Meet The Choreographers – Courtney Ramm

HATCH - Courtney Ramm

Ramm Dance presents “Logan’s Way”

Each Fall Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present a work in progress as part of the HATCH presenting series.  Artistic Director of Ramm Dance, Courtney Ramm presents “Logan’s Way” to HATCH audiences this November 23rd at The Works studio in Chelsea.

“Logan’s Way” is a new dance piece inspired by my younger brother, Logan, who is autistic.  Logan’s way explores the highly contrasting worlds that Logan lives in.  He is physically living on the Earth, but mentally and spiritually he is oftentimes on another dimension.  It is a piece of transformation, as he guides his family members to living with greater compassion and understanding.

Read on to learn more about Courtney’s dance background and her interest in presenting a work in progress as part of the HATCH choreography series.  Meet Courtney after the performances during the Q & A following the HATCH performances and learn more about her inspiration in creating “Logan’s Way” and how it felt to dance the piece with her family.  

Choreographer’s Questions:  

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

It is very helpful to present a work in progress for several reasons. It gives the audience a taste of the work, so they know if they want to come back and see the full version. It helps the choreographer know how the work is received- whether or not the audience understood it, enjoyed it, etc. The choreographer then can make changes if necessary to help get the message of piece clearly across. It benefits the performers by giving them an opportunity to show what they’ve worked on with less pressure, since there is still time for improvement.

Who are your favorite people to work with?

I enjoy working with people who are open to trying new things and to being pushed as dancers. I am interested in working with people who are committed to and passionate about dance, who are able to focus and be fully mentally present during our time together in the studio. In this piece, I am working with 2 family members (plus one other dancer)- my sister is a singer/dancer and my mother is a actress/dancer. They are great to work with and it’s a very supportive and professional environment.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

It is important that I present this piece to audiences in NYC because of the deep inherent meaning of the piece. Living in NYC, we are exposed to people of all kinds, and Logan’s Way goes into the isolated world of someone with a “mental disability” and brings light to his experience.

What should Hatch audiences look forward to with your presentation of dance?

A combination of dancing, acting, and singing. A new perspective on what it means to be different. A look inside of Logan’s world as an autistic boy in a family that wants to do all they can to support him. A deep, emotional, yet uplifting piece.

About the Artists

HATCH - Courtney Ramm 2

Courtney Ramm was born and raised in NYC, where she began dancing at the age of 2! She began her professional ballet training at the School of American Ballet, and supplemented her training at Ballet Academy East, LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, Miami City Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Chautauqua Institution, and more.

Courtney graduated from Indiana University with Highest Distinction, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance and Kinesiology. Courtney has a strong love for choreographing, and had her choreographic debut when she was 16 years old at the City Center Studios. Since then, she has shown her choreography at many venues in NYC including Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Alvin Ailey Citicorp Theater, and the Hatch. In 2006, Courtney received the Faculty Choreography Award from Chautauqua Institution for her piece “Gigue for 6” set to Bach’s English Suite #5.

Most recently, Courtney had her original choreography performed in Singapore at the Raffles Hotel, Alliance Francaise Theater, and the Singapore American School. She is very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to premiere “Logan’s Way” at the Hatch!  Check out the RammDance website.

HATCH - Bita Bell

Bita Bell:  At the age of 15, Bita Bell left Tehran alone on a full scholarship to study at the United World College of Hong Kong. She became both a Theatre and Visual Arts student. Studying Theatre exposed her to a wide variety of techniques and styles such as Stanislavsky, Commedia Dell’Arte, and Theatre of the Oppressed.

Though her training in Dance has been brief, she has performed styles in Contemporary, Jazz, Salsa, Argentine Tango, and many other cultural dances. Bita devised, choreographed and directed a DanceTheare show called ‘Skin And Bones’ for her Independent Project Theatre. ‘Skin and Bones’ was based on her struggles living in Iran in 2009, followed by her departure and separation from her mother until 2012.

The performance was reviewed in Jewish Times Asia and upon graduation led her to win the Student’s Arts Award. She received the Shelby Davis scholarship to attend Earlham College, however she is in the process of transferring to pursue a Dance degree. She is currently residing at the NYArts Program and is interning with the Joffrey Ballet School, Sally Silvers, ACB Dance Company and Gallim Dance Company.

HATCH - Leandra Ramm

Leandra Ramm is a versatile singer and actress with an “extraordinary voice” (Anderson Cooper). Leandra has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, La MaMa, and 59E59 Theaters among other venues. In addition to being a lead vocalist on Celebrity Cruises, Leandra has performed with numerous theater and opera companies throughout the world. Her favorite roles performed include: The Full Monty (Estelle) at The Media Theatre, Iolanthe (Leila) at The Buxton Opera House (UK), Mario and The Magician (Silvestra) with Center for Contemporary Opera, Man of la Mancha (Antonia) with Diablo Theater Company and The Endless Road by Kurt Weill (soloist) with The American Symphony Orchestra.

In addition Leandra has made many television appearances, with a TV episode about her life airing on The Discovery Channel in 2014. Leandra has also released many albums, all available on itunes, amazon and http://www.cdbaby.com. Leandra is also the co-author of her own book, “Stalking A Diva”. For more information, please visit www.LeandraRamm.com.

Duncan

Adrienne Ramm, composer/pianist, has always felt that the merging of music and dance expresses her creative spirit. She trained and performed since childhood in the Isadora Duncan dance repertory/tech-nique which has inspired her spontaneous musical style. As a pianist she has worked with many dance companies, dance schools, and educational institutions including the Mark Morris Dance Group, Harkness Dance Center, Long Island University, Dance New Amsterdam, Joffrey Ballet School among many others.

