Emic Flux (2016): Reflects humanity’s propensity toward separatism and the Insider/Outsider phenomenon that accompanies this trend. Intimate duets hint at interpersonal relationships, while broad strokes and spatial asymmetry illustrate posturing and dynamics between the dancers from a broader vantage. The original score, composed by Zac Selissen, may also be performed live.
3 Dancers, 1 musician, 11.5 minutes
Hot Knife in Cold Butter/ Flo Through Me (2016): This series of vignettes is a crisp yet tender dissection of movement and relativity. Inspired by life, nature, intellectual curiosity, and complex intimate spaces, this piece meditates on humanity’s abstract and visceral connection with time, beings, space, and sound.
6 Dancers, 40 minutes
Sections are offered as short stand-alone works from 4-12 min. in length
Skyfire (2014): A collaborative event inspired by impressions of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Crafted to travel through a surreal rendering of space and time, this abstraction draws upon universal ideas and images surrounding love, betrayal, labor, and the pure joy of existence, set to an original score by James Guastaferro and Zac Selissen.
7 Dancers, 3 musicians, 40 minutes
Something Particularly Specific in the Wild (2014): A site specific piece, inspired by impressions of Dante’s Inferno, set in the boiler room of the historic Westbeth. The viewer is led on a descent through the depths of a Gotham basement as the natural world fades in this hallucinatory abstraction.
6 dancers, 5.5 minutes
Concrete Illusion (2013): A dance film, which may be presented as a live work as well, created from concept to final product in seven days, premiered in 2014 as part of Sally Taylor’s multidisciplinary, multi-sensory global arts initiative, ConSenses.
2 dancers, 5 minutes
Indelible Cognition (2013): Communication over time takes on different forms, creating imprints on our minds and memories. All may be perceived differently based on which side one sits, whether sending or receiving.
12-14 dancers, 16 minutes
Reflexive (2013): Reflexive lives as a “flex piece” with several self-contained sections that may be united by transitional scenes or performed in isolation.
This duet highlights the instinct to be present, look forward, and reflect back. The nuanced and emotionally driven work investigates how changing one thing affects an individual’s perception and demonstrates how these experiences manifest in the body and soul over time.
2 dancers, 5.5 minutes
-I Wait Until I Shake
A modern day courting ritual.
2-4 Dancers, 5.5 minutes
A nuanced exemplification of humans as a vehicle for thought,reflection, action, and transformation.
4 dancers, 5 minutes
Differential Cohomology (2011): A synesthetic abstraction of the mathematical theory by the same name. Commissioned by celebrated mathematician James Simons and premiered with live accompaniment by the Sirius String Quartet.
10 dancers, 36 minutes, 4 musicians (live string quartet)
Sequitur or Non (2010): An exploration of linguistics and non-verbals, drawing the mind and body into a world of surfaces and folds, revolving joints, and a place where the need to make sense of all things may or may not apply.
Duet version, 7 min / quartet version, 10-12 min
Resonant Imaging (2009): Derived from multiple MRI inspired thoughts, it is a multi-media journey through the surrealistic experience of the mind.
1 dancer, 7 minutes 45 seconds, includes projection
Et Tu (2008): Sexy and athletic, this duet explores the dynamic between two people as they experience occurrences of comedy, melancholy, fun, betrayal, and the tragedy of it all.
2 dancers, 7.5 minutes
CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT offers tailored classes and workshops to dancers and non-dancers of all ages. Depending on the venue and the needs and interests of students, classes and workshops run from 45 minutes to two hours, and utilize specific techniques as well as general movement for creative exploration and health.
Modern Technique and Repertory
B/S P’s signature class leads students on a journey from the inside out. Using Fusion Reaction, a methodology developed by Kyla Barkin, students harness internal and external forces to create space for dynamic shifts and enliven the body and mind. Following a comprehensive warm-up, Barkin and Selissen lead students through a series of exercises that incorporate specific skills and movement vocabulary. The class places attention on centering, expansiveness, opposition, grounding, athleticism, and nuance. Students learn to give space for action and reaction within a shifting environment, and are guided to maintain strength and focus through challenges. Participants are encouraged to utilize their senses and the energy that moves into, through, and beyond the body to explore and build their own unique approach.
B/S P artistic directors and company members talk about their collaborative process and how they use the lessons from their work to continually hone an intelligent and healthy approach to dance. The company performs, leaving time for Q&A, discussion, and activities based on the venue and the interests of the audience.
Improvisation and Contact Improvisation
This class helps cultivate the ability to think, create, and develop awareness in the moment, and to enable the intuitive mind while being dependable and flexible as a partner. Teachers and students place attention on giving/receiving, cause/effect, surrender, releasing preconceived notions, and re-directing energy.
A study on weight sharing between people of different sizes, genders, and strength levels, emphasizing transitions of weight, function versus artistry, getting acquainted with a new partner, and how to troubleshoot.
