Locally Grown Dance Program
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The Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA)
Locally Grown Dance:
See You Again by Jumay Chu
the Eclipse (ellipses)… … …by Byron Suber
April 7: 7:30 p.m. EDT the Eclipse (ellipses)… … …
April 7: 8:30 p.m. EDT See You Again
April 8: 7:30 p.m. EDT See You Again
April 8: 8:30 p.m. EDT the Eclipse (ellipses)… … …
April 9: 7:30 p.m. EDT the Eclipse (ellipses)… … …
April 9: 8:30 p.m. EDT See You Again
April 10: 7:30 p.m. EDT See You Again
April 10: 8:30 p.m. EDT the Eclipse (ellipses)… … …
Reserve your free ticket at schwartztickets.com. A link will be emailed to you prior to showtime.
This project is funded in part by the Cornell Council for the Arts.
Letter from the Chair
Dear community members,
In a more typical year, you would be reading this note in a physical program while gathering in a public space. As you well know, there is nothing typical about this year, and so this note must also depart from the conventions that have tended to govern it in the past.
Indeed, what we were intending as a year’s worth of programming at this time last spring has been radically reimagined. I am proud of students, staff, and faculty who have responded with inventiveness and imagination to making virtual work in socially distanced ways. I am proud that the majority of this work is centering perspectives on systemic racism and white supremacist ideology, of which the Department of Performing and Media Arts must take urgent stock, for which we must be accountable, and whose dismantling we must actively undertake. I am proud that numerous BIPOC guest artists and scholars are visiting classes and making public presentations via Zoom. And I am proud that all of this activity is free to our publics, who now more than ever need access to art and intellection that we hope will sustain us through the anxieties and exhaustions of our current political and historical circumstances.
I look forward to a time when we may all convene again in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts and communally enjoy film, dance, theater, performance art, installation, public lectures, and more. In the meantime, I wish everyone reading this note physical health and emotional and spiritual well-being.
Letters from the Directors
Jumay Chu, See You Again:
In this year of the pandemic, the Atelier 320 dancers – Bailey, Destiny, Julia, Maddy, Mica, and Savannah – choreographed See You Again alone and together. They began last fall by choreographing solos, each in her own space and drawing on a recent experience. Under my direction the solos were extended separately and then layered with other dances to create group configurations. In mid-March, the day before the first video shoot, the dancers assembled in person for the first time, safely masked, on the Kiplinger Theatre stage. In the ecstasy of being together, they made duets, trios, a quartet, and a sextet – gorgeously embodying the work and play of relationships.
The design of the dance reflects the dynamics of film, which are also the dynamics of perception: living moment by moment, combining and eliding, remembering and forgetting, composing a world. Jason Simms designed the set and the lighting, Sarah Bernstein designed the costumes, Steven Blasberg shot the videos, and Jeffrey Palmer edited -- all to dazzling effect. The latest album by Powerdove provides the haunting music: it's titled Machination, with songs by Annie Lewandowski and instrumentation by Thomas Bonvalet. Interspersed among the songs are Thomas’s elusive pieces from his Engourdissement.
When Jason proposed a set of frames to stage my dance, I understood in a flash what I wanted from all the artists here. Within these frames, as my extraordinary dancers come and go, I see them constantly. Enthralling Kate and entrancing Mariaenrica are there, and always my beloved Ed. Hold for a moment, and you may see that everyone is dancing, including you.
Byron Suber, the Eclipse (ellipses)… … …:
This letter was a difficult one to even begin to write since the pandemic-protocol-informed-process we were working through was completely new to all of us in so many unexpected ways... even though we have been in this limited way of life for over a year, and even though we had already gone through a similar process in the Fall for our MLGD virtual concert. The summation (in the form of a streaming virtual concert) of last semester’s work was performed for the camera in our very familiar and quotidian studio space. For safety reasons, we used many different cameras shot by many different people, friends and roommates of the dancers, mostly using their phones. This semester, we had three photographer/videographers who had not been a part of the process until the day of shooting and we didn’t quite know who exactly would be there on each respective day of filming and so it was always a bit of a surprise… each shoot started with very hurried introductions then getting right to work. Among the three people capturing images, they were using five different cameras, each with different aspect ratios, lenses, and settings or abilities, that caught the light and the dancers bodies quite differently.
Additionally, we gratefully had the added assets of costume, set, and lighting design but securely maneuvering through, and organizing, all of those many moving parts, created a feeling of excitement … and more than a little bit of terror. Each video shoot coalesced at the last minute as an extensively collaborative ensemble that operated on new planes of communication that we had never experienced quite in the same way, or to the same degree of improvisation, many aspects of the creation being communicated or comprehended in the moment of filming.
