Jonah Bokaer was born in Ithaca, NY to Tunisian and American parents, and frequently spent time in the Hudson Valley as a child. He has been active as a choreographer in Hudson, NY since 2006 – his programs have been paving the way for dancers and choreographers such as Tal Adler-Arieli, David Rafael Botana, CC Chang, James Koroni, James McGinn, Todd McQuade, Tony Orrico, Szabi Pataki, Sara Procopio, Davon Rainey, Judith Sachéz Ruíz, Adam H. Weinert, and many others through his Hudson residencies and public programs dating to 2006.
Jonah Bokaer was the 2015 recipient of the United States Artists Award in Dance (Ford Foundation). With this $50,000 personal cash prize, and others that year, he purchased his 3rd Artspace, in the center of Hudson, NY where he has created choreography since 2006. The acquisition of this facility in Hudson was made possible in cooperation with Peggy Polenberg Real Estate and its principals, locally in Hudson, who play an ongoing role in the overall strategy for the venue. Ongoing dialogue with collaborator / architect Charles Renfro in Hudson is ongoing, about the local urban planning of downtown Hudson, and the diversity of State Street in particular.
This 1870s Gothic church, once known as Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Church, has been meticulously renovated into a sophisticated residence and entertainment venue. Currently titled “Space 428,” the open design and astounding restoration incorporates original details with modern amenities. Bokaer recently hosted the New York State DanceForce convening in Hudson, NY on July 31st, 2018 with his dancers, in collaboration with Elena Mosley, Hudson’s local delegate to the New York State DanceForce, and an ongoing local collaborator.
Space 428’s repurposed space holds high ceilings, arched stained glass windows, and unique architectural details that punctuate the building’s past. Open concept living spaces, a fully equipped chef’s kitchen, and new bathrooms modernize this historical gem. New heating and cooling systems, electric, plumbing, foundation, and tuck-pointed brick are just a few of the upgrades. There is a fully fenced-in lawn, where there’s plenty of room to build a garage.
This divine reimagined space is two short blocks to Hudson’s bustling Warren Street and steps to Hudson’s rejuvenated Armory. The revitalization of State Street in Hudson is one aspect of Jonah Bokaer’s long history of Creative Placemaking in the arts, including deliberate partnerships with the New York State Council on the Arts, and its Dance Programs (2007-Present).
Local Hudson partners of Jonah Bokaer Choreography include Basilica Hudson (2010-Present), Second Ward Foundation (2014-Present), Hudson Opera House (where Bokaer staged his Guggenheim Fellowship production in 2015), Time Space Limited (Teaching Venue 2015), and many others.
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