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Propel-her Dance Collective selected as sole dance project for Trust Art; The Balancing Act goes on the road and features work by Catherine Miller and Lisa Race, NYC and various locations in America, May - July 2009)

by Sarah Hart
May 28, 2009
May 28-30, 2009 — Merce Cunningham Studio Theater
July to November 2009 — the Collective plans to tour The Balancing Act: A Hometown Review to each of the members' hometowns
Propel-her Dance Collective selected as sole dance project for Trust Art;
The Balancing Act goes on the road and features work by Catherine Miller and Lisa Race

Propel-her Dance Collective announces a 2009 New York performance season that kicks off a national tour. New York performances of The Balancing Act will be held at the Merce Cunningham Studio Theater May 28-30, 2009. For five months, from July to November 2009, the Collective plans to tour The Balancing Act: A Hometown Review to each of the members' hometowns, returning in time for Fame Theory's public auction of Trust Art's projects in 2010. Propel-her is one of ten artists — and the only dance project — to be selected for this experiment in social capital and stock investing applied to the arts. The Balancing Act: A Hometown Review project marks a new direction for the Collective as a large-scale project with broader social benefits. Through an innovative investment platform, including selling stocks in each project, Trust Art (www.trustart.org) will assist Propel-her in gaining financial and social capital. By empowering its shareholders to share the artwork with influential people in their social networks, the Trust Art framework increases the Collective's likelihood of attracting additional funders, media and investors to the project.
The Balancing Act: A Hometown Review begins with the Collective's New York premiere of The Balancing Act, its May program at the Merce Cunningham Studio Theater, and continues with a residency and performance in each Collective member's hometown: Flushing, NY (Cara Liguori); Milford, CT (Ani Javian); Louisville, KY (Maggie Bennett); Kinnelon, NJ (Amy Tennant Adams); and Wooster, OH (Betsy Miller). Propel-her's founders gained their early dance experience in these towns, but shared their undergraduate years in New London, CT at Connecticut College. Each member graduated in 2005 with the goal of creating a professional dance career in New York City. Though their artistic styles and interests differ, these five women built the Collective to support each member's individual artistic pursuits and to promote the value of collaboration over competition.
Founded in 2006, Propel-her Dance Collective was established primarily as an administrative structure that allowed for sharing resources like grant money and audience bases, and it has since supported two successful self-produced evenings of the members' choreography; each Collective member typically assumes responsibility for certain tasks including grant writing, production coordination and financial management while maintaining her own regular rehearsal schedule. Now in its third year, the Collective is testing a more involved model of collaboration applying it to choreographic work as well to projects that reach out to young girls and other female emerging artists. The Balancing Act and The Balancing Act: A Hometown Review programs will feature the results of Propel-her's social outreach residencies, first-time artistic collaborations within the Collective, and Propel-her's first Emerging Artist Production Grant. In an effort to support other artists who bear the label 'emerging' regardless of the stage of their career, the Production Grant is given to an artist who has never had her work produced. This year's recipient is Catherine Miller, formerly of Shen Wei Dance Arts and Doug Varone and Dancers. The Balancing Act and The Balancing Act: A Hometown Review will also feature an ensemble performance by Collective members in a work they commissioned from choreographer Lisa Race, founder of Race Dance and former dancer with David Dorfman Dance.
Propel-her Dance Collective's The Balancing Act is supported by a 2009 Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the New York City District of Cultural Affairs.
Propel-her's annual fundraiser will be held March 26, 2009, from 6:30pm to midnight at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This benefit party, Step Right Up!, will feature the Brooklyn-based band Pass Kontrol, and DJs Oskar Mann and Winslow Porter, as well as raffle prizes and other guest performances.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and are available at www.propelherdance.com.

ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE:

Propel-her Dance Collective was established in 2006 to provide emerging female choreographers with opportunities to present new works that are evolving in sophistication, complexity and point of view. A unique resource for both artistic and administrative support, the Collective provides the foundation necessary for generating and presenting choreographic works through resource and idea sharing, collaborative fundraising and marketing efforts, and mentor relationships with established artists. Collective members have presented their works in New York at Dance Theater Workshop's Fresh Tracks Series, and at Dixon Place, the d.u.m.b.o. dance festival, Movement Research Open Performance series, Dance New Amsterdam's works-in-progress, the THROW series, the Cool New York Dance Festival, Spoke the Hub's Winter Follies, the WonderWoman Festival, Gowanus Wildlife Showcase and the Local Produce Festival. Propel her Dance Collective is supported by The Field's Sponsored Artist Program. Please visit www.propelherdance.com.

