Dance New Amsterdam Begins RAW Material Series


Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), NYC's foremost progressive dance education and performance center, continues to foster emerging artists with the 2011-2012 RAW Material performance series, tonight at 8:00pm. The two-night run features world premieres Umbilicus) by Lauren Hale Biniaris, To Co-Exist by Marjani Forté, I Shatter by Aaron McGloin and Coughing Consonants by Jumatatu Poe. Lauren Grace Bakst will present the New York premiere of Trespass Trespass. RAW Materials is the culmination of an innovative choreographic program in which artistic advisor Gus Solomons, Jr., mentors exceptional emerging choreographers as they hone their creative skills and choreographic process to invent original works. Each of the five young choreographers will premiere a 10-minute work in DNA's 130-seat state-of-the-art theater.

In development since May 2011, Bakst's Trespass Trespass is an experiential work that invites both performers and audience to shift their modes of perception. "This piece stems from a desire to understand the nature of empathy and the ways in which it might manifest in the ambiguous space between self and other," says Lauren Grace Bakst. Based on a short story by Caedra Scott-Flaherty, and featuring original music by Rick Scott, Umbilicus portrays family connections that oscillate between being non-existent and overwhelming. "The RAW Material program has provided an artistic refuge to take risks and take advantage of fundamental feedback from mentors and peers," says choreographer Lauren Hale Biniaris. Forte's To Co-Exist is a collaborative multi-sensory performance experience that evokes memory through sound, taste, movement and visual art. Of the work she says, "DNA has a history of presenting work (UBW, Nia Love, Alexandra Bellar) that challenges the audience and performer to ask critical questions - I hope to create work of the same cloth."

McGloin's solo I Shatter combines contemporary, jazz and hip-hop elements to explore the subtle victories and defeats of a breakup. "This solo is the most raw and ambitious work I've created, having the opportunity to develop it through DNA's RAW program allowed me to dig deeper and take creative risks," says Aaron McGloin. Hailing from Philadelphia, Jumatatu Poe's movement in Coughing Consonants was inspired by the feeling of finding communication in a language not his own. "I am interested in experimenting with intersections of introverted and extroverted performance energy," says Poe, "RAW provided the opportunity to test and explore through intimate workshops with the group and Gus."

"These five blossoming choreographers have provocative ideas. The Raw Material program led by Gus Solomons Jr. offers them a challenging environment where they use all the elements culled from their research, experimental processes, collaboration and discovery to develop art for discerning audiences. DNA is one of the few professional presenters and contemporary dance training centers committed to being a nurturing cultural incubator, a home, for artists to take risks and develop new work." says Catherine Peila, Executive Director.

DNA's RAW Material series has supported more than 100 new and emerging artists since 2000. The program supports the work of up to six budding choreographers who have shown promise to affect the field of dance. Chosen through a juried panel process each year, DNA provides them an opportunity to be mentored by a seasoned choreographer over a six-month workshop-intensive period and also provides funding, studio space and marketing support.

Performances take place Thursday and Friday at 8:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in person at DNA's box office during regular business hours or by visiting Ticket prices for performances are $17 for general audiences, $12 for DNA members and $14 for students/seniors unless stated otherwise. $12 advance sales are also available. To arrange discounted tickets for groups of six or more, contact All sales are final.

Artist Information

Trespass Trespass - New York Premiere
Choreographer: Lauren Grace Bakst
Dancers: Lauren Grace Bakst, Maggie Cloud, Emily Suggs
Music: Maybe Not by Cat Power, In Dreams by Roy Orbison

Artist Statement
Trespass - "to miss the mark or go astray, as an arrow misses a target"- Hannah Arendt. An experiential entanglement of questions around empathy, belief, and the self, Trespass Trespass assumes that we are already trespassing, and asks, how do we negotiate this terrain?

Lauren Grace Bakst is a Brooklyn based dance maker, performer, feminist theorist and writer. Trespass, Trespass recently premiered in Philadelphia as a part of topos, topio - a show featuring female artists curated by Donna Faye Burchfield. Lauren's other works have been seen at The Center for Performance Research (NY), The American Dance Festival (NC), and at Hollins University (VA). Lauren currently writes for BOMB Magazine's blog about performance. She holds a BFA in Dance and a BA in Gender studies from Hollins University.

