For Immediate Release

What Is Dance?

Spring Line-Up For Dance Theater Workshop Features 22 Premieres By 22 Companies And Artists, January 11–May 15, 2006

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How different can you be––and still be working within the same art form?  That may describe Dance Theater Workshop’s spring line-up in a nutshell, where imagination courses full speed and lights blaze, challenging conventional thinking and even unconventional notions of dance.  Hip-hop inspired, text-driven, music-driven, media-driven, theater-based dance––each plays against each other in new dances by artists ranging from Rokafella & Kwikstep to Yvonne Rainer to Reggie Wilson to Tere O’Connor, not to mention Meg Stuart and Alexandra Beller.

“One of the great joys of DTW is knowing that I will always be surprised by what I see on stage,” said Marion Koltun Dienstag, Executive Director of Dance Theater Workshop.  “Our programs are rich with individuality.  Together the artists present a range of what is possible in dance as an art form.  Our spring offering exemplifies this.”

“As Artistic Director of Dance Theater Workshop, I try to have our stage reflect the vibrant creativity of the field,” said Cathy Edwards.  “Choosing from all the talent that is out there can be difficult, but it is also profoundly inspiring to have so many possibilities.”

Performance Dates and Times

FULL CIRCLE, JANUARY 11–14: Full Circle, the break-dance/Hip-Hop troupe, created by the New York husband-and-wife team Gabriel Dionisio and Anita Garcia (a.k.a. Kwikstep and Rokafella), makes its DTW debut with “Innaviews,” a duet, which they wrote and choreographed.  They are also the performers.  Through blazing rhythms, surprising flips and witty spins, the pair’s work-in-progress takes a somewhat autobiographical look at their street, stage and cinematic lives as Hip-Hop artists.  Benji Reid is the dramaturge and Gamal Chasten the director for the 45-minute work. Curtain time: Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $12/$20

BEN MUNISTERI DANCE PROJECTS, JANUARY 18–21: Unlike most choreographers of his generation, Ben Munisteri is concerned with creating dramatic suggestion through abstraction and music rather than text, video and narrative.  “Tuesday, 4 a.m. and other dances,” a world premiere, is a case in point.  “Tuesday, 4 a.m.” refers to that mysterious time of day when the dreaming mind is as unpredictable and dynamic as the dance’s accompanying score, Stravinsky’s “Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra.”  Munisteri’s DTW debut program also includes the New York premiere of “Thunderblood,” set to Evren Celimli’s original score for violin and bass, which is played live, as well as the recent “Not Human,” set to a musical collage which mixes animal sounds, Debussy, Devo and Brian Eno.  One of Munisteri’s signature pieces, “Turbine Mines,” set to the “Blade Runner” soundtrack, also returns this season. Curtain time: Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30pm and Friday at 10pm; Tickets: $15/$25

JEREMY WADE, FEBRUARY 1–4: Jeremy Wade, a 2004 Split Stream alum, will present his first full-evening at DTW with the world premiere of “Fiction,” a darkly aggressive solo that grapples with the deterioration of identity and the inevitable isolation that follows.  The dance is set to an electronic score by Mike Skinner.  In “Glory,” a study of forced and voluntary submission, the performers crawl and creep across the stage, twisting their naked bodies into varied, distorted images of supplication.  The live, original music is by Loren Kiyoshi Dempster and Michael Mahalchick. Curtain time: Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $12/$20

HEATHER KRAVAS/ANTONIJA LIVINGSTONE & PO.V.S. TANZE, FEBRUARY 8–11:  Choreographic collaboration is the name of the game in an imaginative double bill of works by Heather Kravas/Antonija Livingstone and PO.V.S. Tanze.  In “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX – a situation for dancing.” (sic), a world premiere set to music by Moondog, choreographers Heather Kravas and Antonija Livingstone created a four-part investigation of the subversive nature of a shadowy character.  A different section of the serial production will be shown each night.  Moscow’s choreographic collective PO.V.S. Tanze makes its DTW debut with the U.S. premiere of “3petiX.”  Each of the three linked, non-narrative sections of the dance, choreographed and performed by Albert Albert and Alexandra Konnikova, presents a dramatically different look at intense isolation. Curtain time: Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $12/$20

