“We begin again” – Dance Ink magazine relaunches

Twenty years since its last issue, pioneering dance and performance magazine, Dance Ink, returns under the design direction of Abbott Miller at Pentagram

When Dance Ink emerged in 1989, it was a very different kind of arts publication. It aimed to reflect the contemporary dance community directly by reproducing new performance pieces that had been commissioned specifically for the pages of the magazine.

Twenty years after closing in 1996, the quarterly is returning, its revival “inspired by a new generation of dancers and performers and the resurgence in independent print media”, say its designers, Pentagram.

The issue opens with a quote by Merce Cunningham
Top of post: Cover of the first issue of the new Dance Ink features Silas Riener performing Merce Cunningham’s ‘Changeling’. Above: The issue opens with a quote by Merce Cunningham

In fact, Dance Ink is relaunching with issue 8 under the steer of its original editor and designer, Abbott Miller, and publisher Patsy Tarr, who in the late 1980s first conceived of the publication as a unique performance space in its own right. The new-look magazine widens the physical scope of the title to include a series of posters and murals.

A year after Dance Ink ceased its original run, Tarr launched 2wice, a new bi-annual visual culture magazine edited and designed by Miller. As time went on the two founders began commissioning more performance-based pieces for 2wice, ideas that reflected back to Dance Ink. From 2011, 2wice used the iPad screen as a new kind of performance space via a series of apps.

Silas Riener performs in Tompkins Square Park in one of three pieces in the issue
Silas Riener performs in Tompkins Square Park in one of three pieces in the issue
Opening spread of 'Everywhere We Go', featuring the choreography of Justin Peck
Opening spread of ‘Everywhere We Go’, featuring the choreography of Justin Peck

On the Pentagram blog, Miller describes how returning to Dance Ink in 2016 feels particularly timely given the resurgence in indie magazine publishing. “In many ways, it helped lay the foundation for these beautifully produced, and sporadically published, art titles,” he says. “I kept wondering, what would Dance Ink look like today?”

Amar Ramasar, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet
Amar Ramasar, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet
Adrian Danchig-Waring, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet
Adrian Danchig-Waring, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet
Silas Riener joins Ramasar and Danchig-Waring in the sequence
Silas Riener joins Ramasar and Danchig-Waring in the sequence

Housed in a clear sleeve, the design of the magazine “plays with the effect of transparency of ink on the page, suggesting layers of performance and motion,” say Pentagram. “The format continues the tradition of 2wice’s later issues, which mainly consisted of a single collaboration with a photographer and performer. As with 2wice, the look of the magazine will vary with every issue.”

The new issue also features three of the most acclaimed dancers working today: “Amar Ramasar and Adrian Danchig-Waring, two of the principal dancers from the New York City Ballet, performing choreography by Justin Peck, the Ballet’s resident choreographer; and Silas Riener, the final dancer to join the Merce Cunningham Company, who danced with the group from 2007 until its official closure in 2011. The issue was photographed by Christian Witkin, a frequent collaborator with 2wice, working here for the first time with Dance Ink”.

Silas Riener dances 'Changeling', a signature work by Merce Cunningham
Silas Riener dances ‘Changeling’, a signature work by Merce Cunningham
Riener wears a costume originally designed by Robert Rauschenberg
Riener wears a costume originally designed by Robert Rauschenberg
The issue extends to posters and custom mural installations, announced in the back pages
The issue extends to posters and custom mural installations, announced in the back pages

The cover of the new issue features an image from ‘Changeling’, an early work by Cunningham, performed here by Riener. “First created in 1957, the performance was considered ‘lost’ and only known through a few iconic photographs until a 1958 film recently resurfaced in a German archive, enabling the choreography to be restaged,” Pentagram explain.

In the Dance Ink portfolio, Riener wears a Robert Rauschenberg-designed costume (Rauschenberg was a close collaborator of Cunningham’s) and recreates poses from the original photographs, forming the only contemporary images of the work.

Custom mural installation featuring the images from 'Changeling'
Custom mural installation featuring the images from ‘Changeling’
Posters available to order
Posters available to order

Two large-scale posters will be produced from every issue, and a pattern of images or a single image can be installed as a custom mural (both shown, above). These are available in a collaboration between Dance Ink and Dodge Chrome and can be ordered via the 2wice site. Dance Ink is limited to an edition of 500 and can be purchased online at 2wice.org. See pentagram.com

Portrait of the artist Charles Atlas on the cover of the Winter 1993 issue, photographed by Josef Astor
Portrait of the artist Charles Atlas on the cover of the Winter 1993 issue, photographed by Josef Astor
Photographs of dancer Lance Gries by Stewart Shining from the Winter 1993 issue
Photographs of dancer Lance Gries by Stewart Shining from the Winter 1993 issue
Cover of the Summer 1994 issue
Cover of the Summer 1994 issue
Flamenco dance legend Pilar Rioja photographed by K. C. Bailey in a 1995 issue
Flamenco dance legend Pilar Rioja photographed by K. C. Bailey in a 1995 issue
Cover of the Fall 1994 issue featuring the choreographer Ralph Lemon photographed by Andrew Eccles
Cover of the Fall 1994 issue featuring the choreographer Ralph Lemon photographed by Andrew Eccles
Spread from the Summer 1996 issue featuring the dancer Frédéric Gafner photographed by Andrew Eccles
Spread from the Summer 1996 issue featuring the dancer Frédéric Gafner photographed by Andrew Eccles
Cover of the Winter 1994 issue featuring a gown by Charles James photographed by Joanne Savio
Cover of the Winter 1994 issue featuring a gown by Charles James photographed by Joanne Savio
Diamanda Galás in a spread from a 1993 issue
Diamanda Galás in a spread from a 1993 issue

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