Open Call: Leslie Cuyjet

JUN 4, 2021
An investigation of visibility and invisibility enacted between performers, audience, and objects
In The Works
Meet the artist

About this commission

Blur, a new performance work by Leslie Cuyjet, experiments with visibility and invisibility, and the relationship between performer, audience, and object. Viewers are invited to navigate a choreographic and phonetic landscape through the lens of race and objectification. Cuyjet’s research is informed by her own personal history and experiences with dance, which so often found her cast as a black dot on a white stage. As an artist and performer, Cuyjet asks if she can control her own erasure or disappearance—and rewrite an existence she’s never experienced.

Creative team

A photo of the artist Leslie Cuyjet who wears a loose tank top and sits against a dark background with her face partly in shadow.
Photo: Maria Baranova.
Leslie Cuyjet
A white man with a bald head seen from the shoulders up standing in city with a street with buses and cars and lined by tall buildings receding behind him.
Photo: Jose Espaillat.
Miodrag Guberinic
A man stands in sunglasses and a shirt with a colorful, cartoonish print within a sail boat
Photo: Leslie Cuyjet.
Brandon Wolcott
Leslie Cuyjet
Leslie Cuyjet is a choreographer and award-winning performer. She has co-directed, designed, danced, and collaborated formally and informally with contemporaries, legends, and counterparts, on rooftops, in alleyways, on film, in galleries, on tour, and on the fly since 2004. Her own work interrogates those experiences, performed in various experimental and post-modern forms, through the lens of a Black body, and has been presented in venues across New York City. She has received residency support from Movement Research, MoMA PS1, Center for Performance Research, Yaddo, Marble House Project, Virtual MacDowell, and the Kitchen as a Dance and Process Artist.
Miodrag Guberinic
Costume Designer
Miodrag Guberinic is a New York-based costume designer, illustrator, and artisan focusing on vivid avant-garde performing art productions and innovative design projects. He grew up in Serbia and graduated with an MFA in costume design from Northwestern University in Chicago. He is the recipient of The 2019 Irene Sharaff Young Master Award. His most recent costume design projects include KSA, his first show for Cirque Du Soleil, and a spectacle performance piece for K11-Musea in Hong Kong. His dance design work includes collaborations with Yanira Castro and A Canary Torsi, where he met and worked with Leslie Cuyjet for the first time. He is grateful to be a part of Leslie’s team and share the opportunity to create work at The Shed.
Brandon Wolcott
Sound Designer
Brandon Wolcott is an NYC-based sound designer and composer. At The Shed, credits include Dragon Spring, Phoenix Rise; with 600 Highwaymen: The Record, The Fever. Off-Broadway credits include Counting Sheep (3LD); Dance Nation, The Profane (at Playwrights Horizons), Venus, Everybody, Signature Plays (Signature Theater); Coriolanus, Hit the Wall (Barrow Street); Kill Floor (LCT3); The Nether (Lortel nomination, MCC); Good Person of Szechwan, Titus Andronicus (Public Theater); Habeas Corpus, Kiss the Air (Park Avenue Armory). Collaborations include ones with Marina Abramovic, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Faye Driscoll, Nicolas Jaar, Elizabeth Streb, Woodshed Collective, Jane Comfort, Red Bull, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, and many more.
In The Works
Learn More about this commission

about 3 years ago

Being Seen: An Interview with Leslie Cuyjet
I became aware of Leslie Cuyjet well before we actually met, and possibly before I even first saw her dance. As Black dancers within New York City’s mostly white experimental dance scene over the last decade or so, “which so often found her cast as a black dot on a white stage” (as reads the description of Leslie’s new choreographic work Blur), we’ve both experienced discomfort and attenuated feelings within the unspoken racial dynamics of casting and creative processes. When those “black dots”—on stage, and across studios and theater lobbies—are few and far between, it’s easy to spot each other in advance.
Read more


Shed Production Credits

Itohan Edoloyi, Lighting Design Coordinator
DJ Potts, Audio Design Coordinator
Erica Schnitzer, Stage Coordinator
Stefan Carrillo, Head Carpenter - McCourt
Stuart Burgess, Head Electrician - McCourt
Jim Van Bergen, Head Audio - McCourt
Adam Farquharson, Production Video

Gustavo Valdes Munoz, Lighting Programmer
Josh Liebert, Audio Engineer
Matt Deinhart, Assistant Lighting Coordinator
Chris Darbassie, Assistant Audio Coordinator


Blur was supported by residencies at MacDowell, Movement Research, and MoMA PS1 where seeds for this work began at a residency at the VW Dome.

