Dani Cole (she/they) is a movement artist, writer, creative arts therapist in training, and arts administrator based in unceded Canarsie-Lenape land. She founded the collective Mobilized Voices/MO B I V in 2018 and currently works as a collaborator with jill sigman/thinkdance and ECHOensemble. From 2019-2021, they worked closely with Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Sarah A.O. Rosner, and Beau Banks as the Curatorial Associate & Artist Coordinator + Editorial Associate at Gibney. Presently, Dani is the Associate Manager for The Bessies. Writing from Dani can be found in Eva Yaa Asantewaa's Imagining: A Gibney Journal.
As a disabled and chronically ill mental health worker and artist, Dani believes centering the experiences and leadership of the most impacted is integral to current and future transformation in and beyond arts fields. They are on the community board of Hyp-ACCESS and is a part of various disabled+ gatherings in the NYC movement community.
Dani is currently no longer making choreographies with M O B I V due to the pandemic and changes in how she interacts with the dance field. Instead, they are focusing on various community organizing projects, working with Maple Street Community Garden to grow food, and writing poems and short stories.
In addition, Dani loves teaching — embodied writing workshops, movement for disabled and non-disabled bodies, and has been on guest faculty at various schools and studios. She is available for low-cost private sessions. They teach a pay-as-you-wish movement class on Thursdays mornings at 9am ET on Zoom.
In the past, Dani’s solo and group interdisciplinary works have been shared through the 92Y, TADA! Theater, Mana Contemporary, Actor’s Fund Arts Center, Bridge for Dance, Access Theatre, and the Emelin Theatre. Her dance piece, don’t go back. where? received the Alpha Chi award for “most outstanding researched work" while she was a student at Marymount Manhattan College. Dani was part of the 92Y's Dance Up! next generation of young choreographers. In 2020, she was the commissioned choreographer at The Steffi Nossen School of Dance. In 2018 + 2019, they were a Choreographic Resident at Mana Contemporary, a leading national in-process art museum, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance.
artist statement, december 2021
I believe in rest. And, I don’t always practice or feel I can be in that belief. My work is the space where rest is always possible. Where choice and orientation happens from, as a result of, and returns to rest. With rest, my cells find support, my telomeres pause their incessant shortening; with rest, I am able to give support and reciprocate the ways, both subtle and grandiose, Earth and community supports me. I am a disabled and chronically ill person who is learning that I am experiencing community, movement, and purpose in greater solitude. I am learning that work isn’t creating, producing, and sharing. Work, rest work, is sleep, Zoom calls, numbness, intense pain, blinking, reckoning with ideas and expectations that continuously slip away, reorganizing actions again and again because the needs of your community and yourself must be met through practicality, urgency, more sleep, meds, insurance research, praying that people will wear masks and get vaccinated when you need to be somewhere. I am terrified of rest; I am terrified that many people, those at the intersections of systemic hatred are told to not rest again and again. I am enthralled by those who rest anyways and call on community to do the same and support the same. I am terrified of art-making. The way it ignores rest, how it asks the ego to be active, instilling that money is used for something “labor-filled,” centered on identity untethered from the ground, the soil that remains active, yet in place, holding life that burrows and slumbers. I am purposed by those who do not make art, but, rather, let it come to be through relationships, through hibernation, through thoughtful preparation, through rest from creating in order to establish and continue support first and foremost. I am terrified by the ongoing participation in art-making capitalism where resources are not for those who rest and also, those who can’t rest. I don’t know what to do, so I believe in rest.