REGGIE WILSON/ FIST & HEEL PERFORMANCE GROUP, FEBRUARY 15–25:  Rocking with live music and song, Reggie Wilson’s “The Tale: Npinpee Nckutchie and the Tail of the Golden Dek,” a world premiere, blends African and Caribbean-inspired rhythmic movement, rituals and vocalizations with American social dances such as Stepping, the Big Apple, the Black Bottom and the Lindy Hop.  This lively border-crossing universalizes Wilson’s ideas about the contradictory nature of human relationships.  Wilson also curated free performances by Whitney V. Hunter, as part of DTW’s Studio Series on February 17 & 18 at 6:30pm. Curtain time: Wednesdays–Saturdays at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15/$25

IVY BALDWIN DANCE & KATE WEARE, MARCH 1–4:  Ivy Baldwin’s world premiere, “Gone Missing,” was dually inspired by the unlikely combination of Edward Gorey and Soviet Russia. The dance theater work is set in a winter wilderness, where the lost characters’ increasing paranoia and suspicion are offset by moments of Gorey-like wit.  Brett Jarvis’s original score integrates Russian folk songs created and performed live by the dancers.  The erotic heat of the tango radiates through Kate Weare’s intense, dream-like “Wet Road,” a world premiere.  Lusty and sexy, the dance asks questions about the limits and pleasures of the body. Curtain time: Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $12/$20

SUSAN MARSHALL & COMPANY, MARCH 8–18:  Susan Marshall & Company returns to DTW––the site of the Company’s debut 20 years ago–-with the New York premiere of “Cloudless.”  Psychologically complex and emotionally potent, the work is structured as 12 short vignettes, or stories, told in both solos and group sections. The music is by Jane Shaw, Philip Glass and Georges Bizet, among others.  The set was designed by Roger Hanna, and the lighting by Mark Stanley. Curtain time: Wednesdays–Saturdays at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15/$25

TERE O’CONNOR DANCE, MARCH 22–APRIL 1:  Tere O’Connor, whose company also celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2006, will present the world premiere of “BABY,” which follows on the heels of his most recent success, “Frozen Mommy.”  In his unique and subtle way, O’Connor plays with ideas of time, narrative and memory.  James Baker and O’Connor composed the music for the poetic work, which features lighting design by another long-time collaborator, Brian MacDevitt.  The choreographer curated free DTW Studio Series performances on March 24 & 25 at 6:30pm, which feature work by Chris Yon.  Curtain time: Wednesdays–Saturdays at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15/$25

ALEXANDRA BELLER/DANCES, APRIL 5–8:  Alexandra Beller, who danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for six years, clearly shares certain fascinations with her mentor; the mix of text and movement is one.  In the world premiere of Beller’s “You Are Here,” four strangers are forced to forever coexist in a single room.  Clearly calling on Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” to make her existential point, Beller deconstructs the play while adhering to its bleak look at survival.  Robert Poss’s original score mixes both recorded and live sound.  The engagement marks Beller’s DTW debut. Curtain time: Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $12/$20

THE ALLEN BODY GROUP & JENNIE MARYTAI LIU, APRIL 13–15: Two Fresh Tracks alums share a program of world premieres, both of whom take their inspiration from scientific sources.  Malinda Allen created “Einstein’s Dreams” after reading works by novelist and astrophysicist Alan Lightman.  Using aerial dancers from MOMIX and De La Guarda, the work reflects the imagination of a young scientist on the brink of new discovery.  Inspired by a 1968 zoological textbook, and featuring original music by Heather Christian, Jennie MaryTai Liu’s three-part “Learning in Lower Animals” ruminates on human and animal survival. Curtain time: Thursday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $12/$20

SOURCING STRAVINSKY, APRIL 19–22:  There was just one rule: Use Igor Stravinsky as inspiration for a dance.  Six choreographers –– Yvonne Rainer, Dayna Hanson & Linas Phillips, Cynthia Hopkins, David Neumann and Rennie Harris –– were posed this challenge by curator Annie-B Parson; the result is “Sourcing Stravinsky.”  Expect a series of radically different looks at one of the dance world’s most beloved composers.  Some live music is promised. Curtain time: Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15/$25

