PlaceHolder – Kayla Hamilton and Kate Speer

Image of Kate (a white woman with brown hair) and Kayla (a Black woman with long locks), both of whom are squatting looking at a computer. Overlaid on the left hand side is handwritten journal text.
Original photo by Jonathan Hsu, Edited by Kate Speer

Kayla Hamilton and Kate Speer

June 15, 2-7pm
June 16, 21-23, 12-5pm
The Arts Center at Governors Island, Cafe
FREE, Drop-In

Installation Activation
June 14, 4pm
The Arts Center at Governors Island, Cafe
FREE, Drop-In

Kayla Hamilton and Kate Speer shared an installation in dialogue with their performance project PlaceHolder–a collaboratively made experience that exposed how perception actualized and stripped identities. The installation took up the themes of the performance project, which asked guests to consider the ways they met, engaged, and “saw” others. It drew attention to perception and perspective and the frequent disconnect between how we wanted to be perceived and how outside forces (people, society, strangers) impacted perception.

Performers: Kayla Hamilton, Instigator & Performer; Kate Speer, Instigator & Performer; Azure Osborne-Lee, Audio Describer & Performer; Tess Dworman, Audio Describer & Performer
Designer: Sammie Amachree
Administration: Ellen Chenoweth
Dramaturg: Stephanie Acosta

With thanks to: Nicole J. Caruth, Louise Martorano, Crystal U. Davis, Jesse Phillips Fein, Simone Browne, Molly Roy, and everyone who has participated in showings and shared feedback on the experience.

Kayla Hamilton is an artist-in-residence with LMCC's Extended Life Dance Development Program supported, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The activation was interpreted in ASL by SignNexus, the official ASL sponsor of LMCC.

Activation length: 2 hours

Dance Reflections by Van Clef & Arpels
National Performance Network
Sign Nexus Logo
This is a headshot of Kayla Hamilton, who is a dark brown-skinned Black woman. She is posing in front of a blurred brick wall. She is wearing a long sleeve black & white striped shirt. She has light makeup and her gaze is towards us. Her black & golden highlighted dreads are down.

Kayla Hamilton is a performance maker, New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award-winning dancer, and educator from Texarkana, TX. She has shown her performance projects at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Danspace Project, Gibney, Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, BAAD!–The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and Abrons Art Center. They have performed with Skeleton Architecture, Maria Bauman, Sydnie L. Mosley and Gesel Mason. They have taught dance at Spelman College, Amherst College, Bates Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, and Texas Improv Festivals. They have offered Disability Justice and Access Consultancy to Mellon Foundation, Movement Research, and DanceNYC. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Dance Magazine, PBS, and Now This News.

This is a headshot of Kate Speer, who is a white woman. She is standing in front of a blurred concrete wall. She is wearing a sleeveless dress with a multi-colored pattern. She is smiling with her gaze looking down. She has shoulder length dark brown hair and bangs.

Kate Speer is a dancer, choreographer, and organizer based in Denver, CO. Speer has had residencies at RedLine and PlatteForum. Always seeking collaborative performance projects, Speer has directed two large-scale immersive works in Denver with a team of artists in visual arts, music, and performance: [Colony 933] (2018), an immersive mystery dance-theatre, and No Place to Go (2020), an artist-made haunted house. Among her current creative projects is strategizing with Rainbow Dome, an art + roller skating venture.

PlaceHolder is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by RedLine (Denver, CO) in partnership with Gibney Dance (New York City, NY), Building Bridges Art Exchange (Santa Monica, CA), and NPN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: The residency at BBAX was supported in part by Colorado Creative Industries. The project is also supported by the NPN Documentation and Storytelling Fund.

Dance Reflections by Van Clef & Arpels
Dance Reflections by Van Clef & Arpels

Profoundly attached to the world of dance since its origins, the High Jewelry Maison strengthens its commitment with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Guided by the values of creation, transmission and education, this initiative aims to support artists and institutions in presenting choreographic heritage, while also promoting new productions.

Since its launch in 2020, it has promoted numerous dance companies for their creations as well as the presentation of multiple performances around the world.

The program is complemented each year by major events, including the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival, whose first edition took place in London in March 2022.

This support further extends to awareness-raising actions focused on dance culture for the broadest possible audience, professionals and amateurs alike.