Area Choreographers Festival | June 3 + 4, 2016

Area Choreographers Festival
FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 8:30pm
SATURDAY, June 4, 2016 8:30pm
Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, Ohio


After the great success of 2015’s Area Choreographers Festival, Contemporary Dance Theater is bringing it back for 2016.

The Area Choreographers Festival will feature the region’s best and brightest dance and choreographic talent. 

Meet the 2016 ACF Choreographers:

Anna Brown Massey is a Columbus and Brooklyn-based artist. She choreographs events that frequently regard audience members as participants in a shared story. She is currently pursuing her MFA the Ohio State University under a graduate fellowship where she attempts to make work that actuates us towards each other. Before matriculation, she choreographed and danced in New York City for a decade, and received grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Times Square Alliance, The Work Office, and the NTHCCC. Anna is Co-Director of NACHMO (National Choreography Month) and The Moves Project. Her pieces are commonly defined by the people who join her both as collaborative partners and as audience members with whom she shapes shifting answers about their interactions. These partnerships leave lasting watermarks on her works and highlight themes of agency and authorship that often arise in her pieces.

  • Anna’s piece, Phrase, is a duet performed by the choreographer and Biag Gaongen. Biag Gaongen danced with Ballet Philippines from 1999 to 2009. He then moved to Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan in 2009 to 2011, and to Tanzcompagnie der Oper Graz in Austria in 2011 to 2013. Across 14 years of his dancing career, he has toured Monaco, Belgium, Germany, Cambodia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Russia, and Slovenia. He has taught in multiple dance academies in the Philippines and is currently an MFA student in Dance at the Ohio State University.

Paige Caldarella (MFA University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) received her B.F.A. from the Juilliard School and immediately went on to dance with Merce Cunningham Company from 2000 to 2004. Caldarella is an emerging contemporary ballet choreographer whose work explores the relationship between contemporary ballet and the array of techniques with which it intersects. She is a recipient of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum grant and was a 2012 invited choreographer for the Cincinnati Ballet’s New Works Series. In 2015, Caldarella received the Teaching Excellence award at Columbia College Chicago, where she is an Associate Professor in Dance.

  • About Paige’s piece, On the Verge: On the Verge places two dancers onstage and allows their differences in age, height, body type, race, gender, and movement tendencies to contrast and compliment their movement. It intentionally tinkers with the typical male/female power structure in an unconventional pas de deux that examines gender, race, class, and labor.
  • Performers: Jess Duffy and Damon Green

Diane Germaine, Choreographer/Writer/Photographer, has received choreography grants from NEA, City of Cincinnati, and Ohio Arts Council. Signature works include Playground, Nighthawks, Didi-a Life, Fated Tango, Dos Gallos y una Dulzura, Aperture, Green Girl, The Empty Room and Get It While You Can. Described by Cincinnati Enquirer as “One of 8 to watch…” and by The New York Times “…boneless as a shadow and in control of every kinetic nuance…” she is from NYC, trained by members of the Martha Graham Company and Joffrey’s American Ballet Centre. Upon graduation with honors from NYC’s Performing Arts High School she became Principal Soloist of the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company receiving critical acclaim for roles in Fatal Birds, Pictures In Our House, Metallics, The Path, Shadows, and as Anne Sexton in A Consort for Dancers. She was Artistic Director of Diane Germaine & Dancers, a Guest Instructor or Choreographer for First Chamber Dance Company, Bat-Dor, Batsheva, Kibbutz Dance Company, London Contemporary at The Place, Norsk Opera Ballet, Skidmore College, American University, North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Illinois-Urbana, Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Centre, School of Creative and Performing Arts, CCM-Dance, La Guardia High School of the Arts (formerly Performing Arts High School), and De La Dance Company. Germaine is a writer of poetry/fiction/skits/plays, published in Chronogram Magazine, Toward a Better World, OhioDance Newsletter, A Few Good Words anthology; she has read at Women Writing for a Change, Wise Women events, Joseph Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati Public Library, and has staged a reading of her play “Not Yet” for The Salon (Women’s Way of OH/KY).  Germaine’s photography work has been in shows at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, and in video projections for dance and literary events. Currently she is developing an on-going in-flux performance set of her poems combined with dance for small and large venues with Michelle Bump-Morano and others as the dancers. On July 19th Diane will be performing at Go Bananas Comedy Club with one or two of her narrative pieces.  

