The GIMP Project is a series of dance works and accompanying outreach programs that involves diverse, unconventional casts. It was first developed during the fall of 2006 with a commission from Boston based interdisciplinary artist Lisa Bufano who was a bilateral amputee. choreographing for Bufano, Latsky recognized a resonance between her own artistic process and core tenants of disability culture: prioritizing collaboration, centering radical bodies, exquisite asymmetries, moments of raw or uncomfortable beauty, and differences as sites of power.
Guided by influential disability activists such as Lawrence Carter-Long and Simi Linton, HLD premiered GIMP, its confrontational first full-length inclusive work, in 2008, and toured it through 2012. With Carter-Long, race and disability scholar Akemi Nishida, and disabled transgender dancer Toby MacNutt as cast members, GIMP both reflected and helped to shape an unapologetically sexy, defiant, increasingly diverse Disability culture. GIMP engaged new disability communities in dance, offered emerging disabled artists an exciting vision of artistry, as opposed to merely therapeutic or community-based movement; and marked a departure from traditional wheelchair dance, by utilizing disabled standing dancers, crutch users, and floor dancers.
Premiered in 2008 at Alverno Presents
Premiered in 2010 at La Mama Experimental Theater Club
Premiered in 2014 at Peak Performances at Montclair State University
Highlighted venues for The GIMP Project: American Dance Festival, Barnard College, Dublin Dance Festival, Central Park Summerstage, Kennedy Center, Scripps College Humanities Institute, DaDaFest Liverpool, Chicago Humanities Festival, CREA Conference Kathmandu, Crossing Borders Festival Dusseldorf, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Harvard University, Jacob’s Pillow, TedxWomen, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and Lincoln Center.
Soliloquy Screenings: AbilityFest, Chennai, India; Screendance Miami, Perez Art Museum; Middlebury New Filmmakers Film Festival, Middlebury, Vermont; NY ReelAbilities Film Festival, JCC Manhattan; Festival de Marseille, Marseille, France; American Dance Festival, Durham, NC
From this foundation, HLD expanded its purview
2015-Present: ON DISPLAY | D.I.S.P.L.A.Y.E.D
ON DISPLAY is a deconstructed art exhibit/fashion show and commentary on the body as spectacle and society's obsession with body image. It turns a cast of diverse and extreme bodies into a sculpture court where the performers are the sculptures. ON DISPLAY began as a simple human sculpture court and is now a movement, a growing portfolio of works that explore and demonstrate inclusion through art.
Taking form in movement installation, choreographed dances, and public outreach, ON DISPLAY is HLD’s most ambitious project.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, HLD was invited by the NYC Mayor’s Office to produce events across the city. Latsky designed a provocative string of guerrilla human sculpture courts in public places - Chinatown, Times Square, High Line, Brooklyn Bridge Park – and this became ON DISPLAY. It premiered as a 2-hr choreographed fashion show at The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center on October 1 as well as NYU/Skirball Center, November 15th. For International Day for Persons with Disabilities, December 3, HLD performed ON DISPLAY at the United Nations; at NYU the company performed and simulcast with a company in Hobart, Australia. This was the catalyst for an annual initiative to insert the sculpture court in cities across the world, ON DISPLAY GLOBAL. HLD seeks to partner with 100 cities by 2020.
HLD's engagement with disability culture provokes further questions about intersectional identities and tensions between viewer and viewed. As disability activism expanded beyond its original rallying cry, "Nothing About Us Without Us", to demand simply, "Nothing Without Us", so, too, Latsky's explorations of inclusivity shifted & deepened. ON DISPLAY depicts disability in conversation with race, gender, sexuality, and age. It invites audiences into a surprisingly intimate spectacle, engaging as much as challenging viewers through mutual vulnerability and confession/voyeurism. The ON DISPLAY Portfolio of installations is HLD's primary thrust of work.
Selected venues: United Nations, National Portrait Gallery, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum – Smithsonian Institutions; The Whitney Museum of American Art, Lincoln Center, The Duke at 42nd Street, Stavros Niachros Foundation Cultural Center, King’s County Hospital, Adam Clayton Powell Plaza, The High Line, Central Park, IDEAL School, SYPartners, Prudential Insurance HQ
ON DISPLAY GLOBAL sites (as of 2018): Athens, Singapore, Brighton, Milwaukee, Auckland, Austin, Madison County, San Francisco, Orlando, Buenos Aires, Ames, London, New Brunswick, Mexico City, Brockport, Budapest, Harvard/Cambridge, Kingston, Toronto, Santiago, Bega, Denver, Chicago, Queens, Boston, Montreal, Yale/New Haven, Bendigo, Nairobi, Hobart, Philadelphia, Zagreb, Orange County, Muhlenberg/Allentown, Dayton, Rochester, Seoul, Palangkaraya, Yogyakarta, Ubud, Mali, Bridgeport, Monteroni, Kansas City, Fort Worth, Albuquerque, Brooklyn, Jerusalem
D.I.S.P.L.A.Y.E.D is an immersive experience at the intersection of dance, fashion and art, transforming each venue into a unique gallery space. At its core is an 18-person live sculpture court that over the course of 45 minutes erupts into chaos before it eventually re-forms. Surrounding this main installation is a myriad of smaller ones that are strategically designed and placed within any environment creating a strong gallery ambiance and foreshadowing the complexity of D.I.S.P.L.A.Y.E.D. Addressing the current need for representation and celebration of all individuals, D.I.S.P.L.A.Y.E.D highlights the intrinsic virtuosity of its performers varying in age, size, disability, race and gender in a work that is both energizing and deeply emotional. Premiered in 2018 at Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC).
additional language provided by Leslie Taub