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WOMEN / CREATE! A Virtual Festival of Dance In Partnership with New York Live Arts
May 20, 2021
WOMEN / CREATE!, a virtual festival of dance, will be presented on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 7:30pm ET, livestreamed on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube. The full program and post-show talkback will be available to view through Sunday, May 23, 2021 on Vimeo. The event is FREE, with a suggested donation of $10. Advance registration is requested at https://newyorklivearts.org/event/women-create-a-virtual-festival-of-dance/. For more information, visit or womencreatedance.org.
For eight years, Jennifer Muller/The Works has curated the WOMEN / CREATE! festival, bringing together prominent female choreographers for an annual New York City season in a shared program format. This year’s Festival will span the gamut of dance techniques, from contemporary to club and street styles, and will feature four dance films and two live world premieres filmed at New York Live Arts.
Women choreographers have always been innovators of dance, and WOMEN/CREATE! celebrates their creativity with those roots to present an evening of strong works by six visionary female choreographers. Karole Armitage, Sidra Bell, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Tatiana Desardouin, Meagan King, and Jennifer Muller will join together for a distinguished night of programming that celebrates women creators and their compelling voices in the dance world. The performance will be followed by a talkback moderated by Danni Gee, highlighting the unique experiences of our 2021 choreographers and the different challenges they have faced as women, with perspectives from the 80s through today.
Six Feet Apart, World Premiere Filmed Live at New York Live Arts, Armitage Gone! Dance, Karole Armitage
PRELUDE | IDENTITY through a window…with bated breath…, Sidra Bell Dance New York, Sidra Bell
Invisible Embrace of Beauty, World Premiere Filmed Live at New York Live Arts, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Jacqulyn Buglisi
Dance Within Your Dance, Passion Fruit Dance Company
KINGS, Meagan King
Island Re-Imagined, 2021 Virtual Adaptation, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Jennifer Muller
“WOMEN / CREATE! is an opportunity to witness companies of expertise and impact – choreographers, each with a powerful original voice who create work from unique points of view yet share a sensibility that combines virtuosic movement with an expressive edge that moves minds and hearts – work that dances full out yet speaks of both individual experiences and shared humanity. This work is knowledgeable, long-lasting and current at its core,” said Jennifer Muller.
SIX FEET APART (2021)
Choreography: Karole Armitage
Sound Design and Engineer: Agnes Fury Cameron
Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor
Performed by: Sierra French, Cristian Laverde-Koenig
Six Feet Apart is a collaboration between choreographer Karole Armitage and engineer Agnes Fury Cameron, who created the sound environment. Armitage and Cameron met while Armitage was an MIT Media Lab Directors Fellow, and Cameron a student at the lab. The seven-minute work is performed by two dancers.
Armitage Gone! Dance is preparing for the Festival, (and other screen dance projects), during a month-long bubble residency beginning April 15. The company will revive and reimagine many works in a new iteration designed for the screen – works abandoned over a year ago as the pandemic set in. In Six Feet Apart, the dancers communicate and react to each other across a void. The dancers are rigged up with visible wires and taped-on devices – accelerometers, a type of on-body sensor, activated in real time to trigger sound in relation to a dancer’s individual acceleration and deceleration. Six Feet Apart will be rehearsed in a transatlantic process with Agnes Fury Cameron offering guidance from afar (she has returned home to the UK), as the company learns the technology required for creating the sound – a mixture of software, algorithms and hardware.
The sound, originally planned for live performance, was designed to be heard over an audience’s personal cell phones. The small speakers convert the loud, industrial soundscape into a hushed and intimate experience, shared in a group context. We look forward to presenting the cell phone version at a later date.
