Performance Works


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

“Passing” (excerpt)
Performers: Sarah Mitchell and Mikey Rioux

Choreography: Kate Corby

Kate Corby & Dancers will present an excerpt from Passing, an evening-length suite of dances exploring mortality, life cycles and our complex relationship with time. Performed by Sarah Mitchell and Mikey Rioux, this particular section explores both the delicate affection and passionate strife of a young relationship. Much of the dance happens along a blank wall, which serves as both a support and an obstacle for the dancers and their relationship.

KATE CORBY has shown her choreography extensively in the US and in Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan and Hungary, where she traveled as a Fulbright fellow. Kate is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches contemporary technique, somatics, composition and improvisation. Her choreography has been called “ingenious” by the Chicago Reader and is consistently a Critics’ Pick in Time Out Chicago. Kate was also featured in Dance Magazine’s April 2011 issue as one of six choreographers “on the cusp of making waves in the larger dance world.” She completed her MFA at the University of Illinois at Urbana in 2007 and has served on the faculties of Beloit College, Columbia College Chicago and the Pedagogy Department of the Hungarian Dance Academy.

Choreography and Performer: Ruth Levin
Music: “Painted Bird” by Mark Deutsch, edited by Ruth Levin

Core is a short, solo work that seeks to access those powerful,mysterious forces that first formed, and that continue to shape, the Earth. It is an exploration of gravitation, centre, and of how these can be understood and wielded by the human body. This work asks: “How can dance teach us about forces much larger than ourselves? Can this embodied learning catalyze healing and integration in the human body?”

Headshot - RuthNaomiLevinA current MFA student at York University and graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, RUTH LEVIN‘s central passion is the study of the human experience. She has had the great pleasure of exploring this both within the context of the dancing and performing body as well as through several years of meditative practice. Her choreographic work intertwines these two perspectives to bring greater depth and wisdom to the studio and stage through the integration of meditative techniques and practices. She has had the tremendous privilege of working with world class artists and teachers in both fields of interest, including in the field of dance, Peggy Baker, Jolene Bailie, Margie Gillis, Danny Grossman, James Kudelka and Maya Lewandowsky as well as the faculty at York University and the School of TDT. Her guides in the direct study of mind are Achariya Doug Duncan, Catherine Pawasarat and the enlivened community of the Clear Sky Sangha.

  “a world where alarm clocks ring in the morning”
Performer: Jin-Wen Yu
Choreography and Intermedia: Danielle Russo
Music: “[quad_planar]” by Robert Henke, edited by Michael Wall

Danielle Russo Performance 1“a world where alarm clocks ring in the morning” is a multidisciplinary solo performance investigating the dancing body split of being “in-time” versus “on-time”. It is a physical deliberation of muscle memory versus photographic memory, repetition versus rendition, duration versus distortion, endurance versus exhaustion. The integration of digital technologies via live-feed video projections using TroikaTronix’s Isadora® creates and reflects deformations of the dueling past and present in an illusory duet. “[S]imple, powerful… captures the imagination… stunning. It’s dance as nesting dolls; each single motion echoes, shrinks and grows in the immediate re-telling.” Lindsay Christians of 77 Square (2012)

DANIELLE RUSSO (New York City) has been presented nationally at the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Yard; and internationally in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Mexico, Panama. In 2012, Russo was selected to represent the United States alongside distinguished choreographer John Jasperse at PRISMA Festival de Danza Contemporánea and chosen as one of five international emerging choreographers for Springboard Danse Montréal Professional Project. Recently, she was selected as one of three international scholarship recipients for Salerno International Dance Exchange and will produce public installations in Sweden. BFA Dance and BA Anthropology from New York University (Tisch School of the Arts); MFA Dance from Hollins University/ADF on fellowship.

Wigioei Bada/Endangered Sea”
Choreography and Performer: Peggy Choy

Music: Wigieoi Bada/Endangered Sea by Matan Rubinstein

This dance is from the Sea Solos about the haenyeo—the diving women of Jeju Island, Korea.   Pollution from oil spills and plastic garbage threaten the sea on which the haenyeo rely for their living. If we listen and watch we can witness the ocean’s response.

PEGGY CHOY teaches Dance and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is president of The Ki Project, Inc., supporting intercultural performance for future generations, and has produced collaborative performances with Cambodian, Hmong, Native Hawaiian and Korean communities since the 1980s. Choy’s work investigates women-centered stories of peril and survival, and Afro-Asian connections, including “Seung Hwa: Rape/Race/Rage/Revolution” (1995, Dance Theater Workshop, NY) and “Ki-Aché: Stories from the Belly” (1997, Danspace Project, NY). The Sea Solos focus on the haenyeo, the diving women of Jeju Island, Korea (LA, Berlin, NY, Prague, 2011-12). The New York-based Peggy Choy Dance Company premiered “Power Moves” honoring Bruce Lee (2010, Smithsonian Institution, DC). Boxing-inspired works include “Boxher” (WDA-Americas, NY, 2010), “POW!” (La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, NY, 2011), and “THE GREATEST! Hip Dance Homage to Muhammad Ali” (Dance New Amsterdam, 2011; American Dance Guild Festival, 2012; Gleason’s Gym, NY, 2013).

