Soaking WET Dance Series Kicks Off Season On 9/27
The Soaking WET dance series, curated by Jeff Kazin and David Parker, opens its 2018-19 season with two programs of returning artists, September 27-30: Program A features Deborah Lohse in "Star Crossed, Dances for Lovers (Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 7 PM); Program B will be shared by Beyond the Bang Group, members past and present of The Bang Group (Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 8:30 PM and Sunday at 2 PM) at the intimate and charming West End Theater, 263 West 86th Street (2nd floor of the Church).
Both programs feature dancer/choreographers who are past or current members of The Bang Group and embody the organization's ongoing commitment to nurturing and providing opportunities for both emerging and established choreographic voices.
Program A: DEBORAH LOHSE in "Star Crossed: Dances for Lovers" The one-woman show will be performed by TruDee, the alter ego dancer/comedian Deborah Lohse, a member of The Bang Group and the dance world's Carol Burnett. TruDee, pink polyester clad, middle aged, divorced post professional dancer/storyteller, casts herself as Juliet in the famous tale of love and tragedy. TruDee's dream role is short lived when Romeo fails to show up for the premiere, and she must find a way to keep the show and her dreams of finding true love from being cancelled. There will be ribbon dancing, karaoke, friendly drag show competitions, and more, all this while Melissa Etheridge begs us to "come to her window."
Program B: BEYOND THE BANG GROUP, shared by CHELSEA AINSWORTH, LOUISE BENKELMAN/TOMMY SEIBOLD, BENJAMIN FREEDMAN, Jason Collins (with Lindsay Harwell and Ingrid Kapteyn), SARA HOOK, and ALISON MANNING. Each performance of Beyond the Bang Group will open with a brief "amuse-bouche" delivered by David Parker.
CHELSEA AINSWORTH will present "Surrender Control," choreographed by HUMA to music by Nicole Davis. Performers are Ainsworth, Doron Perk, Jessica Smith and Brad Geyer. The quartet is a union of spoken word and dance created by HUMA, the resident collective at Arts on Site NYC.
LOUISE BENKELMAN and TOMMY SEIBOLD. The team's second collaboration presents a balance of wit and trust as a string of vignettes set to a compilation of Franz Lehar's most memorable waltz melodies.
BENJAMIN FREEDMAN will premiere "Trio," created in collaboration with Mallory Galarza, Elizabeth Hepp, and Holly Sass. The new work-in-progress is inspired by the phenomenon of synesthesia.
SARA HOOK presents "Janes," performed by Kendra Portier, formerly with David Dorfman Dance, set to music by M. Anthony Reimer. Hook remains fascinated by the relationship between femininity and classical technique, and the contemporary "condition" of being female in today's society.
ALISON MANNING presents "GirlOccupied," a story of protest that explores the psychological effects of our current political climate. A collaboration between DanceTheYard directors Alison Manning and Jesse Keller Jason and writer Alison Weaver, loosely based on a fictional short story by Ms. Weaver.
Dancer/comedienne DEBORAH LOHSE, described as "Carol Burnett in the body of a classical ballerina," will appear as the character TruDee, her alter ego, which she describes as "a manifestation of optimism, fearlessness, unconditional love and play." TruDee, an elusive genre straddler, has shared her dance stories in performances at Joe's Pub, American Dance Festival, Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, the beloved West Village drag bars Boots & Saddle and Stonewall In, and more. A favorite with Soaking WET audiences, TruDee returns in her one-woman show as Juliet, faced with keeping the show going when her Romeo fails to show up. Audience members - bring your tiaras. You may end up on stage!
CHELSEA AINSWORTH, a graduate of Juilliard, has worked with Johannes Wieland/Staadstheater Kassel in Germany and is currently a member of The Bang Group and ZviDance. Offstage, Chelsea is also a certified Thai masseuse and founder of Arts On Site, a non-profit that gives affordable rental space to artists.
LOUISE BENKELMAN/TOMMY SEIBOLD - Louise graduated magna cum laude with honors from Roger Williams U with a BA in Dance Performance, and currently dances with The Bang Group and other companies. Tommy began dancing at the age of five at his mother's school in Stoneham, Ma, and is a current member of The Bang Group.
BENJAMIN FREEDMAN, a graduate of NYU, has danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Keigwin + Company, Sean Curran Company, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, The Bang Group, and others. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at NYU Tisch Dance.
HEWMAN, the company founded by Jason Collins, Lindsay Harwell, and Ingrid Kapteyn, all 2013 graduates of The Juilliard School. Hewman seeks to emphasize the similarity between performer and viewer, rather than the difference.
SARA HOOK, longtime collaborator and close associate with The Bang Group, has also toured the world with Nikolais Dance Theater and performed with Pearl Lang, Jean Erdman, and others. She is currently a Professor of Dance at the University of Illinois/Urbana Champaign.
ALISON MANNING is Executive Director and Co-Producer of The Yard on Martha's Vineyard, and has been a member of The Bang Group for five years. Her own work has been presented at Jacob's Pillow, Ohio University, Triskelion Arts, Green Street Studios, and more.