Amy Tennant Adams was born and raised in Kinnelon, New Jersey. She graduated from Connecticut College in 2005, with degrees in Dance and Human Development, and was the recipient of the Connecticut College Dance Department Award and the Creative Dance Continuum Service Award. Amy has danced in the Beijing Cultural Arts Festival in China and performed her own work in Calcutta, India. In New York she has performed with Heidi Latsky, David Dorfman, Stefanie Nelson, Faith Pilger, Ellen Stokes Shadle, Erin Malley, Betsy Miller, Ani Javian, and is featured in a dance film by Diego Agull. Amy now lives in Brooklyn, and currently works with Regina Nejman and Company, with whom she toured twice to Brazil and performed at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. She also dances with Valerie Green/ Dance Entropy. Amy is Pilates mat certified, and teaches dance and choreographs for children of all ages in Queens and New Jersey.
Maggie Bennett grew up in Louisville, Kentucky where she trained in classical ballet at the University of Louisville Dance Academy. She graduated from Connecticut College in 2005 with BAs in Dance and English. She spent four months in Ghana studying traditional Ghanaian dance, and has studied Body Mind Centering, Alexander, and Klein Techniques. Maggie has worked with David Dorfman Dance, Dance Theater Et Cetera as a dancer and costumer, Jennifer Monson/iLAND Ridgewood Reservoir Project, Cara Liguori, and Paul Matteson. She has collaborated with Propel-her member Betsy Miller. She currently dances with Vanessa Justice Dance, Karl Cronin/Dry Earth Project, Charlotte Gibbons, Jennifer Monson and is part of the improvisation-based research/performance group Cheap Cake. She has presented work at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Spoke the Hub, Dixon Place, MR Open Performance, and Dance Theater Workshop as part of Fresh Tracks. Maggie is a certified instructor of Pilates.
Ani Javian is originally from Milford, Connecticut where she began her dance training with Lee Lund. She graduated with degrees in Dance and English from Connecticut College in 2005, where she studied with David Dorfman, Jeremy Nelson, Lisa Race, Eddie Taketa, Dan Wagoner, among others, and was the recipient of the Martha Myers' Award for Creativity. Ani has danced for independentdancemaker, David Dorfman's underground project, Betsy Miller, Amy Adams, Molly Lieber, Labor Force Dances and Natalie Desch at Chashama. Her choreography has been shown at the d.u.m.b.o. dance festival and MR Open Performance. Ani teaches dance in Connecticut and Brooklyn and makes dances anywhere.
Cara Angela Liguori was born and raised in Flushing, Queens. Cara attended Connecticut College where she majored in Dance and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005. In New York, Cara has studied with Paul Taylor Dance Company and Doug Varone & Dancers and she has performed with Heidi Latsky Dance, Betsy Miller, Natalie Desch, Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, Aviva Geismar/Drastic Action and Janessa Clark/Kilterbox. Since co-founding Propel-her Cara's work has been presented with the group and by the Envision Chamber Orchestra, New York City FRINGE Festival, The Field's FARSpace, GrooveMamaInk and on Watermoon Arts' Without a Woman program. In summer of 2008, Cara participated in Dancing to Connect as a teaching artist in public schools in Stuttgart and Berlin, Germany. She also attended the Impulstanz Festival and Workshops 2008 in Vienna, Austria for two weeks studying with members of ROSAS and William Forsythe's Company. Cara is a certified Pilates Mat Instructor and teaches dance around the tri-state area.
Betsy Miller originally hails from Wooster, Ohio. She holds a B.A. degree in Dance from Connecticut College and is currently a Graduate Fellow at the Ohio State University, where she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Dance. She is a co-founder of Propel-her Dance Collective. In New York, Betsy has danced in many self-choreographed works and in collaborations with Maggie Bennett. She has worked administratively with the José Limón Dance Foundation, WHITE WAVE Dance, Bates Dance Festival, Doug Varone and Dancers, and the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, and on the youth advisory panel of Dance/NYC, marking a passion for supporting the work of both established and emerging artists in the field. Her choreography has been presented at the d.u.m.b.o. dance festival, The Chocolate Factory, Merce Cunningham Studio, Spoke the Hub, the Cool New York Dance Festival, Williamsburg Art Nexus, Columbus Dance Theater, and other venues. She is on the faculty of Powell Dance Academy.

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