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Hustle in the Park
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à residence
Nick Cave Dance Lab
INRH P1 (solo)
Insel Hombroich
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easy prism
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gallery girl
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5 eyes
ShHe Knew
Yellow Sidewalk
Who Me House


It Never Really Happened





Part One (Solo):


February 25, 26, 27, 28 and March 7, 8 at 5pm


All performances take place in the apartment located at

1 Lafayette Plaisance #509

BUZZER # 263

cross street: Rivard; parking located on Rivard, Nicolet, and Antietam


Information: 917 589 1727


All performances are FREE and open to the public with RSVP HERE.



About the Project


“It Never Really Happened” is a dance performance set in the fifth floor corner apartment of a 1958 Mies van der Rohe high-rise in Lafayette Park, Detroit. It offers a singular event for the public to experience dance, domesticity, and modernism's classic architecture. In the fashion of a cocktail party, the two-hour long event opens up a private space to a small audience (15-20 persons), exposing the apartment as a space of intimacy, visibility, and aestheticized leisure. The choreography infiltrates the apartment, combining all attentions in the room to create a shared space of spectacle. Each performance of “It Never Really Happened” is a personalized secret that endures through its audience as a time capsule housed by memory.


Organized as a triptych, the piece is performed at sunset during three seasons (Winter, Summer, Fall), beginning in 2015. Offering 5-8 performances per installment (15-24 performances total), they are each organized around a different mood, architectural element, time of day, and seasonal color. The dance activates the classic modernism of Van der Rohe’s architectural treasure in Lafayette Park, highlighting the drama of day-to-day rituals against its panoramic backdrop: the park, Eastern Market, church steeples, Ford Field, and downtown. The dance incorporates the whole space and all those present, and the viewer can decide to move around the space, make choices and be experimental in their approach to the work.


Spearheaded by choreographer and artist Biba Bell, this project brings together a group of Detroit-based collaborators and performers. The music is conceived in collaboration with musician and DJ Scott Zacharias. In addition to the series of performance events, a three-channel video of documented footage will be created for future exhibition in collaboration with video artist Christine Hucal.



A Dance for the Community


“It Never Really Happened” offers the public a new, exciting experience of dance and architecture. Considered an international architectural gem, Lafayette Park is a neighborhood consisting primarily of private residences, which rarely offers public access within its residential spaces. This series of events will open up one of these private spaces to a larger public, giving its audience a chance to experience an evening inside the architectural treasure. Inviting guests from within the neighborhood and beyond, the performance will contribute to an existing sense of community while celebrating it with a larger public, connecting the local and city-wide with a regional, national, and international stage. Looking out over the backdrop of Detroit's downtown, Eastern Market, and Lafayette Park, the events will give the public a chance to sit back and experience their city from a new perspective, welcomed within the dancer's home. Guests are invited to watch the seasons of the city through a very rare and important window. In a place that can seem so rough and harsh at ground level, slightly elevated - at tree height - there is an overwhelming contact with nature and the nonchalant beauty of the city.


This project is also about building new audiences in Detroit for contemporary dance. "It Never Really Happened" is committed to cultivating and growing dance in Detroit, expanding its reception and exploring the public, social reach of the art form. At the same time, it extends a sustainable approach to the continued performance of a dance, where, instead of performing for a single night or weekend in a theater, the dance can be performed multiple times, night after night, mirroring the daily practice of everyday life that takes place both within and outside our domestic lives. Each audience member will leave with the sense they’ve experienced something special and unprecedented.


This project is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the Knight Arts Challenge, a community-wide contest supporting ideas that engage and enrich Detroit.


Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.


Project Profile:



Research for "It Never Really Happened" was additionally supported by the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas, Austin, and by the Insel Hombroich Foundation in Neuss, Germany.