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Stefanie Nelson Dance Group - Out of Wonderland - Program Notes and Photos

by Stefanie Nelson
July 5, 2007
Dance New Amsterdam
280 Broadway, 2nd floor
(Entrance on Chambers Street)
New York, NY 10007
(212) 625-8369
Dance New Amsterdam presented Artist in Residence Stefanie Nelson with STEFANIE NELSON DANCE GROUP (www.sndancegroup.org), in collaboration with NELL BREYER, June 7-9, 2007
Out of Wonderland is a physically powerful, emotionally poignant work inspired by the dichotomous life of Charles Dodgeson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll, author of (the most wildly famous and widely referenced children's story of all time), The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

Charles Dodgson a.k.a. Lewis Carroll was a private man, an ordained deacon who chose not to preach but instead, to teach Mathematics at Oxford. He stuttered, except in the presence of pre-pubescent girls. He made up the story of Alice in Wonderland in 1862 on a boat trip with the three young daughters of his boss, Dean Liddell. The character ŒAlice‚ is based on Alice Liddell, the middle daughter. The other Liddell sisters are present in the Alice books too, Lorina is the Lorry and Edith is the Eaglet. Charles Dodgson is the Dodo, who, with his slight stutter made him sometimes give his name as 'Do-do-Dodgson'. Dodgson cherished the companionship of children, mostly female. He showered them with gifts, created stories, games and puzzles for them, took them on outings, and liked to take photographs and sketch them, sometimes in the nude. He never publicly acknowledged that he was Lewis Carroll, only amongst his friends.

MUSIC: Excerpts from Trentullo (composed, mixed and performed by Andrea Ferrara), White Rabbit (written by Grace Slick, performed by Jefferson Airplane), La Soledad (written by Pink Martini, performed by Pink Martini), Ar Aare & Ur Ur Lauter Georg (written by Mathias Kunzli, performed by Rashanim - Jon Madof, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, & Mathias Kunzli), Que Sera Sera (written by Pink Martini, performed by Pink Martini), Untitled (written and performed by BETTY- Alyson Palmer, Elizabeth Ziff, Amy Ziff), Help Yourself (written and performed by Death in Vegas)

Nell Breyer (New Media / Interactive Gallery Installation)

Jennifer Greeke (costumes)

This work is made possible, in part, by funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award 2006, a Harkness Space Grant from the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, and Dance New Amsterdam.

CHOREOGRAPHER: Stefanie Nelson is the artistic director of Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, a contemporary dance company based in New York City. Since it's inception in 2000, SNDG has been presented internationally in Toronto, Canada and throughout Italy. In Florence, the company performed to sold-out audiences at the renowned Fabbrica Europa Festival in 2004 and 2005, the Corpo al Corpo Series at the Florence Dance Center, and the Florence Winter Dance Festival @ the historic Teatro Goldoni; in Genoa at the Corpi Urbani Festival and Teatro G. Modena in collaboration with Italian company Lische run by artistic directors Cristiano Fabbri and Simone Magnini; in Lucca at Sala del Teatro and Teatro del Giglio; and in Prato at Cantieri Culturale - Ex-Macelli. Nationally, the company has been presented in New York at the 92nd St. Y, Bowery Ballroom (with off-broadway's smash success BETTY RULES!), Dance Theater Workshop, Debaun Auditorium @ Stevens Institute, Fieldston Ethical Culture School, Gowanus Arts Exchange, Hostos Cultural Center, Joe's Pub, Jose Limon Institute, La Mama, the annual Mamapalooza festival in Riverside Park, New York University, Pier 63, Rockland Community College, Stella Adler Conservatory, University Settlement, Washington Square United Methodist Church, Williamsburg Arts Nexus-WAX; and in Nashua, NH at the Academy of Movement.

Recent performances include the CYBERARTS festival (Boston, MA), LaMama Moves! Motion Makers (NY, NY), and the Mamapalooza festival, which featured a live broadcast of Stefanie Nelson and dancer Jennifer Sydor live on ABC-TV. A new work has been commissioned for the Bessie Shonberg Choreographers residency at The YARD (Martha's Vineyard, MA) this summer from August 20 ˆ September 16, and excerpts from Out of Wonderland will be presented at the Solar One festival (NY, NY) July 26-28 and at Lincoln Center's Out of Doors festival on August 21 (NY, NY).

Independent choreographic projects include a featured tango scene in Plan-B, a feature film starring Diane Keaton produced by Half-Moon entertainment, and The FIRES, a rock musical produced by Cardona Inc. Stefanie's choreography for "Cocoon" won a first place award at northeast choreography competition, DTI, and she was the subject of an in-depth, live radio interview (www.ciut.fm at the University of Toronto). Stefanie's essay about her solo EMERGE was recently published in Rome, Italy in the book ŒResti di Scena‚ written by Italian critic, Paolo Ruffini.

The company has received numerous awards and distinctions and has taught workshops in New York, New Hampshire and Lucca, Italy. We thank the following for their financial support: The Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Live Music for Dance Program, American Express Co., J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation, The Duke Energy Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, The New York Times, Safe Horizon Inc., Sony Music, World of the Walking Stick; and David Leach Photography, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon, Etoile Toy Visual Arts, Florence Dance Center (ongoing space grant while the company is in Italy), Harkness Space Grant @ the 92nd Street Y, Jarvis Recording Studios, Movado Watch Company, 17 Corporation, and Sony Recording Studios for their in-kind donations.

