Brooklyn Arts Exchange Presents LIVING PROOF, 5/18-19


BAX / Brooklyn Arts Exchange presents LIVING PROOF, a performance featuring student, director & guest choreography with DPW III and BAXco Youth Dance Company, tonight & Saturday, May 18-19, 2012 at 7:30pm. Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at

Helen Styring Tocci of SPW III directs. Donna Costello & Penelope McCourty of BAXco co-direct.

This evening length performance features short works created by the advanced young dancers/choreographers of BAX's Dance Performing Workshop (DPW) Level III. These works incorporate various modern dance techniques, ballet, acrobatics and partnering to articulately express their individual artistic voices. DPWIII Director Helen Tocci's collaboratively made piece, Living Proof, highlights glimpses into the private worlds of 9 young female performers. The show also includes dance works created by BAXco Guest Choreographers Kelly Bartnik and Pam Pietro as well as BAXco Co-Director Penelope McCourty. LIVING PROOF is sure to make you laugh, make you think, inspire you, and perhaps even move you.

DANCE PERFORMING WORKSHOPS at BAX are full-year programs intended for motivated young people (ages 9-17) who are ready to commit to comprehensive study.

Dance Performance Workshops (DPWs) emphasize:
Performance skills and improvisation
Student-directed choreography
Multiple performance opportunities

DPW admission and advancement is evaluated based on ability, commitment, potential and progress. Interested students new to BAX are encouraged to call the Education Department. Currently enrolled BAX students are invited to join DPW I from Modern III or Modern IV.

BAXco, BAX's youth dance company, is a repertory company that performs work by professional choreographers both guest and faculty and is a pre-professional model for young dancers wishing to expand their experiences in the dance community. The company members are also ambassadors for BAX programs, performing throughout NYC and beyond.

KELLY BARTNIK, BAXco Guest Choreographer
Kelly Bartnik is a New York based choreographer, performer and teacher. She has danced with Melissa Briggs Dance, the WrightNow! Performance Xperience, Carl Hancock Rux, Nicki Marshall & Helen Tocci, Katherine Longstreth and Cora Dance. Her own work has been presented at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BRIC Studio, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, Joyce Soho, James Madison University, Long Island University, Williamsburg Arts Nexus as well as Arena Stage in Washington DC and The Publick Playhouse in Maryland. She was a guest professor at Sarah Lawrence College and co-director of BAXco, the resident teen repertory dance company at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange. She is one of three founding members of GK1 Productions, a video Production Company specializing in dance films. Additionally, Kelly is a new member of Switch-N-Play, New York's premiere drag king performing group. She is currently performing with and is an original cast member of the NY production of Sleep No More, co-produced by Emursive and London-based company Punchdrunk.

DONNA COSTELLO, Co-Director, BAXco Youth Dance Company
Donna Costello is a project-based dance artist living in Brooklyn, NY. She has built rich relationships dancing for Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance (founding member), jill sigman/thinkdance, Mollie O'Brien and Jimena Paz. Ms. Costello's performance in Carrie Ahern's 3-hour installation, SeNSATE, was picked as a 2009 favorite by writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa. In 2010 she taught and performed throughout Germany with the program Dancing to Connect for Aviva Geismar's Drastic Action. She has also danced for Pele Bauch, Barbara Mahler, the Human Company, composer Anne Hege, The Vagabond Inventions and many others. She is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Institute and PS 154. As a guest artist she has worked for Dance New Amsterdam, the Liz Gerring Company, Rebecca Davis and at James Madison University. She is currently developing a new work titled, L. Hartke and collaborating with Collision Ensemble on an original devised movement/theater work. At BAX, she is a teaching artist for Brooklyn New School, co-directs BAXco and is the director of Dance Performance Workshop I and the Youthworks program.

PENELOPE MCCOURTY, Co-Director, BAXco Youth Dance Company
Penelope McCourty is an arts administrator, educator and interdisciplinary performing artist who uses movement as her base. She has worked with several locally and nationally known dance performance companies and community arts organizations. As a performer and teacher she was a member of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Marlies Yearby's Movin' Spirits Dance Theater and Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group. As an educator, Penelope has created, taught and facilitated movement, dance and theater workshops in numerous schools, senior centers and universities within the New York City area and beyond for the past 13 years. She is a trainer for the National Center for Creative Aging and was the Performance Director of Elders Share the Arts creating/directing Continuum Dance Collective-a cross-generational performance and teaching collaborative. As an art maker, her work has been presented at St. Mark's Church, Joyce Soho, Chicago's Links Hall, Towson University and San Francisco State University. She has also worked collaboratively with percussionist Leon Parker, writer Suhier Hammad and composer Tigger Benford. Penelope is currently one of the Education Co-Directors at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

PAMELA PIETRO, BAXco Guest Choreographer
Pamela Pietro received an BFA from Florida State University and MFA from University of Washington. She is an Assistant Arts Professor at New York University Tisch School for the Arts. Pamela has performed professionally with Anthony Morgan Dance Company, Michael Foley Dance, RaceDance and bopi's black sheep/dances. She was a dancer and the rehearsal director for Houlihan and Dancers from 1991-1999, artistic director Gerri Houlihan and rehearsal director for the New World Dance Ensemble Australian Tour in 1994. Pamela served as Mark Haim's assistant for the Saint Joseph Ballet projects (2002,2004,2007) and part of their summer faculty in 2004. She has been on the faculty at the American Dance Festival since 1997 and a guest teacher with the ADF linkage programs to Guangdong Dance Company in Guangzhou (China) and the Dance Library summer conference in Tel Aviv, Israel. Pamela has been on the faculty at Florida International University, New World School of the Arts, Hollins University, New York University Tisch School for the Arts, Dance New Amsterdam and a guest artist at universities all over the country. Pamela's choreography has been presented by Dancespace in Miami, Booker School for the Arts in Sarasota, Florida, Momentum Danza Company in Panama, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC and presented at the ACM Multimedia Conference in Santa Barbara, CA. She is a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor as well as the assistant to Irene Dowd in New York City. Pamela received the first place award for academics and performance from the National Society of Arts and Letters in 1985. Her latest research was presented at the Hawaiian Arts and Humanities Conference in Waikiki in 2007.

Helen Styring Tocci is passionate about creating space for people of all ages to explore their unique creativity and discover the innate strength and wisdom that lives in every body. With over 15 years of experience as a professional dancer, vocalist and movement teacher in NYC, Helen is the co-founder of Varoom Group Dance Collective and her multi-disciplinary performance works with collaborator Nicki Calia Marshall have been presented at venues throughout the city and beyond including BAX, Joyce Soho, Judson Church and DTW. Helen and Nicki Calia were the recipients of a BAX space grant in 2008. Helen is a certified yoga instructor and teaches privately throughout the city. She has recently completed her training in CircusYoga with Kevin and Erin O'Keefe and travels nationally teaching workshops and sharing this innovative new practice, most recently presenting at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Helen has been on the dance faculty of the Brooklyn Friend's School since 2001.

About BAX
Founded in 1991, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange is a is a multi-faceted community performing arts center located in Park Slope, Brooklyn offering an annual presenting season, artist services, and educational programs for youth and adults. BAX receives support from city, state and national public and private foundations. Its programs have been featured in several Brooklyn, NYC, and national publications.

For more information about BAX and its programs please call 718-832-0018 or visit us on the web at