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Dance Theater Workshop launches First-of-its-kind Docents Program with the 2009-2010 Season, (Sept 8, 2009 - April 4, 2010, Manhattan, NY)

by Sarah Hart
September 8, 2009
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Dance Theater Workshop, the preeminent U.S. based center for contemporary dance and performance, announced today the launch of Dance Docents, a first-of-its-kind audience engagement program designed to increase the accessibility and "user-friendliness" of contemporary dance and performance. Dance Docents, which will debut with Dance Theater Workshop's 2009 – 2010 season, continues the organization's 45 year long history of innovation and leadership in the field of dance.

"We are very excited to introduce Dance Theater Workshop Dance Docents," said Executive Director Andrea Sholler. "Dance Theater Workshop has a storied history of creating new programs that have evolved into well established models to support performing artists in the field of dance. Building upon our legacy of leadership, we are delighted to take a pioneering role in bringing a broader audience to contemporary dance by helping to make it more approachable. We often hear that many would-be dance performance attendees are intimidated by dance because they believe that they are supposed to 'get it' or understand a specific theme or story. Just as art museums offer docents to help facilitate and interpret the experience for visitors, we are seeking to remove barriers to the enjoyment and appreciation of contemporary dance. All while remaining "user-friendly" and approachable, Dance Docents will be an interactive program that is not only informative but fun and lighthearted."


Dance Docents is the newest addition to Dance Theater Workshop's already extensive audience outreach and education programming. Pre-show Coffee and Conversation talks are held on every opening night, post-show talks take place every Friday, and a free wine reception follows every performance. In addition to these performance based programs, Dance Theater Workshop will initiate a work-in-progress educational experience. During each commissioned artist's creative residency, Dance Theater Workshop patrons and participants in our new dance education series will be invited to view part of an artist's rehearsal, and will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the process. The goal is to engage art appreciators on a deeper level and begin to broaden the audience for contemporary, particularly experimental, dance.


Dance Theater Workshop's 2009-2010 season showcases dedication to artistic exploration, innovation, and quality programming through Dance Theater Workshop's commissioning program, Season of Returns, Studio Series Creative Residency Program, Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program, Lobby TALKS, and Family Matters. Strategic partnerships with DanceNOW [NYC], Barnard College, Urban Word NYC, 651 ARTS, FIAF's Crossing the Line Festival, and Performa 09, and new partnerships with Baryshnikov Arts Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Anne Bogart's SITI Company extend our ability to provide access to diverse and significant cultural programming.

"Dance Theater Workshop continues to enact its promise to provide a holistic ecology for artists and audiences alike, and we invite you to enjoy and engage in a rich, provocative range of contemporary dance and performance, significant legacy works, and animated conversations in our 2009 – 2010 season. With our reduced prices and new fee-free ticketing, we are excited to offer even wider access to contemporary culture and global artistic practice," said Carla Peterson, Artistic Director.


As the go-to destination for contemporary dance and performance, the upcoming season highlights the work of internationally acclaimed artists Bruno Beltrão, Nora Chipaumire, Lucy Guerin (Australia), Miguel Gutierrez, Raimund Hoghe (France/Germany), Koosil-Ja Hwang, Tere O'Connor, and Yasuko Yokoshi. Kimberly Bartosik, Faye Driscoll, Neal Medlyn, Hwang and Yokoshi make Dance Theater Workshop debuts and choreographers Ursula Eagly, Kennis Hawkins and Will Rawls (Dance Gang), Ori Flomin, and Mina Nishimura share programs.


Now in its third season, the critically acclaimed Season of Returns remounts Anna Halprin's historically influential Parades and Changes and Urban Bush Women's Jawole Willa Jo Zollar explores her early investigations into the sensual. Doug Elkins and David Parker and the Bang Group celebrate the holidays with their illustrious renditions of family favorites, The Sound of Music (FRÄULEIN MARIA) and The Nutcracker (Nut/Cracked). Nora Chipaumire and Pat Graney perform off-site.



