Founders: Gregory Cary, Martine van Hamel, Kevin McKenzie, Bentley Roton
Stanford White Barn which will eventually be the Visitor Center.
Studio Complex that houses three dance studios, one of which has a
floor the size of the Metropolitan Opera stage.
Scenic view of the Castkills Mountain.
Kaatsbaan is a permanent international dance center dedicated to the
growth, advancement and preservation of professional dance.
Kaatsbaan provides a creative residence in an aesthetically
inspirational and healthy working environment for dance-related artists
from all disciplines and ethnic backgrounds.
ARTISTIC MISSION AND
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center was founded and designed by four
professional dancers Gregory Cary, Kevin McKenzie, Bentley Roton, and
Martine van Hamel in response to a pressing set of problems that have
befallen the state of dance in America in the last twenty years.
These problems include a lack of affordable studio space in which to
create and rehearse, no time for the creative process, diminished
production quality, fewer opportunities for young dance artists to
perfect their craft to a professional level and few opportunities for
professionals to expand and diversify their expertise in dance.
Kaatsbaan was designed to provide national and international dance
companies, choreographers and all dance artists with an affordable year
round facility where they can experiment, create, rehearse, perform,
showcase new work, train, and develop new sets, costumes and
productions. It serves as a year round campus where dance artists
may interact as a diverse community designed to stimulate the
development and growth of dance as an art form.
The vision of Kaatsbaan, Dutch for “playing field,” is a unique dream
factory for the creative process…a playing field for the imagination.
The vision of Kaatsbaan includes:
• 7 professional dance studios,
• accommodations for 90 dancers and dance related
• a lodge, dining hall, and conference room complex,
• a 160 seat studio workshop theater,
• a 1,200 seat performance theater equipped for
• a visitors’ center with retail shops and
exhibition galleries and
• a set and costume production facility named after
designer Oliver Smith.
Kaatsbaan received not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status in 1991.
Tivoli Farms in Tivoli, New York was chosen in 1994; a 153-acre
historic site (the former estate of Eleanor Roosevelt’s grandparents),
it is the ideal setting to support the mission of Kaatsbaan. The
site was purchased in 1997 for $1.15 million with contributions and
loans from individuals, including a substantial commitment from all
Funding to support the planning and site development for professional
studios, a dancers’ residence, and necessary infrastructure was
provided by a number of organizations, including a $3.9 million county
Industrial Development Agency Bond, grants from the NYS Environmental
Protection Agency, the Community Block Grant program, the Empire State
Development Corporation, and many individual contributions.
Today, Kaatsbaan offers three premier dance studios, one of which
serves as a 160-seat performance theater with a professional
performance floor the size of the Metropolitan Opera stage.
Recently completed was the first Dancers’ Inn. It can accommodate
36 dancers in quality motel style rooms all with private baths.
Additional facilities to be completed this year include two additional
studios, the second Dancers’ Inn and a lodge and dining room complex.
Soon, Kaatsbaan will begin restoration of the historic
“Music” Barn designed in the Arts and Crafts style by famed architect
Stanford White in the 1890’s. On completion it will house
reception areas, shops, the lobby for the theater and 10,000 square
feet of art and exhibition gallery.
Kaatsbaan establishes a collaboration between dance, historic
preservation and environmental conservation. Kaatsbaan is
developing only 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.
Kaatsbaan in the Fall.