About Performance Mix Festival

The first Performance Mix Festival (1986) was groundbreaking in that it was the only festival at that time exclusively dedicated to performance art in lower Manhattan. Its continuing success is testimony to its vital necessity in New York’s cultural community.

New Dance Alliance views the function of supporting experimental performance works as carrying forward a distinct heritage of art in America. From Isadora Duncan and her shoeless dances to John Cage and his amplified toasters to Jennifer Monson and her migration projects, American artists have been privileged in their Constitutional right to defy conventions. NDA continues this American legacy by advancing performance works that challenge defined artistic genres and forms. As testimony to its efforts, NDA claims a roster of over 1,000 artists who have pioneered new methods in artistic creation. These artists have distinct voices within shared genres and have often gone on to become award-winning leaders in the field. Among our artists are post-modernist Douglas Dunn; hip-hop-influenced Doug Elkins and Nicholas Leichter; the poignant and funny David Parker; emotion-driven movement experimenters Keely Garfield and RoseAnne Spradlin; improvisation mavericks Jennifer Monson, Yvonne Meier and Sally Silvers; collaborative movement/music artists Cherylyn Lavagnino/Andy Teirstein and Nina Winthrop/Jon Gibson; culturally influenced artists Merian Soto, Marlies Yearby and Koosil-ja Hwang; multimedia dance theater artists Jane Comfort and Troika Ranch; international performance artists Dana Michel, Frederic Gravel, Marie Brassard, Martin Belanger, Ginette Laurin and Louise Bedard (Montreal), Ivo Dimchev (Bulgaria), La Zampa (France); and from around the world David Zambrano’s 50 CollectiVe. 

The festival has grown to include artists from around the globe, including South Africa, Canada, Europe, and South America. Founder and Executive Director Karen Bernard has been invited to many festivals across Canada and Europe, forming relationships that have broadened her curatorial process and widened the festival’s scope. By bringing her expansive awareness of culture into an intimate setting, Bernard cultivates an important sharing of creativity nationally, and internationally.

In addition to offering a fully-produced performance opportunity to artists, NDA offers a range of support services to Mix participants. Some of these are coordinated during the Mix, while others happen throughout the year. The main goal of these services is to provide artists with structures that reinforce their practice and support the development of their work. This includes: 

Learn more about this year’s festival >