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Welcome to the Wreck

Sunday, August 20th
Dance Kaleidoscope Studios

Since 2020 we (Rebecca Pappas and her collaborators) have been developing My Body as the Topic Coming Around Again, a three-volume dancework that unravels the tangled threads of white womanhood and American modern dance. Centered around Land, (In)Visibility, and Care, these dances traverse dualities of freedom/control; sincerity/satire; tenderness/violence; beauty/monstrosity. In We Are Destroying Ourselves we invite other artists into the room to destroy, remake, undo, and reunderstand these dances.

 

“Dance wrecking,” is a practice of choreographic feedback created by American choreographer Susan Rethorst. In this project we are repurposing it for political aims. Embedded in the invitation to wreck these dances is a call to work collaboratively to disrupt patterns and legacies of colonization and white supremacy in dance.

Today, David Hochoy, Executive Director Emeritus of Dance Kaleidoscope, has been invited to publicly wreck, dismantle, and remake My Body as the Topic Coming Around Again//Vol. 2 ((In)visibility). Lauren Curry, Executive Director of Indy Movement Arts Collective, has been invited to publicly wreck, dismantle, and remake My Body as the Topic Coming Around Again//Vol. 1 (Land). For Rebecca Pappas and her collaborators, this is a project that extends conversations about race, gender, legacy, and white supremacy in American modern dance. We Are Destroying Ourselves will be presented:

  • Aug ‘23 - Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective/University of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN 

  • Oct '23 - University of Georgia - Athens, GA

  • Nov '23 - Wesleyan University - Middleton, CT

  • Jan ‘24 - Odyssey Dance Festival - Los Angeles, CA 

  • June ‘24 - APE Gallery at 33 Hawley Street - Northampton, MA 

  • June ‘24 - Hartford Dance Collective - Hartford, CT 

My Body as the Topic Coming Around Again//Vol. 1 (Land)

Guest Wrecker: Lauren Curry

Open Studio: 6-7:30pm (Lauren Curry)

Showing & Discussion: 7:30-8:30pm (Rebecca Pappas & Lauren Curry

Choreography and Text: Rebecca Pappas with the Ensemble 

Performers: Ellen Smith Ahern, Theo Armstrong, Taylor Zappone

Dramaturgy: Meredith Bove

Music: Asuna

Costume Design: Joy Havens

Costume Construction: Elinor Watt with Skye Gasataya 

*Thanks to Ezra Staples Brown, Christoph Geiss, Eric Stoykovich for info about Trinity College

My Body as the Topic Coming Around Again//Vol 2. (In)Visibility 

Guest Wrecker: David Hochoy

Open Studio: 2-3:30pm (David Hochoy)

Showing & Discussion: 3:30-4:30pm (Rebecca Pappas & David Hochoy)

Choreography and text: Rebecca Pappas with the Ensemble 

Performers: Ellen Smith Ahern, Theo Armstrong, Alexis Robbins, Taylor Zappone 

Dramaturgy: Meredith Bove and Kelly Silliman 

Music: Christine Southworth and Evan Ziporyn

Costume Advisor: Joy Havens

*Thanks to Hilary Clark for her contributory wrecking

CONTENT ADVISORY: This work explores topics of race, gender, and in particular whiteness. We know that these explorations live differently with each one of us and encourage you to take care of yourself and to step away if needed.

BIOS OF GUEST WRECKERS

Lauren Curry (she/her) is an Indianapolis native who has danced for or worked with No Exit Performance, Crossroads Dance Indy, Stephanie Nugent, Rebecca Pappas, and Phoenix Rising Dance Company.  She has been on dance faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Midland Festival Ballet (Midland TX), and iibada Dance Academy. Lauren is also the co-director at Indy Movement Arts Collective.

David Hochoy (he/him) is the Artistic Director Emeritus of Dance Kaleidoscope in Indianapolis.  He was born in Trinidad, West Indies. After receiving a B. Sc. at McGill University in Montreal, where he began studying for a career as a doctor, he continued his graduate work in theatre working on an M.A. in directing from Penn State. 

In New York, he studied at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham schools and danced with numerous national companies as well as the Toronto Dance Theater. In 1980, he was invited to join the Martha Graham Dance Company. Made a soloist in 1982 and rehearsal director in 1986, David toured the world with Graham until 1989. He has given master classes in Graham technique throughout the U.S. and Europe, and in 1990 was invited to Guangzhou, China, to teach the experimental troupe of the Guangdong Dance Academy for ten weeks. 

David has been on the faculty of the Martha Graham School since 1982. In addition, he has taught at the American Dance Festival (ADF) held at Duke University, as well as ADF West in Salt Lake City and ADF Seoul in Korea. In 1991 he was invited to teach and choreograph at the Vienna International Dance Festival. He has given workshops in Quebec, Tokyo, Oslo, Dublin and Rio de Janeiro. 

