The 2017 Performing Artists
The 2017 10th anniversary festival features a retrospective of artists from the festival's history - plus one company new to Seattle. Both CHOP SHOP festival performances offer the unique opportunity to sample work by artists drawn from diverse backgrounds and representing unique perspectives on contemporary dance today. The 2017 festival artists are:
- Adam Barruch / Anatomiae Occultii (New York City)
- Alex Ketley / The Foundry (San Francisco)
- Bryn Cohn / Bryn Cohn + Artists (New York City)
- Christina Chan / New Zealand School of Dance (Wellington)
- Donald Sales / Project20 (Vancouver, BC)
- Eva Stone / The Stone Dance Collective (Eastside)
- Joshua Beamish / MOVETHECOMPANY (Vancouver, BC)
- Mark Haim (Seattle)
- Special Guest: Donald Byrd
- Special Guest: Bellingham Repertory Dance (Sunday Only)
at CHOP SHOP 2014 (Photo: Rex Tranter)
Adam Barruch / Anatomiae Occultii (New York City): Anatomiae Occultii is the epithet that encompasses all of the performative and visual/design work of Brooklyn-based artist Adam Barruch. Founded by Adam and co-collaborator Chelsea Bonosky, it strives to produce work that explores the interior landscapes of the human experience. The term Anatomiae Occultii is taken from an occult diagram that maps the human subtle anatomies belonging to various mystical traditions.
Adam Barruch began his career as a young actor, performing professionally on Broadway and in film and television, working with prominent figures such as Tony Bennett, Jerry Herman, and Susan Stroman. He later received dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. After three years, he graduated early and was accepted into the dance department at The Juilliard School. Based in Brooklyn, Adam currently creates and performs work under the epithet of his own company, Anatomiae Occultii. He has also created works for companies such as Ailey II, Keigwin + Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago, BalletX, GroundWorks Dance Theater, and Minnesota Dance Theatre, as well as for dance icons Margie Gillis and Miki Orihara. Adam was the recipient of a 2014 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, and in 2015 was choreographer-in-residence at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, California as part of their annual DANCEworks Residency. Currently an artist-in-residence at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center, Adam is now working on a new physical theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Barruch’s choreography has been featured twice previously at CHOP SHOP, with Belladonna in 2014 and Folie à deux in 2012.
Adam Barruch returns to CHOP SHOP, for the first time under the Anatomiae Occultii name, presenting a world premiere work. (www.anatomiaeoccultii.com) ↑ top
at CHOP SHOP 2015 (Photo: Rex Tranter)
Alex Ketley / The Foundry (San Francisco): The Foundry was created in 1998 and since its inception has pursued a number of projects originating from a variety of creative entry points. Examples of this are traditional stage works, films, gallery installations, and pieces exploring the social implications of performance in the lives of rural Americans. The company is directed by nationally recognized choreographer Alex Ketley. The Foundry first appeared at CHOP SHOP in 2015, performing Ketley’s Poem Triptych.
Alex Ketley is an independent choreographer and the director of The Foundry. His work has received acknowledgement from the Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition, the International Choreographic Competition of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, the National Choo-San Goh Award, the inaugural Princess Grace Award for Choreography, the BNC National Choreographic Competition, three CHIME Fellowships, four Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography residencies, the Gerbode-Hewlett Choreographer Commissioning Award, the National Eben Demarest Award, and the Artistry Award at the Superfest International Disability Film Festival. In addition, he is a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) and is Resident Choreographer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, a school that is deeply invested in students learning and growing through the engagement of contemporary choreography and methodologies.(www.alexketley.com) ↑ top
at CHOP SHOP 2014 (Photo: Rex Tranter)
Bryn Cohn / Bryn Cohn + Artists (New York City): Founded in 2011, Bryn Cohn + Artists is a New York-based contemporary dance company hailed by the Brooklyn Buzz as “groundbreaking, primal, graceful, surreal, and supernatural.” BC+ A has performed in premier venues throughout the country including Danspace Project, Gibney Dance, 92nd Street Y, 14th Street Y, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Boston University Theater, Nazareth College, Dixon Place, The Martha Graham Theater, Judson Memorial Church, Center for Performance Research, Abrons Arts Center, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Salvatore Capezio Theater, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Triskelion Arts, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange among others. BC + A annually collaborates on site-specific immersive experiences with art galleries and fashion organizations including Foley Gallery, Castle Fitzjohns, and Bene Rialto as a means of making dance more accessible within the public sphere. BC + A has received awards and funding including from The Alfred Z Solomon Charitable Trust, SILO Residency through DanceNOW, The Far Space Residency through The Field, and most recently was named Inception to Exhibition’s Fan Favorite and won a fully produced performance. This is Bryn Cohn + Artists second appearance at CHOP SHOP, following their 2014 performance of Cohn’s If you sink.
