BY KAITLYN MEADE | It’s nearly curtain closed for Dance New Amsterdam in its home in 280 Broadway as it searches for a way to a solution that would keep the Downtown dance center’s doors open.
The dance education and performance center announced that it had reached an agreement with the building’s landlord Fram Realty that would give the company one more month, until Oct. 14, to vacate. The agreement was approved by bankruptcy court, which got involved when D.N.A. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 27.
A spokesperson for the group said that executive director Catherine Peila and the board are still working to keep the programs running.
In a prepared statement, Peila said: “What has been amazing is the outpouring of financial and moral support from individuals, which have allowed us to make it this far. We continue to work devotedly to find a way to support our constituents regardless of where we work, dance, teach, create and perform,” Peila said in a public statement. “We are keeping the lines of communication open between teachers, students, artists, our peers and community supporters while looking for ways to keep programs alive.”
Founded 28 years ago by five choreographers as Dance Space Inc., D.N.A. evolved into a large arts organization with million dollar operating costs and moved to Chinatown. Then after 9/11, it moved into its current location in the historic Sun Building in Soho, taking advantage of government incentives to revitalize Lower Manhattan.
According to D.N.A., the organization offers 140 classes weekly in its studios, including classes for international visa students from 30 countries.
Since 2008, it has struggled in past years to continue renting its space. With the help of State Senator Daniel Squadron, their lease was negotiated down by $30,000 per month. But in May, D.N.A. Remained $4.5 million debt and filed for bankruptcy reorganization hoping that it would be able to restructure and save itself.
It now has until mid-October. D.N.A. announced that its classes and rentals will be running through October 13. but their season is currently on hold.