B O D Y A R T | HISTORY
BODYART was founded by artistic director and choreographer, Leslie Scott, who premiered the company’s first work, An Hour About An Hour, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the Acoustic Music Center August of 2006. Following the show’s success, BODYART went on to perform at Ailey Citigroup Theater, Wave Rising, and the Downtown Dance Festival in New York City.
In 2008 BODYART shared its first interdisciplinary collaboration with video artist Reid Farrington at 3-Legged Dog as a guest artist in Farrington’s multimedia installation, The Passion Project, establishing BODYART’s future tenant of artmaking: multi-platform collaboration.
Following the success of its partnership with Farrington, BODYART began its first collaboration with visual artist and photographer, Chris Crumley, collaborating on a series of underwater photography that resulted in the publication of Crumley’s coffeetable book, Femme de la Mer.
In 2009 BODYART premiered Limbo, a collaboration between video installation artist Patrick Lovejoy, composer Charles Seich and artistic director/choreographer Leslie Scott, at Joyce SoHo in New York City. BODYART continued to collaborate with Lovejoy, resulting in BODYART’s first dance film.
In 2010 BODYART was invited to perform at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall for a split bill showcasing three new works: Limbo, 7 Duets on Surrender, and Loft. The latter work featured a collaboration between BODYART and Fort Worth based composer, Stuart McMeans. BODYART’s time in Fort Worth allowed the company to explore teaching residencies and engagements with over 20 different schools and institutions around the DFW area, establishing the company’s second tenant of artmaking: education. Consequently, Scott opens BODYART studios in Long Island City, and thanks to funding from the Queens Arts council was able to provide free space to Queens based artist to investigate process and movement training.
The following year showcased BODYART’s developing aesthetic and interest in video design. in 2011 BODYART premiered a full season of Anatomy of Lost at the Brooklyn Lyceum, featuring the most ambitious design collaboration to date: a 60’x60’ infinity pool with projection mapping on the water.
The following year in 2012 BODYART premiered Loft at Baruch Performing Arts Center and collaborated with W4 (composer collective) and musicians PublicQuartet. Also in 2012 BODYART launched its ongoing community engagement program, The Decay Project, a dance film series that works with local artists and community members to create new narratives around ruined or forgotten spaces. The Decay Project launched in Bridgeport, CT with “Re / Stage,” dance film about an abandoned 1920s movie theater. “Re / Stage” premiered at the Triskelion Film Festival in New York.
Later on in the year BODYART was commissioned by Queens Botanical Garden to do a site specific movement installation (WALK) as part of QAX Festival.
In 2013 BODYART performed a full season of Anatomy of Lost at Theater for the New City and followed up with the second dance film of The Decay Project, “Blow,” which featured the abandoned buildings of Fort Totten.
In 2014 BODYART premiered a full season of Thread at Irondale Arts center, and in the following year took Thread to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to perform at Summerhall.
Later in 2015, The Decay Project traveled to ChristChurch, NZ and premiered their dance film “(Re) Build” at The Body Festival. BODYART worked with local dance artists and students within the ruins of their fallen Arts Center.
2016 proved to be a big year for The Decay Project with the premiere of two new films: “Palm” and “Legal Canvas.” For “Palm,” BODYART traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to collaborate with artists from Rimban Dahan to set a piece in a few of the county’s abandoned palm oil factories and collection sites. Later on in the year, BODYART partnered with Beautify Earth of Santa Monica, CA, to create “Legal Canvas.”
In 2017 BODYART moved to the south and made New Orleans home. U.S. & Them, a shorter work about border security and DACA non-recipients, was performed at Tulane University
The following year BODYART premiered hymn + them at the Peter and Paul performance center, receiving a nomination for the 2019 Big Easy award for Outstanding Dance Performance.