A New York moment

November 15, 2015 - Posted by Jarrah Gerstle

I am a strong believer that if you are alive you have the ability to be creative. Also that your everyday environment is where your creativity will originate.

In my journey of creative development I am constantly searching for inspiration that will challenge my relationship with the experiential industry and the way in which an individual may perceive a moment. During my recent trip to New York such moments were a regular occurrence. But two events in particular captivated my mind and left me with a visceral experience.


The first event was a 3D screening of Pina, a film for Pina Bausch, followed by a live Q&A with director Wim Wenders. The film was part of a retrospective held at the IFC Centre in Greenwich Village that honoured Wenders as a master of contemporary cinema. A long planned collaboration, the feature-length film focused on the works of renowned German choreographer Pina Bausch and her Tanztheatre Wuppertal ensemble of dancers.

A spectacularly visual experience, the film encapsulated the aesthetics’ of Bausch‘s art through a journey of sensual discovery and story telling guided by expressive movement. With Bausch unexpectedly passing during pre-production, the film was a vivid representation of Bausch’s groundbreaking vision and paid tribute to her as a pioneer of modern dance.

Dance has always been a foreign language to me and as an events producer I am often caught up in the logistics of experience execution. The film stimulated my internal creative and will forever be a moment of reference in my career. I was carried through an emotional journey that communicated the sudden loss not just by words but improvised dance and body language. It’s safe to say my mind was blown.

Warm Up at MoMA PS1

Travelling from the Lower East side to Long Island City in Queens, we made our way to MoMA PS1. An affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, PS1 is one of the oldest and largest non-profit contemporary art institutions in the United States. With an adventurous personality, the museum is an environment that supports innovative exhibition of the most experimental art in the world.

As the last days of summer dwindled there was more than one reason to take two subway lines from Brooklyn. MoMA PS1 was celebrating the last event of its outdoor Warm Up music series. Essentially a day party, this event takes place every Saturday from the beginning of June through to the first week of September. The programmed event is curated by a committee that represent a wide spectrum of expertise and experience in music, sound, and the performing arts, resulting in a unique lineup of artists that explore, interpret, and combine genres.

A complete blank canvas, the venue is a producer’s dream and tickled every neuron in my brain. Housed in a hundred-year-old Romanesque Revival school building, the 125,000 square-foot facility is surrounded by giant concrete walls. With similar characteristics to the confines of a prison, I anticipated feeling a sense of captivity but instead it triggered a state of creative dreaming.

Transforming the museum’s courtyard into a collaborative jungle gym, the Warm Up series features outdoor installations that people mill around whilst immersed in an auditory experience. During the event you are free to meander through the museum’s wide-open spaces, viewing the current exhibitions as the floors and walls vibrate with music that guides you to the sea of people dancing to their own rhythm. This became a highlight of my trip and I am incredibly grateful for the experience.

Alas my time in New York came to a close. My experiences, however, continue to enhance my path of creative discovery and will forever influence who I am and my passion for the industry.

I leave you with words by Alicia Keys & Jay Z, as there is no truer way to describe the wondrous city of NYC:

A concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do. Now you’re in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you. Let’s hear it for New York”