Split Bill: sig, other and The Sound of Space Between Us | Joelle Santiago & Giselle Hobbs

Split Bill: sig, other and The Sound of Space Between Us is an evening of movement, sculpture, and sound featuring two premieres. Fondation des États-Unis artists-in-residence and Fulbright-Harriet Hale Woolley/Fulbright Grantees Joelle Antonia Santiago and Giselle Hobbs will premiere sig, other, combining their choreographic and sculpture work. The second portion of the evening will feature the premiere of the film The Sound of Space Between Us, a collaboration between Blackbox Contemporary Music Ensemble and cinematographer Chun Fung Kevin Chiu.

Practical Information

Date Friday, May 24 | Time 7pm | Facebook Event

Free Reservation

Please access the Grand Salon via the lobby. The garden entrance will be part of the performance space.

sig, other

Co-directors: Joelle Antonia Santiago, Giselle Hobbs
Choreographer: Joelle Antonia Santiago
Sculpturist: Giselle Hobbs
Dancers: Liana Zhen-ai Kleinman, Matilda Mackey
Featuring community participants from Paris and the Cité Universitaire
Made possible by support from the Fondation Des États Unis, and the Fulbright Association

The Sound of Space Between Us (2023)

The Sound of Space Between Us is a site-specific, Live-Art-infused, interdisciplinary performance and film experience connecting sound and movement through and within physical space. Conceived and co-curated by our flutist – composer, dancer, choreographer and Annie Nikunen – space is used as a meeting place for music and dance to converse from both ecological and interpersonal perspectives; our public place in the ecosystem and our private paths with(in) it. Stationed around the serene reflecting pool at the Clark Art Institute, overlooking the Berkshire mountains, the musicians become choreographic agents, responding to each other, the dancers, and audience, and the surrounding landscape, working as individual parts in a predetermined map or improvising as a unit. The program traverses a spectrum of notated scores, sonic maps and choreographic exercises by Annie Nikunen, Meg Stuart, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Dai Fujikura, Morton Feldman and inti figgis-vizueta with choreography by Annie Nikunen and Joelle Santiago.


Seth Cluett: Interference is Partial / Afterimage
Meg Stuart Choreographic Exercises
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Spectra
Morton Feldman: Clarinet and String Quartet (excerpt)
Dai Fujikura: Being as One
Annie Nikunen: The Sound of Space Between Us
inti figgis-vizueta Form the Fabric

Members of the BlackBox Ensemble
Leonard Bopp, Annie Nikunen, Tyler Neidermayer, Dudley Raine, IV, Jordan Bartow, J Clancy, Yifei Xu, Lauren Conroy, Clara Kim, Amber Evans

FEU Artists-in-Residence

Joelle Antonia Santiago (b. New York, NY) is a New York and Paris based choreographer and director. Heavily influenced by the queer underground, Joelle approaches interdisciplinary projects as investigations in accessibility, sensuality and play. She frequently collaborates with musicians, sculpture artists, theorists, designers, visual artists, and filmmakers. Joelle is a recipient of the Fulbright Harriet Hale-Woolley Award for the Arts. She is currently an Artist in Residence at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France, as part of the 2023-2024 season. She has presented work at the NYU Tisch School for the Arts, The Clark Art Institute, Roulette Intermedium, Chelsea Piers, The International Studio and Curatorial Program, the Fondation des États-Unis, and with the PROMPTUS collective. Joelle was selected as a 2024 choreographic fellow for AXIS Dance Company. She is an adjunct professor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and has guest lectured at the Peabody Conservatory at John’s Hopkins University, and the Fulbright Association. Joelle graduated Cum Laude from Barnard College of Columbia University (B.A., Dance). She has sung with The Fire Ensemble (The Shed, NY), and sang classical and contemporary American, Russian and French repertoire with the Barnard-Columbia Chamber Choir and Chorus.

Giselle Hobbs is an artist based in New York who is currently the US-France Fulbright Scholar in Painting at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. She creates large-scale illusionistic paintings that probe the relationship between humans and the natural environment while taking into consideration a range of cosmologies from various time periods and geographical locations. Her practice is in a constant dialogue with other media such as photography, eco and bio art, as well as projections and installations that sometimes include moving images and audio. She is a graduate of Cornell University where she earned her MFA at the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. In 2022, she was awarded the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship for Painting. Her artwork was jury selected by the Council for the Arts award and her proposal was so well-received that it was selected for the Biennial. Giselle Hobbs has received art awards yearly including the Kable Russell Award and the Ulysse Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Arts. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and her art is in private collections in the US and abroad, including at the University of Cambridge.