David spent two years as a full-time faculty member at Texas Christian University. Since becoming DK’s Artistic Director in 1991, he has choreographed over 70 dances including Scheherazade, Carmina Burana, COLE!, The Planets, The Four Elements, El Salòn México, Magical Mystery Tour, Rite of Spring, Les Noces and Romeo and Juliet Fantasy.  He has choreographed dances for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for its New Year’s Eve performances as well as their Discovery Series concerts. He has choreographed numerous productions at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, including A Christmas Carol, the Civic Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Edyvean Repertory Theatre, Salome for the Arizona Opera and Miss Evers’ Boys for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and for Santa Fe Stages. He also was Artistic Director of The Green Shows at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for ten seasons. He is the founder and co-artistic director of Spotlight, an annual fund-raiser for the Indiana Aids Fund that has brought together the Indianapolis Performing Arts community since 1994.

David was a recipient of a prestigious Choo-San Goh Award for his choreography Rhapsody in Blue in 2006. He is a two-time recipient of a Master Fellowship in Choreography and an Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission as well as a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. He has been awarded the Key to the City by the City/County Council, the Distinguished Hoosier Award by the Governor of Indiana, and was honored by the Center for Leadership Development for outstanding achievement in the arts. In 2004, he was voted one of Indiana’s 25 Keepers – men and women working to make a difference in Indiana – by the readers of Indy Men’s Magazine. He has served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. On April 2, 2011, Mayor Gregory A. Ballard declared that date as David Hochoy Day in honor of his 20 years as DK’s artistic director and in recognition of his service to the arts in Indianapolis. In 2012 he was honored with the Creativity Award by University High School.  In 2013 the Indiana Historical Society named him an Indiana Living Legend and he received the Governor’s Arts Award from the Indiana Arts Commission in 2015.  Most recently he received awards from the Institute for Caribbean Studies in Washington, D.C., the Penn State Thespians in 2017 and a Hoosier Heritage Award in 2022.  In June 2023 he was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s highest civilian honor.
 

BIOS OF COLLABORATING ARTISTS

 

Ellen Smith Ahern (she/her) grew up dancing in Illinois and came east to study dance at Middlebury College. Since then she's collaborated with many artists, including Jane Comfort & Company, Lida Winfield, Kate Elias, Rebecca Pappas, Hannah Dennison, Pauline Jennings, Polly Motley, El Circo Contemporaneo, Amy Chavasse, David Appel and Tiffany Rhynard’s Big APE. Ellen has had the opportunity to perform and teach throughout Mexico, Cuba, Qatar, Europe and the US. With generous support from many institutions and community members, she shares her work through film, installation and live performance in a diverse array of venues, including the National Gallery of Art, Dance on Camera Festival/Film at Lincoln Center, Bates Dance Festival, AVA Gallery, Dixon Place, the Flynn Theater, Middlefield Community Center, the Ionion Center of Kefalonia and the Rococo Theatre in Prague. Ellen lives with her family on Abenaki lands in N’Dakinna/New Hampshire, where she continues to work as an independent artist and practice social work.

Theo Armstrong (they/he) is a movement artist and writer based in Brooklyn. They currently dance with/for Portia Wells, micca, and Rebecca Pappas and have co-created in various capacities with Thea Little, BodyCartography Project, ChristinaNoel and the Creature, Milka Djordevich, and Andrea Haenggi/the Environmental Performance Agency. Their choreographic work has appeared at The Tank, BaX, SMUSH Gallery, The Dance Collective, Artefix NYC, and Green Space. Their written work has appeared in Isele Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, and Culturebot, among other places. They received a BA in English Literature and a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa.

Charles Borowicz (he/him) a photographer and video artist based in the Midwest. He graduated with a BFA in Photography in 2002 and helped found the collective, AnC Movies, creating films, notably the documentary ‘Science, Sex, and the Ladies’. He has shown work at the Indianapolis International Airport, and His massive video installation ‘Semblant’ is currently on display in the Indianapolis Museum of Art Lume space. 

 

Rebecca Pappas (she/her) makes dances and social practice projects that excavate the body as an archive for personal and collective memory. Her choreography has toured nationally and internationally, including to Singapore, Estonia, Mexico, and Canada, and she has received residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi, and funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Mellon Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME). In 2021 she was a CT Office of the Arts Fellow. Between 2001-2014 she made dance projects in California and from 2014-18 was based in Indianapolis where she served as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Ball State University. In 2018 she returned home to Hartford, CT to accept a position at Trinity College where her focus is on dance and community. 

