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Janis Brenner & Dancers Present its New York Season, June 1-3

by Michelle Tabnick
April 21, 2017
Gibney Dance Lower Manhattan
280 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
(646) 837-6809
Janis Brenner & Dancers presents its New York Season from Thursday, June 1 - Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 8pm at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway (entrance at 53A Chambers Street), NYC. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and are available at 646-837-6809 or www.gibneydance.org/performance/pop/janis-brenner.

The company premieres "Once You Are Not A Stranger," created in collaboration with Bosnian-born, electro-acoustic composer Svjetlana Bukvich, Slovenian-born installation artist Eva Petric, lighting designer Mitchell Bogard, and costume designer Sue Julien. This interdisciplinary work looks at the ideas of empathy and "otherness" in a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious world and uses the dance company as a microcosm of this world. Video projections are embedded in the center of an elaborate set-piece, playing a personal and imagistic role in the work. Performed with live music, including Ms. Brenner on vocals and Ms. Bukvich on keyboards. This work has been made possible by a commissioning grant from the O'Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation.
JB&D's work "Soul River/Blues," originally created in collaboration with Maya Dance Theatre in Singapore, completes the evening: inspired by the music of Ry Cooder and BV Bhatt's "A Meeting by the River" the work poetically mixes Eastern and Western ideas of the "soul," the body taking leave and the significance of water as both ritual and force of nature.
"As a citizen of the world, I am pleased to offer these two works to our New York audiences -both works having been created and inspired by two very different cultures and collaborative experiences, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Singapore," said Ms. Brenner. "Allowing myself and my dancers to be influenced by the larger artistic communities we engage with, continues a lifelong exploration of movement languages and nuances, and an expansion of my interdisciplinary concerns and inspirations. For the past fifteen years or so, I have found that the concerns of my work return again and again to issues of interpersonal communication, memory, aging, how we listen to ourselves as well as to others, wit, and perhaps even "beauty." These recent works explore and interrogate many of these areas and allow both the performers and the audience to see themselves as participants in these worlds."
Dancers: Kyla Barkin*, Janis Brenner, Kara Chan, DeAndre Cousley, Ruth Howard, Sumaya Jackson, Kristi Ann Schopfer, and Aaron Selissen. *Of Note: Kyla Barkin celebrates nineteen years in the company.
Janis Brenner & Dancers has performed throughout the world since 1989 and has been presented by leading NY organizations. JB&D is known for the caliber of its dancers, its multidisciplinary residencies and its "emotionally authentic" and musically diverse works. Brenner is an award-winning dancer/choreographer/singer, and Artistic Director of Janis Brenner & Dancers. Known for "meticulous artistry", she has toured in 35 countries and is acclaimed as a "singular performer" with a multifaceted artistic range. Honors: "Bessie" in Meredith Monk's work, Lester Horton Award, Fund for US Artists, U.S. State Department grants, Asian Cultural Council, The Trust for Mutual Understanding and O'Donnell Green Music and Dance Foundation. Her work has been commissioned/restaged on more than 50 companies and colleges worldwide. (recording on ECM Records). Brenner worked closely for years with Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble (recording on ECM Records), Michael Moschen (including PBS' Great Performances), Annabelle Gamson, and with Murray Louis Dance Company working with Rudolf Nureyev, Placido Domingo, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Joseph Papp, Bat Sheva Dance Company and Alwin Nikolais.  She is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, serving as Choreographic Mentor for the Choreographers & Composers course. For more information visit www.janisbrenner.com.
POP: Performance Opportunity Project
provides the dance community with space, support, and subsidized space for showings and performances at Gibney Dance.
Gibney Dance, founded in 1991, is a trailblazing organization that brings the possibility of movement where it otherwise would not exist. Through its Center, Company and Community Action, Gibney Dance is "Making Space for Dance" in studios, on stages and in partnership with underserved shelters and schools:
Gibney Dance Centers are a powerhouse of cultural support for the performing arts community and New York City itself. In 1991, Gibney Dance began leasing a studio in the historic 890 Broadway building to house Company rehearsals, and by 2011 the organization's presence at that location had expanded to comprise an expansive eight-studio creative center. Today, with the addition of 280 Broadway, the organization directs a performing arts complex with two facilities: the Choreographic Center at 890 Broadway and the Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at 280 Broadway. These remarkable spaces enable a robust roster of events designed to meet the needs of the dance field and audiences by fostering the creative process, encouraging dialogue and providing professional development opportunities.
Gibney Dance Company is the Center's acclaimed resident dance ensemble, led by choreographer Gina Gibney. Since its founding in 1991, the Company has steadily developed its reputation for excellence, building a repertory of over thirty works. Gibney Dance re-envisioned the Company in 2016, empowering its dancers as both artists and activists. Known as Artistic Associates, these dedicated partners advance the quality of the organization's artistry through performance, and deepen its community engagement through administrative fellowships, serving as advocates for pressing issues in the dance field.
Gibney Dance Community Action is on the leading edge of mobilizing the arts to address social justice issues. This highly respected program uses dance to help heal and empower survivors of interpersonal violence through multiple platforms, including Movement Workshops for domestic violence survivors; Global Community Action Residencies that share the program's model and practices internationally; the Community Action Hub at 280 Broadway and its resources for social change-minded artists; and Advocacy Initiatives that spread awareness and mobilize artists to respond to social issues.
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