BREAKTIME is a site-fluid reservoir for bad ideas, generated and performed by Holly Sass (they/them) and Jonathan Matthews-Guzmán (they/them). Classmates in NYU Tisch Dance’s class of 2014, they were often cast together in a diverse array of work until joining forces in 2017 for Tisch Dance’s Alumni Choreographic Mentorship, under the guidance of Gus Solomons, Jr.
Since then, they have performed in and around NYC, hosted by UNA Projects, Center for Performance Research, Dixon Place, Create:ART, Arts On Site, Triskelion Arts, Spoke the Hub, Circadium School of Contemporary Circus, and the Tisch Dance Summer Residency Festival. The pair has been greatly nourished by residencies through the Jonah Boaker Arts Foundation, Create:ART, Arts On Site and The Croft. Interested in independent, community-based initiatives, BREAKTIME participated in the first annual Land Falls residency, founded by Jemila MacEwan, for artists of all backgrounds to share performance practices, and helped to convert Bridget Struthers’ Brattleboro barn into a shared performance space.
Drawing from a varied collective skillset, and always on the prowl for new and unusual creative relationships, BREAKTIME has enjoyed multimedia collaborations with director Julia Barrett-Mitchell on a music video for Star Rover, choreographer-costumer Maddie Schimmel, installation artist Dave Hannon, and brass quartet, The Westerlies.
Their quarantine film, "This Meeting is Being Recorded," was featured by Dance Magazine, as well as Colin Thomas’ Fresh Sheet. In October 2020, they received a residency from Arts On Site to develop a new piece for their Arts Alive performance series. Entitled 6’, Holly and Jonathan explored the possibilities of audience participation in a pandemic with six-foot pole strapped between their bodies for 35 minutes, culminating in a rapturous tap dance, performed to a sold out 4-show run. The piece has since been developed into a film, shot by Derrick Belcham, which has virtually premiered through Spoke the Hub and Green Space.
Photo: Pheral Lamb