BILL'S BLOG

 

12/14/2012
Fresh Tracks Resident Artist Profile: Megan Kendzior

Shifting between moments of tender alliance, stark isolation and palpable disturbance, Rift exposes delicate and vulnerable distillations of human experience. Megan Kendzior and Kevin Chu question ideas of solitude and harmony and are joined by Ana Fiore, Sarah Konner, Stephanie Mas and Josh Stansbury, who provide a glimpse of utopia in a fleeting and grandiose gesture of repetitive action.

Megan Kendzior is a New York based choreographer, performer, educator and administrator. She hails from Sarasota, Florida and received a B.F.A. in dance from the University of Florida. She has been influenced by experiences at the American Dance Festival (North Carolina), the Impulstanz International Dance Festival (Vienna), Kibbutz Ga’aton (Israel), the Bates Dance Festival (Maine) and the American College Dance Festival. Her work has been shown throughout Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Washington, Israel and New York, most recently through the Draftwork series at Danspace Project. In 2010, she won the Outstanding Student Choreographer award from Dance Magazine/ACDFA for the performance of her work, Witness, at The Kennedy Center (D.C.). She recently founded the Red Lodge Dance Experience, a week-long dance intensive in Montana and will co-direct the Our Children’s Dance Xchange this Fall in Harlem. Kendzior has worked as an intern for Movement Research, Dance New Amsterdam and as an assistant at the American Dance Festival. She currently works as an administrator for Jennifer Monson/iLAND, Wally Cardona, Neta Pulvermacher and Anna Sperber. She is honored to be part of the 2012 Fresh Tracks Performance Series.

 

Artist Statement: I work to display, investigate and challenge the momentary nature of being human and living in this world. I start with introspection. Initial movement ideas involve constant questioning which stems from improvisation, writing, reading and research. Books, images, encounters and daily experience inform where I move from, who I move with, and what all this moving means. The work evolves with moments of solitude and bursts of discussion.

I offer buoyant and tender explorative scores that allow imagination to blend with text and personal experience. This practice exposes passionate and volatile moments that are crafted, measured and cooled to create a rich and layered piece of theater. The work reflects the individual experience yet is often framed by historical reference; in this way, I am constantly renegotiating the terms to dissect memory and divulge truth. Trust is a big part of this work. Trusting myself, and those I invite into the room, to listen, think and move from a deep place. Dealing with intense, traumatic experiences does not scare me; it fuels me. I work to accept the influence of environment and still engage in honest inquisitive thought. I am constantly adjusting, succumbing, overtaking, drawing in, pushing out, holding my tongue and fighting back; all to find the circumstance to speak up and speak out, furiously yet with reserve.

There is a fire in me. Performance lives in the eyes, even speaks from the eyes. The story starts there. The heart expands through the collarbone to display the spirit. Passion pores through the skin, down through the heels and out of the fingertips. Breathing reminds us that we are merely a fleeting thought. It’s all about guts, when to use them and how far to go.

12/11/2012
Fresh Tracks Resident Artist Profile: Franklin Diaz

Flamenco dancer and choreographer, Franklin Diaz, joins us as a Fresh Tracks Performance & Residency Program artist.

Franklin Diaz’s work for the 2012 Fresh Tracks Performance Series will feature a combination of flamenco and contemporary movement vocabularies, Afro influences and Cuban sounds. His work explores the inner struggle he has faced throughout his artistic career, looking at where he has come from and where he is going.

 

Born in the Dominican Republic, Franklin Diaz’s future was decided from the early age of four. Falling in love with movement and sound, he taught himself to dance. He is the product of a musical family composed of instrumentalists and vocalists, nurtured by music of his culture. His passion for dance and complex musical structures was further broadened and challenged with his exposure to Flamenco, an art form of Southern Spain associated with the Spanish Gypsies. Diaz is well versed in various dance forms including Salsa, Afrocuban, Ballet, Modern and Flamenco. He creates a pelau, una ensalada, a salsa of unique flavors. He moves to music, transforming his body into an extraordinary instrument. Diaz has been defined as a force of nature, “un mito.”

He has had the honor and pleasure of training under the watchful eyes of Jose Molina, Jose Maya and Alfonso Losa (Flamenco), studied modern and ballet at The Ailey School and salsa with Victor Pacheco and Eddie Torres. He has traveled the world, nationally and internationally sharing the stage with renowned artists such as Celia Cruz, Tito Puentes and Fania All Stars. His signature performance style is sought after by promoters from China, to Argentina, to Tunis Africa and Morocco. As he receives accolades from peers, fans, dance enthusiasts and the general public, he continues to impress with his ever evolving style.

His respect for his craft, his talent and his blessings are strongly linked with his spiritual life. He continues to foster his growth at every opportunity, always striving for excellence.

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New York Live Arts will present Fresh Tracks, the latest installment of the Fresh Tracks Performance & Residency Program, Dec 13 – 15 at 7:30pm. The 2012-13 Fresh Tracks Artists include Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Franklin Diaz, Megan Kendzior, Molly Poerstel-Taylor, Michal Samama and Parul Shah.

