OUR MISSION

OUR MISSION

OUR MISSION

launches an innovative network of exchanges through merging professional dancers and choreographers; provides a movement lab that is financially accommodating, easily accessible, and artistically rewarding for all of its participants; and establishes a place for the dance community to grow, unite, and share ideas uninhibitedly.

SESSIONS

SESSIONS

SESSIONS

The Playground hosts seasonal "Sessions" - 2 hours of dance playtime for professional dancers and choreographers. Kept at a flat rate of $5, our sessions allow dancers to experience various choreographic styles and ideas, engage with a new community of dancers, and gather resourceful information and inspiration from the array of choreographers involved. In turn, choreographers are paid for their creative investigations, are given free space to explore new movement with professional dancers and are provided with the opportunity to establish relationships with new dancers and fellow choreographers.

Loni Landon was born and raised in New York City.  Landon received her training from the Juilliard School, the School at Jacob’s Pillow, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Scholarship Program, Dance Theater of Harlem, and NYC High School of Performing Arts.

Upon receiving her BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School in 2005, Landon worked with Aszure Barton on the opening of the Baryshnikov Arts Center.  Soon thereafter, Landon joined Ballet Theater Munich from 2005 to 2007 under the direction of Phillip Taylor. From 2007 to 2009, Landon joined Tanz Munich Theater under the direction of Henning Paar.  During her time in Munich, she performed works by many premier European choreographers including Jiri Kylian, Stephan Thoss, Rui Horta, Robert North,Tony Rizzi, Cayetano Soto, Mirko Hektor, and Marco Goecke, among others.  Landon is currently a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera.

Landon’s original choreography has been performed at the State Theater of Munich, APAP at New York City Center, American College Dance Festival (performed by Snow College Dance Ensemble), SUNY Purchase, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Dance Gallery Festival at the Ailey Theater in NYC, DanceNOW at Joe's Pub, WestFest, Pushing Progress, HT CHEN’S New Steps Choreography Series, and Dumbo Dance Festival. As a sought after choreographer, her work has been commissioned by Northwest Dance Project, CityDance Ensemble, Ballet X, and the New American Talent Commission from Ballet Austin.

She has been awarded as the 1st Prize Winner of Ballet Austin’s New American Talent Competition. She is winner of Northwest Dance Project’s “Pretty Creatives’” Choreography Competition and the Next Commission from CityDance Ensemble, and 2009 Finalist in the Hannover International Choreography Competition.  In October of 2010, Landon was featured with Northwest Dance Project in Dance Magazine.

FOUNDERS

FOUNDERS

FOUNDERS

Loni Landon and Gregory Dolbashian, both natives of New York City, created The Playground as a spontaneous, heartfelt act. Curious to see what would happen if dancers could experience different choreographers without having to save up nickels and dimes, they intuitively called their respective contacts, booked space, and invited the crowds. To their amazement, The Playground was an instant sensation and was immediately picked up by Home4Dance and Manhattan Movement Center.  The Playground currently is partnered with The Gibney Dance organization and holds many of its sessions at the newly rennovated 280 Broadway space.

Born and raised in New York City Gregory made his professional stage debut at the age of eight with the Glimmerglass Opera Company.  Soon after, he was cast in the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson world tour of Einstein on the Beach.  Gregory received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School on a fellowship scholarship and then graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase dance conservatory where he studied composition with Kazuko Hirabayashi.

Since then he has gone on to dance and choreograph with a variety of artists, performing with Patrick Corbin, Nelly van Bommel, Sylvain Emard, and The Chicago Ballet. He was resident choreographer for both Chicago Ballet’s spring season in 2008 and CorbinDances in 2007. He was selected as one of four emerging choreographers in the Springboard Montreal intensive run by Juilliard’s Alexandra Wells, where he created and premiered his first international work.

Dolbashian is a recipient of The Bessie Schoenberg Residency at The Yard, winner of The Pretty Creatives Competition for Northwest Dance Project, and of The Hubbard Street 2 International Choreographic Competition. He also placed second in Ballet Austin's New American Talent competition, and has received commissions from Atlanta Ballet, TU Dance in Minnesota, CityDance Ensemble in D.C, and was the Resident Guest Artist at The Hartt School for the Spring 2013 semester under the direction of Stephen Pier.

He debuted his own company, The DASH Ensemble, in December 2009 at JOYCE SoHo. The company has gone on to present works at the Skirball Center, DTW, The Gershwin Hotel, Riverside Theater, Summer Stage, and The JOYCE Theater. The DASH received the audience award at NYC’s DanceNOW challenge at Joe’s Pub in 2012. The DASH also recently premiered “DAYWALKING”,  a film at New York's Tribeca Cinemas in collaboration with fashion film director Charlie Wan.