WOMEN / CREATE! A Festival of Dance – Presenting Companies

Jennifer Muller/The Works celebrates 44 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. 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, Hong Kong to Moscow with 2017 appearances in Harbin, Tianjin, and Beijing. 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. 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.

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. The company is renowned for creating contemporary works that blend dance, music, science and art to engage in philosophical questions about the search for meaning. Having worked as a choreographer for Cirque du Soleil, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and on Broadway, Armitage’s interests are wide ranging, mixing the popular with the esoteric. Known for their free spirited panache, the members of Armitage Gone! bring unique flavors and strong personality to the stage. AG!D has created works on a wide range of subjects from African aesthetics to commedia dell’arte, and a series ‘dreamscapes’ taking the viewer on a poetic journey to evoke mysterious landscapes of reverie, dream and altered consciousness.

The award-winning Buglisi Dance Theatre is renowned for multi-disciplinary dances that promote awareness of social issues and embolden audiences to recognize within themselves their own humanity. Now in its 25th year, BDT was co-founded in 1993 by Artistic Director Jacqulyn Buglisi, Terese Capucilli, Christine Dakin and Donlin Foreman, who performed together as principal dancers of Martha Graham Dance Co. BDT is known to NYC audiences for its seasons at The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Ailey Citigroup Theater; and public school residencies; on tour at the Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Vail International Dance Festival and the Melbourne State Theater. Its repertoire is archived in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division/NYPL, and is performed by such companies as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Richmond Ballet. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio awarded BDT Proclamations for uniting the community through the Table of Silence Project 9/11, a performance ritual for peace at Lincoln Center seen in 129 countries via livestream.

Carolyn Dorfman is known as a creator of evocative dances that reflect her concerns about the human condition. The company connects life and dance in bold, athletic and dramatic works by Dorfman and nationally renowned choreographers and collaborators. Hailed as the consummate storyteller, Dorfman, a child of Holocaust survivors, has also created a celebrated body of work that honors her Jewish legacy; its trials and triumphs, its treasured uniqueness and, most importantly, its universal connections. Her interdisciplinary and intercultural approach on the stage and in the community explores the rich tapestry of human experience, tradition and stories. Touring nationally and internationally, Carolyn Dorfman Dance presents immersive performance and teaching residencies that take the company into diverse communities to share art and process that can build human connection and understanding. Multiple tours to Poland and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been supported by The Trust for Mutual Understanding, U.S. Arts International and the U.S. State Department, all valuing  art and programming that seeks to build connection. In 2019 and 2020, CDD will has expanded its touring impact across the U.S. in Virginia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. A sought after master teacher, Carolyn Dorfman has been a guest lecturer at at universities across the U.S. and will expand her internationally teaching to Changchun, China as a guest lecturer for Rutgers University.

Founded in 2005 by Francesca HarperThe Francesca Harper Project is a not-for-profit company dedicated to creating groundbreaking dance, music, and theater works. Francesca Harper’s direction and choreographic work serves as the artistic foundation for the company, but it is the innovation and commitment to humanity and diversity that is fundamental to The Francesca Harper Project. The company debuted with a sold out premiere at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in August 2005. Since then, FHP has been presented by The Holland Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, The Bloomberg Culture Series, MaSS MoCA,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum, The Rubin Museum, The Joyce Theater, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra), Central Park SummerStage, The Venice Biennale and more. The Company has received residencies and fellowships with the Ballet Center for the Arts, and the Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Initiative.  They are also an Anchor Tenant Company for The Joyce Studio at Gina Gibney Studios, and were a critic’s Pick for Time Out Magazine. FHP recently filmed, ‘Unstoppable,’ a campaign for Planned Parenthood featuring choreography by Francesca Harper as well as a campaign for the Red Lion Inn. They were recently featured in a Production at the Public Theater in ‘Refrigerated Dreams’, a collaboration between Francesca Harper, Grammy Nominated Composer Nona Hendryx, MacArthur Genius Awardee Carrie Mae Weems, Carl Hancock Rux, and Director Niegel Smith, as well as a month long residency at The Park Avenue Armory in Visual Artist Nick Cave’s, ‘The Let Go.’

Founded in 2009, Helen Simoneau Dance is committed to creating and performing dance works of its founder and choreographer Helen Simoneau. In addition to an annual performance in North Carolina, the company has been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and toured throughout Germany, Asia, and the United States.  The company has been commissioned by The Juilliard School, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the American Dance Festival, UNC School of the Arts, The Yard, Springboard Danse Montréal, and the Swiss International Coaching Project (SiWiC) in Zurich. Most recently, Simoneau was resident artist at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Bates Dance Festival, NYU/Tisch Summer Dance Residency, and has received fellowships from The NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts, the Bogliasco Foundation, as well as twice from the North Carolina Arts Council. Notable venues that have presented Simoneau’s work include The Guggenheim Museum (NYC), Dance Place (DC), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Tangente (Montréal), The Aoyama Round Theatre (Tokyo), the L.I.G. Art Hall Busan (South Korea), Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out (MA), PACT-Zollverein in Essen (Germany), the Shanghai Dance Festival (China). Her work was also presented at the 13th Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was awarded 1st place for Choreography. She has been described as “a Choreographer-on-the-rise” with a style that is both “athletic and smooth” — Dance Magazine.

Katarzyna Skarpetowska is a native of Warsaw, Poland. She is an alumna of NYC High School of Performing Arts and holds a BFA from The Juilliard School (1999; Benjamin Harkarvy, artistic director). Her Broadway credits include Metro (Minskoff Theatre, 1992). Kate was a member of Parsons Dance (1999-2006) and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company (2007-2014) where she now works as the company’s repetiteur. She appeared as a guest artist with Battleworks Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theater, and Glimmerglass Opera Festival. Kate was named Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2016 and was nominated for a NY Dance and Performance Award, The Bessie, in the emerging choreographer category in 2017. Her choreography has been commissioned by Richmond Ballet, BalletX, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Buglisi Dance Theater, Houston METdance, Bruce Wood Dance Project, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II, and The Juilliard School, among others. In 2018, Kate choreographed an Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of Orfeo and Eurydice, in collaboration with director Ron Daniels and maestro Pierre Vallet. For the past 3 years, she has been a part time faculty member at UC Irvine. She resides in New York City.