Created in 1965 by Dance Theater Workshop and now continued as a signature program of New York Live Arts, the Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program selects six early career artists annually to receive comprehensive performance and residency support. The program begins with a showcase performance in New York Live Arts’ Bessie Schönberg Theater. Following the performance, each artist receives a 50-hour creative residency in the New York Live Arts studios for research and development of new work. Additionally, artists receive introductory level professional development workshops in marketing, fundraising and career development. Under the guidance of Artistic Advisor Levi Gonzalez, Fresh Tracks artists participate in dialogue sessions facilitating open discussion about their creative process, as well as one-on-one consultations.

Performances will take place at New York Live Arts’ Bessie Schönberg Theater. Come Early Conversations and Stay Late Discussions will also be featured with two shows (see complete schedule below). Tickets are $20 and $15. Tickets may be purchased online at tickets.newyorklivearts.org, by phone at 212-924-0077 and in person at the box office. Box office hours are Monday to Friday from 1 to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 8pm.

12/11/2012
Fresh Tracks Resident Artist Profile: Molly Poerstel-Taylor

 

Meet Molly Poerstel-Taylor, a New York Live Arts Fresh Track Performance & Residency Program artist.

Poerstel-Taylor’s work for the 2012 Fresh Tracks Performance Series, Do Beast, challenges her ability to create a delivery system which ignites dancers’ imaginations, sourcing sensations associated with painful memories, instinctual impulses, props, imagined landscapes, humility and sexuality, and exploring the contrast of these elements when set in a structural framework.

Molly Poerstel-Taylor is a downtown dance artist who has been active in the New York City dance community for the past twelve years. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University on a Dean of the Arts Scholarship in 2000, and within this time has worked with many artists as a physical and theatrical collaborator. Such artists include: David Grenke, Mark Jarecke, Jeanine Durning, David Dorfman Dance Company, Susan Rethorst, Alex Escalante, Hilary Clark, Larissa Valez, Roseanne Spradlin and Ivy Baldwin Dance. Poerstel-Taylor has been called “a voluptuous, earthy dancer with a mastery of tension” by The New York Times.

She has studied anatomy with Irene Dowd, Body Mind Centering with Roseanne Spradlin and the Grotovsky Method with Raina Von Waldenburg. Poerstel-Taylor has taught at Dance New Amsterdam, 100 Grand, CLASSCLASSCLASS, The Open Look Dance Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia and The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Currently she is an adjunct professor at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and is on faculty at the Dalton School.

“In this process, I am challenging myself to create a delivery system which can ignite a dancer’s imagination while defining their relationships to a blank space. I am sourcing sensations associated with painful memories, instinctual impulses, props, costume elements, imagined landscapes, humility, sexuality and the contrast of these when set in a structural framework. I have set forth to layer sensations in the body and create a process based on sense memory as the primary method for a dancer’s physical recall. I would like to create a bodily history for this work that is potent and palpable.” -Molly Poerstel-Taylor

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New York Live Arts will present Fresh Tracks, the latest installment of the Fresh Tracks Performance & Residency Program, Dec 13 – 15 at 7:30pm. The 2012-13 Fresh Tracks Artists include Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Franklin Diaz, Megan Kendzior, Molly Poerstel-Taylor, Michal Samama and Parul Shah.

Created in 1965 by Dance Theater Workshop and now continued as a signature program of New York Live Arts, the Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program selects six early career artists annually to receive comprehensive performance and residency support. The program begins with a showcase performance in New York Live Arts’ Bessie Schönberg Theater. Following the performance, each artist receives a 50-hour creative residency in the New York Live Arts studios for research and development of new work. Additionally, artists receive introductory level professional development workshops in marketing, fundraising and career development. Under the guidance of Artistic Advisor Levi Gonzalez, Fresh Tracks artists participate in dialogue sessions facilitating open discussion about their creative process, as well as one-on-one consultations.

Performances will take place at New York Live Arts’ Bessie Schönberg Theater. Come Early Conversations and Stay Late Discussions will also be featured with two shows (see complete schedule below). Tickets are $20 and $15. Tickets may be purchased online at tickets.newyorklivearts.org, by phone at 212-924-0077 and in person at the box office. Box office hours are Monday to Friday from 1 to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 8pm.

12/10/2012
Fresh Tracks Resident Artist Profile: Parul Shah

Meet Parul Shah, Fresh Tracks Resident Artist, and Kathak dancer and choreographer. Shah is an internationally acclaimed Kathak dancer and choreographer whose work is expanding the classical medium beyond cultural boundaries.  With a dedication to excellence, Parul preserves the form’s aesthetic integrity while developing a unique and powerful vocabulary within the Kathak tradition itself.  Behind Parul’s work is decades of rigorous Kathak training under the world-renowned guru and choreographer, Padmashree Kumudini Lakhia at the Kadamb Center for Dance and Music in Ahmedabad, India.  Ms. Lakhia’s pioneering work revitalized the form for 20th century audiences, and her training has produced forward-thinking Kathak artists with original voices.  As one of her to students, Paruul has internalized Ms. Lakhia’s vision and focused on the importance of revealing Kathak’s beauty and possibilities.  By remaining within the Kathak tradition, Parul’s repertoire challenges stereotypes about classical Indian dance and illustrates the dynamic nature of the form.  Her work includes traditional solo pieces alongside compelling contemporary group choreographies. –Parul Shah