  • A quote to describe Diane’s work, City Density: Aperture 2: In the crowded marketplace / I drift from face to face / I hold my breath and close my eyes / I hold my breath and close my eyes / And I wait for paradise / And I wait for paradise
    – Bruce Springsteen

Lindsey Gruber holds a BFA from The University of the Arts. As a contemporary and modern dancer she has been a company member of several NYC based companies including BODYART, Brice Moussett’s early creations, Tim Chester Dance, Lai Baca Dance, MishiDance and The Novomisle Project. She has also performed under the direction of Ronen Koresh, Brian Sanders, Christopher Huggins, The Cincinnati Children’s Theater and The Cincinnati Ballet. Lindsey has been seen dancing on Carnival Cruise Lines and has worked extensively as a model and dancer touring with L’Oreal Professionel. She has performed at fashion events in NYC for Ted Baker and Hermes. She has appeared in advertisements and commercials for Capezio, The Hyatt, Babybel Cheese and America’s Best Dance Crew. She was a cast member of the off Broadway show of Nobody Suspect’s A Butterfly. She performed in Super Bowl XLVIII, Sleep No More’s Valentine’s Day show and BBC News’ annual event at Terminal 5. She is a member of the Dreamland Follies who perform seasonally in NYC.  She is a dancer and character performer with Screaming Queens Entertainment and SOTU Productions. After 14 years away from the area, Lindsey is excited to be in Cincinnati creating, performing and exploring.

  • About Lindsey’s piece, Navigation: Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of something or someone from one place to another. All navigational techniques involve locating the navigator’s position compared to known locations or patterns that exist physically in our world and within the confines of our individual psyche and ego. How do we choose to navigate in today’s world? Do we let the noise in around us that is telling us to be a certain way? Do we discover what we truly want? Do we choose to embrace ourselves or fit a mold? Do we try to hold one another back or do we locate and create a community to thrive in and explore?
  • Performers: McKenzie Barkdull, Kelsi Benage, Amanda Benjey, Jackie Engelkamp, Katie Farry and Ashley Klein

Holly Handman-Lopez has been a member of the Oberlin College Dance faculty for 13 years and has choreographed numerous concert works, both straight and musical theater pieces, and operas; most recently, The Only Way (evening-length dance theater piece) and eleven years in (duet with Bobby Wesner), for which she received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and Yours Faithfully (in collaboration with poet Esther Dischereit), Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play and Iphigenia 2.0 (Cleveland Public Theater, director Matthew Wright). Holly danced professionally in New York City where she worked with many prominent choreographers, including David Dorfman, Nicholas Leichter, and Lisa Race; and performed extensively in New York City venues, as well as touring nationally and internationally. Most recently, she performed in Germany and Denmark with internationally acclaimed Poet Esther Dischereit, and as a guest with Neos Dance Theatre and Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre in the U. S.

  • About Holly’s piece: “In creating “eleven years in,” my goal was to simply experiment with contemporary partnering. I wanted to dance entangled, following every opportunity to slip, spiral and slide with another dancer. Bobby and I were in the same area for a few months, then apart, then together again. The lengthy and sporadic rehearsal process gave me space and time to look at what we were making, experiment with other dancers, then return with new ideas. It was a new balance for me of being inside and outside of the piece during the creative process. Our experiments evolved into a “relationship piece” that feels luscious and edgy to perform.”