Described as a “dancemaker who does not shy away from much” (DIY Dancer), Bryn Cohn has been commissioned to create original works for Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Billy Bell’s Lunge Dance Collective, The Big Muddy Dance Company, Grand Valley State University, California State University – Fullerton, The Pushing Progress Contemporary Training Program, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, and The Youth America Grand Prix. She received a full feature profile in Dance Teacher Magazine in July 2016. As a sought out educator and lecturer, Cohn has participated in education engagements at California Institute of the Arts, Gibney Dance, Loyola Marymount University, Velocity Dance Center, Peridance Capezio Center, Nazareth College, California State University – Los Angeles, and Renaissance Arts Academy. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts in dance performance and composition.
Bryn Cohn + Artists present the Seattle premiere of HOME, a journey of dance, original music, and integrated scenic design rooted in the pursuit of physical, emotional, and spiritual connection. The work draws upon traditional stereotypes and reimagined conventions of families to elucidate home through relationships, environments, and the pursuit of self and collective understanding. By examining utopian models of the “picture perfect” family in contrast to stark human realities, the work provides a lens into a universal concept that we can all access to redefine our own notion of what it means to find home. "Bryn Cohn has a brilliant mind...dynamic partnering, stunning moments of visual clarity, a cinematic exploration...Throughout the piece, Cohn takes ideas of the traditional, utopian family and smashes them apart, allowing us to see what lies underneath." – Theo Boguszewski in The Dance Enthusiast
New Zealand School of Dance 2016 (Photo: Stephen A'Court)
Christina Chan / New Zealand School of Dance (Wellington) Established in 1967, and celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) has an international reputation. It is known for producing versatile and employable dancers, skilled in classical ballet and contemporary dance. The School's unique training develops qualities that meet the needs of the dance profession while extending the boundaries of the art form. The architecturally designed, purpose built facilities are located in Wellington, New Zealand. Around eighty gifted young dancers study full-time at the School. In recent years this has included students from around New Zealand, the Asia/Pacific region, and further afield. An impressive faculty of teaching staff, choreographers, and international guest tutors assist students to achieve two or three-year qualifications in dance performance. This is the first CHOP SHOP appearance for the New Zealand School of Dance.
Winner of the Sprouts Choreographic Competition in 2011, Christina Chan trained at the Boston Conservatory where she was awarded the Arthur B Whitney Medal. Chan's journey began with the Singapore Ballet Academy. She then furthered her studies at the New Zealand School of Dance before moving to the U.S., where she graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Dance in 2010. She has since had a busy homecoming as a full-time dancer with Frontier Danceland and working on projects with T.H.E Dance Co and the Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT). Chan admits that her creative process is different with each new piece, “I find myself breaking my own creative patterns quite accidentally,” she says. “I can be very spontaneous and yet sometimes very formulaic with putting things together. I still very much enjoy playing with basic compositional tools. People are my biggest inspiration.”
CHOP SHOP is proud to present the U.S. premiere of Christina Chan’s Midlight, co-created with Aymeric Bichon and first performed at Asia Pacific Dance Bridge. Stephanie Burridge, writing in Critical Dance, called the work fluid and elegant, describing Midlight as exploring “sensuality in a deeply connected way” and finding that “the beauty of the work was that it somehow transformed the spontaneous process into a performance piece exposing the power of bodies to tell their own story and transmit this poetry to the audience.”