 

Also on Wednesday, Parul Shah danced a “Chasing Shadows” solo that brought the house down. Her sources are splendidly hybrid: contemporary dance, the Kathak technique of north India, the female temple-court artists of south India. They are, in fact, her subject. You could feel what her program note stated, “the inner struggle of a woman who wants to move forward but cannot because her shadows are not only her past but the only identity she knows.” —Alastair Macaulay,  New York Times, August 24th 2008

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Fresh Tracks, Dec 13-15 at 7:30pm
Come Early Conversation Dec 13 at 6:30pm
Stay Late Mixer and Fresh Tracks Reunion Dec 14

Through the Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program, New York Live Arts provides an opportunity for new artistic voices to gain professional experience and recognition. Each year six early career artists are selected by a panel through a live audition process. Artists selected receive research, development, and performance support.

Fresh Tracks engages artists directly with peers, arts professionals and Live Arts staff in dialogues about their work within the context of the professional contemporary dance and performance field. In the spring, following their initial performances, each member of the group receives a 50-hour creative residency along with introductory level professional development workshops in marketing, fundraising and career development. Artists also participate in Dialogue sessions facilitating open discussion about their creative process and one-on-one consultations, both with Artistic Advisor Levi Gonzalez.

12/10/2012
Fresh Track Resident Artist Profile: Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie

Meet Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie; one of our six Fresh Tracks choreographers.

 

Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie has trained in ballet and modern dance but found her artistic home in breaking, hip hop and house. She began breaking in 2002 under Richard Santiago (aka Break Easy) and soon after was introduced to house music. She has been greatly influenced by the New York club scene ever since. Asherie has performed and taught throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as in Peru, South Africa and Israel. She has appeared on NBC, MTV, Comedy Central and at City Center, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. Asherie worked on the creation process of the show Magnifico, directed by Andres Heller and choreographed by Pilobolus. She is a regular guest artist with Rennie Harris Puremovement and has worked with Bill Irwin, Cori Olinghouse, Jason Samuels Smith and Buddha Stretch, among others. Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, The Bushwick Starr, The Flea, the Motherlode Theater and the Bendheim Performing Arts Center. Asherie dances with her crew MAWU and is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center, Peridance Center and the Joffrey Ballet School. She has a B.A. in Italian Language (summa cum laude) from Barnard College. Asherie is a NYFA artist and is a 2012 Swing Space grant recipient from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.  As artistic director of Ephrat Asherie Dance, her first evening length work, A SIngle Ride, premiered in September, commissioned by Dixon Place. In July, Ephrat will be traveling to Brazil with a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study grant to research how Brazilian cultural and folkloric dances have influenced breaking in Brazil.  Currently, she can be seen in the Hershey’s Simple Pleasures commercial. For more information, please visit www.ephratasherie.com

Valerie "Ms. Vee" Ho and Teena Marie, Photo:Ian Douglas

 

“My passion lies in exploring a new movement language that combines the rawness of underground styles such as breaking, house, hip hop and vogue with more traditional forms of dance.  I have ballet and modern training, but found my artistic home in the aforementioned underground styles.  As a choreographer, my work lends itself to a fusion of all my dance and non-dance related interests.  I often work from improvisation and look for patterns and structures that occur naturally.  When a specific structure interests me, I delve deeper and try to find ways to deconstruct and reconstruct the movement.  My goal is to create work that speaks to our universal human experience and allows people to live in a space that is unknown, where it is sometimes easier to ask questions or at least feel that it is okay not to have all the answers.  As a person I often struggle with bringing together my varied interests or what sometimes feels like my disparate identities.  My work is a place where I allow the broad spectrum of my interests to come together.”  –Ephrat Asherie

 




“The slight, sinewy Asherie (aka Bounce) blew the audience away with her handsomely-arranged and expert breaking, club dancing and vogueing. Simply put, it’s great to see a woman completely own the floor: not just be capable of these dance styles but actually nail every challenge of timing, accuracy of detail, flow and theatrical presentation that she has set for herself…”  –Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBodyJuly 2011

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Fresh Tracks, Dec 13-15 at 7:30pm
Come Early Conversation Dec 13 at 6:30pm
Stay Late Mixer and Fresh Tracks Reunion Dec 14

Through the Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program, New York Live Arts provides an opportunity for new artistic voices to gain professional experience and recognition. Each year six early career artists are selected by a panel through a live audition process. Artists selected receive research, development, and performance support.

Fresh Tracks engages artists directly with peers, arts professionals and Live Arts staff in dialogues about their work within the context of the professional contemporary dance and performance field. In the spring, following their initial performances, each member of the group receives a 50-hour creative residency along with introductory level professional development workshops in marketing, fundraising and career development. Artists also participate in Dialogue sessions facilitating open discussion about their creative process and one-on-one consultations, both with Artistic Advisor Levi Gonzalez.