MEG STUART/ BENOÎT LACHAMBRE/ HAHN ROWE, APRIL 27–29: Meg Stuart, who vanished from the American scene in the early 1990’s, will make a brief return to the U.S. from her adopted city of Brussels, when she presents the New York premiere of “Forgeries, Love and Other Matters.”  Created with Montréal’s Benoît Lachambre and New York composer Hahn Rowe, “Forgeries” asks a lot of questions about love, reality and human nature in a world that blurs distinctions and extinguishes clarity.  Stuart and Lachambre perform in the dance theater work, which is set to a minimalist score performed live onstage by Rowe. Curtain time: Thursday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $15/$25

DAO ANH KHANH & STEPHEN KOPLOWITZ, MAY 4–7:  For three years, Vietnamese visual/performance artist Dao Anh Khanh and New York-based director/choreographer Stephan Koplowitz alternated trips across the Pacific, working together on various artistic projects.  The culmination of their collaboration is “A Walk Between Two Worlds,” a U.S. premiere.  Performed by nine dancers, the work is driven by the choreographers’ search for a reconciliation between opposites: urban and rural, performance space and video space, reality and dreams.  The dance features a set by Khanh, video and lighting by Koplowitz and lighting by Kathy Kaufmann. Curtain time: Thursday–Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm; Tickets: $12/$20

RACHID OURAMDANE, MAY 11–13: French Algerian choreographer Rachid Ouramdane began the creation of “Discreet Deaths” (“Les Morts Pudiques”), a U.S. premiere, by scouring the Internet for online depictions of death.  The resulting work, a chilling account of suicide bombers, the death penalty, Goth culture and teen suicide, takes place on a stage framed by video screens and a set suggesting a boxing ring.  The DTW performances mark Ouramdane’s U.S. debut. Curtain time: Thursday–Saturday at 7:30pm; Tickets: $12/$20

FAMILY MATTERS:  Curated by Keely Garfield and Peggy Peloquin, the series returns with three programs for “children and their adults:” “Dances by Very Young Choreographers” (January 6 & 7); “Rowdy Riots and Rocking Rituals” (January 21 & 28); and “Treasure Trove Tributes” (March 4).  Curtain time: Saturdays at 2pm (“Dances by Very Young Choreographers” will also be performed on January 6 & 7 at 7:30pm); Tickets: $10 kids/$20 adults

DIGITAL FELLOWS SHOWINGS: The Digital Fellows Program, led by Artistic Advisor Mark Coniglio, provides mentoring and support to artists working with technology. Two 7:30pm showings feature work by AMDaT/Andrea Haenggi, Liubo Borissov, Peter Kirn and Christopher Williams (March 28) and Bridgman/Packer Dance, John Crawford, Joseph Douillette and Marlies Yearby (April 10). Curtain time: March 28 & April 10 at 7:30pm; Tickets: Free

DANCE UNWRAPPED: A series of panel discussions on dance, which began in the fall, continues with two more installments.  Panel II is entitled “The Unseen Body: Representations of the Body on the Contemporary Dance Stage” and takes place in the Bessie Schönberg Theater (January 23).  Panel III covers “The Art of Questioning: On Dance Dramaturgy” and takes place in the 3rd Floor Studio (May 15). Curtain time: January 23, 6:30–8pm & May 15, 5:30–7pm; Tickets: Free

Where To Go

All tickets, including student, senior, artist and “4 for 40% Club” discounts, are available at the box office, by calling 212-924-0077 or online at www.dtw.org.  Dance Theater Workshop is located at 219 West 19th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

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LEADERSHIP SUPPORT FOR DTW’S 2005-2006 SEASON PROVIDED BY: The Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Ford Foundation, The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, The William Randolph Hearst Foundations, JPMorgan Chase, The Jerome Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, National Performance Network, New York State DanceForce, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Scherman Foundation, The Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Inc., The Starr Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding and The Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund.

DTW’s 2005- 2006 Season is sponsored in part by Altria.

DTW IS SUPPORTED, IN PART, WITH PUBLIC FUNDS FROM: The New York City Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Department of Small Business Services, New York State Council on the Arts, New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

ADDITIONAL ENDOWMENT FUNDS PROVIDED BY: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

OTHER SUPPORT: DTW thanks its Corporate Partners for their valuable support: Altria Group, Inc., Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Goldman, Sachs & Co., HX Magazine, Independence Community Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Limited Brands, New York Times Company Foundation and Time Out New York.
Photo Courtesy of Dance Theatre Workshop