PRELUDE | IDENTITY through a window…with bated breath…
Choreography: Sidra Bell
Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker
Videography & 3D Rendering by Harrison Goodbinder
Dramaturgy & Rehearsal Direction by Jonathan Campbell
Costume Design Mini Collection “A Global Dust Storm in Mars” by NANNERWAVE (South Korea)
“I had an unexpectedly visceral reaction when the six dancers began taking their bows at the conclusion of the performance. I found myself so entrenched in the world Bell created that it took a couple of minutes to pull myself back out of it. There was not a single moment, costume, prop or lighting element that went to waste. Whether it was a subtle elevated walk on the balls of the feet, a projected live-video feed, or contacts in the performers eyes, everything had a purpose and fed into the larger atmosphere of the work. This atmosphere was charged with a heightened urgency and drama that felt equal to the crisis of identity so many of us and our communities are facing today. The multiple ways in which Bell and the dancers wrestled with and perceived the idea of identity were rich and vast. A moving and noise-making apparatus attached to dancer Misa Kinno Lucyshyn spoke to a complex and voyeuristic relationship with our identities and technology. The poignant repetition of the sung words ‘my beloved’ and different parts of the body while dancers intertwined projected a sense of identity woven with intimacy and community, while the jarring violence in other sections of the choreography referenced a powerful sense of self-doubt and indignation. The way in which Bell presented this perplexing material revealed itself as a metaphor for how we approach and deconstruct identity. I left the theatre feeling like I had more compassion for the diversity of our fellow human beings, grappling with the idea that this beautiful diversity is what makes our identities so hard to pin down.” – DIYDancer Magazine
INVISIBLE EMBRACE OF BEAUTY (World Premiere)
Choreographer: Jacqulyn Buglisi
Commissioned Composer: Alex Weiser
Film by: Terese Capucilli, Photography Paul B. Goode
Lighting Designer: John Cuff
Projection Designer: Joey Moro
Music Performed by: Merz Trio
Piano: Lee Dionne, Violin: Brigid Coleridge, Cello: Julia Yang
Singer: Eliza Bagg
Blakeley White-McGuire, So Young An, Greta Campo,
Evan Fisk, Myles Hunter, Ricardo Barrett, Carolina Rivera, Aoi Sato
In its first indoor, performance onstage since the pandemic, Buglisi Dance Theatre is presenting the world premiere of the Invisible Embrace of Beauty choreographed by Jacqulyn Buglisi. The company has been honored to be a part of the festival since 2014, premiering such works as Sacred Landscapes, To the Spirit of Enheduanna, and Moss Anthology, as well as iconic BDT dances Threshold and Sand.
Buglisi has dedicated her life works to the belief that movement expresses the story of mankind, revealing the wonder, mystery, sacredness and truths of the human condition, and the resilience of humanity in the face of struggles and sorrows. In the Invisible Embrace of Beauty, she seeks to awaken our humanity by reaching into the hearts of the community during this critical time of division and need for unity by speaking out for individuals in today’s America who feel invisible, or expendable, by virtue of race, isolation, and diaspora. In times of chaos we need stories that bridge distances giving physical dialogue to the human drama to reveal the invisible beauty of mankind’s soul.
The work for eight dancers features commissioned music by ASCAP award-winning composer Alex Weiser recorded by the Merz Trio and Soprano Eliza Bagg, a film by Terese Capucilli of movement dialogues created during the pandemic, projection design by Joey Moro, and lighting design by John Cuff. Inspired by the writings of John O’Donohue, Dante’s Inferno, Claudia Rankin, Heidi Andrea Restropo Rhodes, Layli Long Soldier, and Rilke, Buglisi questions what makes us human, acknowledging the moral necessity to hear each other’s voices, and embrace the concealed beauty of existence.
This premiere of the Invisible Embrace of Beauty features four of the five sections of the ballet.
Jacqulyn Buglisi and Buglisi Dance Theatre is deeply grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts, the O’Donnell Green Music and Dance Foundation, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance for its generous support of this dance.