Umbilicus - World Premiere
Company: Lauren Hale Dance
Choreographer: Lauren Hale Biniaris
Dancers: Lauren Hale Biniaris, Corey Gosselin, Lori Crosthwait
Music: original score Rick Scott

Artist Statement
Inspired by the story, Circles, by Caedra Scott-Flaherty, Umbilicus looks to narrative subtext as a choreographic guide. The eerie, tender, disturbing, and yet familiar story portrays the interior world of a family whose connections with one another oscillate between being non-existent and overwhelming.

Lauren Hale Dance was founded in 2004. Lauren has acted as Resident Artist for the Chattanooga Ballet, Brown University's Dance Extension, and the Mercersburg Academy. Her choreography has been seen at The Queens Museum, The Museum of Biblical Art, The Hudson River Museum, Solar 1 Arts Festival, The Cunningham Studio, Triskelion Arts, The Flea Theatre, and Dixon Place. She has performed works by David Parsons, Colin Connor, Danny Grossman, Donald McKayle, Martha Graham, Noel MacDuffie Performance, and the Aimee Rials Dance Project. Lauren has won grants from the Puffin Foundation and Fractured Atlas, and she was awarded the prestigious Weston Award for performing arts from Brown University. She has an MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

To Co-Exist - World Premiere
Company: LOVE FORTE, a collective
Choreographer: Marjani Forte
Visual Artist: Johann Mittnacht
Culinary Artist: Adhali Armendariz
Dancers: Nia Austin Edwards, Tendayi Kuumba, Stephanie Lau, Rebecca Bliss,
Music: Original composition by Everett Saunders

Artist Statement
To Co-exist explores how the transformation of self designs our co-existence; and, in essence affects change and transformation in the whole.

To Co-Exist was created, in part, during a 2010-2011 Fresh Tracks Residency at Dance Theater Workshop.

A well-travelled dancer and Teacher, Marjani has conducted dance master classes and workshops in the U.S., Germany, England, Columbia Brazil and Venezuela. She has worked with Earl Mosely, Garth Fagan, Blondell Cummings, and Camille A. Brown. As an emerging choreographer she has studied with Annie B. Parsons and Paul Lazar at Jacob's Pillow. Her work has been presented at DNA's WIP Series, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance BAAD ASS Women's Series, and New Orleans' McKenna Museum. Forte most recently presented at Dance Theatre Workshop's 2010 Fresh Tracks Resident Artst, DanceNow NYC, Loyola Marymount University, and Dumbo Dance Festival. She was recently selected as a Movement Research Artist in Residence 2011-2013. Forte is a Pasadena, CA native, and graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Business Marketing and Dance.

I Shatter - World Premiere
Company: Aaron McGloin Dance
Choreographer: Aaron McGloin
Dancer: Aaron McGloin
Music: Phoenix

Artist Statement
I Shatter explores the subtle victories and defeats of a break up. Through raw physicality, poignant simplicity, and a sense of humor a message of hope unravels.

A winner of the Arizona Choreography Competition, Aaron began his professional dance company in Arizona three years ago, and recently moved to New York to continue to expand his work. In his short time in NYC, Aaron has presented work at Joyce SoHo, The Rover, John Ryan Theater and the RoofTop Dance Series. Dance Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Examiner, 944 Magazine,, and have recognized his work. Over the past few years he has had the privilege of performing with AZ companies Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre, Scorpius Dance Theatre, Temenos Dance Collective, CONDER/Dance, and Chicago's AMEBA Acrobatic and Aerial Dance. He has also danced in NYC with LoCo Moves, Tribe of Human, John J. Zullo Dance and Ekilibre Dance. Aaron McGloin was born and raised in Arizona and graduated with honors from Arizona State University in 2007 with a BFA in Choreography.

Coughing Consonants -World Premiere
Company: idiosynCrazy production
Choreographer: Jumatatu Poe
Dancer: Jumatatu Poe

Artist Statement
This work explores the tension between separateness and connection along the lines of an immortal continuum.

Jumatatu acts as the Artistic Director at idiosynCrazy productions; and, he serves on the dance faculty at Swarthmore College, where he received his undergraduate degree. He has trained at Philadanco and Jacob's Pillow, and in Philadelphia with Kariamu Welsh and Merian Soto. He has also trained in Amsterdam under Anouk van Dijk, and in New York with Irene Dowd. His work has been supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Susan Hess Modern Dance Choreographers' Project, Velocity Dance Center, Southern Theater, and the Community Education Center. Jumatatu was born in San Jose, California and has lived in several cities along the coast of California. He spent the second half of his life in Philadelphia, PA.