Stanford White "Music Barn"
Gregory Cary - Kevin McKenzie - Bentley Roton - Martine van Hamel
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center is “the Hudson Valley’s cultural park for dance” and one of Up-State New York’s leading dance presenters. On 153 bucolic acres in Tivoli, New York, Kaatsbaan offers residencies to dancers, choreographers and dance companies so they can create, rehearse, and develop new productions in large professional studios surrounded by a rural campus. Performances are presented to the public in the 160-seat Kaatsbaan black-box dance theatre during Spring and Fall seasons. On-going educational programs include the world-recognized summer intensive, Extreme Ballet®, and the Kaatsbaan Academy of Dance.
Kaatsbaan, Dutch for “a playing field”, was founded in 1990 and received not-for-profit 501(c) 3 status the following year. Historic Tivoli Farms was chosen in 1994 as the ideal setting to build a major facility to realize the project's mission. The site was purchased in 1997 with assistance from supporting individuals.
After developing a comprehensive Business Plan and multi-phase Master Plan and receiving all permits and approvals, Phase I construction began in 1999 with funding from the issuance of Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency Bonds. The Studio Complex and Theatre, roads, parking, and all underground utilities were completed in 2000 with bond funds and additional funding from the NYS Environmental Protection Agency, the Community Block Grant program, and many individual contributors. The Dancers’ Inn was completed in 2003 with a $1.25 million grant from NYS Governor Pataki and the Empire State Development Corporation.
Kaatsbaan was founded by professional dancers in response to the continued lack of affordable studio space in New York City in which to create and rehearse dance; no time for the creative process; no time to experiment; fewer opportunities for professionals to expand and diversify their expertise; and fewer opportunities for emerging dance artists to perfect their craft to a professional level.
Kaatsbaan was designed to provide national and international dance companies, choreographers and all dance artists with an affordable year-round facility where they can interact as a diverse community, experiment, create, rehearse, perform, showcase new work, train, and develop new sets, costumes and productions. The project is designed to stimulate the development and growth of dance as an art form.
Kaatsbaan is the Hudson Valley’s Cultural Park for Dance – a permanent international center dedicated to the growth, advancement and preservation of professional dance and to dance education. Kaatsbaan provides a creative residence and performance facility in an aesthetically inspirational and healthy working environment for all dance related artists. .
Currently, Kaatsbaan offers three premier dance studios in the Studio Complex and a 160-seat black-box performance theater with a performance floor the size of the Metropolitan Opera stage. The Dancers' Inn accommodates 36 dancers in 16 quality motel style rooms all with private baths. The Gate House as 2 additional bed rooms and kitchen facilities. Future growth include additional studios, the second Dancers' Inn and a lodge and dining room complex, and restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic Stanford White designed "Music" Barn built in the 1890's. On completion, the "Music Barn" will house a visitor reception area, shops, and 10,000 square feet of art and exhibition galleries.
Environmental and Preservation Goals
Kaatsbaan establishes a collaboration between dance, historic preservation and environmental conservation. Kaatsbaan is developingonly 18 of its 153 acres. Land conservation will protect the remaining 135 acres of hay fields, woodlands and Hudson River and Catskill Mountain scenic views.