SNAPSHOTS: 2009 – 2010 PERFORMANCES & EVENTS

The DanceNOW [NYC] Festival, Sep 8 – 12: Whether you're a seasoned dance-goer or have never seen a dance performance, the DanceNOW Festival is the way to experience the brightest, hippest, smartest, sexiest and most stunning hip hop, theater, pointe, and contemporary dance companies in NYC today. DanceNOW's 15th Anniversary Celebration presents over fifty choreographers who honor DanceNOW's past, present, and future direction. For show details visit dancenownyc.org. Curtain time: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $20 Advance Sale, $25 at the Door


Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People, Last Meadow, Sep 15 – 19: Last Meadow is a dream-like visit into an America in a state of collapse. Inspired by James Dean's classic films – East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant – the piece exploits the iconic and seductive image of James Dean as a symbol of the ways we project unrealistic expectations onto our identity as a nation. Last Meadow is about acknowledging confusion and the state of waiting, where what you need never comes. Starring Michelle Boulé, Tarek Halaby and Miguel Gutierrez, Last Meadow features a soundtrack created by Neal Medlyn and lighting by longtime collaborator Lenore Doxsee. Curtain time: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15


Raimund Hoghe, Boléro Variations, Sep 23 – 25: Co-Presented with FIAF's Crossing the Line Festival. Highly regarded German writer, performer, and choreographer, Raimund Hoghe makes his long awaited US debut with Boléro Variations. Once a behind-the-scenes dramaturge for Pina Bausch, Raimund has thrown his own "body into the fight," energizing and destabilizing audiences as he questions our conceptions of abnormality. Boléro Variations, created in Paris in 2007, features Ravel's Boléro as well as fado and folksongs. Crossing the Line is FIAF's annual fall festival, produced in partnership with leading New York cultural institutions, and conceived as a platform to present vibrant new works by a diverse range of transdisciplinary artists working in France and New York City. Curtain time: Wednesday - Friday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15, FIAF Members $12

Lucy Guerin Inc, Structure and Sadness, Sep 30 – Oct 3: Presented in partnership with Baryshnikov Arts Center. Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin uses the 1970 collapse of the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne Australia, where 35 men lost their lives, as a starting point for Structure and Sadness. The work explores these events as a physical, emotional and visual response to a devastating accident. On stage, the six performers employ a movement vocabulary based on the engineering principles of compression, suspension, torsion and failure to construct a precarious world teetering on the point of collapse. Curtain time: Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15


Ursula Eagly, Fields of Ida; Ori Flomin, Toronto; Mina Nishimura, Timmy's Idea, Oct 7 – 10: Ursula Eagly builds strange yet recognizable worlds. Her newest solo, Fields of Ida, is set on a bare stage, where movements and songs create an ornate universe of their own. Here, Ursula evokes the post-apocalyptic landscape described in Norse mythology, where destruction and regeneration co-exist. Toronto is a trio inspired by newly-found super-8 footage of Ori Flomin's early childhood. Beginning with these documented memories of family jaunts and bringing in longtime friends Antonio Ramos and Colleen Thomas to perform, Ori creates a dance that translates a sense of youthful innocence and camaraderie through the well-trained adult body. Toronto features sound design by James Lo and video installation by Carlos Moore. Born in Tokyo, Japan, and a New Yorker since 2001, Mina Nishimura's work is "both dense and rewarding, heavy and refreshing, always unpredictable and sometimes funny." (offoffoff.com) Mina's new work, Timmy's Idea, exists within a particular set of rules where time, space and events are consciously and unconsciously moving in one direction. Using both text and movement vocabularies the work exaggerates commonplace ideas of time, thought, and emotion. Curtain time: Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15


Neal Medlyn, …Her's A Queen; Dance Gang (Kennis Hawkins and Will Rawls), Dog Breaks, Oct 22 – 24: …Her's A Queen is Neal Medlyn's fifth pop-star opus and the first installment in a two-part Britney Spears/Hannah Montana extravaganza, built around the idea and music of Britney Spears, purity, and non-sexual touch. There will be overlapping stories and bears and abstinence and unwashed hair and dance moves and knives and snakes and laptops and cuddle parties and babies. …Her's A Queen features Neal and Carmine Covelli with live music from Farris Craddock. Dance Gang was founded in 2006 as a performance outlet for dancers Kennis Hawkins and Will Rawls. Dance Gang's projects include site-specific, guerilla-style performance, gallery installations, and stage work. Their newest stage work, Dog Breaks, will set the stage as the evening's opening act. Expect their signature blend of direct audience engagement and archly spurious logic as they reference pop iconography, dance, and perform live music. Curtain time: Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15


