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Wendy Osserman Dance Company Celebrates 40th Anniversary Season with Two World Premieres, April 20-23

by Helene Davis
April 7, 2016
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-1109
The Wendy Osserman Dance Company will celebrate its 40th Anniversary season with four performances, running April 20 – 23, 2016 at 8 pm. Presented by the Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue), the season will feature two world premieres and Osserman’s "Udjat" (1985).

Company dancers include Lauren Ferguson, Cori Kresge, Wendy Osserman, Joshua Tuason and Emily Vetsch. Skip La Plante is the company’s music director.

Wendy Osserman has been performing and choreographing since the early 1960s. She formed Wendy Osserman Dance Company in 1976 after appearing as a soloist with Kei Takei, Frances Alenikoff and Valerie Bettis. For four decades, the company has toured and performed in New York City in varied venues including the Delacorte Theater with the New York Dance Festival in 1979, Symphony Space, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace at St. Mark’s Church, Joyce Soho and Theater for the New City. Her many works include thirteen evening-length pieces, over fifteen commissioned works and two dance festivals produced on the island of Paros, Greece. Osserman was featured in Dancing Divas at La MaMa and in Women in Dance at 92Y: History in the Making Anniversary Special.

The 2016 Season:

"Timed" is a world premiere solo piece choreographed and performed by Wendy Osserman.

"In my solo work for the past twenty years, movement has generated words which in turn generate movement. Dance audiences are usually behind a fourth wall; when I speak we suddenly have an intimate connection." - Osserman

"Quick Time," a world premiere choreographed by Wendy Osserman in collaboration with the company, has live music performed by Skip La Plante and jazz musician Henry Mann; and additional music by Czech singer, musician, and composer Iva Bittova. Influenced by the task-oriented work Osserman experienced in the 70's, she has devised scores with contradictory directions, challenging her dancers to move beyond the familiar.

"Udjat," choreographed by Osserman in 1985, takes its name from the Egyptian hieroglyph of the sacred eye, a symbol of completeness, of things made more precious having been restored.

The Artists

Lauren Ferguson has been a member of WODC since 2012. She has danced in works by David Gordon, Adriane Lee (Rosario), Cori Kresge, and Esme Boyce, and has performed as a guest with Merce Cunningham's Repertory Understudy Group. She has also performed experimental theater with Goat Rocket Productions and appeared in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of "All's Well That Ends Well."

Cori Kresge began working with Wendy Osserman in 2004. She was a member of the Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group and part of the Cunningham teaching faculty. Kresge received a 2005 Darmasiswa International Scholarship, studying Balinese dance in Indonesia. She is also a current member of the Stephen Petronio Company and works with Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, Sarah Skaggs, Ellen Cornfield, Rebecca Lazier, José Navas/Compagnie Flak, Liz Magic Laser and film maker Zuzka Kurtz.

Joshua Tuason, from San Francisco, began his training at the San Francisco Ballet. He was a member of the Martha Graham Ensemble and has participated in various reconstructions of Merce Cunningham's work through the Cunningham Trust. He is currently working with Ian Spencer Bell, Ellen Cornfield, Bill Young and Pam Tanowitz and has been a member of the Stephen Petronio Company since 2009.

Emily Vetsch, co-founder of Glitter Kitty Productions, is co-artistic director of Hudson Vagabond Puppets. Emily is also currently a member of the Marcos Duran Performance Group. She has performed in Allegra Kent's Ballerina Swan with Making Books Sing; Noemie Lafrance’s Agora 2; The Lovely Wilds by Jeff Davis and Elliot Roth; performance art by Molly Lowe; and with Anabella Lenzu Dance/Drama. She co-directed, co-choreographed and performed in Glitter Kitty production's second original musical "The Gunfighter Meets His Match", at Here Arts Center.

Skip La Plante is co-founder of Music for Homemade Instruments. La Plante invents, composes, performs and teaches with musical instruments built from trash. He has composed for over 100 modern dance and theater productions including collaborating with Joseph Chaikin, Sam Shepard and fellow musician Harry Mann on Tongues/Savage Love. This is his fourth season working with WODC.

Wendy Osserman Dance Company (WODC) has toured nationally and internationally. The company’s mission is to collaborate with artists in all media on the creation of performances and workshops with and for all ages. It seeks to develop new vocabularies and to utilize alternative spaces for performance. WODC
has collaborated with celebrated Czech singer, musician and composer Iva Bittova; composer/musician Skip La Plante; Jordan McLean, Victor Lewis, and David Simons, among many others and visual artists including Sanya Kantarovsky, Annie Sailer, Sarah Olson, Ken Laser and Charles Hinman. Site specific work has been commissioned by The Chelsea Art Museum 2006-‘11, Friends of the Hudson River Park and Community Environmental Center, Solar One. The company has been presented throughout NYC by the Vision Festival at Symphony Space, the 92nd Street Y, Dixon Place, Theatre Within at the Beacon Theater for 10th Anniversary of John Lennon Tribute, Luminatra at Baryshnikov Art Center, Joyce Soho, Dancenow/NYC/DancemOpolitan at Joe’s Pub, and Dancenow/NYC/TheFestival. www.wendyossermandance.org

Theater for the New City Theater (TNC), under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Crystal Field since its founding in 1971, has produced over 800 new plays which have garnered a Pulitzer Prize and over 43 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC has also nurtured the talents of Sam Shepard, Maria Irene Fornés, Romulus Linney, Richard Foreman, Lee Breuer, Miguel Piñero, Charles Busch, Moises Kaufman, Vin Diesel, Adrien Brody, Eduardo Machado, Jean-Claude van Itallie and Tim Robbins. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. www.theaterforthenewcity.net.

Wendy Osserman Dance Company will perform for four performances, April 20-23, 2016 at 8pm. Tickets are $18 and may be purchased online at www.theaterforthenewcity.net; Reservations can be made by calling 212-254-1109. Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue (between 9th and 10th Streets), New York, NY 10003. Subways: 6 to Astor Place; L to 1st Avenue and 14th Street; or R to 8th Street.

For more information, visit www.wendyossermandance.org
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