Mare Nostrum Elements Presents EMERGING CHOREOGRAPHER SERIES, 2/27-28

Currently in its 15th year, Mare Nostrum Elements (MNE), a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to supporting performing artists and creating original works for the stage, will present the culmination of its fourth annual Emerging Choreographer Series on Monday, February 27 andTuesday, February 28, 2017 at La Guardia Performing Arts Center's The Little Theater (31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City).

Presented in association with LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, which supports the Emerging Choreographer Series by providing rehearsal space in addition to the use of its Little Theater for performances, the Emerging Choreographer Series is currently in its fourth year.

This year, 79 of the country's most promising choreographers from all different ethnic and dance backgrounds applied and auditioned for the eight spaces available in the program. In an effort to be fair to all auditioning, applicants auditioned by way of Mare Nostrum Elements exclusive movement theater training called The Wave Within, in which participants are asked to create original movement within the audition as opposed to having the artist present what they consider to be "their best work." The finalist selected included Felipe Galganni, Margaret Jones, Jacob Kruty, Patrick O'Brien, Michelle Sagarminage, Jiemin Yang, returning choreographer Jacqueline Dugal and Italian choreographer Carmine Caruso.

This year's panel of advisors include American tap legend and co-founder of American Tap Dance Foundation Brenda Bufalino, Managing Artistic Director for LaGuardia Performing Arts CenterSteven Hitt, Founding Artistic Director of Zvidance Zvi Gotheiner, Bessie Award-winner and Founding Artistic Director of Palissimo Pavel Zustiak, and Broadway performer and choreographerNoah Racey. This distinguished panel worked closely with the eight choreographers, mentoring and advising on their individual processes and pieces, in preparation for the final performances.

Jacqueline Dugal, last year's commissioned recipient, was closely followed and mentored by MNE founders Kevin Albert and Nicola Iervasi. When she applied for an artist grant from Queens Council on the Arts, MNE gave access to their grant writer and followed her throughout the process, eventually receiving her grant. MNE also hired Jacqueline to run the dance portion of the CASA program and to choreograph a section of the final performance with the children! MNE also supported her larger goal of creating an evening length piece for Human Rights Art Festival with her creation of "under".

In addition, representatives from FINI Dance NYC, IDACO nyc, and The American Tap Dance Foundation will each select one of the eight ECS participants to perform as a guest choreographer during their 2017 seasons.

Each of this year's chosen choreographers received 50-60 hours of studio time at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center to create a new work. In addition, each artist participated in information sessions with some of the industry's top costume, sound and lighting designers to aid them in the creation of their new work and to help educate the emerging choreographers in the process of bringing a new work to life in a truly professional setting. Lastly, all participants work with an accountant specializing in performing arts budgeting and writing sessions with Amy Harrison, Executive Director of Rioult Dance NY, to learn the importance of writing about their work while seeking grants/funding and support.

The final performances of the Emerging Choreographer Series will take place on Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 7:30pm at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center's The Little Theater (31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City). Featuring performances of the new works created by this year's chosen movement makers, tickets are $10.00 each and are available for purchase on the web at or



Jacqueline Dugal is a returning Choreographer from the third Emerging Choreographer Series. Mare Nostrum Elements' Emerging Choreographer Series is proud to collaborate with International Human Rights Art Festival to support the creation of under, a new work by Jacqueline Dugal (ECS' returning choreographer) and Dugal Dance Project. An excerpt of Under will premiere at this year's Emerging Choreographer Series (Feb. 27th-28th) and the full work will be presented at International Human Rights Art Festival (March 3rd-5th). Presented by Dixon Place and the Institute for Prophetic Activist Art, the International Human Rights Art Festival, produced by long-time artist-activist-author Tom Block and assistant producer-playwright-director Julia Levine, is the first festival of its kind in the long and vibrant history of New York City's cultural scene. Housed at Dixon Place, the festival is a weekend celebration of art and advocacy, with happy hour concoctions, human rights trivia, prizes, t-shirts and much more.

Carmine Caruso is this season'sInternational Choreographer via Mare Nostrum Elements partnership with Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome. A special audition was held in Rome and Carmine was selected. His piece is called Alta Marea (High Tide). The piece delves into his personal connection to the Mediterranean Sea, which he grew up very near to the sea.

Felipe Galganni is a native of Brazil and has carved out a name for himself in the NYC tap scene. He teaches tap at Steps on Broadway. MNE and Felipe have forged a partnership with ATDF, American Tap Dance Foundation, founded by tap legend Brenda Bufalino. ATDF has generously sponsored rehearsal space for the creation of his piece. All My Trials is a reflection on the life of Felipe's father who was a musician that gave up his passion for music to raise a family. The piece centers on regret.

Margaret Jones is a newcomer to NYC from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Her piece is called From Dust to Dust.

Jacob Kruty is new in NYC from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His piece is calledFRAMED. There will be live projection in the performance and FRAMED is a response to the effects of technology on his generation and their ability to connect and be authentic.

Patrick O'Brien is a graduate of The Joffrey Ballet School. His piece is called Galvanic and is an exploration of how kinetic energy is affected by electricity in all its forms.

Michelle Sagarminaga is creating a piece called CRI-Help. This piece depicts her reflections on her time in a rehab facility and the other five women who shared the space with her.

Jiemin Yang is originally from China. His piece is called Beneath the Skin and is inspired by a South Korean film called "A Frozen Flower". In the film a love triangle is formed when the King's male lover becomes the obsession of the Queen.


Mare Nostrum Elements (MNE) is a Woodside based Dance and Theater non-profit dedicated to developing collaborative, emotionally driven stage work blending dance, theater, music, and movement of many cultures. Founded in 2001 by Italian performer Nicola Iervasi with American actor/director and Orso Senior Manager Kevin Albert, the company has created original multidisciplinary works (Mediterranean Voices, Last Chance), produced Off-Broadway (The Crucible, Biography) and presented work by many emerging choreographers. In 2013, the year of Italian Culture in the US, MNE co-produced the Italian International Dance Festival and the Italian Theater Festival In Scena, presenting 3 plays by Mario Fratti at the Secret Theater in Long Island City. Another of MNE's programs is called The Young Wave funded entirely by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, CASA grant (Children's After School Adventures). We partner with PS. 11 in Woodside Queens and offer a free movement and theater program to local children. The program culminates with an original production created by the participants. The children are also taken to see a Broadway Show! The 2017 program starts at the end of February and goes until the end of May.

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