NCCAkron Selects Three Female Choreographers for
“Dancing Laboratory” with LA-based dance company BODYTRAFFIC.
“Akron is the newest home to a place where artists can . . . set the bounds of dance – and then break through those bounds with creative new ideas.” – Akron Beacon Journal
AKRON, Ohio – (Aug. __, 2017) – The recently established National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron) proudly announces the selection of three female choreographers for their innovative “Dancing Laboratory,” a new residency format that explores an idea, issue or field-wide trend.
For the inaugural lab, which is focused on female choreographers, selected participants Kimberly Bartosik (New York, NY), Helen Simoneau (Winston-Salem, NC), and Kate Wallich (Seattle, WA) will join Los Angeles-based BODYTRAFFIC company members in Akron from September 18-27 to explore choreographic ideas at UA’s world-class facilities in Guzzetta Hall.
In collaboration with BODYTRAFFIC, the Center designed a national nomination and application procedure for stakeholders and curators in the dance field who named 45 female choreographers from across the country for consideration. All nominees were invited to apply, and a selection panel including Christy Bolingbroke (NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director), Lillian Barbeito (BODYTRAFFIC Co-Artistic Director), Bonnie Brooks (former Director/Lead Curator at The Dance Center, Columbia College Chicago), Jodee Nimerichter (American Dance Festival Executive Director), and Amanda Thompson (Knight Foundation Arts Program Officer) reviewed 25 semi-finalists, and selected the three participants.
Bolingbroke says, “Often companies raise the funds and resources to bring in a choreographer for the creation of new work, and then are pressured to make a ‘successful’ piece in the studio over a limited 3-4 week period together. Having worked with (BODYTRAFFIC Co-Artistic Directors) Lillian and Tina before, I asked them to join me in this experiment to cultivate the work of more female choreographers and create a space where the artists could meet each other first, before committing to making a finished piece.”
As the second choreographic center of its kind in the country, NCCAkron has the unique opportunity to create proximity for creative investigation, Bolingbroke explains. “We not only provide resources to develop new work, but also bring artists from different parts of the country to be in the studio together to experiment with new choreographic ideas.”
The Dancing Laboratory residencies are bigger than a single artist’s next production, and represent a larger vision for the field to grow artistic excellence.
About the process and upcoming residency, Barbeito says, “Tina and I are committed to cultivating and empowering female choreographic voices. The nomination and selection process alone has been extremely rewarding because we got to learn about so many female choreographers that we weren’t familiar with. Exploring in the studio without an end game in mind is a rare opportunity that BODYTRAFFIC is grateful for. We hope that the Dancing Laboratory is just the beginning of what the Center is able to do for and with female choreographers.”
The establishment of NCCAkron is made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
This inaugural Dancing Laboratory specifically fostering female choreographers is made possible with generous support from The Frances Alexander Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron) supports the research and development of new work in dance by exploring the full potential of the creative process. In addition to offering studio and technical residencies to make new work, activities focus on catalyzing dialogue and experimentation; creating proximity among artists and dance thinkers; and aggregating resources around dance making. For more information, visit https://www.nccakron.org/
Founded in 2007 by Lillian Rose Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett, BODYTRAFFIC has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world, recruiting great talent from around the globe to create world-class contemporary dance by distinctive choreographic voices. Named “the company of the future” by The Joyce Theater Foundation, Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, and “Best of Culture” by The Los Angeles Times, the company is internationally recognized for their high quality of work. BODYTRAFFIC has performed for sold-out audiences at prestigious theaters and festivals around the world, including The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Israeli Opera/Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, Chutzpah! Festival in Vancouver, Laguna Dance Festival, The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, World Music/CRASHarts in Boston, the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, and the American Dance Festival in North Carolina. In 2015, BODYTRAFFIC was selected to be cultural ambassadors for the United States via DanceMotion USASM. A dynamic cultural diplomacy program that supports United States foreign policy goals by engaging international audiences through educational opportunities, cultural exchange, and performance. In addition to performing, BODYTRAFFIC has an extensive outreach and education program that provides training opportunities for pre-professionals and customized dance experiences for inner- city schools in Los Angeles, as well as underserved populations around the globe.