She has performed her original piano compositions which have been choreographed by dance companies and presented in New York at The Riverside Church Dance Festival, Joyce Soho, Symphony Space, Old Westbury Gardens, Tilles Art Center, 92Y Harkness Dance Center, St. Marks Church as well as several programs in Europe.

The current CD of her original piano music, “Reminiscence Isadora: Songs of the Dancing Muse” is the embodiment of the merging of music and dance.

Come out to see RammDance perform at HATCH

HATCH Blog 11.23BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15
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Meet the Choreographers – Leslie Frye Maietta

HATCH - Leslie Frye Maietta 1Leslie Frye Maeitta presents “re- | Dream With Me”

Join us for the last HATCH program of 2013.  Come and meet some fabulous choreographers and see their work in progress.

Each year Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present work as part of the HATCH presenting series.  We are pleased to have choreographer, Leslie Frye Maeitta present her solo performance at The Works studio this November.

Her choreographic piece, entitled “re – | Dream With Me” explores re-shaping and re-imagining each moment allowing for possibility to unfold.  It’s a solo work that began with a personal exploration of spirals in architecture and the spiral’s ability to reference or reflect internal space.  Leslie examines her own body’s spiraling through a journey of becoming, reflecting both a past and a journey to the future self.

See Leslie’s solo performance of “re – | Dream With Me” on Saturday, November 23rd. Read on to learn more about Leslie’s dance background and her interest in presenting a work in progress as part of the HATCH choreography series.  Meet Leslie during the Q & A following the HATCH performances and learn more about the inspiration behind her work.

HATCH - Leslie Frye Maietta 2

Choreographer’s Questions

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

As a maker, being so inside of your work is both a gift and a struggle.  Sharing my work in process gives me necessary outside perspective to continue diving in. I find making solo work can be particularly lonely at times and it helps to have more eyes, ears, noses and hearts beating in the room. I truly enjoy receiving feedback from diverse audiences with multiple perspectives.

Who are you favorite people to work with?

I like to work with positive, thoughtful, insightful people.  People not afraid to speak their minds and share their perspective. For me it’s important to have something to push against, whether I’m the one creating or facilitating for someone else’s process.  Honesty and humor are important too…

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

There’s an energy that NYC brings to a work and a performance…  It feels like the right time and the right piece for me to share right now.

What should HATCH look forward to with your presentation?

I think simply, HATCH can look forward to my dynamic performance and exploration of the moving body in this solo work. More layered, HATCH audiences can join me on a journey. One that begins dramatically – fan blowing, long skirt flowing, staring into a utopian horizon, truly seeing and being seen inside the imagining of the future as I wear my history on my skin.  I invite you to dream with me. Imagine with me. Join me on a journey of becoming.

Dance Background

HATCH - Leslie Frye Maietta 4

Leslie Frye Maietta is a dynamic performer, passionate educator and curious maker of art.  She was born in Staten Island, NY, moved to New Jersey at a young age, and did most of her early dance training in both New York City and New Jersey.  With a fire, some naivety, and an open mind, Leslie went on to study as a Dance major at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA honored with The Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance Award.

As a freelance artist Leslie has worked with Brain Sanders, George Faison, Mia Michaels, Daniel Gwirtzman, Mary Cochran, Adele Myers, Katie Stevinson-Nollet and Jennifer Polins to name a few.  Her versatility as a performer has allowed her to work in a variety of genres of dance and theatre and has most recently lead her to finishing her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from the Hollins University/American Dance Festival program.

HATCH - Leslie Frye Maietta 7

This past November Leslie was able to travel to the Forsythe Company Studio in Frankfurt and to Berlin Germany as a part of her graduate research studying with some of the most progressive choreographers, scholars and performers in the field including; Christopher Roman, Sasha Waltz, Xavier LeRoy, Adrien Heathfield, Kristen Hjort Inao and Matteo Fargion.

Her solo research continues to expand, recently premiering a dance film titled, Talking to the Falx at Mobius experimental Film Festival in Boston, and her thesis work was presented this past summer at The American Dance Festival in Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theatre.

Leslie currently resides in Connecticut, and is on faculty at The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and adjunct faculty at the University of Hartford, Hartt School Community Division.  She also collaborates with Scapegoat Garden, a Hartford based dance collective.

Check out Leslie’s website and follow her on Facebook.

Come out to see Leslie Frye Maietta perform at HATCH

HATCH Blog 11.23     

      BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15

Meet The Choreographers – Natalie N. Johnson

HATCH - Natalie Johnson - Nov 23rd - Dance Photo 2

Natalie N. Johnson presents “Shade” and “These Three Remain” at HATCH

Each Fall Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present a work in progress as part of the HATCH presenting series.  Choreographer, Natalie N. Johnson presents two of her latest works to HATCH audiences this November 23rd at The Works studio in Chelsea.

Her first choreographic piece, entitled “Shade” is a duet which tows the relational lines between sisterly intimacy and the disinterest of strangers. Each in an apparent personal struggle, the dancers fight against themselves, and at times, each other in their own attempts to grasp at the unattainable. The motif of shade, light, reaching and being blocked, guides the somber but dynamic movements. Intricate arm work draws attention to gesture and human experience, while leg extensions, sharp turns and dramatic arches elevate the dance’s other reality. Striking slaps contrast luxurious develops; a slow caress of the face is battled by a jerk of the head. Overall, “Shade” reflects strangers unconscious of their shared struggle, moments of solidarity, a cause and effect relationship, and concludes with ambiguity as to where these two lost souls will arrive on their journey of reaching and blocking.

