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Cornish Presents Cornish Dance Theater Fall 2009 Concert

October 22, 2009

Choreography by Robert Battle, Pat Hon, Hallie Kuperman, Kristen Tsiatsios, Deborah Wolf

Seattle, WA – Cornish Dance Theater, the performing ensemble of the Dance Department at Cornish College of the Arts, is pleased to present their Fall 2009 Concert, with choreography by Robert Battle, Pat Hon, Hallie Kuperman, Kristen Tsiatsios and Deborah Wolf

Cornish Dance Theater Fall 2009 Concert
Friday, November 20 at 8pm
Saturday, November 21 at 2pm & 8pm

Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway Avenue, Seattle
Tickets: $10 general, $5 students, seniors & alumni

For more information please visit http://www.cornish.edu/events or call 206.726.5011.

About the Performance

The Cornish Dance Theater Fall 2009 Concert features the work of visiting artist Robert Battle, guest choreographers Hallie Kuperman and Kristen Tsiatsios and Cornish faculty members Pat Hon and Deborah Wolf.  Robert Battle’s work Rush Hour (1999) was recently staged on seven Cornish dancers during a two-week visiting artist residency, and is set to music by John Mackey.  Inspired by a nightmare of the urban masses crushing into a subway, this demanding, driving piece of choreography powers the dancers through bunched formations and lines.  They combat time, each other and an unseen tension that binds them and drives them from start to finish.  Rush Hour was originally commissioned and premiered by the Parsons Dance Company and has been staged for Cornish Dance Theater in part by Battleworks Rehearsal Director, Erika Pujic.

Guest choreographers Hallie Kuperman and Kristen Tsiatsios each contribute their own particular talents to the Fall program.  Tsiatsios’ site-specific work promises to draw audiences into an intimate and textural ramble through the historic Broadway Performance Hall.  This will be Cornish Dance Theater’s first foray into site-specific dance, opening up a world of artistic possibilities beyond the proscenium stage.

Kuperman, long-time proprietor of Seattle’s Century Ballroom, offers an eclectic trio of social dances with a twist.  Featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the neo-classical work Offertorium by Pat Hon, tells the story of a desperate maiden, chosen for sacrifice. Opposites combine in a new piece of choreography by Deborah Wolf, in which visual and movement elements blend in this rhythmic, angular composition.

Please note: the Saturday, November 21 matinee performance will be followed by an informal question and answer period.

Robert Battle’s residency at Cornish and the staging of Rush Hour on Cornish Dance Theater were made possible by funding from the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation.

Biographies

Originally from Miami, FL, Robert Battle (Residency Guest) is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts and the Julliard School, where he received the Princess Grace Dance Scholarship and the Martha Hill Prize. Upon graduation, Mr. Battle joined the Parsons Dance Company (1994-2001), and began setting his own work on the company in 1998. Parsons has performed his choreography across the United States and internationally, and featured it in several New York City seasons.

In 2001 Mr. Battle founded Battleworks Dance Company, and the company premiered in August 2002 at the World Dance Alliance’s Global Assembly in Düsseldorf, Germany.  Selected as the American representatives to the festival, the company was chosen for its unique outlook on the future of modern dance.  Battleworks has performed extensively in New York City and across the country at such venues as The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

As an independent choreographer, Mr. Battle is in high demand.  The Hubbard Street Repertory Ensemble, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, River North Dance Company, Koresh Dance Company, Introdans, and PARADIGM have all commissioned Mr. Battle for both new works and re-stagings of Battleworks repertory.  Mr. Battle regularly conducts residencies at Universities throughout the country and teaches master classes in NYC and abroad.  In 2005, Battle was honored at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with a medal proclaiming him one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” and he has recently been honored with the coveted Princess Grace Statue Award for achievements in choreography.

Erika Pujic (Residency Assistant) was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she began her dance training at the School of Cleveland Ballet under the direction of Dennis Nahat. In 1995, Ms. Pujic received a BFA from the Juilliard School where she was the recipient of the Martha Hill Award. Upon graduation, Ms. Pujic worked with Lila York, as her rehearsal assistant, as well as with Henning Rubsam and Robert Battle. She was a member of Gloria Marina’s Spanish Dance Ensemble performing in New Jersey Opera’s Carmen as well. Ms. Pujic is a founding member of Battleworks as well as the Rehearsal Director for the company.

Patricia Hon (Faculty) performed extensively for 10 years with ballet companies in France, Austria, Spain, and Germany. In 1983 she received the National Endowment for the Arts’ Choreographic Fellowship and since then has choreographed for the Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Summer Inventions, Singapore Ballet, Ballet Concerto of Miami, Goh Ballet in Canada, Federal Ballet Company of Malaysia, Ballet Petit, and for dancers competing in the International Ballet Competitions in Jackson, Mississippi. Before coming to Cornish in 1978, she taught at the Morelli Studios in New York and in Florence, Italy. Pat began studying ballet at the age of 10 in her native Singapore and continued her studies at Rosella Hightower’s Centre de Danse Classique in France. She also studied Flamenco and Classical Spanish dance in Madrid, Spain, and performed with the foremost Spanish dance company, Antonio and his Ballets of Madrid, before coming to New York to attend the Joffrey School and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She has been teaching for 30 years as Professor in the Dance department at Cornish College of the Arts. Between June and December 2008, Pat was Head of Dance at the School of the Arts, Singapore, where she continues to teach in the summer.