“Casual Conversations”
Choreography and Performers: Rob Kistos and Kim Stevenson
Music: “West port Sunrise Sessions” by Moby

Media: Rob Kitsos and Kim Stevenson

This duet is a collaboration between Vancouver based dance artists Rob Kitsos and Kim Stevenson.  The process began last fall exploring pure movement generation, a retracing and detailing of phrases, and a deconstruction of timing. Both artists are drawn to a detailing of complex movement that reflects the idiosyncratic rhythmic nature of a verbal casual conversation.  The work is now in process and meaning is emerging out of the inherent compositional relationships of movement phrase work and recorded conversations.

ROB KISTOS is an acclaimed dancer, teacher, performing artist, and choreographer who has performed across the United States, Asia, and Europe. He is an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University and has been on the Faculty at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the University of Washington. He teaches Contemporary Technique, Composition, Repertory, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, and Dance Aesthetics. He has performed his own and other works at international festivals including the Spoletto Festival South Carolina, the World Expo in Lisbon, the Grec Festival in Barcelona, Palais Royale in Paris, and others in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Venezuela. Rob has performed and collaborated with dozens of artists and companies including Doug Elkins, Gina Gibney, Pat Graney, the Chamber Dance Company, Berkshire Ballet, Peter Bignham, and many others. Rob received his BA in Theater/Dance from Bard College and his MFA in Dance from the University of Washington in 1997.

KIM STEVENSON completed her formal studies in dance, earning a diploma from Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University. Kimberly is a co-founder of The Story of Force and Motion collective, whose collaborations began in 2007 and who continue to pursue opportunities to perform throughout Vancouver. Beyond The Story’s projects, Kimberly has performed professionally for Kokoro Dance Theatre, Rob Kitsos, Shauna Elton, and Deanna Peters. She apprenticed alongside choreographer Serge Bennathan through the creation of Elles, and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg through the process of HighGate. Kimberly was honored to work with Rob Kitsos on A Moving, a dance and film research and performance process supported by Simon Fraser University, and continues to work professionally with him on future projects. Kim is opening her own dance school this fall.

“Spirit Transforming”
by Dancers of Damelahamid
Performers: Andrew Grenier, Nigel Grenier, Margaret Grenier, Raven Grenier, and Candice Johnson

Photo by Derek Dix
Photo by Derek Dix

Spirit Transforming is the signature new dance work by the Dancers of Damelahamid. It combines the richness and beauty of the tradition of masked dances of the Gitxsan, of the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, and also explores presenting this genre in a minimalistic way in order to relook at its primary elements, the very essence of this dance form. The dance piece tells a story that responds to contemporary times through the main character’s portrayal of a young person in their search of self. It asks the question, “What is contemporary Aboriginal identity in traditional dance forms?” in order to create a complex understanding of diversity of Aboriginal artistic practices. The story, in its entirety carries so much relevance to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people where we are threading together our sense of self and moving forward from our common colonial history.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Performer: Heather Klopchin

Choreography: Melissa Rolnick

Paradox examines the juxtaposition between a woman’s self –acceptance/authenticity and a contrived, embodied persona in response to the cultural pressures that exist within our patriarchal, media driven society.

MELISSA C. ROLNICK has a BFA from Purchase College, SUNY and a MFA from Mills College. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN. She has performed with many notable choreographers including Cliff Keuter, Elina Mooney, Ruth Davidson-Hahn, Joe Goode, Mel Wong and Margaret Jenkins. She has been on the faculty at Western Washington University, Fresno State, and Arizona State where she received the Distinguished Teaching Award. Her choreography has been produced at Dancers’ Group in San Francisco., Sonoma State, CSU Fresno, Cornish College, Kaleidoscope Dance, and On the Boards: 12 Minutes Max in Seattle, ASU, U of T Pan American, and Gustavus Adolphus College. She has presented at many conferences including NDEO, CORD and WDA. She is a life-long dancer who has also studied extensively in Yoga and Authentic Movement. Recent studies in Gaga have been transformative.

 “EXIT/NO EXIT” and “Passages”

Marlene Skog Dance Exit No Exit 1-revised
Photo by Kat Cameron

Performers: Elizabeth Sexe, Sarah Mitchell, and Petra Weith
Choreography: Marlene Skog
Music: “Summa for Strings, Arvo Part and Cello Suites, Benjamin Britten

EXIT/NO EXIT and Passages are works of contemporary ballet that explore confinement in contrasting social scenarios. They address the enduring question of what it means to be human, as two people sharing or competing for space (EXIT/NO EXIT) and alone within the confines of one’s mind (Passages). Unlike trends in contemporary choreography that tend to deconstruct elements of the overall work, this choreography is purposeful in its strong synthesis of movement, music, and message.