An in-depth exploration of classical technique from a modern dance and health science perspective.
Compositional tools for creating dances and more. The class is focused on concept development, movement invention/selection, its architectural structure within the dance, sound choices, finding one’s voice, editing, and aligning one’s vision with the choreographic process.
Yoga classes tailored for dancers, special groups (e.g., prenatal, working with injuries), and for general populations.
Movement for Non-Dancers
This class allows for people who do not consider themselves trained dancers to feel safe and adventurous. Participants move through a healthy and balanced warm-up, and are guided through a series of technical and creative exercises to enable the deepest mind-body connections.
BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT, a New York City based contemporary dance company founded in 2009, presents the choreography of Artistic Directors Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen through live performance and workshops.
The company strives to remove barriers and create a shared experience between the creative team and audience members allowing for a more inclusive and memorable event. With articulate nuance and explosive athleticism, B/S P’s collaborative style infuses fresh perspective on subjects ranging from mathematics to the complexities of human nature.
BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT has been presented at venues across the U.S and abroad including Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, SUNY Stony Brook’s Staller Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, West End Theater, 92Y, Bryant Park, Tempe AZ Center for the Arts, Boston’s Dance Complex, Touhill Performing Arts Center St. Louis, Yogykarta Indonesia, Uferstudios Berlin Germany, and the Edinburgh International Conference Center in Scotland as part of Booking Dance and Fringe Festivals where B/S P received critical acclaim. Partnerships for workshops include Sally Taylor’s ConSenses, Festival of the Moving Body, Communicating in Partnerships through Dance/Hartford Performs, Balance 1 Academy Berlin, Limón Professional Studies Program, and more.
With a similar approach to teaching and training, the company promotes the coupling of techniques and modalities to prepare artists’ bodies for the challenges of the work. By creating a mindful and inspiring environment, B/S P provides a vibrant platform for artistic growth and refinement.
“Some groups … give strong performances, others offer new and intriguing choreography, astute musical choices or a deep emotional connection. Barkin/Selissen, however, has the lot.” Kelly Apter, The Scotsman
Kyla Barkin, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT, was raised in Tempe, AZ. She studied with “La Mariquilla” at the Academia de Ballet Flamenco in Granada, Spain then received her B.A. in Dance from UCLA. Ms. Barkin has toured internationally, is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Jean Irwin Award, and has been described as having an “exciting, physically expansive attack” by The New York Times.
Barkin’s choreography has been widely shown including at The Staller Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow 80th Anniversary at Inside/Out, Jazz at Lincoln Center, West End Theater, Boston’s Dance Complex, Touhill PAC (St. Louis, MO), Bryant Park, and the 92nd St Y. Her work has also been presented internationally at venues in Berlin (Germany), Edinburgh (Scotland),Yogyakarta (Indonesia), and more. Notable collaborations include dance films made with Juano Castillo, FALKOR Systems’ autonomous pet drone, Reggie Watts for Sally Taylor’s ConSenses, James Simons, Sirius String Quartet, and Nel Shelby on Differential Cohomology & its documentary, and an on-going artistic partnership with composer James Guastaferro.
Barkin has been working with Janis Brenner & Dancers since 1998 and has taught and set works, both of Brenner’s and her own, at institutions such as NCSA, The Juilliard School, The Joffrey School, Stony Brook University, the Creative Arts Studio in Brooklyn, and Tanzakademie Balance 1 in Berlin. She has danced with other major companies including Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends, The Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, and The Doug Elkins Dance Company. She has been on faculty at USDAN Center for Performing Arts and continues to teach classes, private lessons and workshops both in the United States and internationally. Ms. Barkin is also proud to serve on the board of the Foundation for a Just Society.
Aaron Selissen, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT, is originally from Green Bay, WI. He received his B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Butler University. His choreographic work has been presented at such venues as the Inside/Out Series at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Staller Center for the Arts Main Stage at Stony Brook University, the 92 St. Y, West End Theater, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Flea Theater, and Sam Houston State University. He recently directed and edited B/S P’s first short dance film, Concrete Illusion, which premiered on Martha’s Vineyard as part of Sally Taylor’s interdisciplinary project, ConSenses.
Aaron has taught master classes and workshops in public schools throughout New York City and the United States, Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta, Institut Kesenian Jakarta in Indonesia, and Teatr Muzyczny Capitol in Wroclaw, Poland. He can be found teaching at the Limón Institute, as well as giving private lessons.
Selissen’s performance career has taken him across the US and abroad. He worked with Dance Kaleidoscope and Ballet Internationale of Indianapolis. He has performed with the Martha Graham Ensemble, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, and Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends, among many others. He was a member of the Limón Dance Company from 2010 to 2016 and can currently be seen performing with Janis Brenner and Dancers (since 2007).