Dance New Amsterdam's RAW Material Program Features 6 World Premieres, 10/4-5

By: Aug. 22, 2012
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) will showcase six emerging dance-makers in its RAW Material series, an annual program which supports the work of budding choreographers who have shown promise to affect the field of dance. This year's performances, October 4-5, feature a broad spectrum of dance, with world premiere works by Tough Cookie Dance/Michael Philip Richman and Josselyn Levinson-Dustin, Ashley Brown, Hadley Smith, Kellie Lynch & Tara Lee Burns, Anna Marie Shogren, and Abby Zbikowski|the new utility. All artists worked with Bessie Award-winning choreographer Yanira Castro to prepare for the production. Both shows are at 7:30 p.m.

DNA's RAW Materialseries has been supporting new and emerging artists since 2000. The budding dance-makers work closely with a seasoned choreographer, developing their work through a six-month-long workshop intensive. Along with expert feedback from their artistic advisor, RAW artists receive subsidizedstudio space and marketing advice from DNA's administrative team.

"Being a mentor has been about supporting the work of these artists," says Yanira Castro, 2012 DNA Raw Material Advisor. "What has been remarkable to me about DNA's program is the production flexibility while simultaneouslyproviding a mentor as an anchor-that is essential to a process. My challenge is how to coordinate an evening that highlights each artist, while putting them in relationship with one another."

"I'm excited that DNA continues to serve the community of burgeoning choreographers with opportunities to work with exceptional artists like Yanira Castro," says Artistic and Executive Director Catherine Peila. "As an extension of our many professional development opportunities-including Choreographic Investigation Course (CIC), the Modern Guest Artist Series, Performance Project and more-RAW Material offers new dance-makers an opportunity to challenge their creativeprocesses, apply expert advice and strengthen ties to a community of their contemporaries."

Tough Cookie Dance, formed by co-artistic directors Michael Philip Richman and Josselyn Levinson-Dustin, will present the world premiere of Famous Waitress, a dance theater work that riffs off of gestures found in service-related professions, set to Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring." Richman currently dances with Sean Curran, and Levinson-Dustin performs with Motley Dance.

Choreographer Ashley Brown will show I AM, a work about the creative process divided into three sections-Creation, Judgment and Acceptance-set to original music by Andre "Chez" Lewis and Raynard "DJ XRAY" James. Brown studied at the Ailey School and has performed as a soloist in works by Nathan Trice, Travis Gatling, and Diane McIntyre, among others.

For the world premiere of LadyMargaretRhodaCrystalLaurenGail,choreographer Hadley Smith created an original score with samples from Etta James and The Rolling Stones. Smith most recently co-produced and choreographed for This Years' Collective, an evening of work presented by Brooklyn Arts Exchange. She received her BA in Dance from Barnard College in 2009.

Tara Lee Burns teams up with Kellie Lynch to present Pirates Have Parrots and Parrots Perch, a duet characterized by excessive and exhausting, full-bodied physicality with humor and adventure at its core. Burns and Lynch are both members of Adele Myers and Dancers. Burns has also performed with Alexandra Beller and Marjani Forte, among others. Lynch is currently touring with Doug Elkins' and Friends and has performed with Jennifer Archibald, Kyle Abraham and Rachel Bernsen.

Anna Marie Shogren presents the quartet These People in my Immediate Environment. Her sculptural and musically-minded choreography has been shown in Minneapolis at The Walker Art Center, and in New York at the Gowanus Ballroom, AUNTS, FIGMENT on Governors Island and more. Her design work includes costuming for choreographers Morgan Thorson and Benn Rasmussen. She is currently working and traveling with the Body CartographyProject and art collective Non Solo.

Known and Knowingby Abby Zbikowski|the new utility is a highly physical solo characterized by constant motion. Zbikowski currently teaches contemporary technique and composition at Ohio State University. She has shown work at the National ACDFA Festival at the Kennedy Center, as well as the nEW Festival,Philly Fringe and New Edge Mix series in Philadelphia.

2012 Artistic Advisor Yanira Castro collaborates with a core group of performers and designers under the name, a canary torsi, which works in a multiplicity of spaces-from warehouses, restrooms and gardens to the theater-and embeds dances within visual and audio installations. Born in Puerto Rico and based in Brooklyn, Castro has been artist-in-residence in Bacau, Romania through Artist Ne(s)t, a Choreography Fellow at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and a 2006 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow. She has received several fellowships and awards for her work, which has been presented by Dance Theater Workshop, Performance Space 122, The Chocolate Factory and Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center and has toured nationally and internationally. Her current project, The People to Come, has been commissioned by and is being developed at Vermont Performance Lab with support from MANCC's Media Fellowship program.

Performances run Thursday, October 4 - Friday, October 5. Both performances 7:30 p.m. An opening night reception will be open and free to the public one hour beforecurtain on October 4. Audience members are invited to stay for a post show discussion immediately following the performance on October 5.

Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling 212.227.9856 or on site two hours before curtain. Cost is $17 for general audiences, $14 for students and seniors, $12 for DNA members and advanced sales. Discounted tickets are available by phone for groups of six or more. All sales are final.

DNA is located at 280 Broadway (entrance at 53 Chambers Street), New York, NY 10007, near the R/W to City Hall, 4/5/6 at Brooklyn Bridge, J/M/Z, A/C/E or1/2/3 at Chambers Street, and 2/3 at Park Place.

Founded in 1984, DNA provides a community hub for the highest quality dance training, choreographic exploration and innovative performance, developing new audiences and bridging communities. It provides valuable opportunities for the aspiring, emerging and established artist, including daily classes, certification courses, commissions and artistic residencies, along with studio and administrative office subsidies. DNA encourages professionalism, entrepreneurial cross-disciplinary initiatives,community engagement and diverse artistic expression. It was the first nonprofit arts organization to move to Lower Manhattan after 9/11, serving as a renewing force in NYC's cultural landscape. To learn more about DNA and supporting its programs throughcharitable donations, visit