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Valerie Green/Dance Entropy (VG/DE) presents the World Premiere of 'Utopia,' Dec. 13-15

by Michelle Tabnick
November 7, 2018
Danspace Project
131 East 10th Street (at Second Avenue)
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-8112
Valerie Green/Dance Entropy (VG/DE) presents the World Premiere of Utopia from December 13-15, 2018 at 8pm at Danspace Project, 131 E. 10th Street (inside St. Mark's Church), NYC 10003. Advance tickets are $22 for the general public and $15 for Danspace Project members and can be purchased at danspaceproject.org or by calling (866) 811-4111. Pending availability, tickets can be purchased at the door for $25 (cash or check only). For more information, visit www.danceentropy.org .
What does Utopia mean to you? Is it a physical, external place-or, might it reside internally?
Choreographed by Valerie Green and in collaboration with visual artist Keren Anavy with original music by Mark Katsaounis, VG/DE's newest evening length work, Utopia, explores the idea of a perfect place through dance and visual art. The work questions whether Utopia might be an internal place, investigated through personal and intimate moments and alongside the community. 
Anavy has turned her large-scale paintings into 10-foot cylindrical pillars to be used throughout the piece. The pillars act as an extension of the internal world, constantly forming barriers, spaces, and other environments for the dancers to both react to and orchestrate. The notion of what it means to be safe persists inside a dynamic art installation is in perpetual motion, being constantly built and dismantled. Acting as both props and set, Anavy's painted pillars contribute to Utopia's striking energy and challenge the viewer's conception of how art, dance, and design interact with and influence one another. An original sound score created by Mark Katsaounis combines electronic sounds with acoustic percussion to make textures and moods that are as varied as the human experience. 
"Meticulously Crafted, Contemplative, Mesmerizing." 
- Catherine Grau, Queens Museum
Utopia will be performed by Emily Elizabeth Aiken, Daan Bootsma, Caitlyn Casson, Hana Ginsburg Tirosh, Erin Giordano, Kristin Licata and Richard Scandola. In addition to choreography by Valerie Green and visual art by Keren Anavy, the piece features music by Mark Katsaounis, lighting design by Kathy Kaufmann, and costumes by Deborah Erenburg.
Utopia is created, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Utopia is presented as part of Danspace Project's Community ACCESS series, which provides subsidized off-season rental opportunities for Danspace Project community members.

Founded in 1998, Valerie Green/Dance Entropy believes in humanizing movement, both in Ms. Green's critically acclaimed choreographic work and the company's mission to plant creative seeds in communities across the world. Intersecting mortal and transcendent, sensual and sophisticated, visceral and self-aware, VG/DE invites the artist, the audience-the human-into a compelling, physical experience. Based out of its home studio, Green Space in Queens, NY, VG/DE combines performance and specialized outreach programs to inspire communities in cultural institutions throughout the world.As a professional nonprofit dance company, the communities we engage with have included at risk youth, adolescents, the chronically ill, trauma survivors, immigrants, senior citizens and aspiring/professional dancers.

Valerie Green has been an active dancer, choreographer, and teacher in the New York City dance community since 1995. After graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison and studying as one of the Erick Hawkins school's last pupils, Green sought a platform for her own innovative movement style and artistic vision. She founded Valerie Green/Dance Entropy in 1998.
To date, Green has created 38 dances including nine evening-length works, all of which incorporate forms of original production, musical composition, innovative set design or new media. Her choreography has been presented extensively throughout New York. Internationally, Green has toured to Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, France, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, India, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Cuba both as VG/DE's artistic director and an individual teaching and performing artist.

Keren Anavy is an NYC-based visual artist, art educator and an art writer. Her interest is in the dynamic relationships between nature, culture and site, by challenging the boundaries of painting and drawing as a form of installation. Anavy has exhibited widely nationally and internationally, solo exhibitions include the Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, New York, The Janco Dada Museum, Ein Hod and the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel. Recent shows have been at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2018, New York; Cultural Institute Mexico-Israel, Mexico City; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, Flux Factory, NARS Foundation, The Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the 2nd International Biennale of Painting and Sculptors, Croatia. Anavy is 2018 AIRIE Fellow, Everglades National Park, Florida. In Israel, she received her MFA from Haifa University; her BA in Art History from Tel Aviv University; and graduated from Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College. www.kerenanavy.com
Danspace Project presents new work in dance, supports a diverse range of choreographers in developing their work, encourages experimentation, and connects artists to audiences. For over 40 years, Danspace Project has supported a vital community of contemporary dance artists in an environment unlike any other in the United States. Located in the historic St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, Danspace shares its facility with the Church, The Poetry Project, and New York Theatre Ballet. Danspace Project's Commissioning Initiative has commissioned over 540 new works since its inception in 1994. Danspace Project's Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²) provides context for audiences and increased support for artists. Our public programs (including Danspace Presents, Platforms, Food for Thought, DraftWork), Commissioning Initiative, residencies, guest artist curators, and contextualizing activities and materials are core components of CW² offering a responsive framework for artists' works. Since 2010, we have produced twelve Platforms, published twelve print catalogues and five e-books, launched the Conversations Without Walls discussion series, and explored models for public discourse and residencies.
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