MARLENE SKOG, Choreographer, Assistant Professor, teaches Ballet and World Dance Cultures at University of Wisconsin Madison. Skog worked in Sweden was awarded The People’s University (Folkuniversitetet) Cultural Prize, Gosta Knutsson Award, Nordbanken’s Cultural Award, choreographed for the International Arts Festival Norway, Scandinavian Cultural Conference, International Women’s Convention Uppsala University, official cultural events, historical theater and folk opera. Skog directed international dance company, collaborated with choreographer Birgit Cullberg. Skog founded Uppsala Dansakademi Sweden. She received Creative Achievement Award from the University of Arizona, is first recipient of the Green Valley Concert Association Fellowship Award, had work performed at King’s Palace Edinburgh Scotland. Her work is described as “Most striking, danced with a rush of intensity.” WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL. “sexy and strong. … Many striking moments”. ISTHMUS

“Here be Dragons-Non Plus Ultra” (excerpts)
Performers: Sepehr Samimi and Remy Siu

Choreography: Henry Daniel

“Here Be Dragons-Non Plus Ultra” is an excerpt from a 70 minute work performance work that explores the concept of  ‘going west to find east’. Based on Christopher Columbus’ desire to get to China, India and Japan by crossing the Atlantic, it first inverts the phrase, i.e., ‘going east to find west’, and then plays on the inherent paradox of going in either direction to find the other. This work is a collaboration between performers, musicians, media artists from Barcelona, Spain and Vancouver, Canada.

HENRY DANIEL began his career in Trinidad as an actor with Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theatre Workshop and Astor Johnson’s Repertory Dance Theatre of Trinidad and Tobago. In the USA he was a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre Workshop, the Bernhard Ballet, and soloist with the José Limón Dance Company of New York, among others. In Germany he founded and directed Henry Daniel and Dancers while continuing to work as a member of Tanzproject München, Tanztheater Freiburg, and Assistant Director, Choreographer, and Dancer for Tanztheater Münster. In the UK he founded and directed the performance group Full Performing Bodies. Henry attended the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School in the USA, and has an MA in Dance Studies from City University, The Laban Centre, London, as well as a Ph.D. in Dance, Performance Studies and New Technology from Bristol University’s Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television. He is currently Professor of Dance and Performance Studies at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts and Principal Investigator for Project Barca, a SSHRC funded Research/Creation initiative (2011-2014).

“Straddling Trio”
Performers and Spontaneous Choreography: Sarah Gamblin, Nina Martin, & Andrew Wass

Straddling Trio is the result of many years of interrogating, practicing and performing spontaneous dance choreography, though not always simultaneously.  Nina Martin, Andrew Wass and Sarah Gamblin perform this ten minute dance using the practice of Ensemble Thinking along with the dialogue of their individual emergent improvisational practices.

SARAH GAMBLIN, Associate Professor, was a member of Bebe Miller Company from 1993-2000 and Bill Young and Dancers from 1996-99 with whom she toured various cities in South Africa, Portugal, Poland, St. Petersburg, Russia, Estonia, Peru and Venezuela as well as numerous cities in the US. In 2000 Sarah moved to Seattle to earn her MFA in Dance from the University of Washington. There she performed with the Chamber Dance Company, Rob Kitsos, Lingo dancetheater and Amii Le Gendre. Gamblin joined the dance faculty at Texas Woman’s University in 2002 where she teaches ballet and modern technique, composition, choreography, improvisation experiential anatomy and in 2006 founded Dance Lab, a student performing group devoted to improvisation in the dance making process and performance. Her choreography has been produced in Texas at the Fort Worth Dance Festival, the Out of the Loop Festival, Texas Woman’s University, Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation, Bates Dance Festival, the Greater Denton Arts Council, Dan’s Silver Leaf and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio. Sarah’s work has also been produced in Washington at the University of Washington, The Northwest New Works Festival at On the Boards and in New York City at Hundred Grand and Dia Center for the Arts.

NINA MARTIN¹s choreographic works and master teaching has been presented in New York City; the US; and abroad; including Russia, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, and Japan. Performance credits include David Gordon Pick-Up Company, Mary Overlie, Deborah Hay, Martha Clarke, and Simone Forti, among others.  Martin has received funding for her work from the National Endowment for the Arts through six choreography fellowships, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Joyce-Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Meet the Composer/ Choreographer Grant, Texas Commission on the Arts, and others. Martin continues to teach and tour with Lower Left internationally, cultivate a dance community interested in collaborative inquiry, and as of Fall 2008, she joins the dance faculty at Texas Christian University as Assistant Professor.