Alexis Robbins (she/her), a native of Wakefield, RI, graduated from Hofstra University with a B.A. in Dance and B.S. in Exercise Science. Currently based in New Haven, CT, Robbins is a choreographer, performer, teaching artist, musical collaborator, and improviser. As the Artistic Director of her project based company kamrDANCE, she has shown work at Triskelion Arts, Actors Fund Arts Center, Dixon Place, Center for Performance Research, Symphony Space, Arts on Site, AS220, SMUSH Gallery, the Transit Museum (Downtown Brooklyn), Whitneyville Cultural Commons, and many more, as well as created four dance films. She has current teaching affiliations with Neighborhood Music School and Rockwell Dance Center. Past and guest teaching affiliations include the Hartford Dance Collective, MiXt Co, Elm City Dance Collective, and as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University. Robbins has performed in CT as a featured soloist at the Ely Center for Contemporary Art, the Friday Pop Up Series on the New Haven Green, Kehler Liddell Gallery, and events by New Haven Jazz Underground, Hartford Jazz Society, Make Music Day, and Arts on Call (IFAI). She has been awarded the Artist Workforce Initiative Sponsorship from the New Haven Arts Council and the CT Office of the Arts for her community tap jams with live music, and commissions from Artspace New Haven (City Wide Open Studios 2019 and Open Source 2021) and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas (2020). Robbins currently serves on the Sandbox Advisory Board at the New Haven Arts Council where she is a passionate advocate for dance and marginalized artists. She hopes to continue to share her love for dance and music with communities in Connecticut and beyond.

 

Taylor Zappone (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, teaching artist and poet who has been based in Connecticut for 2 years. A Waterbury native, Taylor is thrilled to be back dancing and advocating for the arts in her home state. After receiving her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2017, she spent a year as a freelance dancer and choreographer in New York City. There she performed and presented some of her own work at several venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Since returning to Connecticut, Taylor has been lucky enough to work with the Judy Dworin Performance Project, Peter Kyle, and Rebecca Pappas. She is a Resident Artist with The Dance Collective.

 

Adam Bach is an Artist/DJ/Entrepreneur. Past- Yoshiko Chuma, Catherine Galasso, Object Collection, Tatyana Tenenbaum, nora chipaumire, UMASS-Amherst, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Current- Software development for Anthony McCall. Gardening in South Berkshire, MA. adambach.com

 

Meredith Bove is a choreographer and writer based in western Massachusetts. She approaches movement as a practice for experiencing the body as unfixed, mutable, and process-oriented. Her work has been seen at various venues and festivals across the U.S. and in Berlin, Germany. She has performed in the work of Jérôme Bel, Luis Lara Malvacías, Sharon Mansur, Stephanie Miracle, Jillian Peña, Sara Smith, and Karinne Keithley Syers among others, and collaborated with choreographers Andrea Jenni and Jessie Laurita Spanglet. In 2018, she was artist-in-residence at A.P.E. Ltd Gallery with Lailye Weidman, researching dramaturgical practices and creative companionship. Meredith has taught at Hollins University, Keene State College, Mount Holyoke College, Montgomery College, Springfield College, The Dance Exchange, The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, and the Collective (Baltimore). Her writing on performance has appeared on ThINKingDANCE and Culturebot, and most recently on and for The Making Room (2018), a collaboration between choreographers Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst. She served as Associate Editor for Contact Quarterly between 2018-2020. She holds a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an MFA from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA.

Kelly Silliman is a dancer, choreographer, arts administrator, organizer, and homeschooling mom of four living in Western Mass. She was a founding member and eventually co-artistic director of Drink to This!, a program for emerging artists in Hartford, CT, and co-founded Royal Jelly, a Boston-based performance collective of dancers, artists, and musicians. Kelly has performed with NewARTiculations Dance Theatre in Tucson, AZ, and in Charlottesville, VA: Prospect Dance Group, inFluxdance, and UpRooted Dance Theatre. From 2012-2022 Kelly directed and performed with the tinydance project, and was a Five College Associate from 2014-2016, when she published a paper titled “Shifting Climates: Applying Principles of Sustainability to Dance-Making Endeavors.” Kelly holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Stetson University, and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College, where she served as a teaching fellow. Kelly is the Program Director for the Northampton Center for the Arts, and collaborates with Deborah Goffe/Scapegoat Garden and Cat Wagner. 

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS

The Indianapolis engagement of We Are Destroying Ourselves is supported by Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective, University of Indianapolis, Trinity College, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Big Car Collaborative.

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Support for this project has come from: CT Office of the Arts, Trinity College Faculty Research Grant, Snowed in Residency, Dragon’s Egg, Axis/Access Residency and APE Gallery, Garland Distinguished Fellowship for Performing Arts from The Hambidge Center, LEIMAY Art in the Garden Residency with the New York Restoration Project.

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Special Thanks: To all of my colleagues in Theater and Dance at Trinity College especially Michelle Hendricks, Barbara Karger, and Michael Preston who have generously provided their theatrical expertise, Teri Incampo for lighting support, and Peter Kyle who has welcomed us into this space. To my network of artist friends especially Charles Borowicz, Katy Didden, Joy Havens, Harmony Bench, and Christine Suarez, who have been conversational supports, and Marisa Williamson whose collaboration spurred me to ask these questions. Thanks to the performers and dramaturgs for their outsized commitment to curiosity and discovery, Lauren Horn and Fern Katz for their invaluable work early in this process, Adam Bach for entering quickly and deeply into this world, and CJ Donohoe for providing support at every turn. I would especially like to thank my partner Matthew Tomás who will always step in to wash dishes, operate the camera, dye a prop, do an errand, and generally contribute to the never ending labor that is performance creation.

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