Judith Mikita has served UC/CCM as adjunct faculty since 1995. Her choreography has been presented nationally and internationally, most recently at the White Mountain Dance Festival, NY, and Jim Caruso’s “Cast Party” in Pittsburgh. She has collaborated with video artists Charles Woodman and Jonathan Gibson, chamber choir conductor Earl Rivers, director Michael Haney, actress Amy Warner, costume designers Reba Senske and Sarah Timberlake NY, writers, poets, musicians. She danced and toured with companies based in Chicago, in works by Martha Clarke (Pilobolus), Gus Solomons, Jr. (Merce Cunningham), Lucas Hoving (Jose Limon), Marni Thomas (Martha Graham), Loretta Livingston (Bella Lewitzky). Ms. Mikita served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, IU, NKU, Antioch College, and Interlochen Arts Academy, as guest artist at Wright State University and Miami University, and artist-in- residence at the U of U. Judith holds an MFA in dance from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Theater and Dance from Indiana University. She has served on the board of Ohio Dance, CDT, as a founding member of GCDA, and as a judge for the Overture Awards.

  • About Judith’s work: Choreographer Judith Mikita, composer Billy Larkin, and artist DJ Berard in collaboration with a cast of seven accomplished dancers and musicians, will premiere a confluence of continual movement, song, and color entitled “and their feet like grass shall,” a translated inscription on a stone unearthed from Temple Mount, Jerusalem, where walls and fences divide faiths and beliefs. From the rubble, it seems to declare that all voices shall be heard, and all feet shall be, shall move, shall know.
  • Performers and Collaborators: Composer/Music Director/Pianist: Billy Larkin; Jack Bogard, Violin; Singer/Dancer: Alexandra Kassouf; Dancers: Aaron Hanekamp, Asia Harrison, Amanda Lopez-Kurtz, Keely Song, Kodee Van Nort; Set Design: DJ Berard
Meet-the-Artists Reception

There will be an end of season party on Saturday, June 4 after the performance. Location to be announced. 

Open Masterclass


Dancers, don’t miss this incredible opportunity to take a Masterclass with Paige Caldarella at Contemporary Dance Theater’s studios in College Hill on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10:30am-12:00pm. $15 in advance payable here, or $19-20 at-the-door. Other Masterclass opportunities TBA.

Lecture/Demonstrations & Outreach

Contemporary Dance Theater will be bringing area choreographers into our communities through outreach activities. Activities are being scheduled now. Stop back for details closer to the residency dates. Please email residencies@cdt-dance.org to be notified of future opportunities with artists.

4-Show Subscription
Buying a pass for the season saves you the most money!
$125 Orchestra & Balcony I
$105 Balcony II & Box Seats
$105 Seniors, any seats
$82 Students, any seats
Pick 3
Can’t commit to all 4? You can still save with a 3-show subscription.
$97 Orchestra & Balcony I – With Pilobolus
$82 Balcony II & Box Seats – With Pilobolus 
$87 Orchestra & Balcony I – Without Pilobolus
$72 Balcony II & Box Seats – Without Pilobolus
4 Voucher Flex Pass
4 vouchers to use in any combination for any shows. For each Pilobolus ticket add $10.
$117 Orchestra & Balcony I
$97 Balcony II & Box Seats
Single Tickets
Single tickets will be available starting October 5. For each Pilobolus ticket add $10.
$32 Orchestra & Balcony I
$27 Balcony II & Box Seats
$27 Seniors, any seats
$22 Students, any seats
Tickets purchased the day of will carry an additional $5 charge.
Aronoff Center for the Arts, Jarson-Kaplan Theater
650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202  |  (513) 621-ARTS CLICK HERE FOR MORE VENUE & TICKET INFO

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The Contemporary Dance Theater Guest Artist Series is sponsored by THE OTTO M. BUDIG FAMILY FOUNDATION and is supported by the thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community CampaignSupport also comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Contemporary Dance Theater is also supported by The Ohio Arts Council, a state agency that supports public programs in the arts.