This diving into the unknown, while terrifying, also brought us to a moment of presentness that is usually only experienced in a live performance with a live audience… We knew from our Fall semester experience that the dancers were not quite aware of the filming process as a performance because it felt so familiar and informal, but in this past month, the feeling of liveness wrought by all these converging elements inspired performances in the dancers that were breathtaking to witness and remain breathtaking as a video recording. For most every shoot, we did one take per dancer so what you are seeing for the most part is like an ephemeral live performance, one chance to have gotten it right. And get it right they did.
In filming “the Eclipse (ellipses)… … …” we had several different environments or configurations of set pieces, and in some cases, projections of the black and white videos from last semester that I had colorized digitally with converging layers of color mattes. Some of these worlds we inhabited were very simple and were only constructed with the lighting and amazing colors of the clear and striking costumes designed and built by Sarah Bernstein and Lisa Boquist. Other worlds we explored were elaborate in their design and were constructed with a clarity of intent, brought to life by the great team of Jason Simms, Fritz Bernstein, Tim Ostrander, and Steven Blasberg. Of the six different spaces we created, some were on the Kip stage, with the main curtain closed off to the view of the audience space with the dancers sometimes facing a camera placed in the back of the stage, sometimes on one side. Another was a sort of secret space high in the back of the Kip, in an aquarium-like lighting booth with a glass wall, the videographer shooting from the catwalk, high above the theatre seating area. And another was a fantastical room created in the film sound stage that replicated the aesthetic of the gothic world of New Orleans, where I grew up, and continue to draw inspiration from in many channels of interest in my creative and academic work.
Throughout the always unexpected worlds we entered, I kept thinking I would be able to sum up the experience after we did a few video shoots, then I thought it would make more sense after I started editing but here I am about to upload the final product and am still working to articulate what this experience was ... more precisely than I feel I am able… but I will offer my thoughts around the creation of the main title, and one of the section titles, with the hopes of bringing some awareness to intention and some insight into meaning for the audience.
The initial inspiration for the title of the piece in development last semester, “the Eclipse”, was in part inspired by the Antonioni film, the Eclipse… a film that ends with 7 minutes of nothing-ness, expressing a feeling of loss and absence. I felt that going through the lockdown of the pandemic was like an in-between time of nothing-ness and the questions of what came before and what would come after remained a blur. Last summer, when planning the work for the fall semester, I thought by spring we would certainly be out of lockdown and back to live performance but instead, the lockdown became a series of ellipses, a waiting in nothing-ness and a lack of clarity about what was ahead… and in fact, as we filmed this semester, we were still in a position where we had to continue to social distance. Again, we would have to make work for streaming, albeit more produced with sets, costumes and lighting, but still we would each be all alone in this process… The other connection to the ellipse is that we looked to TikTok for movement inspiration. Under lockdown conditions, TikTok became such an integral part of so many people’s lives, bringing both levity and joy in the dancing that was presented but also TikTok became an essential source for political expression… and we remained in an eclipse of social distancing and communication was only enabled by technology. The irony of how one waits to hear back from someone in a text, looking at the animated icon of an ellipse that appears when the other person is writing. You are waiting to see what they are going to say… and also, how it feels when that ellipse disappears... when that other person fails to commit to sending…
One section, that became the last section, I had considered calling “In a Floating World”, (drawn from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, titled “An Artist in the Floating World” that is concerned with a Japanese tradition of art making, and in particular for this novel, a world of aesthetic expression that is an escape or denial of the political ramifications for Japan because of the atrocities of WW II). And to get to that idea of floating, the set for this section is just light. The dancers are suspended in darkness, even their feet disappearing because of their black socks. And the color of their costume, a simple chiffon shirt in different shades of red/pink/burgundy, for each dancer, become a solitary saturated color surround by nothingness and this last section is the longest, isolating each dancers movements in a suspended and elongated ellipse … … …
It is a lot to consider and a lot to take in… but there is quite a lot of time to do that… … … so take time if you need it.
Atelier 360 Company Profiles
Julia Barravecchio is currently a graduate student in the MPS in Management Program. She completed her undergraduate degree this past May at Cornell in the ILR School. During her undergraduate years, Julia was also active in PMA dance courses in addition to her current Modern III. She is also a member of Pandora Dance Troupe and has been dancing throughout her life.