Guest Artists

Christina Maria Koti is a London-based Greek pianist who recently completed an MMus in Piano Performance under Professor Deniz Gelenbe-Arman at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance with the Trinity College of Music scholarship. Christina Maria graduated from the University of Glasgow with a first class honours Bachelor of Music degree, and she has taken part in international music festivals and competitions such as the Gnessin Academy Summer Festival, the Concorso International Pianistico citta Villafranca di Verona, the Glasgow Music Festival, the Horto Festival, and the Dinu Lipatti International Piano Competition. She has appeared in collaborative piano recitals and concerts in the UK, France, Italy, Russia, and Greece. Christina Maria has participated in masterclasses with Pascal Rogé, Paul Roberts, Aaron Shorr, Natalia Mihailidou, Petras Geniusas, and Tatiana Svistunova. She is passionate about art song and is currently a SongEasel Young Artist with her duo partner, baritone Jared Andrew Michaud. Together, they have performed in masterclasses with Dame Sarah Connolly and Dr. Emily Kilpatrick, as well as taking home first prize from the 2022 Federation of Art Song Fellowship Competition (New York City), the 2022 Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Duo Competition (London), and the 4th International SGSM Singing Competition, Lieder Duo category (Slovenia).

Annie Nikunen is a multidisciplinary sound-movement artist based in New York City. As a composer, flutist, dancer and choreographer, she merges sound, physicality, and space. Rooted in human dynamics and collective yet personal experiences, her work and performance has spanned many mediums, including film, concert, radio, installation and Live Art, and genres such as experimental, classical, opera, theater, indie rock, jazz, Baroque and Taizé. Annie dissects compositional methodology through movement, and her theoretical understanding of music informs her choreography. Her concurrent journeys in ballet, flute and choir early in her life laid the groundwork for connecting these body-centric art forms. The youngest dancer accepted into Joffrey’s Trainee Program, she chose to further study music and later redefine dance in contexts of universal, emotion-guided prompts and ephemeral installation. Radio broadcasting has allowed her to integrate storytelling with her roles in music and dance, and further synthesize them. As a Marketing and Creative Director, she connects sound and sensory experience through interdisciplinary collaboration. As an Artist Ambassador for Creatives Care, Annie is committed to cultivating safe spaces for artistic vulnerability, and addressing its unique mental health challenges. Annie has performed and had work presented across the US and Europe in spaces including Helsinki Music Centre, Tanglewood Music Center, Roulette, National Sawdust, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Mark Morris Dance Group, The Clark Art Institute, and HighLineNine for the Chelsea Music Festival. An avid collaborator, she has worked with composers, performers, theorists, visual and sound artists, technologists, photographers, cinematographers, dancers and choreographers. She has taught, led workshops and presented at NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts, NYU Tisch, Stetson University, Williams College, and Posey School of Dance. Last month, The Phoenix Symphony performed the world premiere of the orchestra version of Annie’s piece The Sound of Space Between Us, and next month, Tanglewood Music Center will premiere her commissioned work for their full brass section. She is currently working with composer/guitarist Matt Sargent on their duo project Choreosonic, melding sound, movement and technology. Annie is a founding member of BlackBox Ensemble, for which she is the flutist and Marketing Director. She performs with groups such as Sugar Vendil/Isogram and String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and has also performed with Miranda Cuckson and Nunc. She served as resident composer and choreographer/flutist/dancer of Periapsis Music & Dance and is a former DJ at WKCR, where she served as Business Manager and Director of the Classical Department. She holds a MM in Composition from NYU and a BA in Music from Barnard College of Columbia University. Annie has received recognition and fellowships from Tanglewood (2023 Composition Fellow), ASCAP and Columbia University.

Blackbox Contemporary Music Ensemble

The BlackBox Ensemble is a collective of contemporary music performers based in New York City dedicated to exploring experimental boundaries of music through projects resonant with our ever-evolving contemporary moment, expanding relationships between music, other arts mediums and definition of performance spaces uniting them. Founded in 2018, their 2023–24 season has major performances in New York City and beyond, including touring engagements in Washington, DC, Florida, Michigan, and throughout the Northeast in universities, museums, and concert venues. Recent projects included a site-specific music and dance performance at the Clark Art Institute, the staged premiere of Borrowed Landscape, a radio play by the German playwright duo tauchgold with music by Dai Fujikura, at the Noguchi Museum, and a subsequent performance as part of a two-concert series at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art. Furthermore, the ensemble produced their inaugural BlackBox Festival, including their debut at Roulette Intermedium, in January. The ensemble believes that music, as a cultural medium, fills the role of the “black box,” enacting an ambiguous but vital relationship between artistic expression and human connection. In doing so, they strive to follow the inspiration of the theatrical definition, fostering this connection as a creative laboratory for adaptable experimentation and collaboration.