Natalie’s second piece, entitled “These Three Remain” is the product of a deep exploration of what it means to be literal and emotional support for another person, as well as how to accept support in return.  One person’s journey, seemingly ending in defeat, is uplifted, complicated, and redeemed by the presence and relationship with another.  Illuminating balance, codependency, weakness and strength, this piece is intimate and honest.  the movement reflects vulnerability and nuance; entwined limbs untangle to reveal shape and clarity, and sharp movements of unison erupt from complex interactions.  Deeply personal gestures are made, repeated, and broken by falls, lifts, urgent running, and expansive shapes.  Dynamic, serious, and hopeful, “These Three Remain” premiered with great success at Bowdoin College, was invited to be performed at the F.A.B. Dance Concert in Lewiston ME, and was selected for the student choreography showcase at the American Dance Festival.

Read on to learn more about Natalie’s dance background and her interest in presenting a work in progress as part of the HATCH choreography series.  Discover more about the inspiration behind her work during the Q & A following the HATCH performances, and join the conversation about seeing live dance up close and personal.

HATCH - Natalie Johnson - Nov 23rd - Dance Photo 1

Choreographer’s Questions

Why it it helpful to present a work in progress?

Performance is important to me because it helps me realize what I’m trying to express with the piece. With an audience, my desire for communication and connection is heightened. My understanding of the work increases when the energy and reception from the audience at different moments of the piece.

Who are your favorite people to work with?

Independent thinkers, with an artistic voice of their own and an unquenchable thirst for expression. I love working with dancers who are involved in other mediums of art: music, painting, photography, theater, etc. That brings a desirable dimensionality to our creative process.

Why is it important for you to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

I believe New Yorkers are unique in how they appreciate and gravitate towards art; I look forward to showing my work to open, interested, and opinionated people. 

What should HATCH audiences look forward to with your presentation of dance?

Honesty, vulnerability, and a strong sense of character development without theatrical elements. Intricacy trumps virtuosity, and challenges the audience to look closer.

Learn More About The Dancers 

HATCH - Natalie Johnson - Nov 23rd

Natalie N. Johnson began dancing at Mountain Valley Dance in Alamosa, CO. She continued her dance education at the collegiate level at the American Dance Festival, The Boston Conservatory, and at Bowdoin College, where she received her BA in English with a Dance minor. Natalie received several prestigious artistic fellowships while at Bowdoin, and was honored with the Dance Group Award upon graduation. 

Natalie has choreographed, directed, and performed in her own evening-length production, AGEN, which premiered at Bowdoin College. Excerpts of AGEN  have  been selected and invited to perform at the Franco-American/Bates (FAB) Dance Concert, American College Dance Festival New England, American Dance Festival, and at the River Arts gallery in Damarascotta, ME.

Natalie has performed works by William Forsythe, and been a part of the creation of original repertories  with current master choreographers Charlotte Griffin, Gwyneth Jones, and Alberto del Saz. Natalie also trained intensively for one summer in Flamenco with instructor Miel Castana. Currently, Natalie is a full-time dance student earning her Certificate from the Peridance Capezio Center, in the Ballet/Contemporary Track.  Check out Natalie’s website.

HATCH - Adi Eytan

Adi Eytan has recently moved to New York from Israel, where she grew up. There, she danced in the Dede-dance Program, and in the Vertigo Dance Company Program, while serving in the army. For the last year, Adi was an apprentice in Kolben Dance Company, in Jerusalem. She is currently in her first semester at the Peridance Capezio Center Certificate Program, in the Ballet/Contemporary Track.

Come out to HATCH to see Natalie and Adi perform “Shade” and “These Three Remain”

HATCH Blog 11.23      BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30 pm
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm
  • Tickets $15

Meet The Choreographers – Katie Swords

HATCH - K Swords Thurman 2Katie Swords presents “How Easy I Am Not”

Each Fall Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present a work in progress as part of the HATCH presenting series.  Choreographer, Katie Swords joins us to present her latest piece “How Easy I Am Not” to HATCH audiences this November 23rd at The Works studio in Chelsea.

“How Easy I am Not” examines the physicality and frustrations of being stuck within a stagnant relationship.  A circular whilrpool of life begins to surround and consume, licking at the heals of the unknowing couple who are lost in the path they have created for themselves and unwilling or unready to seek escape.

Read on to learn more about Katie’s background and her interest in presenting a work in progress as part of the HATCH choreography series.  Meet Katie during the Q & A following the HATCH performances and learn more about her inspiration in creating “How Easy I Am Not”.

HATCH - K Swords Thurman 1

Katie Swords Shares her Thoughts on Choreography

Why it it helpful to present a work in progress?

To get feedback and thoughts along the way

Who are your favorite people to work with?

Kind trustful people who are enthusiastic to try anything

Why is it important for you to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

To see the reactions during and after the piece.  The reactions of a NYC audience are very telling and extremely helpful to me.  What is interesting? Do any images in the choreography leave a lasting impression? These reactions and experiences can help me continue to research and hone my ideas and keep developing my process.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to with your presentation of dance?

Being a part of an intimate setting, supporting and watching two phenomenal dancers showing a sense of humor, love, and vulnerability.