(www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz) ↑ top
at CHOP SHOP 2015 (Photo: Rex Tranter)
Donald Sales / Project20 (Vancouver, BC) Project20 Performing Arts Society is based in Vancouver, BC and was founded by choreographer and artistic director Donald Sales. The works produced by the company are dynamic, expressive, and personal, using the softly gestural, yet aggressive animalistic language of its Artistic Director. Project20 is a platform provided for the dancers to speak their truths and release genuine feelings and real-time emotions. With a focus on the ability to speak boldly and freely without insecurities, this serves as the deep-grounded foundation for the company’s work. The company’s mission is to create exciting new work that revives truth in dance and the dancer. Programs include full-length evenings in traditional theatre venues, as well as various performances in non-traditional environments. Project20 first performed at CHOP SHOP in 2015, presenting excerpts from Sales’ gR33n.
Trained as a classical dancer at the June Runyon School of Ballet in Tulsa, OK and the Dance Theater of Harlem School in New York City, in 2001 Sales joined Dance Theater of Harlem and distinguished himself by making a strong impression on the Artistic Director Arthur Mitchell. In 2004 he joined Ballet British Columbia as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted a year later to principal dancer. Sales has since been nurturing his artistic growth by creating works for companies such as Ballet British Columbia and Arts Umbrella Dance Company, and was awarded the Clifford E. Lee Award for Choreography by the Banff Centre for the Arts. Recently he has begun building a team and body of work for his own company, Project20. In 2014 he was given the opportunity to present the company’s first full-length work, gR33N, which premiered at and was commissioned by the 2014 Chutzpah Festival. Currently continuing with his work and research, Sales is very excited to share additional new creations in the near future.
Project20 returns to CHOP SHOP with the Seattle premiere of excerpts from The Gates of Hell. Inspired not only by the delicate nature of Rodin’s sculptures and a search for simplicity, Donald Sales’ The Gates of Hell challenges our human conditioning, society, and patriotism, and questions the behavioral patterns introduced and taught to us through a well orchestrated educational system throughout history. With music ranging from piercing electronic beats to a calming meditative soundscape, the work wouldn’t be complete without a wonderfully eerie original composition designed by renowned composer Owen Belton. The Gates of Hell takes the audience on a journey with text that’s delivered in documentary style, starting from birth and ending with a question of self-examination. Through a rich, meditative, raw, bold, and physically satisfying vocabulary, six performers create images similar to Rodin’s sculptures Three Shades, The Gates of Hell, The Kiss, and more, all while remaining relevant and up to date. The Gates of Hell takes a risk by inviting audiences to think outside of a web and pushes them to dive deep inside themselves, as this is where change truly takes place. In one word, The Gates of Hell is a meditation.
(www.facebook.com/Proj20) ↑ top
at CHOP SHOP 2008 (Photo: Rex Tranter)
Eva Stone / The Stone Dance Collective (Eastside) The Stone Dance Collective, directed by Eva Stone, originated in London, England in 1993 and became a permanent part of the Seattle/Eastside dance community in 1995. This project-based company has experienced various stages of activity over the past 20 years, but it is most important to note that cake is served, without exception, after every rehearsal. The Stone Dance Collective has appeared in all ten editions of CHOP SHOP.
Eva Stone’s approach to choreography evolved from learning the art form in reverse, choreography before technique, and is unique with its intent based in humor and authentic human connection and emotion. Her work has been presented at On the Boards, Men in Dance, the ArtsEdge Festival, Bumbershoot, and the Seattle International Dance Festival, where she has also served as a guest curator. Her work has been commissioned throughout the Northwest by companies such as Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle Dance Project, and Bellingham Repertory Dance, and has been seen as far afield as Europe and Russia. As a commissioned choreographer for Regional Dance America/Pacific Stone has created works for South Bay Ballet in Los Angeles, Mid-Columbia Ballet, and Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Most recently, Professional Division students from Pacific Northwest Ballet School performed her work at McCaw Hall.
