Summation Dance to Kick Off DANCING LITERATE Festival, 11/21-23

Summation Dance to Kick Off DANCING LITERATE Festival, 11/21-23

Sumi Clements, Artistic Director and Associate Artistic Director, Taryn Vander Hoop, co-founders of Summation Dance, announced the dates of their third annual Dancing Literate Festival, November 21-23, 2013, featuring performances by emerging companies and choreographers. The successful annual program aims to bridge the gap between the artist and the viewer by offering educational opportunities on the choreographic process and by providing an interactive experience in which the audience is encouraged to engage with dance making firsthand.

The November 21-23 evenings will include works by Suzanne Beahrs, Sidra Bell, Sumi Clements, and Taryn Vander Hoop performed by three dance companies.

On November 21st performance artist and Dance noise founder Lucy Sexton will welcome the audience with a brief lecture on "what to look for in dance" and conclude the evening with a moderated Q & A between the choreographers, dancers and audience. Laura Diffenderfer, Programming Associate at The Joyce Theater Foundation, will guide November 22nd's evening and November 23rd's moderator will be Zia Artists Director, Ken Maldonado. Past participants include: Sidra Bell, Peter Kyle, Andrea Miller and Kendra Portier.

The lively exchange between audience, experienced artists and emerging choreographers is the core of Dancing Literate, as well as exposing new audience members to modern dance and providing educational opportunities.

Choreographer Suzanne Beahrs presents "Whether" performed by her company, Suzanne Beahrs Dance. "Whether" concerns the friction between fully embodying the present moment and being devastated that we can't hold on to it. Each of five dancers navigates her individual journey, propelling through the space while moving in and out of unison with the others. The surrounding emptiness of a large space contributes to the tone of this raw and physical dance, accompanied by choral compositions by Josquin Des Prez and Dominico Scarlatti.

Suzanne Beahrs currently teaches at Dance New Amsterdam, and has also taught at Dancewave. Her work has been presented at many NYC venues including the 92nd St. Y, FAB Festival, and Dance on the Greenway, commissioned by Dance Theater Etc. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Beahrs has shown her work at the Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley as 2010 Artist in Residence as well as at the 2011 West Wave Dance Festival (ODC Theater). She currently is a Give/Get/Grow Resident Artist at Cora Dance in Brooklyn. Beahrs has performed with Mare Nostrum Elements, Purring Tiger (Kiori Kawai), and Carol Mendes & Artists (NY) and Ishika Seth and Dancers, Dance Ceres, Mo Miner, Christine Cali, and others (CA). Beahrs received her MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Choreographer Sidra Bell presents "ReVUE (excerpts) performed by Sidra Bell Dance New York. The thirteen sketches of "ReVUE" (World Premier, 2010- Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh, PA) range in mood from ribald and humorous to melancholic and haunting. Bell used words as the driving force from which the performers' fantasies departed. The audience is led into a world of jockeys, ringleaders, cigarette ads, sad clowns, detached omniscient symbols, conjoined twins and many more. The landscape is a house of mirrors, a house of horrors, and a house of cards falling down. "ReVUE" was created with support from the Kelly Strayhorn Theater Next Stage Artist Residency and Commissioning Program and The Duo Theatre Full Length Commissioning Series.

Sidra Bell is currently a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), was Adjunct Professor at Barnard College (Columbia University), and has a degree in history from Yale University and an MFA in Choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. She was awarded a 1st Prize for Choreography for "Grief Point," at the 15th Internationales Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany (2011). She was awarded the Patricia Kerr Ross Award for Choreography from New York Foundation for the Arts in 2005. Her critically acclaimed company and choreography has been seen throughout the United States and internationally in Denmark, France, Austria, Turkey, Germany, China, Canada, Aruba, Korea, Brazil and Greece. The Company was lauded in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's 2010 Best in Dance for "ReVUE," and in the 2012 Year in Review in ArtsATL's notable performances for "Nudity". Bell has received many commissions for new work from internationally renowned companies and institutions around the world. Bell is a sought after master teacher and her alternative approach was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine (2012) and Dance Studio Life Magazine (2013). She has taught her unique creative practice of movement, improvisation, and technique entitled Contemporary Systems - An Interior & Material Approach at major institutions for dance and theater throughout Canada, Europe, South America, and the United States.

Choreographer Sumi Clements presents "Updating Route, Please Standby," a World Premiere, performed by Summation Dance. "Updating Route, Please Standby" contemplates the relationship between expectation and reality, and the necessity for an ever-present openness to recalculate our positions in life. The piece takes into consideration how society, the media, literature, and other forms of visual culture have molded our understanding of what we are to achieve within certain time frames, and dismisses these preconceptions in favor of simple re-evaluation and advancement. Our lives rarely materialize in the way we envision; and even though the outcome might not be so different from the intended one, the route there winds dramatically.