Kayla Farrish/Decent Structures Arts is an emerging company combining filmmaking, storytelling, dance theater performance, and sound score. The company has been commissioned by Gibney Dance Inc (2020-2021), Louis Armstrong House Museum (2020), Danspace Project Inc (2019), Pepatian and BAAD! (2018), and beyond. Farrish has been supported by creative residencies including Gallim Women + Residency (2021), Gibney Spotlight: New Voices, Barysnikov Arts Center, Arts On Site (2020), Keshet Makers Space Experience, BAX Space Grant (2019), Pepatian Dance Your Future (2018), and Chez Bushwick (2017). Pieces sprouted outwards including “Black Bodies Sonata”, “The New Frontier (my dear America)” evening length and film, “With grit From, Grace”, “Spectacle” Film and Live Production evening length work, and anticipated “Martyr’s Fiction” (2021) that continued to push boundaries of form, voice, scene, narrative in an array of cinematic mediums. In 2020-2021, she has been commissioned for choreographing and directing a range of films and live performance hybrids. Her work has been performed at venues like Judson Church, Danspace, Jacob’s Pillow, New York Live Arts, Joe’s Pub, BAAD!, film festivals, and beyond. In 2021 she created site-specific immersive, “Broken Record” duet commission, with Brandon Coleman for Little Island Festival, “Rinsing” short dance film, co-directed Melanie Charles “Y’ll D’nt Care Abt Black Women” Film, Saul Williams’ “People Above the Moon” Solo for The Motherboard Suites at NYLA, “Roster” Outdoor Concert Performance collaboration Four/Four Open Air Series with Melanie Charles, and Martyr’s Fiction Feature Film. In 2022, she will be releasing her feature film “Martyr’s Fiction”, creating new solo works with Belinda McGuire and herself, collaborating with Kenyon Adams, Symphony Space, and creating commissions for companies.
She’s received grants and support including Sundance Uprise Grant for Emerging BIPOC Directors, Dance Films Association Production Grant, Film Residency and community support from Little Falls, NY, and Brooklyn Filmmaker Collective Mentorship Fellowship. She was awarded a Bessie Performance Award for her solo “People Above the Moon” in NYLA’s “Motherboard Suite”. NY Times named “Roster” Top 2021 Dance Performances, and titled Farrish a “Break Out Star of 2021”. She was listed on Dance Magazine “Top 9 Screen Dance Makers to Watch” as well.
In addition, Farrish has freelanced with companies including Sleep No More NYC, Kyle Abraham/AIM, Marjani Forte/7NMS, Kate Weare Company, Helen Simoneau Danse, Company SBB, Dendy/Donovan Projects, Arthur Aviles, Rashuan Mitchell/Silas Reiner, Nicole Von Arx, Danielle Russo, and others. She has also been an instructor, rehearsal director, performance coach, and mentor both through dance companies and independently. She has been adjunct faculty for NYU Tisch Dance and SUNY Purchase College. She has taught and rehearsal directed at Juilliard, University of the Arts, NYU, Marymount College, University of NC School of the Arts, Alonzo King Lines Training Program, New Dialect, and others. She is currently a rehearsal director at Sleep No More NYC.