Micaela Carroll is a senior in Arts & Sciences, studying how people learn movement patterns. She started dancing with Jumay when she transferred to Cornell her sophomore year, and is so happy to be a part of LGD before leaving Ithaca. She thanks Jumay for all her love and guidance, and hopes you enjoy the show!
Savannah Jeffries is a first-year planning to major in math and minor in dance. She grew up in Virginia and has danced her entire life! She also absolutely loves working with three to five year old dancers outside of her own classes and groups. Savannah is so excited to be joining Cornell’s dance family and is looking forward to participating in her first LGD!
Madeleine Lee is a senior studying environmental engineering and minoring in dance. Her experience with LGD has spanned the performing side and the production side, as she has danced with Jumay since her freshman year and worked in the costume shop with Lisa Boquist and Sarah Bernstein. She hopes you enjoy the virtual presentation of LGD!
Since 2007, Annie Lewandowski (voice/electronics) has been extending the limits of songwriting under the moniker Powerdove. In the Powerdove duo with Thomas Bonvalet (assorted instruments), stark melodies with pared down lyrics are contrasted with a wide spectrum of surprising and delighting noise-making devices. Powerdove’s economical songs are experiments in freedom in fragments, the voice a lighthouse in the midst of an instrumental storm.
Powerdove has performed at venues across the United States and Europe, including the End of the Road Festival (England), the Alan Lomax Festival (France), Musica Nelle Valli (Italy), Fanø Free Folk Festival (Denmark), and the Switchboard Music Festival (San Francisco). Powerdove will be releasing their new record Machination on Murailles Music in May 2021.
Destiny Nwafor is a senior studying Computer Science with a PMA Dance Minor. She is thrilled to be able to produce and share work in a virtual world. Hope you enjoy!
Bailey Regan is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is an English major and a Law & Society minor from Massachusetts. Bailey has been dancing since the age of three, beginning at a competitive dance studio then training at the Boston Ballet School’s North Shore Studio. She has also attended summer dance intensives at the Boston Ballet, ABT, and the Boston Conservatory. At Cornell, Bailey is the Vice President of Pandora Dance Troupe. This is her very first Locally Grown Dance performance, and she is so grateful for the chance to work with Jumay and Byron and all of her fellow dancers, especially during this time of social distancing and irregularity. She is thankful that her PMA classes can be such a nurturing and engaging creative outlet for her at Cornell.
edgeofthegorge Company Profiles
Max Buckholtz (Composer) directs and performs with the ensemble Journey West which gives lecture performances throughout the United States and Western Europe. Journey West explores melody as it migrates across borders and employs refugee musicians impacted by turmoil in the Middle East to perform with the group. The multi-cultural fabric part-and-parcel to the Buffalo Suzuki Strings, with whom Max played aged 10 to 16, provided the organic material from which his current career path derives. Max has worked for the Dance Department at Cornell University since the mid 90s serving as a Dance Accompanist, Performer and Composer.
Alexia Carey is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University studying Development Sociology, and on the pre-med track. She resides in Brooklyn, NY and has attended many dance schools in the city - some of which include the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center, and Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn. She also attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts, where she studied vocal music for four years. There, she was on the cheerleading/dance team, and she performed in numerous shows, such as the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Kaitlin Chang is a sophomore pre-med biological sciences major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She developed a love for dance under the instruction of Karen Lynch and through intensives at American Ballet Theater. Kaitlin is from Long Island, NY, and loves singing, painting, and thrill-seeking in her free time. She is grateful to still be able to dance on campus this semester, and thanks everyone who made it possible!
Hayden Garniewicz is a junior studying Sociology with minors in Inequality Studies and Global Health. She’s been dancing for 17+ years! Here, at Cornell, she is also part of Rise Dance Group. She’s had a wonderful time working with everyone and is looking forward to a great show! She wants to thank her parents and family for supporting her, Byron for the opportunity, and her friends for being her at-home audience this semester.