Leonard Bopp is a conductor, trumpet player, curator, and concert producer based in New York City. Fiercely committed to the music of our time, Leonard is the Founder and Artistic Director of the BlackBox Ensemble, a New York-based contemporary music ensemble devoted to producing culturally-resonant projects rooted in creative experimentation. Under his leadership, BlackBox has performed multiple world premieres by emerging composers, given performances at major museums, universities, and concert venues in NYC and beyond, and was selected for Chamber Music America’s 2022 Ensemble Forward program, through which they were coached and mentored by Alan Pierson of Alarm Will Sound. Recent projects include a site-specific dance performance at the Clark Art Institute, the staged premiere of Borrowed Landscape, a play by the German playwright duo tauchgold with original music by Dai Fujikura, as part of a program at the Noguchi Museum. Upcoming projects include a reprise performance of Borrowed Landscape as part of a two-concert series at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art and a collaboration with the CNSNC composers collective. Leonard recently studied at the 2023 Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Seminar, and was invited to return in 2024, as well as the Jorma Panula Masterclass with the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, Hungary. He also attended the 2023 Divertimento Ensemble Conducting Masterclass in Moncalvo, Italy, where he was selected to conduct the final concert of the masterclass at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan. He will return to the Divertimento Ensemble as a guest conductor on their Milan concert series in February 2024. In the summer of 2022, Leonard was a recipient of the American Austrian Foundation/Faber Young Conductors Fellowship, through which he was in residence at the Salzburg Festival observing rehearsals and of the Vienna Philharmonic. Leonard studied trumpet at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, earned his BA in Music and English at Williams College, and completed his Masters of Music in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Chun Fung Kevin Chiu is an NYC based DP, Editor and Colorist, born in Hong Kong. Chiu works regularly with dance and movement, composing the moving body to tell compelling stories. He is eager to learning new technology and techniques, and apply them to his work. He is an avid learner, and collaborator. Chiu studied civil engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. Credits include: Harper’s Bazaar, The Met Gala, Tokyo Olympics 2020, Estee Lauder, Thom Browne, L’Officiel India, Columbia University, Broadway Bares, collaborations with directors Kosta Karakashyan and Joelle Antonia Santiago, music and dance artists, designers, and more. He is a co-founder of Youngtale, a director/DP duo formed with Fernando Salazar. They collaborate with other creatives and artists to craft audiovisual pieces, with choreography serving as a fundamental element of their work. Their mission is to breathe life into unique stories and wholehearted visions that have often gone untold or been historically undervalued.

Matilda Mackey is a Paris-based freelance dance artist who is interested in the intersection where art and humanity meet. Matilda earned her Bachelor in Fine Arts from The Juilliard School in 2020, where she had the privilege to perform pieces by renowned choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Bill T. Jones, Peter Chu and Stephen Petronio among others. Beyond, her credits include Zvi Gotheiner’s company, ZviDance, Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup, Heidi Duckler Dance, More Fish Collective and most recently cullen + them. While Matilda is passionate about performing, she also loves to choreograph her own work and lead multimedia spaces in a variety of ways. In New York in 2023, Matilda choreographed her first evening-length piece on More Fish Collective; she enjoyed her directorial debut for her first short film a collaboration with filmmaker Tori Lawrence and producer Paul Rabinowitz; and, she lead the movement direction for Harley & Company for a photo and video campaign with Viiv Healthcare, where she worked alongside Jorge Dorsinville. Matilda relocated from New York to Paris in September 2023, where she has trained with artists including Vasko Nasonov, Tamara Gvozdenovic, and Christina Mertzani. Matilda is also a dedicated instructor. She is a Pilates instructor at Reformation Pilates in Paris, and she previously instructed at East River Pilates in Brooklyn for three years. She is also researching ways in which to deepen a dance curriculum that she has been exploring since she was guest faculty for Dance Italia’s Winter Workshop in 2022. This teaching methodology explores how the analytical process of anatomical and somatic data gathering can directly inform and enhance movement invention, performance and improvisation, and had the opportunity to apply this methodology during the aforementioned intensive. Bridging the gap between her knowledge and experience of dance and Pilates deeply interests her, and she is eager to continue exploring new avenues of movement.

Liana Zhen-ai is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist and dancer from Los Angeles, CA. Her work uses the lenses of new materialism and object oriented ontology to examine relationships to the more-than-living world, the changing landscape of narrative in the Anthropocene, and the aesthetics of wellness. She received her BFA in Modern Dance with minors in Biology and Chemistry from Marymount Manhattan College in 2018, and completed her Master’s in Contemporary Dance Performance at London Contemporary Dance School, University of Kent in 2022. Credits include work by choreographers: Andrea Miller, Holly Blakey, Akira Uchida, Marla Phelan, Evan Sagadencky, Joelle Antonia Santiago, including performances at The McKittrick Hotel, PUMA, The Boiler Room, Roulette Intermedium, and movement direction for musical artist Felukah, and multidisciplinary artist EYIBRA.

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