AXIS Dance Company Changing the face of dance and disability
Photo credit: David DeSilva
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
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PROGRAM Dix minutes plus tard (Ten Minutes Later) (2014) Choreography: Sonya Delwaide Dancers: Lani Dickinson and Alivia Schaffer Music: Excerpt from Franz Schubert Andante for String Quartet No. 15 in G, D.887 Sound Score: Angela Don Costume Design: Stephanie Verrieres Lighting Design: Patricia Mahoney Divide (2014) Concept and Direction: Marc Brew Choreography: Marc Brew in collaboration with the dancers Dancers: James Bowen, Julie Crothers, Alivia Schaffer, Dwayne Scheuneman Original Score: Caroline Penwarden Costume Design: Keriann Egeland Lighting Design: Allen Willner Guest Artistic Director Marc Brew draws inspiration from visual artist Carl Andre’s designs working in minimalism: Spill, 8 cuts and Copper Ribbon. Divide is an abstract work exploring the divide in human interaction in movement, space and time. The UK-based choreographer first worked with AXIS in 2011 when the company enjoyed a huge success with his Full of Words, which went on to become a favorite on the company’s tours.
20-Minute Intermission to go again (2015) Conceived, choreographed and written by Joe Goode Assistant Directors: Melecio Estrella and Damara Ganley Dancers: James Bowen, Julie Crothers, Kai Hazelwood, Dwayne Scheuneman Original Score: Ben Juodvalkis Costumes: Jenny Gonsalves Lighting Design: Jack Carpenter Choreographer’s note on to go again: In 2011, I began something called the Human Kind Series. I solicited real life accounts from ordinary people, stories of obstacles or challenges they had faced, significant left turns that their lives may have taken. The idea was to let natural “everyday” voices constitute the script rather than something imagined. What I discovered is that it was very cathartic for people to recount the ways in which they had learned to be resilient, to bounce back from failure or hardship.
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In 2013, I was invited, along with my group, to engage in this process with a group of veterans and their families, in Manhattan, Kansas. All of these vets had returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with serious brain injuries, or amputations, or PTSD. We, of course, only interviewed people who were eager to tell their stories, and the stories were heartbreaking and inspiring, as you can imagine. We decided to name it The Resilience Project. The piece was a great success. The vets loved seeing the visceral power of dance collided with their stories. I felt emboldened to try it again, so I was delighted when Judy Smith called me only a couple of weeks after the Kansas experience, to ask if I would be interested in setting a work on AXIS that specifically dealt with wounded veterans and their struggles to come back and adjust to civilian society- to go again about the business of their lives. It felt particularly right to be working with AXIS, a group well aware of the challenges of disability, on this project. The dancers and I interviewed several veterans and family members who generously shared their stories. The words you hear in to go again are their words. It’s privilege to be a part of this project and to work with AXIS again in such a meaningful way. — Joe Goode to go again was commissioned and generously supported by Geoff Fallon with additional support from AXIS Board of Directors, Dean Beck-Stewart and Ben Covone, Jeanie Bunker and Family, Carol Cara, Ann Helen DiFruscia, Jackie and Richard Fineberg, David and Cathy Foster, Susan Foster, Marilynn Hall and Alan Baskin; Elliot and Linda Halpern, Jack Hamilton; Mishana and Shahdeh Hosseinioun, Sondra Jensen and Paul Clinton, Barbara and Marty Kaplan, Bonnie Lewkowicz and Paul Church, Tom Metz and DavidBrightman, Laurie Posner, Megan Schirle, Joel Snyder and Esther Geiger, John Steinberg, Marilyn Straka, Derrick Williamson; Lawrence and Carolyn Zaroff. to go again was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Zellerbach Family Foundation.