HATCH - Katie Swords head shot

Katie Swords, originally from Gastonia, NC, is a New York City based dance artist.  Katie’s choreography has been shown at theatrical venues and universities in New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and abroad in Mexico, Ireland, Austria, and France. A performer with, and co-founder of, the NYC-based VIA Dance Collaborative, she has had the pleasure of working with several talented choreographers including Daniel Charon, Satoshi Haga, Elizabeth Sargent, Helen Simoneau, and Adrienne Westwood.

Images of Swords made by the noted dance photographer Lois Greenfield were featured in the 2007 December issue of “Shutterbug Magazine.” Katie has taught at Performatica (Cholula, Mexico), the American Dance Festival (Durham, NC), the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), the nEW Festival (Philadelphia), Renaissance Arts Academy (Los Angeles), and in Dance New Amsterdam’s Modern Guest Artist Series.

She currently teaches Modern Dance technique at The University of the Arts (Philadelphia). Katie received her B.F.A. degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and her M.F.A. from Hollins University/The American Dance Festival under the tutelage of Donna Faye Burchfield.  Check out Katie Swords website here.

HATCH - Marc Crousillat
Marc Crousillat is a dancer based in New York City. He recently graduated from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia (B.F.A.), and has performed works by Sidra Bell, William Forsythe, Jesse Zaritt, Nicholas Leichter, Merce Cunningham, Curt Haworth, and Iris Bouche among others.
Throughout the past year Marc has traveled to Vienna and Paris to continue his studies of the Forsythe modalities at Konservatorium Wien and Centre National de la Danse, to Brussels for the P.A.R.T.S. Final Selection, and to Venice to perform a work by Alessandro Sciarroni at La Biennale di Venezia. Marc is currently focused on creating work with his collaborators, Amanda Kmett’Pendry and Stephanie Crousillat, teaching, and dancing in works by Katie Swords and Netta Yerushalmy.
HATCH - Amanda Kmett'Pendry
Amanda Kmett’ Pendry, originally from Owings, Maryland, is a New York City based dance artist. Dancing since forever, she recently received her B.F.A. from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  Excited to explore her interests in performance, Amanda is currently concentrating on creating work with collaborator Marc Crousillat and dancing the works of Katie Swords, Teddy Tedholm and Netta Yerushalmy.

Come out to see “How Easy I am Not” at HATCH.

HATCH Blog 11.23      BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15

Meet the Choreographers – Gaspard Louis

© Robin Gallant - Magical Cuisp_lo_res

Gaspard & Dancers present “Magical Cusp”

Each Fall Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present a work in progress as part of the HATCH presenting series.  Choreographer, Gaspard Louis presents his latest piece “Magical Cusp” to HATCH audiences at The Works studio in New York City on November 23rd.

“Magical Cusp” explores the relationship between two powerful partners; at time combative, cooperative and ever dependent.  The strength and passion of these two individuals are beautifully displayed through their physical prowess and suppleness in equal measure.  Read on to learn more about Gaspard’s dance background and his interest in presenting a work in progress as part of the HATCH choreography series.  Join the Q & A following the HATCH performances and learn more about his inspiration in creating “Magical Cusp”.  

© Robin Gallant-

Gaspard & Dancers. Photo by Robin Gallant.

Gaspard Louis Shares his Thoughts on Choreography 

Why is it important to present a work in progress?  

Feedback on my work is critical; I believe no piece of choreography is ever truly finished or complete and we must be open to the idea of change. There are always ways to improve upon a work, and presenting this duet at HATCH will hopefully allow it to develop further.

Who are your favorite people to work with?  

When selecting dancers, I seek out individuals whose personalities are compatible with my own. Given the nature of my choreographic style, I tend to give the dancers leeway to allow them to discover who they are through collaboration.  I gravitate to mature, creative personalities who take direction well, are easygoing, and who can work easily and fruitfully with the rest of the group.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in New York City?  

This duet has been well-received by audiences across North Carolina, and we want to share this piece with a wider audience. Performing this in NYC is important to the growth of our company; every new audience presents an opportunity for constructive feedback for developing the work.

Gaspard_20131018

Gaspard & Dancers. Photo by Robin Gallant.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to with your presentation of “Magical Cusp”?

I do believe it’s a powerful duet which displays the power and passion of two strong individuals, who in essence become one as they go about their journey.

Audiences should look forward to seeing this powerful and intimate work up-close in the studio setting.  I also hope that NYC audiences might be interested in viewing work that is being created in Durham—a hub of modern dance in North Carolina.

HATCH - Robin Gallant Gaspard

Gaspard Louis – Founder/Artistic director, was born and raised in Haiti. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Montclair State University and continued his dance studies on scholarship at Gus Giordano’s in Chicago and Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab in New York.  He performed and traveled worldwide with Pilobolus Dance Theater and collaborated on the choreography of nine major dance works with the company, as well as teaching master dance classes both nationally and internationally.

Gaspard has choreographed for the University of Kentucky Dance Ensemble and collaborated on four successful works for FreeSpace Dance Company in New Jersey. He formed Gaspard & Dancers in 2009, after moving to Durham with his family from Manhattan.

Gaspard has received a Master’s degree in dance from the ADF/Hollins University MFA program and is currently directing The American Dance Festival (ADF) year-round creative movement outreach program, which offers free dance classes to youth in the community. He believes every kid should have an opportunity to be exposed to the arts.  Check out Gaspard & Dancers website and follow them on Facebook.

