Queens Theatre Presents Turning in Place: Celebrating the Works of Women Choreographers in Film During the Pandemic

Turning in Place: The Women Choreographer Dance Film Festival

(Queens, NY)— On International Women’s DayMonday, March 8th, 2021, Queens Theatre will present Turning in Place, a film showcase celebrating the work of emerging female-identifying choreographers. The premiere will take place at 7 PM EST and be immediately followed by a talkback session with the choreographers.

Turning in Place’ will feature seven up-and-coming female-identifying choreographers and female-led dance companies, presenting original filmed works.

The participating choreographers and companies are:

· Hannah Garner, 2nd Best Dance Company

· Joy-Marie Thompson

· Mackenzie King, Moonwater Dance Project

· Jessica Smith and Chelsea Ainsworth, Dual Rivet Dance

· Emilee Pratt, Spare Change Dance

· Emily Kessler, POGO Dance Projects

The works in this showcase are all original compositions, staged and filmed for the camera. These young choreographers explore issues of race, gender, and just the sheer joy and beauty of movement and expressiveness of the human form.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us in many different ways, and the arts community has been profoundly impacted by shutdowns and the necessity of social distancing. Theaters have been shuttered, projects and tours cancelled, and artists, cultural workers – and especially dance makers – have been challenged to find new ways to create and connect with audiences.

The Turning in Place showcase gives these dance makers a platform for their fantastic work. Queens Theatre has been proud to present dance companies from all around the world, and support choreographers at all stages of their careers, for over thirty years. Now, we are proud to spotlight these artists and bring these amazing works to you in the comfort and safety of your homes.

Tickets are free, but reservations are required to join the premiere on Zoom. Click on to register for the event. The film showcase will also be available on the Queens Theatre YouTube channel the day after the premiere.

To learn more about the “Turning in Place” film showcase visit

About the Queens Theatre

Queens Theatre (QT) is a performing arts center located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. Its mission is to provide high quality performances and programs that are accessible to the residents of Queens, the most diverse county in the nation. The Theatre’s work reflects and celebrates its community. Queens Theatre presents dance companies, produces, presents, and develops new works of theatre, family programming, community engagement events and initiatives, and offers a range of education programs onsite, in schools and in senior centers. In 2016, Queens Theatre launched, and has since expanded, Theatre For All (TFA), a ground-breaking initiative to advance the inclusion of disabled people in the performing arts. Since COVID-19, Queens Theatre has produced a range of digital programming – readings of new plays, wellness checks with performances for seniors, original dance showcases, a Storytellers series, an online round of its TFA training program for Deaf/Disabled actors, and more.

About the Choreographers

Hannah Garner graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Performance/Composition and an Arts Management minor. She has worked with Doug Varone & Dancers, Sue Bernhard Danceworks, Megan Williams Dance, Kathleen Helm & Dancers, and Rovaco Dance Company, in addition to presenting work with her own company, 2nd Best Dance Company.

Joy-Marie Thompson graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance Performance and was awarded the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and the Bert Terbough Award for Dance. As a choreographer, she has debuted work at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, American Dance Guild, and Derida Dance Center. She has professionally performed the choreography of Doug Varone, Rena Butler, Ohad Naharin, Shamel Pitts, Sidra Bell, Staycee Pearl, and Maxine Doyle. She is the founder of issadancelook (2018), an Instagram/blog that archives the clothing styles of dancers from around the world.

Mackenzie King graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2015 with a BFA in Dance Performance. Mackenzie has performed throughout the United States and internationally, including works from San Francisco Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Mettin Movement, and many others. After dancing professionally in New York, Mackenzie moved to Chicago where she founded Moonwater Dance Project and serves as Artistic Director. In 2019 she co-founded Take Up Space, a dance festival celebrating female Choreographers and Artistic Directors.

Jessica Smith graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance. She also studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and London Contemporary Dance School. She is currently a company member of Vim Vigor, ZviDance, and Kizuna Dance, as well as Associate Director of Arts on Site

Chelsea Ainsworth graduated from the The Juilliard School. She is a dancer for ZviDance and The Bang Group, Ballet/Modern teacher, a Thai Massage Therapist, and choreographer. She’s also the co-founder and Executive Director of Arts On Site NYC.

Emilee Pratt graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance, where she trained in all styles included Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Cunningham, Limon, Graham, Improv, and Composition. She has worked with many national and internationall choreographers including Lonu Landon, Manuel Vignoelle, Nejla Yatkin, Doug Varone and many more.

Emily Kessler graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Performance and Composition and a minor in Art History. Emily has completed choreographic residencies at the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, Neuberger Museum of Art and Peaceable Barn, and has toured work to the Austin Dance Festival, Newburgh Illuminated Festival, American Dance Guild Festival, and the CreativeMES Festival. Additionally, her choreographic work has been presented in venues such as Triskelion Arts, The Performance Garage and Dixon Place, among others. She currently dances for Debbie Mausner, is a Guest Artist with A-Y/Dancers, and a Company Member with Bryce Dance Company.