About AXIS Dance Company AXIS Dance Company exists to change the face of dance and disability. Based in Oakland, CA since 1987, AXIS is one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. Under the artistic direction of Judith Smith, the company has collaborated with leading contemporary choreographers and composers, including Bill T. Jones, Stephen Petronio, Joe Goode, Victoria Marks, Ann Carlson, David Dorfman, Alex Ketley, Marc Brew, Joanna Haigood, Sonya Delwaide, Margaret Jenkins, Meredith Monk, Fred Frith and Joan Jeanrenaud. AXIS has toured major dance venues and festivals in more than 100 cities nationwide as well as internationally to Europe and Russia. AXIS was featured twice on FOX TV’s So You Think You Can Dance as well as on KQED’s SPARK program and KRCB’s One in 5 Stories. AXIS’ work has been honored with seven Isadora Duncan Dance Awards.
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Through our dance education and outreach program, Dance Access, thousands of children and adults of all ages and abilities are inspired to dance each year. Programs include classes, assemblies, residencies and our internationally attended Summer Intensive and Teacher Training. For more information visit axisdance.org.
The Company Judith Smith (Founder and Artistic Director of AXIS Dance Company) was born and raised in Colorado. Prior to becoming disabled in a car accident at age 17 in 1977, Judith was a champion equestrian. She transferred her passion for riding to dance after discovering contact improvisation in 1983. She has earned an international reputation in the field of physically integrated dance. She has commissioned works by some of the nation’s best choreographers and composers and has developed one of the field’s most extensive integrated dance education/outreach programs. Judith has performed, taught and lectured nationally and serves on the advisory board of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, The National Art and Disability Center, Dancers’ Group and Bates Dance Festival. Judith initiated the first ever National Convening on Physically Integrated Dance in 2016, followed by six regional convenings. She was honored with an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement in 2014, the O2 Initiatives Sabbatical Award in 2015 and in 2016 she was honored as one of Theatre Bay Area’s 40 people that have changed the face of Bay Area theatre. In her spare time, Judith is actively involved in thoroughbred racehorse rescue, raising butterflies and carriage driving with a team of horses. Marc Brew (Guest Artistic Director and Choreographer) is an award winning choreographer and Artistic Director of Marc Brew Company, trained as a professional dancer at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and The Australian Ballet School. He has been working in the UK and internationally for the past 18 years as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and speaker; with the Australian Ballet Company, PACT Ballet of South Africa, Infinity Dance Theatre in New York, Candoco Dance Company and was Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre - ‘Scotland’s principal contemporary dance company’ - where he co-directed NQR. He was a guest performer, collaborator and media spokesperson for the London Hand Over Ceremony, for the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony. Since 2008, Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company and was featured by Time Out Magazine as the best of the new breed of London’s Rising Dance Talent. In 2012, Marc received an Unlimited Commission to create Fusional Fragments, a collaboration with world -renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie which was part of a series of commissions across the UK celebrating the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and toured the UK and internationally. Marc Brew Company’s new outdoor work (i)land has been commissioned by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Without Walls Consortium to perform as part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival and tour the UK outdoor festival circuit in Summer 2014. The UK-based choreographer first worked with AXIS in 2011 when the company enjoyed a huge success with his Full of Words, which went on to become a favorite on the company’s tours.