SITI Company, Antigone, Oct 28 – Nov 1: SITI Company's most recent addition to its repertoire is a starkly contemporary retelling by Irish writer Jocelyn Clarke of Sophocles' classic tale of family loyalty, patriotism, war, and the powers of the state. Antigone, the cursed daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, defies the King of Thebes for the right to bury her own brother. Do not miss SITI Company's embodiment of one of humankind's most enduring and influential stories. Curtain Time: Wednesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday & Sunday at 3:00pm & 7:30pm; Ticket Price: $25 regular, $20 students


SITI Company, SITI Company Mondays @ DTW, Nov 23, Dec 14, Jan 25, Feb 22, Mar 8: Five evenings, five windows into the creative process of the groundbreaking SITI Company that, over the past 17 years, has been altering the DNA of the theatrical art form. Join Anne Bogart and SITI in an interactive journey through the company's repertoire and methods - past, present and future. Curtain Time: Mondays at 7:30pm Tickets: $10 each evening/$40 for all 5


Tere O'Connor Dance, Nov 10 – 14: In his new work, Tere O'Connor embraces the tension between fixed states and constant change as a fundamental ingredient in choreographic thought. With a focus on spanning this divide, O'Connor's complex movement networks will be interrupted by the spontaneous choreographic choices made by the dancers in each performance. The movement, lighting, music and set will shift from meticulous calculation to chance, connecting and disengaging, as the contours of the dance take shape. The work features an original score by longtime collaborator James Baker, lighting design by Michael O'Connor, and is performed by Hilary Clark, Daniel Clifton, Erin Gerken, Heather Olson, Matthew Rogers and Christopher Williams. Curtain time: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm, Friday at 10pm; Tickets: $15


Anna Halprin, Anne Collod & guests, parades & changes, replays, Nov 18 – 21: Presented in partnership with Performa 09. In 1965, postmodern dance legend Anna Halprin's Parades & Changes shook the dance world by challenging conceptions of nudity, stillness, and the "ceremony of trust" (as Halprin named it) between performers and audience. Originally banned in the United States, Parades & Changes has not been staged here since 1967. Today, French choreographer Anne Collod, in dialogue with Anna Halprin and original composer Morton Subotnick, is restaging this seminal work, bringing a highly acclaimed group of American and European performers together to relive this masterpiece in its new form, parades & changes, replays. Performa 09 (November 1-22, 2009, New York City) is the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. www.performa-arts.org. Curtain time: Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $25


The Barnard Project at Dance Theater Workshop, Dec 3 – 5: Created in 2004, The Barnard Project at Dance Theater Workshop was the first university partnership of its kind, pairing artists presented at Dance Theater Workshop with Barnard College dance students in a residency environment. Now in its fifth year, The Barnard Project offers both choreographers and students a rare opportunity to work within a large group of dancers in an educational environment that exposes everyone involved to new processes. The resulting new works by 2009-2010 artists Brian Brooks, Juliana May, Vicky Shick, and Kota Yamazaki are performed at Dance Theater Workshop. Curtain time: Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 2pm; Tickets: $20


HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA: Doug Elkins & Friends, FRÄULEIN MARIA, Dec 10 – 12, 17 – 19; David Parker and The Bang Group, Nut/Cracked, Dec 13, 19, 20: A love letter to his young son Liam and daughter Gigi, Doug Elkins' FRÄULEIN MARIA has wowed audiences since its 2006 premiere. This delightful take on Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music includes ballet, hip-hop, voguing, stepping, stomping and more. Directed by Barbara Karger and Michael Preston, this New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award winning piece is a holiday treat not to be missed. Curtain time: Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm David Parker and The Bang Group's Nut/Cracked is the contemporary dance world's beloved version of The Nutcracker. With an enterprising mix of tap, ballet, contemporary, disco and even toe tap, Parker conjures a comic, subversive neo-vaudeville tinged with whimsy. Danceded to novelty and popular arrangements of the score as well as the traditional orchestral suite, Nut/Cracked premiered at Dance Theater Workshop in 2004 and has been touring ever since. See it while it's home for the holidays! Curtain time: Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.