After graduating from University of California, San Diego with a degree in Biochemistry in 1997, ANDREW WASS replaced the chem lab with the dance studio.  His performances have been shown in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Marfa, Tijuana, and New York.   Vital to his development have been his work with Lower Left, the phrase The content lies in the structure (Impro:110), and combining the methods learned in the lab with performative practices.  Living in Berlin since 2009, he has been curating the On The Wall dance film festival at ada Studio & Bühne.  Recently he completed his MA in Solo/Dance/Authorship at the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum für Tanz in Berlin.,, &

“Passage” (2001)
Performers: Teresa Deziel, Arianna Dunmire, Melissa Holland, Taylor Kiesow, Shoshana Moyer, Alison Roberts, Katie Warner, & Marissa Watson
Choreography: Jin-Wen Yu
Music: The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir

Using stones as props to symbolically resemble the fertile and ancient ground of life in female body, this dance expresses the female bodies in various ranges of movement quality with a ritual-like spatial design. It depicts the female bonding in the contemporary society. This dance is the Gala Concert Winner of the 2002 Great Lakes Region American College Dance Festival.

Headshot - JinWen YuJIN-WEN YU, EdD & MFA, has created, performed, directed, and produced more than 100 works for the stage in the Americas and Asia, including 40 commissioned works for professionals and institutes. Dr. Yu has also presented, performed, and taught at dance festivals both nationally and internationally. In 1999, he founded the Madison-based Jin-Wen Yu Dance. The company has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Yu has received numerous grants, honors, commissions, residencies, and awards such as the NEA grant, Outstanding Dance Artist Award from Taiwan, Wisconsin Arts Board Choreographer Award, the first Madison CitiARTS, Commission Signature Grant, Chinese Information and Culture Center in New York, Dane County Arts among others. Yu was invited to perform at UNESCO in Paris for the Celebration Concert of the 2005 International Dance Day. His works and performances have been praised in The Boston Globe, LA Times, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle. He currently serves as the President of World Dance Alliance-Americas.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

by Git Hayetsk

Prayer Song written by Chief Macky Robinson (Nisga’a Nation)
Nickolys’s Victory Song written by Mique’l Icesis Dangeli (Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska)

Main Singer: Mike Dangeli – Nisga’a, Tsimshian, Tlingit Nations.
Drummers and Singers: Heather Pritchard (Musqueam & Tsimshian Nations), Woody Morrison (Haida Nation), Sandra Greene (Haida Nation), Una-Ann Moyer (Tahltan Nation), Mark Clayton (Lil’wat Nation)

Dancers: Mique’l Icesis Dangeli (Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska), Nick Dangeli (Nisga’a, Tsimshian, and Tlingit Nations), Helen Stephens (Nisga’a Nation), Shaniece Angus (Nisga’a Nation), Gerald Angus (Nisga’a Nation), Duane Steward (Haisla Nation), Shayna Gray (Musqueam & Tsimshian Nations), Lisa Gray (Musqueam & Tsimshian Nations), Reshea Doolan (Nisga’a Nation), Joyce Wesley (Gitxan Nation)

This is a ridicule dance targeted at the Canadian government for the ways in which the Indian Act has rendered us, as First Nations people, unrecognizable to each other and ourselves. We do not recognize one another by “Status” as delineated by Canada’s policies, by percentage of blood as enforced in the US, or any other legislation that quantifies and classifies our identities. These policies, however, enter into our everyday lives – working to exclude and exterminate us. Regardless of these subjugation efforts, we continue to identify one another and ourselves as our ancestors always have: by Nation, family, clan, community and other aspects of our hereditary rights. In this dance, we remove these systems of oppression by embodying our ancient practice of self-determination.

“Key Notes”
Erin Rockwell - Key NotesChoreography and Performer: Erin Scheiwe Rockwell
“The Venice Dreamer, Part One” and “Tamarack Pines” by George Winston

Erin is thrilled to premier her solo, Key Notes, at this wonderful event. Inspired by the beautiful sounds and motions of a concert pianist, this piece personifies the emotional journey of the performer as experienced in the mind of the musician. The dance embodies the flurry of anxiety masked by the calm flow of fingers on keys accompanied by the dazzling sound poured out from this percussive instrument while under the command of a brilliant musician.

Headshot - Erin RockwellERIN SCHEIWE ROCKWELL, a Specialty Instructor of dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, holds a BA in dance from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and a MFA from California State University, Long Beach. She is certified in Pilates with Body Arts and Science International, training under master Pilates instructor and dance scientist, Karen Clippinger, who developed a dance specific repertoire based on classical Pilates technique. With a background in both Pilates and dance, Rockwell enjoys working with diverse populations, tailoring programs in order to help individuals achieve their specific conditioning goals. Artistically, Rockwell concentrates on creating and performing dance works for both stage and screen. Her choreography has been presented around her home state of Colorado and across the Unites States from Los Angeles to New York City. She is co-founder and co-director of Front Porch Dance (, a contemporary dance collective established in 2008.

“Monument” (excerpt)
by The Seldoms Dance Company
Sound Design: Richard Woodbury with Liz Burritt
Costume Design: Abigail Glaum Lathbury

Photo by William Frederking
Photo by William Frederking

“Monument” (2008) is a dance theater work that explores the relationship between the human environment and the natural environment, and the extent to which that relationship has become unbalanced. “Monument” is built around the notion of inadvertent (and in some cases disastrous) human monuments, like the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island that, at its peak, was taller than the Statue of Liberty. “Monument” follows the voracious, frenzied course of our individual acts of consumption along the one-way ride to the trash-heap.