HATCH - William CommanderWilliam Commander is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer based in the Triangle region in North Carolina. Originally from the Southern New Jersey town of Millville, he is a 2011 graduate of Elon University, where he earned his BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. William believes strongly in artistic collaboration, and is constantly striving to improve those around him as much as himself.  William has performed in the works of Gaspard Louis, Renay Aumiller, Lauren Kearns, Jon Lehrer, Adrienne Clancy, Killian Manning, Sara Tourek, and Michelle Micca.

HATCH - Amanda Beaty

Amanda Beaty is a founding member of Gaspard & Dancers and has been the company’s rehearsal director since 2012. In addition to her work with G & D, she has performed in works by Jane Comfort and Mark Dendy, and with NC-based choreographers Renay Aumiller, Lauren Kearns, and Eleanor Smith.

A student of science as well as movement, Amanda studied biology and dance at UNC-Greensboro and holds a Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia.

Come out to see Gaspard & Dancers perform “Magical Cusp”

HATCH Blog 11.23BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15

Meet the Choreographers – Michelle Lynch

HATCH - Michelle Lynch 2Michelle Lynch presents “Blank for Good”

Each Fall Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present a work in progress as part of the HATCH presenting series.  Michelle Lynch has been part of The Works family for years, and we are thrilled to have one of our favorite dancers present her latest piece to HATCH audiences this Fall.

See Michelle’s solo performance of “Blank for Good” on Saturday, November 23rd.  “Blank For Good” focuses on the importance of recognizing the drastic changes within a person over time.  It particular, it explores the idea that we, as humans, are constantly striving to improve ourselves, but often do not realize the strides or setbacks we may have made.

Read on to learn more about Michelle’s background and her interest in presenting a work in progress as part of the HATCH choreography series.  Meet Michelle during the Q & A following the HATCH performances and learn more about her inspiration in creating “Blank for Good”

HATCH - Michelle Lynch 3Choreographer Questions:

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

It is easy as a young choreographer to get lost in a head full of movement and ideas, and to lose perspective of the piece as a whole.  I never feel like a piece is “done.”  Rather, I constantly want to tweak and change things.

By presenting something that we openly describe as a work in progress, we can look at it as a whole and take a step back much earlier in the process to see it in a fresh way.  It will be a more raw and honest experience for the audience as well.

Who are your favorite people to work with?

I appreciate people who are willing to work on a piece within the choreographer’s framework, but add their own personality and interpretation. Choreography is one person’s interpretation of an idea, but a dancer adds his or her own experiences and emotions. I often end up changing choreography based on these personalities and strengths– which I love.

HATCH - Michelle Lynch 4Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

There is so much work being presented in New York, and I have spent a lot of time soaking it in. I want to start contributing!

What should HATCH audiences look forward to with your presentation of dance?

HATCH is a special series to me; the Works studio has become my New York dance home away from home, but I have never presented my own work here! I love the space and the environment of the shows, so audiences should look forward to a work created with this particular space and audience in mind. This particular piece will be relatable in subject matter, and conscious of the intimacy of the studio space.

HATCH - Michelle LynchMichelle’s Dance Background

Michelle Lynch was born and raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico where she studied dance with Susan Baker-Dillingham of New Mexico Dance Theater.  She graduated in the spring of 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  During her time at UCSB she choreographed It’s Not Your Head, It’s Me and co-produced an honors project, Roots.

As a member of the UCSB Student Dance Company, Michelle had the opportunity to perform works by Nancy Colahan, Valerie Huston, Mira Kingsley, and Jennifer Muller’s pivotal work Speeds.  She also received the Patricia Sparrow Scholarship and the Tonia Shimin Award for Excellence and Promise in the Field of Dance.  After graduating, Michelle became a member of Santa Barbara’s Nebula Dance Lab, under the direction of Devyn Duex, who she continued to perform with for two seasons.  Michelle currently lives in New York, where she creates her own work, is a scholarship student at Jennifer Muller/The Works, and where she has rehearsed with the company.

Come out to see Michelle Lynch dance at HATCH on November 23rd.

HATCH Blog 11.23

BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15

Meet the Choreographers – Mandy Torres Dance Company

Mandy Torres Dance Company performing "Fragments"Mandy Torres Dance Company presents “Fragments”

Each Fall, Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present works in progress as part of the HATCH Series.  On November 9th, Artistic Director, Mandy Torres presents a dance number entitled “Fragments” to HATCH audiences at The Works studio in Chelsea.

“Fragments” explores the use of movement to express the difficulty in having honest relationships. Dancers in grouping symbolize the dynamic nature of relationships.  Movement ebbs and flows from powerful to delicate.  At the end, the calmness and caring nature of the dancers gives hope that we can all work through our troubles and move forward.  We wanted to discover more about Mandy’s approach to choreography, and her thoughts on presenting a work in progress to HATCH audiences.  Meet Mandy during the Q & A following the HATCH performances and learn more about her inspiration in creating “Fragments”.

Mandy Torres Dance Company performing "Fragments"

Mandy Torres Dance Company performing “Fragments”

Mandy’s Thoughts on Choreography

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

Choreography in my mind always has room to grow and improve.  Presenting a work in progress, or even a work you consider “done” is helpful to receive feedback.  This feedback can help get a better idea on how people feel when they watch your work, who are not so close to it as you are, so can be more objective.  This feedback can help give better insight than you ever thought on what your piece portrays to an audience, and that can help you develop a deeper more meaningful experience going forward.

Who are your favorite people to work with?

