Getting a grant like the FCA's propels you into a different kind of motion—it's like a kiss and a wake-up slap on the head. I felt both incredibly validated and, at the same time, responsible for living up to the beautiful and terrifying idea that someone had believed enough in my artistic work to nominate me.
- Kimberly Bartosik, January 2009
Kimberly Bartosik creates viscerally provocative choreographic projects that are built upon the development of a movement language, conceptual explorations, and the creation of highly theatricalized environments. Her work, which is deeply informed by literature and cinema, involves complex plays on space, time, and audience perspective, illuminating the ephemeral nature of performance. Bartosik was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for nine years (1987-1996), where she created over nineteen original roles and toured extensively around the world.
Before receiving her 2008 Grants to Artists award, Bartosik presented work at Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, The Kitchen, and Movement Research at Judson Church. In 2005, she founded the organization daela, to facilitate the development of her artistic work. Bartosik's 2008 Grants to Artists award supported the development and production of Ecsteriority1&2 (2008), a two-part evening-length work that premiered at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery, and The Materiality of Impermanence (2010), an evening-length work that premiered at Dance Theater Workshop. She has since created Ecsteriority3, a site-specific performance for the French Embassy in New York City, and Ecsteriority4 (Parts 1&2), which premiered at The Chocolate Factory Theater in 2016.
Bartosik's work has since been commissioned and presented by Mount Tremper Arts (2009, 2012), Barnard College (2010), La MaMa E.T.C. (2010), French Institute Alliance Française's Crossing the Line Festival (2011), Festival Artdanthé (2011), BEAT Festival (2012), Festival Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint Denis (2013), University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2013), New York Live Arts (2014), Purchase College Conservatory of Dance (2014), Arizona State University (2014), Abrons Art Center (2015), and The Chocolate Factory Theater (2016-2017).
Subsequent to her 2008 FCA grant Bartosik's choreographic work has been supported by the Jerome Foundation (2008-2013), New York Foundation for the Arts through Building Up Infrastructure Levels for Dance (BUILD) (2010), Rockefeller MAP Fund (2010), FUSED (French-U.S. Exchange in Dance) (2010, 2012) as part of the New England Foundation for the Arts's partnership with The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French American Cultural Exchange, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation through US Artists International (2011), American Dance Abroad (2013), New Music USA through Live Music for Dance (2013), and the Merce Cunningham Trust (2015). Prior to her 2008 Grants to Artists award, Bartosik received a 1997 New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award for Outstanding Performer with the Cunningham Company.
Bartosik received her B.F.A. from North Carolina School of the Arts in 1987 and an M.A. in 20th Century Art and Art Criticism from The New School for Social Research in 2002.
All my work starts like a baby, germinating inside my body—it begins as an idea, small but strong—and it hangs on until it pounds on my insides to get out into the world. Then I think of space—the home for the idea—which I choreograph as I choreograph bodies. Then I get into a studio, to listen to the idea, first alone, and then with others. I can't move without an idea.
Physical extremes, discomfort, the necessary tension between myself and my work. I'm obsessed with bodies (what they can and cannot do), rhythms, the architecture of space, literature, images, and light, and war, fractured landscapes, battling bodies. I'm also invested in the spectator body. That mass of eyes and ears and judgment. I always try to invite them in, to challenge their perspective, to make them feel they are a part of my piece (as they are a part of the world), without demanding their physical participation. I want everyone involved. I want them to think, to have to turn around in their seats, to remember that life happens on all sides. Being uncomfortable is ok. It makes you feel alive.
- December 2007