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Gregory Dorado (Rehearsal Director) is a dancer, choreographer, actor, writer and director of new original performance works and films. He is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts and founder of SHIFT, a performance collective. He has performed for choreographers Natalie Metzger, Stephanie Nugent, Daniel Sharon, Meryl Murman and Zoe Scofield. His film credits include an adaptation of Natalie Metzger’s Sacrament as well as starring along side performer Jordon Waters in an adaptation of Meryl Murman’s Le Pain. Gregory’s performance and film work include several concert dance pieces as well as non-traditional immersive theatrical experiences that blur the line between dance, film, theatre and performance art. His work investigates universal human experience, community engagement, and his own identity as a queer artist of color. Gregory joined AXIS in 2016. James Bowen (Dancer) is originally from Dallas, TX. Even though his love affair with dance began when he was only three years old, his technical training did not begin until he was a freshman at Kansas State University. He studied under the renowned ballet teacher Joyce Yagerline, among others. During the 2010-2011 season, James was part of the legendary modern company Dallas Black Dance Theater as well as HappyNia Dance Theater Productions. In 2012, James moved to Southern California and joined “Inked”, a contemporary dance company based in Los Angeles. James and his husband moved to the Bay area in 2014. Since then he has been part of numerous dance projects such as the online TV show, “Steady Mobbin.” James joined AXIS in 2016. Julie Crothers (Dancer) was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and has been dancing since a very young age, training in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and improvisation. In May 2014, she graduated from Elon University in Elon, North Carolina earning a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and a BA in Arts Administration. During her undergraduate studies, Julie also conducted a performance-based research study into the intersection of choreography, improvisation, and autobiographical performance. Most recently, Julie has danced professionally with NC-based contemporary dance company, Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD), performing at the American Dance Festival in June 2014. Julie’s choreography has been presented at multiple venues in North Carolina, as well as in New York, Tennessee, at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Lexington, Kentucky, and at the American College Dance Festival Association, Southeast Region gala performance at Georgia College. Julie joined AXIS in 2014. Lani Dickinson (Dancer) was born and adopted from China. She began dancing at eight years-old with a local studio in Towson, Maryland. She attended two summers at the Boston Ballet Schooland, she attended Idyllwild Arts Academy for the last two years of high school. Recently, she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in dance. In the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program, in collaboration with Dominican University of California, Lani was first exposed to contemporary ballet. Lani is a 2015 Princess Grace Award winner. She has trained with choreographers including Christian Burns, Sidra Bell, Gregory Dawson, Maurya Kerr, Eric Beauchesne, Stephanie Gilliland, Arturo Fernandez and Alonzo King. Lani professionally dances for former ODC Dance Company members Yayoi Kambara and Robert Dekkers, separately. Lani joined AXIS in 2016.
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Kai Hazelwood (Dancer) is a choreographer, performer and educator. Her training includes the San Francisco Ballet School, Dance Theater of Harlem, the Alvin Ailey School of Dance, and the Kirov Ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. After a season with the Oakland Ballet Company, Kai relocated to Los Angeles to complete her degree at UCLA. Her professional work includes touring in artist Allison Wyper’s piece, “Witness,” to Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Francisco, Calgary, Alberta and Montreal, Quebec. Kai’s choreographic work includes “Exagoge” performed by Theatre Dybbuk, a guest choreographer post with Martz Contemporary Dance Company in Barcelona Spain, and original works “Color Outside the Lines” and “inVISIBLE.” After four years as faculty and dance outreach coordinator at AMDA College & Conservatory Kai launched NexTakes, offering college audition solo choreography, and workshops coaching aspiring dancers on how to get into the college dance program of their dreams. Kai joined AXIS in 2016. Alivia Schaffer (Dancer), a Chicago native, is a multidisciplinary artist working in all dancer, choreographer, painter, and educator roles throughout the Bay Area. Liv received her BFA from Dominican University of California with Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program in 2013, and spent the 2013-2015 seasons dancing with DanceWorks Chicago under direction of Julie Nakagawa. Liv embraces employment opportunity nationwide; developing integrative arts curriculum, educating dancers, performing, and creating choreographic commissions with Youth Art Exchange, Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion, The JUNTOS Collective, Western Michigan University, Southern Exposure, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA & summer programs. Liv joined AXIS Dance Company in 2016. Dwayne Scheuneman (Dancer) was an accomplished wheelchair Track and Field athlete when in 2002 he sought out dance as a means of cross training. The physicality and the creativity of dance quickly leaped to the forefront of Dwayne’s interest and he began taking dance classes and performing with Asher Dance Eclectic in Tampa Fl. It was also at this time when he began taking workshops and attending dance festival with internationally recognized dance companies such as AXIS dance, CANDOCO and others. In August of 2005, Dwayne started REVolutions dance, a physically integrated company in Tampa. Since that time, Dwayne has collaborated with choreographers and dancers to create and perform in numerous dance pieces. Dwayne also established a weekly dance class for children with and without disabilities in Tampa and has worked with children with disabilities throughout the United States and abroad. Dwayne has had a close relationship with AXIS dance for several years and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the AXIS family. Dwayne joined AXIS in 2015.
