Nail Biter
Beth Gill

June 22 - 23, 5:30pm
Federal Hall

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All events in the River To River Festival are free and all are welcome.
If you see that an in-person event is sold out online, don’t fret – we welcome walk-ups! Be sure to arrive early to join the standby line. Due to limited capacity, entry is not guaranteed without a reservation.

Beth Gill’s Nail Biter is a darkly beautiful dreamscape in which the theatrical tools of character and story are reimagined through a psychodramatic lens, transforming contemporary dance performance into a vital space of ritual. Nail Biter reaches towards science fiction and ancient myth to reveal stories of connection and loss with a sense of magic and awe. These preview performances are a site-responsive rendering at Federal Hall.



Beth Gill, choreographer
Jon Moniaci, composer
Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, performer
Walter Dundervill, performer
Jennifer Lafferty, performer
Jennifer Nugent, performer
Marilyn Maywald Yahel, performer
Baille Younkman, costume designer

Co-commissioned by the Fisher Center at Bard, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Walker Art Center, this multi-stage creative process consists of artistic residencies and preview performances. This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

Presented with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Beth_Gill_By_ Maria_Baranova

Beth Gill is a choreographer based in New York City since 2005. Combining experimental and traditional approaches, she makes formal and exacting works centered around acts of obsession and transformation. Gill is the proud recipient of multiple awards: Herb Alpert, Doris Duke Impact, Foundation for Contemporary Art and two “Bessies”. At 40 years old she has produced six commissioned evening length works met with critical acclaim. She has toured nationally and internationally and been honored with (among others): Guggenheim Fellowship, NEFA’s National Dance Project grant, Princeton’s Hodder Fellowship and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Artist in Residence.

Gill’s dances are serious, slow moving, and chiseled; meditative experiences poised between performance and visual art. They feel like pressurized objects sustaining tension and seeking release. Paradoxically her work is both intimate and alienated, intuitive and analytical. She dreams and visualizes her dances and also critically evaluates them to understand how concept, form, aesthetics, culture and ethics are informing each other. Gill uses abstraction as a way to dilute meaning in order to access a symbolic, associative language. In this way her work is in dialogue with modern and contemporary psychology.


Jon Moniaci is a composer, performer, and computer programmer. Interested in improvisation and live electro-acoustic performance, he has collaborated extensively with dance and performance makers. A frequent collaborator of choreographer Beth Gill, his score for her dance Electric Midwife received a 2011 Bessie New York Dance and Performance Award. He has also worked with Chase Granoff, Andrew Dinwiddie, Jeff Larson, Peter Kerlin, Anna Sperber, Marissa Perel, Alex Escalante, Mark Jarecke, Dean Moss, Peter Jacobs, and plays music with Stephen Rush and Chris Peck in their project Crystal Mooncone.


Jordan Lloyd_credit_Jordan Lloyd

Jordan Demetrius Lloyd is a dance artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He studied at The College at Brockport after growing up in Albany, NY. He has collaborated with and performed for Karl Rogers, Beth Gill, Netta Yerushalmy, Monica Bill Barnes, Joanna Kotze, Tammy Carrasco, Catherine Galasso, Ambika Raina and David Dorfman Dance. He is currently teaching at Rutgers University and his work has been produced by: New York Live Arts, BRIC, ISSUE Project Room, Baryshnikov Arts Center, BAAD!, Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, and The Center for Performance Research. Recently he received the 2021-23 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. For more please head to

Jennifer Lafferty in Pitkin Grove_photo by Maria Baranova of Jennifer Lafferty

Jennifer Lafferty is from Southern California. She started working with Beth Gill in 2010. She has been in the work of Sarah Michelson, Rebecca Lazier, Vicky Shick, Yasuko Yokoshi, Christopher Williams, Michou Szabo, Renée Archibald, Anna Sperber, Nina Winthrop, and Marilyn Maywald-Yahel. She has been involved with programming at Roulette (2014-2017) and Weis Acres (2018).

Marilyn Maywald_ photo credit Brian Rogers

Marilyn Maywald Yahel is a New York City based dance artist originally from Nashville, TN. She has worked with Maggie Bennett, Milka Djordjevich, Beth Gill, Melanie Maar, Yin Mei, Steven Reker, Melinda Ring, Vicky Shick and Katie Workum. Her own work has been presented by Roulette, Dixon Place, Movement Research, BAX, and Sundays on Broadway. Marilyn attended Arizona State University. She is a mother of two, a Pilates teacher, and a current trainee in the Feldenkrais Method.

Baille option 2

Baille Younkman is an artist and designer from Columbus, Ohio. After having studied fashion design and sculpture, Baille received her B.F.A from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, making costumes for performance art. It is there that she is able to find an intersection between her interests in three-dimensional form, time, and the abstract narrative. Baille is also a full time fashion design instructor at the High School of Fashion Industries. She is an advocate for the creativity, equity and social emotional well-being of her students and the HSFI community.

A devotee of dance ever since its origins, the High Jewelry Maison is today strengthening its commitment to the arts with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

This initiative, guided by the values of creation, transmission and education, is dedicated to supporting artists and institutions in presenting choreographic heritage, while also promoting new productions.

Since autumn of 2020, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels has forged a number of international partnerships in support of dance companies and institutions.

In addition, events such as the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival, which took place in London in March of 2022, strengthen these bonds by offering periodic international encounters focused on choreographic performance, combining contemporary repertoires and original creations.

Finally, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels supports awareness-raising initiatives focused on culture and dance for audiences of every stripe, professionals and amateurs alike.