Hallie Kuperman (Guest) has been the sole owner and primary instructor of the Century Ballroom in Seattle for thirteen years, teaching Lindy Hop, Swing, Salsa, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Country Western Two-Step, line dances and West Coast Swing.  She co-directed Swing This!, a Lindy Hop Performance Troupe and choreographs and performs in Century’s annual cabaret show.  Additionally, she’s responsible for a unique program of year-long social dance instruction at the Northwest School, also choreographing for their spring ArtsFest.  Hallie has taught for numerous companies over the past thirteen years, including Microsoft Studios, Experience Music Project, Living Traditions, WA State Trial Lawyers, Folklife Festival, Velocity Dance Center and Team Survivor, a local organization for women cancer survivors.  She offers private instruction and encourages social dancing for the fun of it, at any age!
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Kristen Tsiatsios (Guest) uses the body, site, and image to create experiences layered with meaning.  Working in non-traditional venues, she explores aesthetics as a means of empowering and connecting individuals to create shared experiences in unlikely situations.  Thematically, she navigates embodiment and intellect, the everyday and the extraordinary, and craft and impulse.  Tsiatsios has created works for numerous local venues, including the Central Public Library, Henry Jackson Federal Building, Gasworks Park, and a motel room on Highway 99.  She has received support from Seattle Mayor’s of Arts and Cultural Affairs City Artist Program, 4Culture, Centrum, and Allied Arts Foundation, and served as artist-in-residence at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library.  Tsiatsios’ work has been presented regionally by On The Boards, Bumbershoot, Seattle Fringe Festival, Northwest Film Forum, and the Signal & Noise Festival in Vancouver BC, among others.  She was published in Plazm Magazine for her project Letter Doulas, and participated in the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project’s Pacific Northwest Dance Lab. For three years, she facilitated Field sessions for performance artists, choreographers, poets, visual artists and theatre artists. She founded and co-directed the performance company Glassbones.  She holds a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. 

Deborah Wolf (Faculty) began her professional career performing with the State University of New York at Brockport’s Company in Residence. Shortly thereafter she joined Concert Dance Company of Boston, New England’s premiere modern repertory company, performing works by over 50 choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Laura Dean, David Gordon, Wendy Perron, Bebe Miller, Mark Morris, and Randy Warshaw. She became CDC’s Resident Choreographer and eventually added CDC’s Artistic Directorship to her duties. Other performance credits include Seachange Theater Ensemble, New York Chambre Dance Ensemble and Peter DiMuro and Associates.  A recipient of a Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowship and seven Finalist Awards in choreography, she has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Boston and Somerville Arts Lottery Councils, and Seattle’s Artist Trust. Deborah has choreographed for the Boston Ballet, the Boston Symphony Youth Concert Series, and numerous other companies both in New England and Seattle. Producer and performer of her own choreography through WolfWorks, she has also been produced by among others: Boston’s Dance Umbrella, Boston Dances, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Series, New England Choreographers’ Showcase, and in Seattle area by Velocity’s Strictly Seattle and Under Construction, Rockhopper’s On the Side, Dance On Capitol Hill’s Choreofest and Intimate Works, Men in Dance/Against the Grain Festival of Dancing, Powell/Scott’s Composer/Choreographer #6, Lehua Dance Theater, Evoke Productions’ Full Tilt, Bellingham Repertory Dance Company and On the Boards’ 12 Min Max Mainstage and Northwest New Works Festival. Most recently her choreography was selected for the A.W. A. R. D. Show! 2009 administered by the Joyce Theater Foundation and performed at On the Boards. Her teaching credits include Harvard University, Rhode Island College, Boston Ballet, SUNY/Brockport, and currently as Professor of Dance at Cornish College of the Arts. She has served on the boards of d9 Dance Collective, Velocity Dance Center and as a panelist for New England Foundation for the Arts, Seattle Arts Commission and the Seattle Fringe Festival. Deborah received her BA in Dance from State University of New York/Brockport.


For additional information, to request images, please contact Meike Kaan or Beth Fleenor (see information above) or visit http://www.cornish.edu.

About Cornish College of the Arts

Cornish College of the Arts is nationally recognized as a premier college of the visual and performing arts offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in dance, theater, art, design and performance production, and a Bachelor of Music degree. A pioneer in arts education, Cornish College of the Arts sprang from the remarkable vision of Nellie Cornish, a woman determined to cultivate the arts in Seattle when it was scarcely more than a frontier town. Her philosophy of educating the artist through exposure to all the arts was progressive at the time, and continues to be innovative today.