KDNY was established in 1997 in New York City by choreographer Kathleen Dyer to explore her vision of a dance company dedicated to the passions and intricacies of the female spirit. Dyer’s inspiration draws from personal and universal experiences that are based on female archetypes, everyday stories of women encountered, imagined, or historic.
Dyer’s movement vocabulary is a fusion of graceful, technical virtuosity with nuances of idiosyncratic or comedic tangents. She crafts movement phrases that explode across the space in big sweeping steps that can change direction at a moment’s notice or morph into complex partnering sequences effortlessly. At times athletic or vulnerable, poised and empowered, the K D N Y company dancers represent the multifaceted qualities attributed to the modern female.
KDNY’s annual productions incorporate lush costumes, dramatic sets, and feature original music that is often performed live, a distinguishing characteristic of their dynamic repertory. Among the many renowned composers and musicians K D N Y has worked with are Richard Einhorn, Kevin Keller, Phil Kline and Cristina Spinei; percussionists PJ Merola and Grammy-award winner Glen Velez; and sopranos, Jacqueline Horner of Anonymous 4.
KDNY’s many accomplishments include performances at top New York City dance venues, such as Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theater, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, the Ailey Citigroup Theater, and featured appearances in the New York International Fringe Festival and Joyce SoHo Presents. Touring highlights include Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Toronto’s Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. KDNY often tours their season to Washington D.C. In 2004 and 2006, KDNY co–presented seasons at Dance Place, a main area venue, and in January 2008, KDNY’s Charges from Domremy was presented by Dance Place during the company’s two-week residency there. In 2010, the company toured Treading Puddles to Portland, Oregon and Westport, Connecticut in addition to their annual season in New York City. In 2011, KDNY toured Going, an evening of repertory dedicated to journeys, to Tampa, Florida and collaborated with CORE performance Company on Navigating the Hallway in Atlanta, Georgia.
In conjunction with show tours, KDNY offers residency packages with master classes, repertory workshops and often opportunities for local dancers to perform as guest artists in a company work. KDNY also provides educational outreach programs that include free lecture-demonstrations and tickets to the company’s shows to underserved children with funding support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Additionally, KDNY is on the Artist Roster of Young Audiences of Connecticut and gives performances and workshops at K-12 schools throughout the state.
While KDNY’s main focus is creation and production, the company also seeks to fulfill its mission through the WIM Project. Out-on-a-WIM is an artistic exchange developed to support the fellowship of female dance companies through shared performances. Past exchanges include: Zephyr Dance Company of Chicago, Physical Theater Project and Moving Current of Florida, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company of Austin, Texas, CORE Performance Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and Polaris of Portland, Oregon. KDNY’s current Out-on-a-WIM project Navigating the Hallway, is an unusual collaboration in which guest choreographers create dances to perform along with KDNY for ever-changing, site-specific performances in Florida, Georgia and Washington.