Visceral Dance Chicago Announces Winter Engagement

Engagement includes a presentation of dynamic works that highlight the range and power of Visceral Dance.

By: Jan. 23, 2023
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Visceral Dance Chicago Announces Winter Engagement

Visceral Dance has announced its winter engagement featuring performances at Visceral's Ann Barzel Theater.

Engagement includes a presentation of dynamic works that highlight the range and power of Visceral Dance with Minor Threat by MARK GODDEN, Avow, Ash in the Rainbow, and Awake by NICK PUPILLO, and a World Premiere by DANIELLE AGAMI, running February 17, 18, 23, 24, 25| 8PM, February 19, 26| 3 PM

Program to feature:

  • World Premiere, Israeli choreographer, and Artistic Director of Ate9, Danielle Agami returns to create her second work on the Company. Known for her abstract vision and compelling edge, Agami will once again create a work that proves she is at the forefront of her profession.

  • Minor Threat, by Mark Godden, a technically demanding contemporary ballet set to Mozart's "Piano Concerto in D Minor.' Originally created for the Alberta Ballet in 1996, Visceral Dance Chicago first performed this piece in 2017 and brings it back this season to showcase the technical range of the dancers. Special Note: Visceral Founder / Artistic Director Nick Pupillo performed in this ballet in 2000 while attending Indiana University.

  • Avow (2021), by Founder/Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, inspired by the expressive power from contemporary classical composer Luca D'Alberto. Avow contemplates a notion that "everything we perceive is nothing but a dream within a dream."

  • Ash in the Rainbow (2020), by Nick Pupillo, is a duet that serves as "a record of what has been lost and a prayer for what might be once again." The work illustrates the struggle of communication needs, and the void of touch and connection within a relationship during a transitional period of destruction and rejuvenation.

  • Awake (2022), by Founder/Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, is an exploration inside the unconscious emotional state. Pupillo's work is set to a diverse soundtrack that amplifies the dynamic range of each individual dancer.

Visceral Dance Chicago, founded and let by Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, has been engaging and connecting its artists with audiences since 2013 and is now a nationally and internationally recognized driving force in contemporary dance. The company has developed a diverse and respected repertoire that continues to challenge audiences' expectations. Visceral exemplifies Pupillo's daring vision to explore the infinite possibilities of contemporary movement and present the best of emerging, established, and innovative choreographers. The company has been praised for its exceptional technicality, diversity, versatility and daring athleticism.

Coinciding with the company's 10th anniversary is the 15th anniversary of the Visceral Dance Center, which offers classes for youth and adults seven days a week, taught by industry professionals. Visceral Dance Center is known for its positive environment, exceptional faculty, and a brand-new, spacious state-of-the-art facility located in the Avondale neighborhood along the Chicago River. This new space serves the growing needs of the entire Chicago arts community, which uses the building for rehearsals, workshops, and auditions and also includes an in-house theater space, the Ann Barzel Theater, available for performances and special events.

Nick Pupillo, Founder and Artistic Director of Visceral Dance Chicago, is an award-winning choreographer recognized for the power and versatility in his work.

A graduate of Indiana University and former dancer with Giordano Dance Chicago, Pupillo's focus quickly became concentrated on teaching and creating.

In 2006, he decided to focus on training and mentoring young talent by developing the now reputable, pre-professional company, Visceral Studio Company. In 2007, he founded Visceral Dance Center to provide the Chicago community with a new venue for artistic and technical growth. This facility continues to be a Chicago dance landmark. TimeOut Chicago lists Visceral Dance Center as "A bustling, well-appointed facility...with instructors from top companies and in-demand guest teachers." Utilized by a number of Chicago-based companies, Visceral Dance Center is home to its resident company, Visceral Dance Chicago.

Pupillo founded Visceral Dance Chicago in the fall of 2013. This repertory company presents his daring vision to explore the infinite possibilities of contemporary movement. The dancers of Visceral demonstrate this choreographic invention and are recognized for their technique, passion, and athleticism. Since inception, the company has developed a diverse and respected repertoire by new emerging voices and distinguished, world renowned choreographers. Visceral Dance Chicago has been named one of Dance Magazine's 25 to Watch, recognizing the company's accomplishments and potential in the national community. Pupillo has led the company in a forthright direction, establishing a repertoire described as "expertly devised and stylish as they come." (Chicago Tribune) He has created fifteen signature works for the company, as well as four collaborations with The Chicago Philharmonic.

Pupillo teaches master classes in the U.S. and around the world and has taught for the Jazz Dance World Congress, Culver Academies, Chicago Dance Connection and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, where he received the 2018 Artistic Achievement Award.

Israeli choreographer Danielle Agami exceeds expectation. Her unique leadership and ability to cultivate excellence in others has brought her to the forefront of her profession. After 8 years dancing with Batsheva Dance Company where she was appointed rehearsal director from 2007 - 10, Agami went on to stage Ohad Naharin's work with prominent companies around the country including Alvin Ailey and Atlanta Ballet. She frequently appears as a guest teacher at NYU Tisch, Juilliard, USC, and CalArts, among many others. Agami founded her company Ate9 in 2012 as a platform for innovative movement and artistic research. With Ate9 she has crated over 8 complete works in addition to numerous site-specific performances and collaborations with local LA institutions including the LA Philharmonic, The Music Center, CAP UCLA, The Industry Opera, CalArts, and REDCAT.

She received the 2018 Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship for Women Leaders in Dance and the 2016 Princess Grace Award for Choreography, and was named Dance Magazine's Top 25 to Watch in 2015. She won the Grand Prize for Best Choreography at the MCcallum Theater at Palm Desert in 2013 and 2014!

Her recent works have included collaborations with Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche, actor John Hamm, and Spanish singer/songwriter Russian Red. This fall she was invited by the English National Opera to choreograph a Philip Glass opera at The Coliseum in London.

These days Agami is invested in making the first international involvement of Ate9 in Europe. Ate9 is expanding and influencing more dancers around the world. With many goals ahead the organization is committed to continue to support original creation and contemporary values for years to come.

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed choreographer Mark Godden has been The HARID Conservatory's resident choreographer since 1995. His relationship with HARID, however, began in 1992 when director Gordon Wright first invited him to create a new work for the students. Godden has returned each year since then to set new works on the students and his annual visits have become an integral part of the school's curriculum.

Godden danced professionally as a soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and spent a brief period of time in Holland with Jiri Kylian's renowned company, Nederlands Dans Theatre. He was resident choreographer of the RWB from 1991 until 1994, when he moved to Montreal and began working independently.

Godden's ballets have won awards at the Banff Festival of the Arts, the Varna and Helsinki International Ballet Competitions, and (for HARID) at the Youth America Grand Prix National Final in New York. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Choo San Goh Award. Several of his full-length ballets have been made into award-winning films. In addition to the many works he has created for HARID over the years, Godden has made ballets for Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens du Montreal, Ballet Florida, Ballet Gamonet, Compañia Nacional de Danza in Mexico, Ballet Contemporania in Argentina, Ballet Memphis, Alberta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, BalletMet, American Repertory Ballet, Louisville Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Northern Ballet Theater in England.

Ballets created for The HARID Conservatory include Agram, Baffled Kings Composing, Capsize, Corazón de la Llama, Diversions, Fable, Gracioso, Laudon Loudon, Sarabande, Speaking in Tongues, Taal, Three-Quarter Moon, Tightrope, The Unanswered Question, What Can I Tell My Bones?, and Why Are You Here Today?

In 2019, Godden was made a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his outstanding achievement and life-long contribution to the nation's art and culture.


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