Collaborators Sonya Delwaide, a native from Quebec, is a choreographer, teacher and performer whose reputation has flourished within the United States and Canada for more than three decades. She has created more than 80 pieces on companies such as Ballet Austin, Diablo Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Ottawa Ballet, L’Ecole Supérieure des Grands Ballets Canadiens, Hubbard Street 2, AXIS Dance Company, Berkeley Ballet Theater
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and Compagnie de Danse L’Astragale, for whom she was the artistic director from 1992 to 1999. Ms. Delwaide has received awards from the Canada Council, the Quebec and Ontario Arts’ Councils, the Zellerbach Family Fund, the Gerbode Foundation and the Irvine Foundation. She has been profiled in SF Magazine, received two Isadora Duncan Awards and a Bay Area Goldie Award. She was named in the 2001 Top 10 list from the SF Chronicle and in the Dance Magazine’s Top 25 people to watch in 2002, and was given a Sarlo Award for Excellence in Teaching. She was a winner in the 2006 New American Choreographic Talent organized by Ballet Austin and the 2000 winner of Hubbard Street 2 National Choreographic Competition. She is currently Professor of Dance at Mills College in Oakland. Joe Goode is a choreographer, writer, and director widely known as an innovator in the field of dance for his willingness to collide movement with spoken word, song, and visual imagery. Joe Goode Performance Group, formed in 1986, tours regularly throughout the U.S., and has toured internationally to Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Goode was awarded the United States Artists Glover Fellowship in 2008, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007, and the New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for the creation and choreography of his work Deeply There. In 2006, Goode directed the opera, Transformations, for the San Francisco Opera Center. His play Body Familiar, commissioned by the Magic Theatre in 2003, was met with critical acclaim. Goode’s performance-installation works have been commissioned by the Fowler Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles, Krannert Art Museum, the Capp Street Project, the M.H. de Young Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Pennsylvania Ballet, Zenon Dance Company, AXIS Dance Company, and Dance Alloy Theater have commissioned his dance theater work among others. Goode is known as a master teacher; his workshops and classes in “felt performance” attract participants from around the world, and the company’s teaching residencies on tour are hugely popular. He is a member of the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Ben Juodvalkis, Composer, received his BA in music from UC Santa Cruz. In 2005, Ben Juodvalkis moved to San Francisco to pursue music and composition. Since 2007 he has composed more than 50 pieces for dance companies across the United States, and recently expanded into film scoring, interactive museum installations, and musical theater. Additionally, Ben has released five albums and toured extensively with his rock band Battlehooch. Multi-instrumentalist Caroline Penwarden is a veteran composer of music for dance and film. She has performed numerous original compositions with both AXIS Dance Company and choreographer Sonsherée Giles, and has recorded and performed extensively with musical ensembles throughout the Bay Area during her 20-year career. Her original film/video music scores include the award-winning PBS special, Nourish (Worldlink). Caroline earned her MA in Music Composition from Mills College, where she studied under renowned improviser/composer Fred Frith and served as a modern dance accompanist. Current projects include scoring the stop motion animation film “The Moon’s Milk”, by Ri Crawford. http://carolinepenwarden.com/