Tickets: $25 for one show; $40 for both, Discounted tickets (members, seniors, children under 16): $20 for one show; $35 for both, Family Package (tickets to both shows, 2 adults, 2 children under 16): $100


Urban Word NYC presents Journal to Journey, Dec 15: Presented in partnership with Urban Word NYC. These new solo works by young poets navigate a path through hurt and hope on a journey towards self. Equipped with pen as compass and journal as road map, they discover that life is full of moments that will carry you as far and as deep as you are willing to go. Poets are paired with Writing Mentor Darian Dauchan and Director/Choreographer Nicco Annan. Curtain time: Tuesday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $5


Urban Bush Women, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Artistic Director, Zollar: Uncensored, Jan 20 – 23: Kicking off the Urban Bush Women's 25th Anniversary season, Zollar: Uncensored explores and interrogates Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's early investigations into the sensual and the power of women. Her early work explored these themes; however they were considered by many to be too controversial for touring in the late 80's. This is the first time since that time period that Jawole has revisited this content. Still interested in "erotic integrity," Jawole examines an essential aspect of human nature from an empowered stance. Curtain time: Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $25


Kimberly Bartosik/daela, The Materiality of Impermanence, Feb 4 – 6: Kimberly Bartosik's newest evening-length work, The Materiality of Impermanence, investigates the traces and residues bodies leave on each other. Distinctly cinematic, the piece consists of a series of scenes which spring up spontaneously the way memories suddenly find their way into our consciousness. These scenes - defined through sparseness, stillness, silence, and a sense of time passing - are performed within Roderick Murray's set made entirely of LED lights, creating a luminescent trace of a home. The work will be performed by Kimberly, Joanna Koetze, and Marc Mann, with original music by Luke Fasano. Curtain time: Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15


FRESH TRACKS Performance and Residency Program, Feb 11 – 13: Created in 1965, Fresh Tracks is Dance Theater Workshop's longest running series of new dance and performance. Featuring works by emerging artists selected through open auditions, Fresh Tracks artists are presented each year and receive a 50 hour creative residency along with introductory level professional development workshops in marketing and fundraising strategies. Artists also participate in dialogue sessions with Artistic Advisor Levi Gonzalez, facilitating open discussion about their creative process. The Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program is supported, in part, by the Greenwall Foundation. Curtain time: Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15


Bruno Beltrão/Grupo de Rua , H3, Feb 2010: Brazilian choreographer, Bruno Beltrão makes his NYC debut in an anticipated first ever US tour that highlights his remarkable fusion of hip hop and contemporary dance. In his latest work H3, nine dancers from Bruno's company Grupo de Rua create astonishing duets as they collide and balance against each other, incorporating elements of krumping, popping and floor-spins. Bruno's choreography has won him a string of accolades including 'Upcoming Choreographer of the Year' from Balletanz Magazine. Curtain time: TBA; Tickets: $15.

koosil-ja/danceKUMIKO, Blocks of Continuality/ Body, Image, and Algorithm, Mar 3 – 6: Continuing her investigation started in deadmandancing Excess, mecha [a]OUTPUT and Dance Without Bodies, Koosil-Ja's newest work Blocks of Continuality/ Body, Image and Algorithm uses Live Processing, a performance technique and video system, to create and perform movement that is new to the dancers and is simultaneously shared with the audience. The work is created in collaboration with 17 partners ranging from 3D programmers to performers, the work experiments with ideas of synesthesia, transcoding, and percept vs. perception as a means of experiencing the potential of a dynamically networked body in a digital environment. Curtain time: Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15


Yasuko Yokoshi, Tyler Tyler, Mar 17 – 20: Tyler Tyler resumes Yasuko Yokoshi's artistic partnership with Masumi Seyama, revered master teacher of Kabuki Su-Odori dance and the heir to the legacy of Kanjyuro Fujima VI, one of the renowned Kabuki choreographers of the 20th Century in Japan. Together they deconstruct new choreographic material from Fujima's classical dance repertories. Yokoshi and Seyama dare to face boundaries of different training, cultural code and social hierarchy yet simultaneously desire to cherish the forms and beauty of universal language of dance. Tyler Tyler features the oldest disciple and member of Seyama Dance Family, Kayo Seyama; a young Kabuki actor, Kuniya Sawamura; and an actor from the Bungakuza Theater Company, Asaji Naoki. In the United States Yokoshi collaborates with American contemporary dancers Julie Alexander and Kayvon Pourazar and singer Steven Reker, who has just returned from a world tour with Talking Heads. Curtain time: Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15

Faye Driscoll, There is so much mad in me, Mar 31 – Apr 3: In a time of distraction, voyeurism and over stimulation, how do we experience authentic connection? Faye Driscoll investigates the physical and theatrical narratives that drive our misplaced need to be seen. From creating facades to seeking the divine to committing violent acts and falling in love, There is so much mad in me looks into the ways we fail, succeed, and get lost in the chase for true connection. Curtain time: Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15

Urban Word NYC presents12th Annual Teen Poetry Slam Semi-Final, March 2010: Urban Word NYC's 12th Annual Teen Poetry Slam brings out the top teen poets from across the city. Poets will compete for a chance to perform at the Grand Slam Finals and represent NYC at the National Teen Poetry Slam. This semi-final slam also features special guest poets and DJs. Since 2004, Dance Theater Workshop and Urban Word NYC have been collaborating to support urban youth in their development of hybrid performance work for the stage. And now for the second year, the partnership includes the participation of a spoken word artist, selected by Urban Word, in Dance Theater Workshop's Studio Series. Urbanwordnyc.org Curtain time: 7:30pm; Tickets: $5 Teens, $7 Adults

OFF-SITE @ 651 ARTS: Nora Chipaumire, lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi, May 2010: Presented by 651 ARTS in association with Dance Theater Workshop. lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi is a multimedia performance by contemporary/African solo dance artist Nora Chipaumire in collaboration with the revolutionary musical legend Thomas Mapfumo performing live with his band The Blacks Unlimited. Incorporating video animation, lions… explores the migrant experience within and outside of Africa and examines how Africa is portrayed to a western, globalized world. This collaboration is a representation of a collective self, a depiction of the Zimbabwean immigrant body, and explores what it means to be an African in the Diaspora. Check dancetheaterworkshop.org for date, time and price information.


OFF-SITE: Pat Graney Company, House of Mind, June 2010: Presented in partnership with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Pat Graney's House of Mind presents both the construction and dissolution of memory. Set in an all encompassing environment featuring a wall made entirely of buttons and a wall of over 1000 tiny cupboards, this work's episodic nature and filmic sensibility create past, present, and memory - a literal House of Mind. Check dancetheaterworkshop.org for date and time information, Tickets: FREE.



STUDIO SERIES

The Studio Series offers an opportunity for research and development in a creative residency format, providing resources of time, space, and a commission. The Studio Series is a laboratory for physical explorations and new movement investigations with a focus on process, not final performance/product. The "performances" are intended to be informal public showings to share ideas with an audience in the intimate working space of the studio. Studio Series artists are curated internally by the Artistic Director in conjunction with Programming staff and guest curators from Urban Word NYC and Dance Theater Workshop's season artists.

Joyce S. Lim - Oct 29 - 30

Will Rawls - Nov 5 - 6

Nia Love (guest curated by Jawole Zollar) - Jan 14 - 15

Gwen Welliver - Jan 28 - 29

Kathy Westwater - Feb 18 - 19

Natalie Green - Feb 25 - 26

Sahar Javedani - Mar 11 - 12

Darian Dauchan (guest curated by Urban Word NYC) - Mar 25 - 26

Lobby TALKS

Coordinated by Chase Granoff, Lobby TALKS creates a forum for open and in-depth discourse on contemporary issues in dance and performance. Organized around specific themes, each meeting uses as a starting point one or more of the artistic investigations, methodologies, and motivations that can be seen in performance today. Subjects will be investigated, challenged, and considered by an invited group of artists, critics, and theorists, and is open to all who would like to join the conversation.

Institution Independence, moderated by Karinne Keithley, Sep 22 at 7:30pm
Performing Arts - Visual Arts, moderator TBD, Nov 17 at 7:30pm
Relevance of the University, Part II, moderated by Maura Nguyen Donohue, Feb 9 at 7:30pm


Family Matters SerieS
Curated by Keely Garfield and Peggy Peloquin
FREE for Kids! Only $15 for Adults

Created for families looking to introduce their children to fun, intelligent, and provocative live performance, Dance Theater Workshop's Family Matters Series embraces dance, music, and theater. Relaxed and informal, these one-of-a-kind showcases provide an opportunity to turn off your gadgets and experience live performance art made for all ages and presented in kid-friendly, bite-size-pieces. All children under the age of 13 must be supervised by an adult.


Dance by Very Young Choreographers - Jan 23 at 2pm, Jan 24 at 1pm and 4pm
TBA - Feb 20 – 21 at 2pm

TBA - Mar 20 – 21 at 2pm






Tickets are available for purchase by calling the box office at 212-924-0077 or going online to dancetheaterworkshop.org. To purchase tickets in person, stop by the box office during the following hours of operation: Monday – Friday 5-9pm and Saturday-Sunday 12-8pm.


Performances take place at Dance Theater Workshop, which is located at 219 West 19th Street,
between 7th and 8th Avenues.
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