Hailed by TimeOut Chicago for an “intellectually adventuresome, whistle-clean aesthetic”, The Seldoms make dance driven by inquiry in contemporary issues, the history of art and ideas, and reflection on personal experience toward our pursuit of bold, exacting and potent physicality. Under the direction of Carrie Hanson, one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2012, the center of the work is dance, however the vision and collaboration extends to a total action and environment. In its eleventh season, the company has performed at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago, Joyce SoHo in New York, abroad in Russia and Taiwan, and less conventional sites including an Olympic-sized pool. They were named “best local dance company” by New City in 2012.

Photo by Hamidah Hemani
Photo by Hamidah Hemani


Performer and Choreography: Ashima Suri
Choreographic Consultant: Hiroshi Miyamato
Visual Artist: Vishal Misra

Music: “On the Nature of Daylight” & “Infra 5” by Max Richter, mixed by Bobby Singh

Ashima Suri presents the performance ‘ASHES’ from an upcoming production ‘RE-BIRTH’.  In collaboration with Choreographic Consultant from inDANCE, Hiroshi Miyamato and Visual Artist, Vishal Misra,  Ashima tells a story of a woman who, through the reflection of herself in the painting, begins to shed the many layers and expectations of herself to the point where all that is left are ashes.

As an Artistic Director for Limitless Productions, dancer and social activist, ASHIMA SURI explores ways of using performance art as a tool for social change. Having branded Indo-contemporary dance (a mix of Indian classical & Contemporary), the focus of her work has been to bring forth issues that are generally seen as taboo in her culture and create an open dialogue for change. Recently choreographing her first International show in Osaka, Japan, Ashima continues to use dance as tool for storytelling – connecting with the human heart & soul. As a South Asian dancer, Ashima does what many in her culture do not do and that is openly speak about feelings that are honest and real, without fear. She pushes boundaries in dance and explores a new way of looking at dance.

 “Flight Dreams” and “Hailey’s Albedo”
(excerpts from TAKING FLIGHT! 2013)
 CORE Concert Dance Company of Contemporary and Aerial Dance
Choreography: by Bala Sarasvati (aka Shelly Shepherd)
Performers:  HyeYoung Borden (soloist) and Emi Murata
Choreography and Film:  Bala Sarasvati
Music: Maisey Rika (Hinepukohurangi), Vangelis (Albedo O.39), Unknown, edited.

Shelly Shepherd Dance 1Flight Dreams (Soaring) (duet) and Hailey’s Albedo (solo) are excerpts from Taking Flight! 2013, a full-evening work that combines contemporary dance with a range of aerial apparatus. In these two excerpts, we explore aerial dance on the lyra, or “aerial hoop”.  Performers display fluidity and strength as they float, swing, spiral, coil and spin both on the floor and in the air.

Flight Dreams (Soaring) exists amidst the earth’s natural forces and elements, where we find our selves re-awakening in an altered unearthly realm and it seems that we do have the capacity to fly.  Hailey’s Albedo explores the vast universe beyond – which seems incomprehensible when preoccupied with the daily realities of our planet – does each soul represent a tiny reflection of light, which when joined, expands unlimited universal realities?


BALA SARASVATI (AKA Shelley Shepherd), Jane Willson Professor in the Arts at The University of Georgia is Artistic Director of CORE Concert Contemporary and Aerial Dance Company. She is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) specializing in the application of movement theory to aerial and dance. She holds BFA degree from the University of Utah, MA and MFA from Ohio State University. She has served on the faculty for the Jose Limon Dance Institute, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, Seattle Dance Centre and Universidad Nacional Graduate Program in Dance, Heredia, Costa Rica (2007-2011). She has taught and presented dance throughout the US and China, and in Australia, France, UK, Brazil and Taiwan. Her choreography has been shown at many NYC and Atlanta venues; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Centro Choreographfico, Rio de Janeiro; for the Robert Osborne Classic Film Festival; and at ACDFA, CORD, NDEO, LIMS and WDA events.


Friday, August 2, 2013

“Riot of Spring”

LiChowPing-Riot Performance 1
Photo by Kat Cameron

Performers: Teresa Deziel, Allison Espeseth, Melissa Holland, Tori Iannuzzi, Rachel Krinsky, Li Chiao-Ping, Shoshana Moyer, Alison Roberts, Liz Sexe, Christina Briggs Winslow
Choreography: Li Chiao-Ping
Music: “Le Sacre du Printemps” by Igor Stravinsky

Connecting to this year’s WDA theme “Evolve + Involve,” and in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of Stravinsky’s radical work, Li Chiao-Ping’s “Riot of Spring” brings together inventive, athletic, and rhythmic choreography. Ms. Li brings a refreshed approach to this now-classic work.