DANCE WITHIN YOUR DANCE
PASSION FRUIT DANCE COMPANY
Choreographed by: Tatiana Desardouin
Performed by Passion Fruit Dance Company: Tatiana Desardouin, Mai Lê Ho & Lauriane Ogay
External Eye: Adesola Osakalumi and Miki Tuesday
Vocals (acapella): Sam I Am Montolla
Music & video editing, photos: Loreto Jamlig
Lighting Designer: Coel Rodriguez
What is the groove? How do you find it? How much weight does it hold in self-expression? In Dance Within Your Dance,Tatiana Desardouin invites you to connect with the techniques, rhythms and essence of hip-hop and house dance. Tatiana encourages her audiences to question their understanding of the groove and therefore of Black culture.
Why is the groove not just a simple esthetic and disposable element but the essence of street/club dance styles and a roadmap to social justice through the physical expression of Black culture.
In her work, Tatiana also touches on to the process of street dancers towards finding their identity, or groove, by highlighting the social aspect of the community (dancers influencing each other by being in the same space), the fashion, the personal training, the moments of introspection and the embodiment of all past experiences to create their own and collective signatures.
“Dance Within Your Dance is a slick, energetic foray into the movement conversations that happen between dancers while dancing. The work was created with the concept of a groove in mind – the concept itself, what it looks like on your body, what it is musically, rhythmically, how it influences instinctive movement, and how different bodies express it. The definition of a groove is articulated with aplomb by these three dancers, who swivel hips, slink, slide and drop their bodies into these rhythms with enviable flow. […] the three women glance at each other knowingly, feed off one another, while maintaining their own distinct style.”
– Lauren Gallagher, Lacina Coulibaly, Nora Chipaumire, Passion Fruit Dance Company, Les Ballet Afrik at E-Moves – New York, DanceTabs (May 2018)
“Desardouin emphasizes these styles’ roots in black culture and is dedicated to exploring them as cultural forms, approaching her work as a call to action. ‘You cannot be about this culture, about this movement, and not support the struggle of my people,’ she says.” – Dance Magazine, “25 to Watch,” 2020, by Ephrat “Bounce”Asherie
“Tatiana’s work is soulful, full of the complexity and joy that exists in the world, the clubs and our hearts . A great new voice has arrived. BRAVO.” – Adesola Osakalumi,Fela, Equus, Syncing Ink, Othello (Movement Director)
“This is one of the best street dance shows I’ve seen in the last few years!!! A perfect example of how authentic street dance can do more than just entertain in the theatre setting.” – Crazy Smooth (artistic director of Bboyizm Dance Company)
Choreography: Meagan King
Music: “Whispers of the Past” by Sound Effects Zone | “Solomon” by Hans Zimmer
Lighting Design: John Cuff
Performed by: Christopher Taylor, Aaron Frisby, Emerick Ligonde, Isaiah Harvey, Jayden Williams
Spoken Word: Wayne “Juice” Mackins
Mentored by: Renée Robinson
Meagan King is honored to have received this special invitation from her beloved teacher Jacqulyn Buglisi to present her work in the WOMEN / CREATE! program. “KINGS” portrays the moving story of five, young African-American boys who unjustly made history as “The Central Park 5.” As minors, these young boys were wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape and assault of a white, female jogger in Central Park in 1989, spending up to 13 years in juvenile and adult prison. The mission of “KINGS” is to continue to bring light to this historical injustice, but rather represent these presumed “criminals” as five beautiful kings. This work, though choreographed in 2019, very directly speaks to our social climate in America today. It is an honest call for Americans to hold up a mirror to our society, undo the layers which disguise evident flaws, and drive this nation towards lasting change.
ISLAND RE-IMAGINED (2021)
Choreography: Jennifer Muller
(Island premiere: 2005 / Island Re-Imagined: 2021)
Photographs: Roberto Dutesco
Original Score: Marty Beller
Costume Design: Sonja Nuttall
Video Editing: Cuong Huy Nguyen
Original Lighting Design: Jeff Croiter
Cast: JMTW Dancers
The original choreographic piece Island is a collaboration with photographer Roberto Dutesco. Mr. Dutesco created haunting images of the horses on Sable Island—horses, abandoned by shipwrecks, that have existed on the island without human intervention or interference. Taking its cue from the social interaction and imagery of these wild horses and what they represent as an increasingly rare natural phenomenon, the piece is a peon to the contrast between a confined existence and an unfettered, untamed state of being.