Leslie would like to thank Brandon and Mio for their support and collaboration of this work; Moriah Evans, Yve Laris Cohen, Kennis Hawkins, and Alex Rodabaugh; Angie Pittman and Cynthia Oliver; and Jason Watt and her family. Thank you to Open Call and all of the Shed staff for making this Blur possible.

Location and dates

This event takes place in The Tisch Skylights.
Friday, June 4, 6:30 pm


The Shed’s spaces are all wheelchair accessible. This event takes place in The Tisch Skylights on Level 8.

Assistive listening is available on your smartphone over The Shed’s free Wi-Fi network via the free Listen Everywhere app. Devices will be available for you to borrow at the ticketing desk if you do not want to use your own smartphone.

Download the Listen Everywhere app before you arrive.

To request ASL interpretation or live audio description, please email or call (646) 455-3494 at least 10 days in advance of the performance.

To learn more about what to expect during your visit and the performance, please read these descriptions.

If you have any questions or other requests, please email or call (646) 455-3494.

What to Expect

Arriving at The Shed and Entering The Tisch Skylights

Thank you for planning a visit to The Shed. We’re looking forward to welcoming you for Open Call. This performance will take place in The Tisch Skylights, which is wheelchair accessible and on Level 8 of The Shed’s building.

Currently, the entrance to The Shed is through The McCourt door on the east side of our building, adjacent to the Hudson Yards Public Square. The McCourt is a large performance space created when The Shed’s shell, or movable roof, rolls out to cover the plaza on the east side of the building. You can access this entrance from 11th Avenue and Hudson Boulevard, just one block north of 30th Street, or from the 34 St–Hudson Yards subway station between 10th and 11th Avenues.

As you arrive at The Shed, you will enter The McCourt through a wide, unobstructed entrance at the southeast corner of the building. It is close to the area where the High Line meets Hudson Yards at 30th Street. You will scan your own ticket on your smartphone, with help if needed from a friendly visitor experience staff member standing nearby wearing a black t-shirt and ID badge on a purple lanyard.

You will need to enter The Shed’s building to reach The Tisch Skylights on Level 8. Starting from the southeast entrance to The McCourt, you will continue to a glass door at the back, southwest corner of The McCourt. A staff member can help direct you to this door if you have any trouble finding it. There are no steps at this entrance to the building. Passing through the door, you will enter a short hallway approximately 8 feet wide. To your left will be an elevator that you can take to Level 8.

The hallway then opens into a longer, wider escalator landing full of natural light. You can also use these escalators to reach The Tisch Skylights on Level 8.

For any additional access needs or requests, please email or call (646) 455-3494.

During the Performance
Leslie Cuyjet’s performance runs for approximately 30 minutes. Seats will be arranged in three concentric circles with pods of two seats distanced six feet from each other. Cuyjet will perform on a platform at the center of this space and will be wearing a costume printed with close up images of her own skin. Cuyjet will be lit on the platform with focused lighting, and there are no strobes or other dramatic shifts in lighting. The performance will include three sections comprising dance, sound with a prerecorded spoken text, and improvisational movement. A sound score will incorporate recorded text written by the artist in such a way that it is not meant to be understandable at all moments. For any additional access needs or requests, please email or call (646) 455-3494.


  • Running time: 30 minutes

Thank you to our partners

The Lead Sponsor of Open Call is
Support for Open Call is generously provided by

Additional support for Open Call is provided by Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation.

The creation of new work at The Shed is generously supported by the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Commissioning Fund and the Shed Commissioners. Major support for live productions at The Shed is provided by the Charina Endowment Fund.