LI CHIAO-PING, one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch,” is the Artistic Director of LI CHIAO-PING DANCE and Chair of the UW-Madison Dance Department. Her choreography has been shown throughout the world and prominent festivals, including Jacob’s Pillow, Bates, The Yard, and the American Dance Festival. A recipient of grants from the NEA and fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board and Scripps/ADF Humphrey-Weidman-Limon, she is the subject of two documentaries about her work, The Men’s Project and Women Dancing. She is the creator of The Extreme MovesTM Training Method.

by Michelle Beard’s Visual Acoustics Dance Project
Performers: Michelle Beard, Allison Badar, Lindsay Cole, Megan Morgan, and Lexy Silva
Music: “Different Trains: I. America-Before the War” by Kronos Quartet

Inspired by an ordinary encounter on a New York subway, Clockwork reveals the multiple ways in which life’s intersections and expectations can unfold. The structure encourages audience members to forge certain notions about the projected future of the dance, and then functions to disrupt their expectations. Clockwork is organized through an ebb and flow of connection and disconnection that offer opportunities for various layers of information and recognition to resonate between performer and viewer.

Headshot - Michelle BeardMICHELLE KATHERINE BEARD (Eureka Springs, AR) is the founder and Artistic Director of Visual Acoustics Dance Project. She has recently trained with Irene Dowd, K.J. Holmes, Barbra Mahler, and Lisa Race at Movement Research (New York) as well as Kathleen Hermesdorf and Sarah Shelton Mann at Alternative Conservatory (San Francisco). Michelle has studied dance making and composition under Tere O’Connor, Neil Greenberg, and Ishmael Houston-Jones. In conjunction with her role as Artistic Director, Michelle has performed in works by Kanji Sigawa, Christian von Howard, and Stafford Berry, Jr.

Performer and Choreography: Bageshree Vaze
Composer:  Pt. Balwantrai Bhatt

Headshot - Bageshree VazeKathak dance originated in the royal court (darbar) era of India during the 17th century, but continues to be an evolving art. Dancers compose rhythmic syllabic language and interpret this language through dynamic movements, sparkling pirouettes (known as chakkars), and intricate footwork. Much like other dance styles, movements and repertoire in the Kathak style became codified in the 20th century, but what makes Kathak unique is that each dancer creates in the moment through his or her unique spirit, adding a bit of their personality and experience through rhythmic and movement language and interpretation. ‘Tarana’ celebrates this evolution with a ‘salon’ piece that highlights the signature movements of this dance style and the manner in which it may have existed centuries ago, alongside contemporary melodic and rhythmic composition. Choreographed, performed and sung by Bageshree Vaze, this song is composed by Pt. Balwantrai Bhatt, and appears on Bageshree’s Tarana CD.

Raised in St. John’s, NL, but currently based in Toronto, Canada, BAGESHREE VAZE has trained with some of India’s foremost masters of dance and music such as the late T. K. Mahalingam Pillai (Bharatha Natyam), Pt. Birju Maharaj and Jaikishan Maharaj (Kathak dance) and Veena Sahasrabuddhe (Hindustani vocal). Bageshree has choreographed and performed numerous dance works and has three CDs to her credit including Tarana, an album of music for Indian dance that was released in India by Times Music under the name Khanak. Bageshree holds an M.A. in Dance from York University. In 2010, she was awarded the K.M. Hunter Award in Dance. Bageshree has performed in major festivals in Canada and abroad such as the CanAsian International Dance Festival and the ‘Vasantotsav’ festival in New Delhi. In 2012, Bageshree launched her ‘Spectrum’ series of multi-disciplinary art programming at the Harbourfront Centre through her organization Pratibha Arts and premiered her Kathak dance piece ‘Twilight’ at Dusk Dances in Toronto.

“Remnant Hit/fix”
Performer and Choreography: Amy Chavasse

Remnant Hit/fix addresses missteps, stumbles, missed opportunities and discordant situations. A wrong turn, even in the most benign setting, can precipitate a fall.Truncated movement phrases and gestural indicators of an impulsive condition are strung together to create an anti-declaration of feminine experience.

AMY CHAVASSE, Associate Professor of Dance, choreographer, performer, educator, improviser, storyteller and Artistic Director of ChavasseDance&Performance joined the faculty at University of Michigan in 2006. She has been a guest artist/ faculty member at numerous institutions, including Middlebury College, Arizona State, Virginia Commonwealth, and University of NC School of the Arts. She has taught at Florence Summer Dance since 2007, and will teach an improvisation/ composition intensive with Peter Schmitz at ProDanza Italia, July 8-13, 2013 in Castiglioncello, Italy. She has taught internationally at Duncan 3.0 (Rome), the Beijing Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival/Henan (summer 2012. As Artistic Director of ChavasseDance&Performance, her work has been presented throughout the U.S. including Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, in Cuba, Lithuania, Italy, Vienna, and Cali, Colombia. She’s danced in many companies and independent projects in NC, DC and NYC, and with Bill Young/ Colleen Thomas Dancers and Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians. She received her BFA from the University of NC School of the Arts and her MFA from the University of

“Organ Stories” (head and heart excerpts)
Performer: Krista Posyniak
Choreographer/Costume/Organs: Susan Kendal
Poetry: Lindsay Zier-Vogel
Music: “Flume” by Bon Iver and ” Optical Theory” by Michael Nyman
Text: Gray’s Anatomy, Dr. C. Hrazdil, A. Levencrown

Organ Stories (head and heart excerpts) is a theatrical dance work that brings anatomical knowledge and physical embodiment together in a whimsical, poetic lecture-demo-performance about internal workings, both emotional and physical. Handmade, 3-dimensional knitted organs emphasize this dance as the performer is affected by the knowledge and weight of each organ. Originally performed at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2011, the full-length work includes 4 organs: lungs, heart, uterus and brain.