The Stone Dance Collective presents the return of Me Over You, a contemporary, feminist take on the classic ballet Pas de Quatre and a work performed at the inaugural Festival in 2008.
at CHOP SHOP 2013 (Photo: Rex Tranter)
Joshua Beamish / MOVETHECOMPANY (Vancouver, BC) is the recipient of artistic residencies throughout North America, including the Banff Centre, Jacob’s Pillow, and a term as the National Incubator Artist for the American Dance Institute in Washington, D.C. Notable recent presentations include The Joyce Theater, The Royal Opera House in London, Princeton University, London’s The Place, New York’s Guggenheim Museum, a Jacob’s Pillow world premiere, a Fire Island Dance Festival Commission, Chicago’s The Harris Theater and Chicago Dancing Festival, Seoul International Dance Festival, Artists in Action in Mumbai, and a 24-dancer evening commissioned by the Bangkok International Festival to celebrate 50 years of Canadian and Thai political relations.
Canadian choreographer Joshua Beamish founded MOVETHECOMPANY in 2005. His works have since toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has been commissioned by The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet Principal Dancers Wendy Whelan (Restless Creature) and Ashley Bouder (The Ashley Bouder Project), The National Ballet of Canada’s YOUdance, Compania Nacional de Danza de Mexico, South Africa’s Cape Town Opera and Cape Dance Company, Toronto Dance Theatre, and with Cirque du Soleil at World EXPO Shanghai, among others. He is a founding member of The Joyce Theatre’s Young Leader’s Circle Committee, a Jerome Robbins Foundation grantee, and an alumnus of the NY Choreographic Institute, a division of the New York City Ballet. This year’s festival will be the fourth presentation of Beamish’s work at CHOP SHOP, following madness, to speak of nothing by Coriolis Dance Collective in 2015, Pierced by MOVETHECOMPANY in 2013, and Trap Door Party by Bellingham Repertory Dance in 2011.
Joshua Beamish returns to CHOP SHOP with the Seattle premiere of Concerto, set to J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Violin, Oboe and Strings in D Minor. “Concerto was both elegant and overtly sexy, fusing classical ballet vocabulary with angular contemporary isolations, with little shivers of pop video come-ons.” – Robin J. Miller in The Dance Current
(www.joshuabeamish.com/) ↑ top
at CHOP SHOP 2010 (Photo: Alan Alabastro)
Mark Haim (Seattle) Mark Haim has been choreographing for over 30 years. He has created new works for dance companies such as the Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballet Frankfurt, the Limon Dance Company, Whim W’Him, Joffrey II Dancers, and the Rotterdamse Dansgroep, and has restaged his works on The Joffrey Ballet, the Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel, Djazzex, and the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, among others. His full evening solo project, The Goldberg Variations, has been performed at the American Dance Festival, the Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, The John F. Kennedy Center, On the Boards, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other venues in the U.S, Europe, and Asia. His work for 14 Seattle artists, This Land Is Your Land, opened the ArtDanThe Festival in Paris, and was seen at The Joyce Theater in NYC and the Nasher Museum of Art in North Carolina. Haim has also served as choreographer for Seattle Opera's productions of The Consul and Tales of Hoffmann. In addition to his work as a choreographer, Mark has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival since 1993 and was the Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington Dance Program from 2002 – 2008. He is a recipient of a 1987 NYFA Fellowship, a 1988 and 1996 NEA Fellowship, and grants from the NPN Suitcase Fund, ArtsLink, Inc., and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and was awarded the Scripps/ADF Humphrey-Weidman-Limon Fellowship for Choreography. Haim’s work returns to the CHOP SHOP for the fourth time, having previously presented Buoyant Despite Slump (My Raymonda) in 2010, No More Sweet Hours of Rapture in 2009, and excerpts from The Goldberg Variations in the inaugural 2008 festival.
Mark Haim offers the return of Festival favorite Buoyant Despite Slump (My Raymonda). Described in City Arts as “like watching a softer, more sympathetic Charlie Chaplin take on dance,” the work explores the window of opportunity created in a quiet moment of profound sadness and abandonment. Michael Upchurch, writing in the Seattle Times, called the ultimate effect “beautiful, absurd, [and] mysterious.”
(www.markhaimart.com/) ↑ top
Dancers: Jessica Johns and Toa Paranihi
(New Zealand School of Dance)
Photo: Stephen A’Court