Island Re-Imagined is the innovative adaptation of the original piece Island, combining the magnificent photos of Roberto Dutesco and the action of JMTW dancers seen through a lens of a layered digital treatment and effects that enhance the power and expression of the piece.
Focused on a parallel between the wild horses confined to Sable Island in Nova Scotia as photographed by Roberto Dutesco and the response to the emotional experience of living in a Covid era, the piece echoes the sentiment of our times.
About the Artists
Over the past 30 years, Karole Armitage and her dancers have shaped the evolution of contemporary dance through the creation and performance of new works. The most recent incarnation of the company, Armitage Gone! Dance, was launched in 2004 when Karole Armitage returned to the U.S. after 15 years of working abroad. Dedicated to redefining the boundaries and perception of contemporary dance, the company extends the mandate of innovation that characterizes both her earlier Armitage Ballet, founded in 1985, and the first full time company, Armitage Gone!, founded in 1979. The AG!D dancers come form many backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures and nationalities. They are are known for their technical prowess as well as for their fearlessness and inventive imaginations. The dancers have contributed significantly to the creative process that characterizes the company work. The company tours in the US and abroad appearing in major festival and venues, in addition to performing an annual home season in New York City. Known for their free spirited panache, the company members of Armitage Gone! Dance bring unique flavors and strong personality to the stage. The speak multiple dance languages with a linguistic fluidity that incorporates ballet, vogueing, contemporary, modern, Wu Shu and other practices from classical, folk and street traditions, mastered through a decade or more of daily training in each form.
Sidra Bell Dance New York is an internationally recognized boutique brand of prolific movement illustrators based in New York City that presents and fosters a canon of innovative and progressive dance theater in realms of ideas, environs and (im)possibilities.
The award-winning Buglisi Dance Theatre is acclaimed for poignant, theatrical ballets, compelling dancers, and multi-cultural collaborations that promote awareness of global issues and embolden audiences to recognize within themselves their own humanity. Co-founded in 1993 by Buglisi, Capucilli, Dakin and Foreman, formerly Principal Dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company, BDT has produced 28 NYC seasons; has toured across the U.S. and on four continents; and seen via livestream in 229 countries/territories. The repertoire of over 100 original works is infused with interdisciplinary collaborations comprised of visual artists, composers, poets, filmmakers, projection artists, and live music, performed in such venues as The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Kennedy Center, Vail, New York Live Arts, LMCC/River to River, and Melbourne Festival, and in support of social causes including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for human rights of women and children. BDT’s repertoire is archived in the NYPL Jerome Robbins Dance Division, and has been performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, MGDC, Richmond Ballet, among others. BDT has inspired students through educational residencies in the NYC public schools, UC, Santa Barbara, SUNY Purchase, Yale, Wesleyan, and Juilliard Emerging Masters Series. Buglisi’s collaborators include Paola Prestini, Wendall Harrington, Nel Shelby, and most recently Daniel Bernard Roumain, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Terese Capucilli for the Reimagined Table of Silence Prologue co-presented by Lincoln Center on 9/11/2020 as the first recipient of the Arnhold Dance Innovation Fund, seen via live stream by 1.1 million people around the world. Buglisi is the 2020 Bessie Award Special Citation Honoree for the Table of Silence Project 9/11, a Call to Action for peace, unity, social justice and freedom from systemic oppressions.