I have some great friends who have such a great attitudes about life and dance, and therefore bring a bucket full of positivity into rehearsals to work hard.  I always think it is reciprocal though.  I treat them well, they treat me well, and we all get along happily.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

I have always choreographed, and tried to show my work in the past, but I am seriously starting my dance company now and showing audiences in NYC is important for many reasons.  First, they are my audience, not only that one night, but hopefully for more in the future.  I want to create a name for myself, and showing more often to an audience you live and work in, is important in doing that.  You also meet other artists, and I find it leads to collaborations, and dance relationships that can last a long time.  Last, my mission is to bring entertaining modern dance to any audience member, and so the more I can show, the more I hope I bring a love of modern dance to more and more people.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to with your presentation?

They should expect to see an energetic and fun modern dance piece that will leave them feeling good about being able to just sit back and enjoy athletic movement and great use of space.

Mandy Torres Dance Company performing "Fragments"

Mandy Torres Dance Company performing “Fragments”

Learn More About Mandy Torres Dance Company

HATCH - Mandy TorresMandy Torres is a graduate from Shenandoah University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance in 2003 and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance in 2007. When she moved to New York City in 2007, she began her performing career.  Mandy danced with companies, Mad About Dance, Ekilibre Dance Company, Boink and DoubleTake Dance Company, as well as with various choreographers such as Allison Ploor, Nicole Durfee, and Rebecca Davis.

In 2008, she began exploring her choregraphic talents by having her pieces shown across the city at such venues as Dance New Amsterdam, Bronx Community College, Peridance, and the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.

She has continued through the past 5 years to perform and show work yearly, but has made a commitment to establish her company in 2013 to fully pursue her choreographic dream after much regard for her work ignited her vision for to make a modern dance company that performs work enjoyable for any audience.

HATCH - Holly M. HendricksHolly M. Hendricks hails from Orange County, California. She has her BFA in Dance Performance from The Ohio State University. Since living in New York City, she has danced with the Underground Dance Project, ModArts Dance Collective, Boink Dance,  Amy Marshall Dance Company and is a principal dancer with Vissi Dance Theater.

She has had the opportunity to perform extensively across the US as well as abroad in both Italy and Japan! Along with dancing, Holly is a fitness enthusiast and instructor at Physique 57. She is thrilled to be performing with Mandy Torres Dance Company.

HATCH - Adrianna DoughertyAdrianna Dougherty, a native of San Jose, CA, earned her BFA in dance at The Boston Conservatory in 2009. At the Conservatory, Ms. Dougherty performed in classical works by Martha Graham, Jose Limon; as well as original works by Luis Fuente and Gianni Di Marco. Adrianna was awarded both the prestigious Ruth Ambrose and Jan Veen Scholarships from the Conservatory.

In the summer of 2009 she worked with Kazuko Hirabayashi, as part of the Dance New York International program in Burgos, Spain. In New York City she has performed with Naganuma Dance, Mandy Torres Dance Company as well her own company Xt Danscollective.

HATCH - Nov 9thFollow Mandy Torres Dance Company on Facebook.

Come out to see Mandy Torres Dance Company at The Works Studio in Chelsea this November 9th.

  • BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15

Meet the Choreographers – Violeta Tellez

HATCH - Violeta Tellez 3Violeta Tellez presents “La Santa”

Each Fall, Jennifer Muller / The Works invites choreographers to present a work in progress as part of the HATCH presenting series.  We are thrilled to welcome Violeta Tellez, as one of the choreographer’s performing on November 9th.  Violeta will perform a solo entitled “La Santa” to HATCH audiences at The Works studio in Chelsea.  “La Santa” is a story about feeling hopeless and ways to overcome it.   Hopelessness can only stay with you as long as you decide to let it, so in order to get rid of it, you have to do something about it.  This can include being ready to discover how to turn everything around and being ready to discover your inner monsters, that at the same time take care of you.

Learn more about Violeta’s approach to choreography, and her thoughts on presenting a work in progress to HATCH audiences.  Meet Violeta during the Q & A following the HATCH performances on November 9th, and learn more about her inspiration in creating “La Santa”.

HATCH - Violeta TellezI have been training with Jennifer Muller since I arrived to NYC.  Her work helps me a lot to know my body, in class she underlines the need of imagining, she says “The more you imagine the better you will dance” She takes away the physical work of dance, and takes it all to a level of  images in your mind, and also working very hard but you are so busy in your head that you suddenly you lift your leg higher that you thought you could, because this way of thinking takes away the tension from your muscles.  She has inspired me to imagine every situation I’m in and take dance to everyday day life.

Violeta is from Mexico City where she started her dance training in 1998.  She performed with DCU UNAM in 2002 Mexico City,  “Mujeres en la Danza” International Dance Festival in Quito, Ecuador in 2006 and in 2011 with KiDanza in Mexico City.  She move to NYC in 2008 and she has performed: for a podcast “People” with Flexicurve in 2008; Nu Dance Theater for the Site Specific “Hinterland” in 2009; Mario Bermudez Gil in the WestFest site specific 2011; Carmen Caceres in the Dance Parade and at CPR 2012.  Violeta has been part of Sleepdance since 2009, dancing in an ongoing series of shows that happen every first Saturday of the month in Williamsburg called Studio Air, directed by Stephanie Sleeper.  In 2010 Violeta choreographed and performed two solos: Tiny Noises and Move on, this year 2013 she participated in 60secondsdanse, with her video: Ride the Weight Fall into Place.

Before coming to NYC, Violeta was a dance instructor and she received a government grant.  Violeta trains in a regular basis with Jennifer Muller The Works Company class, and practices Yoga, Swiming and looks for different dance classes along the way. One of her favorite classes has been Flying low with David Zambrano.

