SOAKING WET 2017-18 Series Opens Next Week at West End Theater

SOAKING WET 2017-18 Series Opens Next Week at West End TheaterSoaking Wet 2017-18 series opens with September 14-17 performances. Curated by David Parker and Jeff Kazin, performances take place Thursday-Sunday at the West End Theater, 263 West 86th Street (2nd floor of the Church), Tickets are $20 and reservations can be made at or 1-800-838-3006.

Program A: Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 7 PM (no Sunday performance)
Shared program of Sarah Konner and Austin Selden Dance, and Doppelganger Dance Collective (Shura Baryshnikov and Danielle Davidson)

Sarah Konner and Austin Selden Dance will perform their Etude, offering a view of a relationship between moving bodies. Performed to a music collage.

Sarah Konner is an improviser and somatic movement educator, interested in movement as expression and the innate intelligence in our bodies. Sarah teaches, practices and performs improvisation in NY and elsewhere, and creates dance-theater work with her collaborator Austin Selden.

Austin Selden graduated from the U. of Michigan with a BFA in Dance. He worked with Shen Wei Dance Arts from 2011 to 2017, and his current collaborators include Sarah Konner, Jordan Isadore, and Anneke Hansen. He is also a body worker and Pilates instructor.

Doppelganger Dance Collective, Artistic Directors/Performers: Shura Baryshnikov, Danielle Davidson

Doppelganger will appear in two works: The Queen's Dream (excerpt), choreography by Heidi Henderson, music by Mozart, Alex North, others. "The queens dream in white, of things that are light like feathers and marshmellows. They are regal and romantic and hopelessly out of date." Oracles 1 & 2, choreography by Paul Singh, music by Caroline Shaw, performed by Calidore String Quartet. The duet exhibits arresting technical prowess while weaving beautifully unusual movement material with raw human moments.

Doppelganger Dance Collective was founded in 2015 by co-directors Shura Baryshnikov and Danielle Davidson as a repertory company that offers choreographic commissions to a diverse group of dancemakers each season. DDC is committed to interdisciplinary collaborations with a wide range of artists, including musicians, filmmakers, composers, among others.

Program B: Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 8:30 PM; Sunday at 2 PM
Beyond the Bang Group: 5 couples are Jason Collins/Lindsay Harwell, Sarah Hook/Elizabeth Johnson, Louise Benkelman/Tommy Seibold, Chelsea Ainsworth/Doron Perk, Alison Manning/Jesse Keller

Jason Collins/Lindsay Harwell's collaboration, Hewman, presents a new duet performed by Collins and Harwell, dealing with the desire for individuality, and romantic love versus self-love.

Jason Collins, Lindsay Harwell and Ingrid Kapteyn co-founded Hewman in 2014 after their graduating from The Juilliard School Dance Division. They favor collaborative installations in unconventional venues where the viewers are as crucial to the environment as the performers.

Sarah Hook/Elizabeth Johnson, both The Bang Group alumni, will appear in two related solos entitled Erstwhiles and Sonnambulations, which make oblique reference to Balanchine's La Sonnambula. The timely, personal, political, and romantic laments are part of a project with dramaturge Betsy Brandt examining the alluring, enduring, and disturbing core of female iconography.

Sarah Hook toured the world with the Nikolais Dance Theater, and performed with Pearl Lang and Jean Erdman, among others. She is currently Professor of Dance at the U of Illinois/Urbana Champaign.

Elizabeth Johnson has performed with The Bang Group, Sara Hook Dances, and Molly Rabinowitz Liquid Grip. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Theatre and Dance at the U. of Florida.

Louise Benkelman/Tommy Seibold will perform their collaboration "Goin' Your Way," set to tracks by Lapsley and Frank Sinatra, offering snapshots of an honest, yet idiosyncratic friendship.

Louise Benkelman graduated magna cum laude from Roger Williams U and continued her studies in London, crediting that UK/Europe experience with much of her artistic tastes. She is a current member of The Bang Group.

Tommy Seibold began dancing at the age of 5 at his mother's school in Stoneham, Ma. He studied at the u of Mass/Amherst, and is currently dancing and touring with The Bang Group.

Chelsea Ainsworth/Doron Perk have used music by Liszt and other recorded sounds for their Tea for Two, a duet inspired by the dynamic developed between two people. As they slowly discover their genders, we see how that affects the movement and relationship. They deal with the contrast between being careful and subtle to being carefree and wild, believing that, in spite of the contrast, both qualities create a whole.

Alison Manning/Jesse Keller will appear in the politically-charged collaborative work At Home in the Clouds (NY premiere,) based on a short story by Alison Weaver and set to a sound score created by Phil DaRosa (mature content in the recorded story). The piece explores the themes of abortion, life, death, choice and love, with the dancers constantly shifting perspectives between the various characters in the text; the mother, the babies, the doctor, and more.

The Manning/Keller company, titled DanceTheYard, was formed in 2011 and is The Yard's resident dance collective, having also appeared at Ohio U, the Women in Motion Festival, Jacob's pillow, Triskelion Arts, and others.

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