Meagan King (Emerging Choreographer) is an Ailey II apprentice and has toured nationally with the company. She graduated magna cum laude from the Fordham/Ailey BFA Program, where she was a Glorya Kaufman Scholarship recipient, and also trained at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts. Most recently, Meagan joined the faculty of Francesca Harper + Education and was nominated as the 2019 and 2020 BLOCH Ailey Young Artist. She has received a spotlight feature in Dance Spirit Magazine, represented The Ailey School at the Holland Dance Festival, and was featured with the school on The Today Show. She has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Robert Battle, William Forsythe, Ronald K. Brown, Troy Powell, Hope Boykin, Earl Mosley, Jacqulyn Buglisi (performing with Buglisi Dance Theatre), Tina Bush, Darrell Grand-Moultrie, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Bradley Shelver, Cayetano Soto, Didy Veldman, and more. She is an alumna of the 2018 Contemporary Program at The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Meagan is currently teaching dance locally and internationally and choreographing new works.
Jennifer Muller/The Works (JMTW) celebrates 45 years of presenting Muller’s visionary approach to dance theater, incorporating the spoken word, live and commissioned music, media and unusual production elements to create multi-disciplinary productions that illuminate the human spirit. Known for its history of notable collaborations, JMTW has worked with artists including Keith Haring, Keith Jarrett, Tom Slaughter, Yoko Ono and Julia Kent, and has established long-standing collaborative relationships with Burt Alcantara, Jeff Croiter, Karen Small and Marty Beller.
JMTW has electrified world audiences with passionate work and superb dancers in 39 countries on four continents, circumnavigating the globe from Buenos Aires to Toronto, and from Hong Kong to Moscow. JMTW has toured 30 states, produced 27 NYC Seasons and performed in venues such as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Joyce Theater, City Center and David H. Koch Theaters; Bryant, Battery and Central Park Festivals and the United Nations. An influence in the dance world for over 55 years, Muller has created over 117 pieces and worked with 30 international dance, theater and opera companies. Her prolific career has led to honors: Fortaleza’s Trophy of Cultural Responsibility, and the publications: Tanz-Plan Berlin’s Tanztechnik 2010 and Transformation & Continuance: Jennifer Muller and the Reshaping of American Modern Dance, 1959 to Present.
Passion Fruit Dance Company is a Street, Club dance and educational company founded in 2016, composed of Tatiana Desardouin (founder, artistic director, choreographer), Lauriane Ogay and Mai Lê Hô. Its mission is to promote the authenticity of street dance and clubbing styles, Hip Hop and house cultures and their black heritage, as well as its contribution to society, by exploring different social problems through their dance pieces and artistic practices. Passion Fruit had the opportunity to work as educators using “Passion Fruit Seeds – Focus on the Youth” program at the Yerbabruja Arts Center (Long Island City), in Switzerland for the City of Geneva with the “Passion Fruit Seeds: Hip-Hop culture, its foundations and its uprooting” program and at the Connecticut College with the “Passion fruit Seeds: Focus On Black Excellence” program. They performed the piece “Dance Within Your Dance” in places such as at The Apollo Theater, Summerstage, Harlem Stage, Jacob’s pillow, the New Victory Theater, BAAD!, LOHH, Joe’s Pub, 92Y, Musikfest and abroad (in Canada at the M.A.I (MTL) and in Switzerland at the “Outside” festival (Neuchatel). They performed the piece “Trapped” at the Bridge Street Theater, Lincoln Center, and the Guggenheim. Passion Fruit Dance Company was recently featured in The New Yorker magazine (April 2021). Tatiana Desardouin was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 2020 “25 to Watch.”
WOMEN / CREATE!
Celebrating the Innovation of Women in Choreography
Women choreographers have always been innovators of dance, and WOMEN / CREATE! A Festival of Dance celebrates their creativity and vision with its 9th annual New York City season.
New York Live Arts
We acknowledge that New York Live Arts is located on the ancestral homeland of the Lenape people in New York City. We acknowledge and pay respect to the Lenape people and to all Indigenous people past, present and future, here and everywhere. New York Live Arts produces and presents dance, music and theater performances in its 20,000 square-foot home, including a 184-seat theater and two 1,200 square-foot studios. New York Live Arts offers an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people; it supports the continuing professional development of performing artists. New York Live Arts serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; it is the company’s sole producer, providing support and the environment to originate innovative and challenging new work for the Company and New York’s creative community.