KRISTA POSYNIAK is an Edmonton-based contemporary dance artist. A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Krista has performed across the country in works by Susie Burpee, Kate Nankervis, Eroca Nicols/Lady Janitor, and Tedd Robinson, among others. As a choreographer and dance instructor, Krista is an advocate of education through movement. Krista is studying Arts Management at Grant MacEwan University and works for Sugar Swing Dance Club.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

“Exit From the Blue Room”
Performer: Kaleila Jordan
Woodwinds and Piano (live): Bennie Maupin
Choreography: Seónagh Odhiambo
Music: “Lorrin’s Theme,” “Blue Morning,” “Escondido,”composed by Bennie Maupin
Costume Design: Carole Frances Lung
Lighting Design: AJ Munie

Photo by Keith Settle
Photo by Keith Settle

Exit from the Blue Room is a collaboration between composer Bennie Maupin and choreographer Seonagh Odhiambo of Asava Dance. The work premiered in 2012 in Los Angeles when Maupin drew from observations of the dancers in rehearsal to compose an original score. The excerpt performed here, a duet of live music and dance, is between Maupin, legendary bass clarinetist of Miles Davis’ classic, Bitches Brew, and dancer Kaleila Jordan, a soloist in contemporary traditions of Africa and North America. Appreciating the weave between dance and music in live collaboration, the choreographer works with a fusion of modern techniques, African influences, and powerful gestures. The dancer digs into the theme of oppression as it connects to both jazz history and everyday life. The result is an emphasis on positive transformations—strength and beauty that, like America’s only original art form jazz music, rise up out of painful circumstances.

Photo by Anthony Elgott
Photo by Anthony Elgott

SEONAGH ODHIAMBO defines dance as a point of contact through which ideas, inspiration, movement, and meaning travel. Interested in collaborations with live music, Odhiambo founded Asava Dance, based in Los Angeles. With her partners in music and dance she approaches a choreography process that is collaborative and activist. In this way, she lays the foundation for a somatically-oriented critical pedagogy and dance theory. Her scholarly research stems from descriptions of dancers’ experiential learning in the creative process and offers a perspective on the body as a zone of critical praxis. Odhiambo’s theoretical reflections in the area of liberatory pedagogy radically expand the areas of dance theory and dance education. A Fisher Center Fellow, Odhiambo received a PhD in Dance from Temple University. She is now an Assistant Professor of Dance at CSULA where she teaches advanced theory in dance, choreography, and world performance as Director of the Graduate Program.


“Stand Up” (excerpts)
Performers: Heather Klopchin and Erinn Liebhard

Choreography: Jeffrey Peterson
Music: “Sunday Kind of Love” (composed by Barbara Belle, Anita Leonard, Stan Rhodes, and Louis Prima)
& “Fool That I Am” (composed by Floyd Hunt), performed by Etta James, edited by Jeffrey Peterson
Text: Lisa Landry and Wanda Sykes, edited by Jeffrey Peterson

“Stand Up (excerpts)” poses questions regarding the presentation and viewing of socially charged dance. The work seeks to dissect the communication of theatrical modern movement when coupled with bold accompaniment, juxtapositions, and repetitions.  Exploring meaning making, “Stand Up” employs strategic compositional tools in route to dissecting our perceptions regarding love, marriage, reproductive rights, and child rearing. Through disparate emotional trajectories, deliberate spatial tension, and rich audio tracks, “Stand Up” seeks to confound viewers’ empathetic and intellectual responses. In its entirety, “Stand Up” includes five additional sections, all of which tackle specific angles within a similar amalgamation of topical commentary and compositional approach.  The work premiered by Jeffrey Peterson Dance as part of How Do You See It? at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August 2011.

JEFFREY PETERSON is Assistant Professor of Dance at Muhlenberg College where he teaches jazz, modern, and partnering. He holds an MFA in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a BFA in dance from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Peterson began his professional career in national tours with JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski from 2000-2003. Since then, he has worked with Clare Byrne, Edisa Weeks, Stephan Koplowitz, and the The Minnesota Opera, among others. His choreographic work for Jeffrey Peterson Dance (JPD) blends jazz, modern, colorguard, and theater, often to arrive at social comment. JPD has been commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam’s In the Company of Men, Movement Research at Judson Church, and Rhythmically Speaking. His work has also appeared in the DanceNOW/NYC festival at Joe’s Pub and Joyce SOHO, The Minnesota Fringe Festival, Kinetic Kitchen, Intermedia Arts and the Bryant Lake Bowl, and Dixon Place.