Stefanie has danced professionally with Anna Sokolow's Players Project, Rae Ballard's Thoughts In Motion, Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends, Ann Moradian's Perspectives In Motion, Randy James Dance Works, Wendy Osserman Dance Company, and Henning Rubsam's Sensedance. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in English and Psychology where she studied dance primarily with JuMay Chu and June Finch and from The Fieldston Ethical Culture School where she studied dance and composition under the direction of Alice Teirstein. Her choreography has been set on students at The Fieldston Ethical Culture School, New York, NY (9/05-1/06) and at Scuola Fuoricentro, Lucca, Italy where she taught Contemporary Dance from 9/04- 5/05. Stefanie has also taught Contemporary Dance at The Academy of Movement, Nashua, NH (9/95). She taught Creative Movement at The Columbia Grammar School where she was on faculty from 1994-2002, and for the outreach program, Education in Dance from 1994-1997. She currently teaches Creative Movement to toddlers in Harlem.

Company collaborators include Andrea Ferrara (composer), Daniel Bernard Roumain (composer, musician), the Howard Fishman Quartet, Jennifer Greeke, John Price (filmmaker), Justin Randolf Thompson (visual artist), Lisea Lyons (costume designer), Maria Rosaria Busia (costume designer), Nell Breyer (new media), and Philip Lees (composer, musician).

Special thanks to the dancers, Nell Breyer, Sarah Young, Amy Adams, the staff at Dance New Amsterdam, Andrea Ferrara, Jon Madof, Mattias Kunzli, Alyson Palmer, David Leach Photography, David Dorfman Dance, Greg Barrett, Risa Kantor, Philip Lees, Nathanael Buckley, Benjamin Asriel for the sound, Jennifer Greeke for the costumes and EREZ.

dancer bios:
Benjamin Asriel grew up in Glasgow, Kentucky where he cultivated his love of dance in his mother's creative movement classes. After receiving a BA in Music in 2003 from Brown University, he completed his Dance MFA at NYU Tisch in 2006. Ben is honored to work with Stefanie and her tremendous cast. Additionally, Benjamin presents his own work in New York, teaches dance technique, and performs with Gerald Casel, projectLIMB, Palissimo, and Abraham in Motion. Wish him luck; basriel@yahoo.com

Nell Breyer is a choreographer and new media artist whose performances and multimedia installations have been presented locally (Judson Church, Joyce Soho, Dance Theater Workshop Gallery, World Financial Center, Boston City Hall) and abroad (Museum of Modern Art -Trento/Rovereto, The Place Theater-London, Cankarejev Dom ˆSlovenia, The National Museum Auditorium - Bangladesh). Nell is currently a Research Affiliate at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT.

Dominique Bulgin trained in contemporary dance at Swindon National Dance Agency and in Theatre and Literature at Bristol University. She has worked with Albrecht and Dancers (Germany), ALDES Dance Company, (Italy), Attik Dance (Plymouth), The Darkin Ensemble (London), Nu Tempo (Brazil), Solas (Sweden) and Collision Dance (Liverpool).

Jennifer Greeke graduated from NYU's Tisch Graduate School of Design. Her body of work stems from collaborations with choreographers such as Jim Sutton, Charlotte Boye-Christensen and varied original choreography by NYU graduate students. She has recently closed the musical Working and is also currently working on several films.

Cara Liguori received her BA in Dance from Connecticut College in 2005. She has been greatly influenced by her work and studies with Doug Varone & Dancers, Jeremy Nelson, David Dorfman, and at the Kane School of Core Integration. In New York, Cara has performed with Heidi Latsky Dance, Betsy Miller, Natalie Desch, Propel-her Dance Collective, and Drastic Action/Aviva Geismar. Cara is a founding member of Propel-her Dance Collective, and will present her own choreography with the group at The Cunningham Theater in November of 2007.

Jennifer Sydor has enjoyed the opportunity to revive her zany inner child during the "Out of Wonderland" process. When not acting like a child, she enjoys dancing with the band Fischerspooner. Thank you to the ladies of the front desk at DNA for a year of silliness, support and invaluable camaraderie.
Out of Wonderland - Fragment video image 1

Out of Wonderland - Fragment video image 1

Photo © & courtesy of Greg Barrett


Out of Wonderland - Fragment video image 3

Out of Wonderland - Fragment video image 3

Photo © & courtesy of Greg Barrett


Out of Wonderland - Professor Dodgson

Out of Wonderland - Professor Dodgson

Photo © & courtesy of Greg Barrett


Jennifer Sydor: 'Measuring solo'

Jennifer Sydor: "Measuring solo"

Photo © & courtesy of Greg Barrett


Out of Wonderland - Alice and enabler jump

Out of Wonderland - Alice and enabler jump

Photo © & courtesy of Greg Barrett


Carroll and Alice on bench

Carroll and Alice on bench

Photo © & courtesy of Greg Barrett


End filmstrip

End filmstrip

Photo © & courtesy of Greg Barrett

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