Syau-Cheng Lai (Composer) is a classically trained pianist and visual artist who resides in Ithaca, and who was an accompanist in Cornell's Dance Program until 2015. Born and raised in Taiwan, she received an M.S. degree in animal science and a Ph.D. in biopsychology from Cornell University. For her work in art and music, she has received fellowships and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, the Cornell Council for the Arts and the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. She is drawn to expansive projects, having performed Olivier Messiaen's entire piano masterpiece Vingt regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus and Morton Feldman's For Bunita Marcus, the latter integrated with Visualizing For Bunita Marcus, her site-specific installation of 30 yards of textured painting and drawing at Cornell's Olive Tjaden Gallery. She performed two contrasting variations: J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (1741) and Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (1975) during the 2011 Light in Winter festival. She has also collaborated with instrumentalists, choreographers and film artists on improvisation projects. syaucheng.com
Johnna Lee Johnna is a junior in Arts and Sciences, majoring in Biology and Society and minoring in Inequality Studies as a pre-medical student. She grew up in Maryland and previously trained at The Washington School of Ballet for 13 years. She also attended summer intensives at Boston Ballet and Miami City Ballet. At Cornell, she is also a member of Impact Dance Troupe. This is her third year dancing with PMA, and she is so grateful to be able to continue dancing during this time through PMA. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Hannah McManus is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in psychology and minoring in dance. Hannah grew up training mainly in ballet and modern and went to Walnut Hill School for the Arts her last two years of high school to continue her dance training before coming to Cornell. This is Hannah’s third year performing with the PMA department and is very excited to be able to continue dancing during this time.
Bailey Regan is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is an English major and a Law & Society minor from Massachusetts. Bailey has been dancing since the age of three, beginning at a competitive dance studio then training at the Boston Ballet School’s North Shore Studio. She has also attended summer dance intensives at the Boston Ballet, ABT, and the Boston Conservatory. At Cornell, Bailey is the Vice President of Pandora Dance Troupe. This is her very first Mini Locally Grown Dance performance, and she is so grateful for the chance to work with Jumay and Byron and all of her fellow dancers, especially during this time of social distancing and irregularity. She is thankful that her PMA classes can be such a nurturing and engaging creative outlet for her at Cornell.
Madeline Silva is a junior studying Design + Environmental Analysis in the College of Human Ecology with a minor in French studies. She grew up in Ithaca and has been dancing for over 15 years, and here at Cornell is also a member of the student-run Rise Dance Group. This will be her second year performing in LGD and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to perform this year with such a wonderful department!
Naomi Wang is a junior studying biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has been dancing for sixteen years and trained in contemporary, jazz, and ballet at Inspire School of Dance in Naperville, Illinois. Here at Cornell, she is the captain of the Cornell DanceSport team. This is her first time being a part of Locally Grown Dance and is very grateful for the chance to work with so many incredible dancers!
Before Ithaca, Jumay Chu danced in companies in New York and Paris. In 1989 she joined the dance faculty at Cornell, teaching dance technique, composition, choreography, and dance studies in PMA. In January 2021, she retired and already is missing her good friends and colleagues.
Byron Suber is originally from New Orleans, LA, and moved to Ithaca in 1991 after ten years of living and working in New York City. His work there included choreography, music, theatre, costume design, and performance art. His pieces have been exhibited at La MAMA Inc., Performance Space 122, the Kitchen, DANSPACE, the American Dance Festival, and The Wigstock music festival. He has collaborated with professors and graduate students from the MIT Media Lab on the development and use of digital wearables. Suber has received grants and awards from the Harkness Foundation, Art Matters Inc., New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Cornell Council for the Arts. He has taught at the American Dance Festival at Duke University, Dance Space and Steps, in NYC, as well as various universities in the United States and Europe.
Production Staff Profiles
Sarah Eckert Bernstein is the Resident Costume Designer at the Schwartz Center and Senior Lecturer in costume design, costume history, and character design. Some of her recent projects at Cornell include: LGD 2020, The Next Storm, The Wolves, Spill, LGD 2019, Awakening of Spring, Mr. Burns, LGD 2018, Hamlet Wakes Up Late, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Baltimore, Eurydice, Desert of Light, and All God’s Chillun’ Got Wings. Sarah is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University and the Yale School of Drama.
Steven Blasberg (Cinematographer, Master Electrician) is the Master Electrician for The Department of Performing and Media Arts. Restrictions on live performance in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic have allowed Steven to expand his skills to cinematography and live streaming technology. Steven graduated from Cornell University in 2016 with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering. At Cornell, both undergraduate and professionally, he has worked on both student and faculty led productions including Lighting Designer for LGD 2016, Associate Lighting Designer for Blood Wedding, and Master Carpenter for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Outside of Cornell, he has also worked as a Board Operator and House Lighting Designer for the State Theater of Ithaca for various touring shows and as a Lighting Designer for Encore Players Community Theatre (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Wizard of Oz, Dark Hearts: A Villains Cabaret)
Howard Klein is the Stage Manager for The Department of Performing and Media Arts. He has worked for many years as a professional AEA production stage manager off-Broadway, regionally, and on tour around the USA. He has worked in more than 300 venues in 11 countries and counting, as Production Manager and Lighting Designer of the dance company, Galumpha. