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NOMA Premieres Tonight at TNC's 2015 Dream Up Festival

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"NOMA" is a wordless movement piece with aerial dance directed by Sara Zepezauer, choreographed and designed by the Circus Solaris Collective ( In the work, individual artists collaborate to create something bigger than they are capable of alone, using painting as a metaphor for the darkness that can overtake us in our futile flight from death. "NOMA" will have its American premiere tonight, September 9, through September 19 as part of Theater for the New City's 2015 Dream Up Festival.

A little girl's world exists solely on her canvas. When she steps away to look at her work, she is swept up again in her strokes, moving among the colors she combines. As the darkness within her starts to multiply, black becomes present in her painting and it becomes increasingly clear that she is dying from something that is seductive, dangerous and growing at an exponential rate. In the midst of this consuming darkness, an uncontrollable force takes over her mind and body and it remains unclear until the very end whether this is a self-created reality or the driving force of her art. Pairing concept with visual representation, the piece speaks to anyone who has endured or watched a loved one endure a darkness too overwhelming to control, too large to conquer, and too seductive to resist.

"NOMA" features dance and aerial movment that looks like a painting. The dancers' movements mirror the strokes of a brush, accompanied by projections and paint. There is also live music composed by collaborating artists comprised mostly of strings.

Sara Zepezauer (director) has always been a dancer. When a tragic accident at age 18 forced her to have knee surgery, she thought her dance career was over. She had been training silks since age 13, but hadn't given them a second thought until she tentatively made her first climb again after six months of immobility. While she couldn't stand or dance on the ground, dancing in the air was a different story. She made the move in 2011 from Los Angeles to New York City. In 2014, she directed her first show, "The Secret Below," an artistic aerial adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid." In August of that year, she had the honor of working under the direction of Akil Apollo Davis, writer and creator of the hit show "Summer Blue," part of TNC's Dream Up Festival in 2014.

Charley Layton (music director) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist in New York City. He is currently performing in "Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic" as well as with three bands. He is MC at "The Poetry Brothel." He has composed music for dozens of shows all over NYC. This is his third production working with Sara Zepezauer.

The cast features members of the Circus Solaris Collective: Rachel Boyadjis, Allison Clairer, Amandine Farin, Jacob Lewis, Emily Henrie, Joyce Lai, Chelsea Mahr, Joshua Oates, Alexandra Peter, Gage Self, Nava Silverstein and Sara Zepezauer.

Costume design is by Sara Zepezauer and Chelsea Couto. Lighting design is by Light Oddity.

The sixth Dream Up Festival ( will be presented by Theater for the New City (TNC) from August 30 to September 20, 2015, offering a lineup of wide-ranging and original theatrical visions embracing drama, musicals, improv, aerial and more. This year, owing to growing popularity, the festival has expanded beyond its primary venue. Previously, all productions were presented at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. This year, 19 productions will be presented at TNC and seven will be presented at an outside venue, The Producers Club Theaters at 358 West 44th Street.

The festival is dedicated to new works. TNC feels this festival is especially needed now in a time of declining donations to the arts, when grants are not being awarded due to market conditions and arts funding is being cut across the country and abroad. The festival aims to push ideas to the forefront through imaginative presentations so as to challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of the way art illuminates the world around us.

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