Meet the Choreographers — Lauren Connolly
This Saturday, The Works will be hosting the latest of the HATCH Series with another great batch of choreographers!
Lauren Connolly will be presenting her works in progress titled “Marred” to HATCH audiences on May 17th. Don’t miss the chance to see one of the last performances of the HATCH spring season!
Keep reading to learn a little bit about why Lauren is so excited to be a part of the HATCH Series at the Works Studio in Chelsea. Have a peek at her amazing dancers. And be sure to stick around after the performance for a Q+A with this weeks artists!
Questions for the Choreographer:
Why is it helpful to present a work in progress? Presenting a work in progress is key to the development of the piece. It is important to sit back and witness the growth of the piece in order to see where to go next. As vulnerable as it is, you need fresh and outside eyes. For me, the most exciting part of hearing an outsider’s opinion about the choices you have made or the overall vision of the piece is when they throw an idea or suggestion into the mix in which you never considered. It is very easy to become lost in the process so to have the ability to hear feedback will push me to reevaluate, redirect or continue the direction of the work.
Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why? Every choreographer wants a virtuosic and technically proficient vessel. I gravitate toward dancers who contribute to the atmosphere. Even if they are not in a section or piece, staying engaged is extremely important and vital to rehearsal. Dancers who ask questions and pay attention to details and the different nuances of the choreography stick out to me – even if it’s the subtly of how you hold your hand, or direction facing, initiation, etc. It’s rewarding to have dancers who embrace the unknown and have trust in the journey of the work as well as within themselves even when gray moments come about. It is refreshing to work with individuals who aren’t afraid of mistakes and embrace the struggle for staying hungry and wanting to constantly go deeper into the movement is important to discovery.
Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC? Having the opportunity to
present work in NYC will exposed my choreography to audiences who I usually do not have access to. Although I have been surrounded by other dancers and choreographers, this resource will provide me with awareness to my choreography in which I have not yet experienced.
What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work? I challenge myself as well as the dancers to embrace the unknown. I try to create and break down the barriers of the space by challenging traditional habits and developing new expressions to reinvigorate the collective mindset. I find my work to be detailed and precise but abandon and messy. Although the foundation of my movement tends to be one of a physical and athletic caliber, I am interested in showing the beauty in simplicity as well as the state of being exposed and vulnerable. As a company, we aim to continue to investigate of how dance can instigate effective transformations while changing mental structures and spatial relationships.
Lauren Connolly graduated in 2010 with a BFA in Dance with academic honors from Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is the recipient of the Florence S. Domeshek Award for dedication and creativity in dance and the Dance Express Award for exceptional achievement as a choreographer. In May 2010, she presented her work at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC as part of The National College Dance Festival. She has also shown her work at other various venues throughout the New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey area including New York Live Arts, Dance Teacher Summit, Salvatore Capezio Theater, the Rutgers 2010 Hall of Distinguished Alumni Awards, Your Move, Jersey City’s Modern Dance Showcase, Koresh Artist Showcase and George Street Playhouse. She is a freelance choreographer throughout the New York metro-area as well as curator of the Works in Progress Choreographer’s Residency of coLab Arts and Lustig Dance Theatre in New Brunswick NJ.
Nikki Albert, from Green Township, New Jersey, graduated cum laude from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance, as well as an additional major in Communication. After graduating, Nikki has performed for Samuel Pott, as a company member of Nimbus Danceworks as well as Donna Scro in Freespace Dance. She has also worked with Graham Lustig in the opera Francesca da Rimini and Avianna Perez in Insurgo Stage Project. At Rutgers, Nikki has worked with choreographers Jennifer Muller, Inbal Pinto, Talia Beck, Doug Elkins, John Evans and Jeff Friedman. She was a member of University DanceWorks touring company and the assistant director to Keith Thompson.
Kelli McGovern is a graduate of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with and Ed.M. in Dance Education from the Graduate School of Education and a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is the Director of Dance at the Academy of Fine Arts and Academics at Bayonne High School and is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She has performed at the work of Merce Cunningham, at the Joyce Theatre, Benoit Swan-Pouffer, Manuel Vignoulle, Randy James, Jeff Friedman, and John Evans. Kelli currently dances professionally with Lauren Connolly, Zaman Dance Theatre, and is a freelance dancer for many choreographers throughout the New York metro-area.
Christina Lynch, from Maple Shade, NJ, graduated with her BFA in dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2011. She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Randy James, Walburga Wolfgruber, Xiao-Xiong Zhang and Benoit-Swan Pouffer. While at Mason Gross, Christina performed Lauren Connolly’s work, Vacillation Revisited, at the Kennedy Center as part of the National College Dance Festival as well as Benoit-Swan Pouffer’s work at the Joyce Theater in New York City. After graduating from Rutgers, Christina moved to Denver, Colorado where she worked as an apprentice with Kim Robards Dance Company. Recently, Christina has returned to NJ where she teaches dance and works as a freelance artist throughout the metropolitan area.
Morgan Preston graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and has had the privilege of performing works by Danielle Agami, Merce Cunningham, Randy James, and Beniot-Swan Pouffer. Morgan is also a member of LatticeWorks Dance, and Molly Galbraith & Dancers. She currently teaches dance, tumbling, yoga and choreographs throughout the New York metropolitan area.
HATCH The Presenting Series
Saturday, May 17th, 2014
131 W 24th St. 4th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Doors open at 7:30 , Show begins at 8:00