Presenting at HATCH

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?
It is very useful as a choreographer to feel the reaction of an audience to your work.
Who are your favorite people to work with?
I like to work with people that have an idea of what they want and are not attached to a specific result, that is what gives space to creativity.
Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?
Because audiences in NYC are open to new ideas and there are these spaces like Hatch that allow artists to have to chance to get in touch with a real audience.
What should HATCH audiences look forward  to your presentation?
Just watch and let their mind go to where ever their senses take them.

Come out to see Violeta Tellez dance at HATCH  this November 9th.

  • BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15

Meet the Choreographers – Danielle Coleman

HATCH - Danielle Coleman dance photoDanielle Coleman presents “Tides”

Each Fall HATCH welcomes choreographers to present a work in progress.  Danielle Coleman presents a piece entitled “Tides” to HATCH audiences at The Works studio on November 9th.  “Tides” is about the overall theme of cycling through life.  Coleman chose to work with a duet to help her stay focused on the movement invention versus exploring spatial elements with a larger group.

We wanted to discover more about Danielle’s approach to choreography, and her thoughts on presenting a work in progress to HATCH audiences.  Meet Danielle during the Q & A following the HATCH performances and learn more about her inspiration in creating “Tides”.

Danielle’s Thoughts on Choreography

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

Presenting a work in progress is a privilege that a lot of artists unfortunately do not get to experience as often. Inviting audiences into an unfinished piece of mine allows me to see past my own box. It gives me the opportunity to recognize the potential growth in my work. The open dialogue the Hatch series provides enables me to engage more personally with the audience and their reception of my piece.

Who are your favorite people to work with?

When creating a piece I am attracted to dancers that challenge my natural way of moving. I love taking into consideration someone’s personal strengths, quirks, and qualities. When a dancer trusts their body and personal perspective it enriches the collaborative aspect of my work and inspires me to explore outside of my comfort zone.

Why is it important to present this choreography to audiences in New York City?

I feel excited to present this choreography and to contribute another perspective to the community of New York City. New York is known as the “melting pot” and the Hatch Series allows that diversity to be celebrated through the art of dance.

What should Hatch audiences look forward to with your piece?

I went into the rehearsal space unsure of what I wanted to produce, with no definite concept, idea, or movement scheme. In the moment, I forced myself to rid of my personal judgments, allowing the process to triumph over the end product. Hatch audiences can look forward to a piece that plays around with a smooth quality of movement and investigates the relationship between two bodies in space.

Meet the Choreographer and Dancers

HATCH - Danielle ColemanDanielle Coleman is originally from Paramus, New Jersey and began dancing at a young age training in both commercial and concert styles. She is a recent graduate from Marymount Manhattan College where she graduated cum laude and received her BFA in Dance. During her time there she had the privilege of performing works by renown choreographers including: Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Chase Brock, and Cherice Barton.

Currently, Danielle is a member of Marinda Davis’s company “Marinspired, the Storytellers” and has performed at various venues with the company all over New York City. Danielle recently performed in a show entitled, “Working America”, produced by Lance and Danielle Guillermo in Baltimore, Maryland. She is thrilled and grateful to present her first work at the Hatch Works Series. A big thank you to the dancers for bringing this work to life.

HATCH - Brittany Cochran_headshotBrittany Cochran is originally from Virginia Beach, VA and is currently in her senior year as a BFA dance major at Marymount Manhattan College.  Brittany just returned from a semester abroad in Paris where she was able to study and dance. She has performed work by Travis Wall at The Joyce Theater and Hudson Theatre in New York City.  During her time at Marymount, she has worked with choreographers such as Jessica Lang, Pedro Ruiz, Anthony Ferro, Elena Comendador, Anthony Morigerato, and Tami Stronach.

HATCH - Sydney Lotuaco_headshotSydney Lotuaco was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. She began her training at Denise Wall’s Dance Energy under the direction of Denise Wall Womble, Vicky Cooke, and Aimee Long. During her time there she worked directly with choreographers such as Travis Wall, Jason Parsons, Tara Foy, Danny Tidwell, Teddy Forance, and Chloe Arnold. Sydney also had the pleasure of performing at the Joyce theater while studying at Denise Wall’s in a piece for “DRA’s Dancing Downtown at the Joyce Theater”, choreographed by Travis Wall.

She is currently in her senior year at Marymount Manhattan College and will earn her undergraduate degree as a BFA dance major in the Spring of 2014. She has had the pleasure of performing works by choreographers such as Peggy Spina, Jessica Lang of Jessica Lang Dance, Nancy Lushington, Tammy Stronach, Cherice Barton, as well as performing repertoire of the late Alwin Nikolais, set by Alberto ‘Tito’ Del Saz and Peter Kyle.

She danced in four nationwide Liberty Tax commercials, one of which was along side American Idol singer Chris Richardson. Sydney was featured in the Sean Slaughter Music Video “Who We Are” and modeled dancewear in the 2012 July issue of Dance Spirit Magazine. Sydney is also a dancer for Billy Bell’s Lunge Dance Collective, a project based dance company under the artistic direction of Cedar Lake’s Contemporary Dance Company member, Billy Bell. Recently, Sydney has been given the opportunity to perform five works from the late Alwin Nikolais repertoire, set by Alberto ‘Tito’ Del Saz for a dance festival in Kunming Yunnan China and is very excited to be performing the works this upcoming December.

HATCH - Nov 9th

Come out to see Danielle Coleman and artists dance at The Works Studio in Chelsea this November 9th.

  • BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15

Meet the Choreographers – Angelica Roa

Angelica Roa dancing with Camilo Salazar in "Ankasi"

EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble in “Victimas Invisibles” (Invisible Victims)

Angelica Roa presents “Invisible Victims”

Each Fall Jennifer Muller / The Works welcomes choreographers to present a work in progress as part of the HATCH presenting series.  Angelica Roa, Artistic Director of EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble presents a duet from her work entitled “Invisible Victims” to HATCH audiences on November 9th.

“Invisible Victims” is styled upon ethno-contemporary dance, presents symbols, sensations, and feelings of the invisible victims of the armed conflict in Columbia.  The armed conflict in Colombia left millions of victims; over the 20 years of conflict seventy thousand people were killed.  Most of them did not belong to any armed force, thousands were kidnapped and more than three million were forced to leave their homes.  The reports of the conflict and the reparation policies appear to be the way to remember forgive and repair the damage. These victims should not only be heard, but also felt and commiserated.

EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble looks to inform others to be more sensitive to the pain of our Colombian bothers and sisters, and motivate us to counter the indifference that prevails.  The idea of bringing the memory and consciousness of these facts to the public around the world is an undertaking that this work of Dance Theater endeavors to deliver.

Read on to learn more about EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble and Angelica’s approach to creating her choreography for “Invisible Victims”.  Come out to see the company dance at HATCH and join the Q & A with the choreographers following the showings.

HATCH - Angelica Roa dancingAngelica’s Thoughts on Choreography

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?
For me every piece will always be a work in progress and when you present it and get some feedback you are able to improve it and move forward, it does not mean you have to follow all the advice, but it does mean that you will have different points of view about your work.
Who are your favorite people to work with?
My favorite people to work with are not only dancers with good performance skills, but also actors and actresses that have a good understanding of their bodies, since I believe the movements I choreograph are meaningful and require a strong performance.
Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?
Why NYC? Because modern dance was born here and so was contemporary dance, people here have seen all kinds of proposals about movement since they are submerged in a vibrant and diverse dance community that changes every day, so they not only have an open mind but also a good criteria to talk about an art work. And I am looking forward to hear what they have to say about my work.
What should HATCH look forward to with your presentation?
HATCH should expect to see a dynamic and impactful performance that moves through a wide range of different feelings and sensations. A performance that tells a story and also impact your mind and your heart.

Learn More about EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble

EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble, under the artistic direction of Angelica Roa, here presents symbols, sensations, and feelings of the invisible victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. The choreography itself is rooted in ethno-contemporary style, using folkloric-experimental-Colombian music by Liliana Montes and the Cuarteto Ensemble.  It mixes modern and contemporary dance with the dynamic rhythms of Colombian folklore, creating an exotic mix that allows the public to enjoy, admire and reflect.

HATCH - Angelica RoaANGELICA ROA began her career as a dancer when she was 14 years old as a member of DANTE, an Ethno-experimental dance-theater company located in Bucaramanga, Colombia.  While she developed as a dancer and performer over 9 years at DANTE under Winston Berrio, she also worked as a guest dancer for the Danzart Company under Elioska Cortés, and was a member of the Contemporary Dance Company UIS Cavanillesia under Eileen Bohorquez. She is trained in Modern dance, Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Theater, and Folklore dance.

Ms. Roa won a grant from the Bucaramanga Municipal Institute of Culture & Tourism in 2009, to create the work Víctimas Invisibles, forming her group EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble.  In 2010 she won first place in the performing art category of the national ICETEX (Colombian Inst. of Foreign Studies) Young Talent Competition. The grant she earned from this enabled her to enter the Professional Studies Program of the Jose Limón Dance Foundation, and undertake other studies in New York between September 2010 and July 2011.

Returning to Colombia, she was commissioned to choreograph for the CDANZA Municipal Dance Program (for public high school youths) of Bucaramanga between August and December 2011. In January 2012 she was brought on by the Grupo de Danza Experimental de Bogotá as a soloist. In July 2012, under Ms. Roa´s direction, EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble, won second place in the Contemporary Dance Contest of Bogotá. Returning to New York, in the fall of 2013 Ms. Roa was brought on as an apprentice at the Jennifer Muller Dance Company. Recently, she has been invited to perform her work for Muller´s Hatch Series of performances, and by the Baila Society for their Bailando por Una Causa event.
HATCH - Richard Scandola 2RICHARD SCANDOLA became a dancer and began studying art when he was 18 after realizing that sciences were not his path in life.  He soon began to dance for dance companies in southern France, his birthplace, such as Les Ballets des Alpes Maritimes, Horizons and Corps Accord.  Every dance company had their own particular style: neo-classical, contemporary-jazz, modern-jazz. He also worked in a musical comedy in a cabaret, Swinging Fantasy.  Since moving to New York about 2 years ago, he has attended several different dance programs including Cunningham’s summer intensive, and Limon’s PSP programs, where he discovered a special affinity with this technique and wishes to continue exploring it. Richard’s future plans include keep dancing in New York and join local dance companies. He already worked with Barkin/Selissen Project, Brice Mousset.  Among his interests is photography; he’s currently working on a project involving dance, yoga and the human body.
Follow EtnoContempo Danza on Twitter and Facebook.

Come out to see EtnoContempo Danza Ensamble at HATCH November 9th.

  • BUY TICKETS HERE

  • The Works Studio is located at 131 West 24th Street, 4th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenue), in NYC.
  • Doors at 7:30.
  • Show begins at 8:00 pm.
  • Tickets $15