Mare Nostrum Elements Presents 2020 Emerging Choreographer Series

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MNE (Mare Nostrum Elements), in collaboration with La Guardia Performing Arts Center, will showcase their seventh annual Emerging Choreographer Series (ESC), an event that celebrates new dances. The program welcomes diversity in both dancemakers and dance styles, including modern, contemporary, tap, and experimental.

All find a supportive and welcoming home at ECS. Nine applicants, from a total of ninety who auditioned, were selected from NYC auditions, along with one returning choreographer. Two performances, February 24 & 24, 7:30 PM, at The Little Theater at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City.

This year's dancemakers are:

** Emory Campbell

** Kelsey Burns

** Isaac Iskra

** Dolly Sfeir (Returning Choreographer)

** Samara Seligsohn

** Peter Cheng

** spacejunk (Ashley Yehoda & Lillian Joergensen)

** Edgard Toro

** Rebecca Van Dover

Each of choreographers receives up to 60 hours of free studio space at collaborating venues: the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Spaceworks, Rioult Dance Center and American Tap Dance Foundation; a stipend to pay themselves and their dancers; and public performances at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. The choreographers are given logistical support including educational sessions with costume, sound, lighting designers, and other industry professionals. The business aspect of the dance world is also addressed with producing and managing tips that include preparing a budget, talking and writing about work, and other practical concerns. The group of choreographers meets weekly during the program to share their creative experience and show their works in progress for feedback sessions from their peers and panelists.

ECS is led by Mare Nostrum Elements' Co-founders and Co-directors Nicola Iervasi and Kevin Albert. They were joined on the 2020 Selecting panel by Steven Hitt: Artistic Producing Director of LPAC; Archie Burnett: House/vogue/waacking dancer and teacher; Christian Von Howard: Choreographer, Founding Artistic Director VON HOWARD PROJECT; Katherine Crockett: Dancer, actress, former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company; Xianix Barrera: Flamenco dancer, choreographer and teacher - 2019 Bessie Nominee for Outstanding Performance; Miki Orihara: Former principal dancer with Martha Graham Company, curator/director NuVu Dance Festival; and Christine Dakin: Foremost exponent of the Martha Graham repertory and technique.

For the duration of the program each choreographer can reach out to a personal mentor for advice and support. ECS 2020 Mentors are:

Steven Hitt - Artistic Producing Director LPAC

Brenda Bufalino - Tap dancer, choreographer, innovator

Larry Keigwin - Artistic director KEIGWIN + COMPANY

Alexandra Beller - Artistic Director Alexandra Beller/Dances

Randy James - Artistic Director 10 Hairy Legs

Nicole von Arx - Founder NVA & Guests, co-curator CreateART

Nijawwon Mathews - Founder/Director XY Dance Project

Rohan Bhargava - Founder & Artistic Director Rovaco dance Company

Kevin Albert - Resident dramaturg Mare Nostrum Elements

Two weeks before the premier, choreographers show their works in progress to a panel of industry professionals for feedback. Besides each choreographer's mentor, this year's feedback panel also included:

Tony Waag - Founder American Tap Dance Foundation

Christian Von Howard - Artistic Director VON HOWARD PROJECT

Miki Orihara - Former principal dancer Martha Graham Dance Company, Curator NuVu Dance Festival

Xianix Barrera - Founder Xianix Barrera Flamenco Company - 2019 Bessie Nominee for Outstanding Performance

Mare Nostrum Elements (MNE) is a Woodside, Queens- based dance and theatre non-profit dedicated to the expression of human experiences through dance, theatre, and movement. Its mission is to both create and support the making of emotionally driven stage productions that utilize dance and theatre to enrich local communities.

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