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Jack Carpenter, Lighting Designer, designs lighting and scenery for Dance, Music, Theater, Museum Exhibits and Opera. His work can be seen with the Bishop Museum, Oakland Museum, Exploratorium, SF Ballet, SF Symphony, Kronos Quartet, Detroit Symphony, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Joe Goode Performance Group, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, ODC/SF, Project Bandaloop, Eureka Theatre. Notable productions for Mr. Carpenter include design and direction for Inspired By America for Cypress String Quartet, Kristalnacht, for Nancy Karp + Dancers, the world premiere of Angels In America, for the Eureka Theater Company, Harboring, and Bound(less), for Project Bandaloop, Beauty Queen of Leenane for Berkeley Repertory Theater, Traveling Light, and Rambler, for Joe Goode Performance Group, Concerto Romantique for San Francisco Ballet, and MLADA for SF Symphony. Happily this concert will be Mr. Carpentersâ€™ second season with AXIS Dance Company. Mr. Carpenter was recently appointed lighting design lecturer at UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, He has received four Bay Area Critics Circle Awards, and five Isadora Duncan Awards. Keriann Egeland Costume Designer, received her BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice, with an emphasis on dance, from the University of San Francisco in 2010. Combining her passion for fashion and performance, she began costuming for the stage in 2009. Her designs are often inspired by the sleek styles and textures of the Art Deco period through to the bold motifs of the Mods. Over the years she has had the privilege of designing dance costumes for Little Seismic Dance Company, Paufve Dance, Nina Haft & Company, Peiling Kao, David Herrera Performance Company, and is looking forward to adding AXIS Dance to this list. Currently, she is also collaborating with Eye Zen Art to costume a newly devised theater piece, Homo File, which explores the life of queer activist Sam Steward. Please visit www.keriannkelly. wordpress.com to stay updated on past, present and future endeavors. Jennifer Gonsalves Costume Designer, is based in the Bay Area. A seamstress since the age of 13, she started costuming for theater in 2009 and has designed over 30 productions since then. She enjoys all aspects of costume work, including collaboration, design, pattern-making, sewing, fitting, crafting and millinery. She works regularly with Joe Goode Performance Group and The Palo Alto Childrenâ€™s Theatre. She can be reached at email@example.com. Patricia Mahoney, Stage Manager and Lighting Designer, began her career in college and became intensely active in the field of dance production during her seven-year residency at the Riverside Dance Festival in New York City. She has worked and toured the world with diverse groups including Alonzo King LINES Ballet, AXIS Dance Company, Flyaway Productions, Liss Fain Dance, Lar Lubovitch, Susan Marshall, BalletMet, 42nd Street Moon, Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater, Mark Taylor, the Martha Graham Ensemble, Nutcracker Key West, Dancers & Musicians of Bali, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Aspen Music Festival to name a few. She is pleased to be serving in her fifth year with AXIS. Stephanie Verrieres, Costume Designer, is an Oakland based fashion designer that has also been designing costumes for over seven years. Stephanie has designed costumes for works created by Twyla Tharp, Charles Anderson, Patrick Corbin, and
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Alexandre Proia with Company C Ballet, Nikolai Kabaniaev with Diablo Ballet, and Jo Kreiter with Flyaway Productions. She has recreated costumes of notable pieces from Paul Taylor, Lynn Taylor Corbett and Anthony Tudor. Stephanie is a graduate from The Fashion Institute of Design, and has a womenâ€™s ready-to-wear collection sold in boutiques across the nation.
AXIS Staff Judith Smith, Founder & Artistic Director Robin Anderson, Community Engagement Manager Eugenia Bowman, Executive Director Marc Brew, Guest Artistic Director Thomas Chun, IT Systems & Finance Manager Rebecca Fortelka, Social Media Coordinator Gregory Dorado, Rehearsal Director Breanna Lee, Company Administrator Patricia Mahoney, Production Manager
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AXIS Dance Company would love to thank Derek Kwan and the rest of the staff at the Lied Center of Kansas for bringing AXIS to perform and engage with your community.