“Man Alone” (excerpt from “Urban Fissure”, 2013)
Chris Walker - Man Alone Performer: Guy Thorne of FuturPointe Dance
Choreography: Chris Walker

Described as a “populist folkloric piece in a contemporary arrangement,” Chris Walker’s “Urban Fissure” draws direct influences from Jamaican reggae and dancehall, body language and aesthetic. The work addresses the layered and often dangerous realities of urban life conveying a gritty feeling of resistance, resilience, endurance and survival. As a landscape, the choreography has ongoing ebb, lacking in flow, which over time creates a buildup of tension that is then released as the community’s response. The group section investigates camaraderie while the opening solo ‘man alone’ was created as a challenge to bravado.

Headshot - Chris WalkerCHRIS WALKER is a dancer and choreographer with the National Dance The­atre Company of Jamaica. He received a professional diploma in Dance Theatre Production at Edna Manley College in Kingston, and MFA and BFA degrees from SUNY-Brockport. Walker is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including the 2004 New York-Thayer Fellowship, Certificate for Merit from the American Theatre Festival Association for choreography, gala performance of his work at American College Dance Festival. He continues to tour, present work and conduct artistic residencies throughout the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, North and South America. At UW-Madison, Walker is Assistant Professor in the Dance Program and Artistic Director of the First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of NUMORUNE COLLABORATIVE – an ensemble of dancers, choreographers, storytellers and musicians, who come together under a united artistic vision to create collaborative works.   Germaul Barnes ( and Guy Thorne ( will be representing the collaborative for World Dance Alliance Assembly in Vancouver.

“In Waiting”

Performers: Jackie Nii and Cody Wilbourn
Choreography: Robin Conrad

Music: Leonard Cohen, Rokia Traore, and L’Arpeggiata

“In Waiting” is an exploration of our intimate selves both inside and out and a study of what happens when we drop our veneers to integrate with one another and connect on a deeper level.

ROBIN CONRAD is a Los Angeles-based choreographer and an Associate Professor at Fullerton College. Recent choreography projects include: multiple episodes of the hit ABC comedy Suburgatory, several dance sequences featuring Kristen Chenowith on ABC’s CGB; Sofia Coppola’s award-winning film Somewhere; numerous commercials and music videos for the bands White Stripes and Scissor Sisters. Robin has been mentioned in British Vogue, Interview and the New York Times Magazine for her work. Last year as the artist-in-residence at The Skirball Cultural Center, she created a performance based on the exhibit “Women Hold Up Half The Sky,” featuring members of her dance company, as well as girls from an underserved high school and women from a local homeless shelter. As a result of this project, Robin was an invited speaker at the American Association of Museums Conference. Robin’s concert choreography has been performed at numerous venues and festivals in Los Angeles and New York. For more on Robin’s credits and certifications, visit:

“Inside In”

Performer: Brenna McLaud
Choreography: Claire French
Music: James Maxwell and Teresa Connors

“Inside In” is a poetic, thoughtful solo that explores ‘doing as a way of thinking’. It searches out a way to communicate the self—investing in the ordinary and the everyday as a means of survival. It speaks to the idea that the simple discipline required for survival can lead to the extraordinary.  (The original 20 min solo -2009- was created with and performed by Laura Hicks. This is an adaptation created specifically with Brenna)

CLAIRE FRENCH (MFA, BA (Hons)) is Vancouver-based, UK-born. She is co-artistic director of Restless Productions (alongside composer James Maxwell). The company recently premiered the dance and music production,”The Moment of Forgetting”, and is currently developing a chamber opera evening entitled “Little Crimes”. French is also an independent choreographer, teacher, performer, and arts administrator. Over the past seventeen years her work has been presented in Europe, the UK, and Canada and she has taught and performed internationally.

“Stand Up” (excerpts)
part 2

“South Facing Window” (2013, World Premier)

Performer: Germaul Barnes
Choreography: Chris Walker
Music: Major Scurlock “Phoenix”, “Phoenix Back and Fore”, and “Madonna Sub D 1 Hybrid”,
Chris Walker - South Facing WindowCostumes: Chris Walker
Lighting Design: Stephen Arnold

I grew up learning that the black, green, and gold of the Jamaica flag meant, “hard­ships there are, but the land is green and the sun shineth”.  Many Jamaican scholars argued the use of “hardship” to represent “black” in a country where 90% of the population is black.  Created for Germaul Barnes, a Bessie Award winner with meticulous focus and expressive delivery, “South Facing Window” structurally draws on the color psychology and metaphors outlined in of the Jamaican flag.   I use Manley’s “up the down escalator” as a way of exploring vocabulary for living in memories instead of creating new ones.  The work was created to original composition by Major A. Scurlock, a pianist and composer of unique talent and drive who earned BM and MM degrees from the world famous Juilliard School.