Kimberly Bartosik (New York, NY) received her BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts and MA in 20th Century Art and Art Criticism from The Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Research of the New School University. She was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for nine years, and received a Bessie Award for Artistic Excellence in his work. Her choreographic work has been presented by New York Live Arts, Dance Place, American Dance Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, Gibney Dance, Abrons Art Center, The Yard, MASS MoCA/Jacob’s Pillow, Danspace Project, The Kitchen, American Realness Festival, Crossing the Line Festival, ArtDanthe, Festival Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales Seine-Saint Denis, and CCN de Franche-Comté à Belfort, and in 2018 at the Wexner Arts Center. Bartosik has received support from the MAP Fund (2017, 2010), Jerome Foundation, FUSED (French-US Exchange in Dance), Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation’s USArtists International, NYFA’s BUILD, American Dance Abroad, New Music USA, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She was a 2017 Bogliasco Fellow; a 2015 Merce Cunningham Fellow; a 2016 Gibney Dance DiP Resident Artist; and is a 2016-18 recipient of ART, a capacity-building grant through Pentacle. Beginning fall 2017, Bartosik will begin a two-year Live Feed residency through NYLA to develop and premiere a commissioned work. A 2016 finalist for the Princeton Arts Fellowship program and invited to become a guest teacher there, she has also been on faculty at The Juilliard School, University of North Carolina School for the Arts, Arizona State University, SUNY/Purchase, and Colorado College.
A native of Québec, Canada, Helen Simoneau, is the artistic director and founder of Helen Simoneau Danse now in its 8th season. Simoneau has been commissioned by The Juilliard School, the American Dance Festival, the UNC School of the Arts, the Bessie Schönberg Residency at The Yard, Springboard Danse Montréal, and the Swiss International Coaching Project (SiWiC) in Zurich. She was a resident artist at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Bates Dance Festival and has received fellowships from Bogliasco Foundation and twice from the North Carolina Arts Council. In addition to annual company performances in Winston-Salem (NC), her company has been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and has toured throughout Germany, Asia, and the United States. Notable venues that have presented her work include The Guggenheim Museum (NYC), Dance Place (DC), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Tangente (Montréal), The Aoyama Round Theatre (Tokyo), the L.I.G. Art Hall Busan (South Korea), Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out (MA), PACT-Zollverein in Essen (Germany), and Athens International Dance Festival (Greece). Her work was also presented at the 13th Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was awarded 1st place for Choreography. Most recently, Simoneau has been commissioned by Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland. This Fall, Simoneau is thrilled to be a Resident Fellow at the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts.
Kate Wallich is a Seattle-based choreographer, director, and educator – named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2015. She received her training from Interlochen Arts Academy and holds a BFA in Dance Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts. Wallich’s work has been commissioned and presented nationally and internationally by leading dance companies, performance institutions, universities and galleries including On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Seattle Theater Group, Seattle Art Museum, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Whim W’Him, RAWdance, Northwest Dance Project, University of Utah, Springboard Danse Montreal, Toes For Dance, The Frye Art Museum and Henry Art Gallery, among others. She was a Visiting Artist at University of Washington, University of Oregon, Cornish College of the Arts, and University of Utah. Wallich has created three evening- length works with her company The YC: Super Eagle (Velocity Dance Center, 2014), Splurge Land (On the Boards, 2015), and Industrial Ballet (Velocity Dance Center/Seattle Theater Group, 2016) in addition to short-form site-specific works On Perspective (Seattle Art Museum/Olympic Sculpture Park, 2014), Tennis Court Ballet (Rauschenberg Residency, 2015) and Peach Lawn Chair (Belltown Seattle Rooftop, 2016). She has received awards, grants and support from 4Culture, Artist Trust, The Glenn H. Kawasaki Foundation, Velocity Dance Center’s AIR, On the Boards Performance Production Program, The Rauschenberg Residency, MANA Contemporary, and Seattle Magazine’s “Spotlight Artist Award.” Wallich regularly sells out Seattle’s largest dance venues and leads packed classes through her own brand of movement technique including her popular community-focused class Dance Church.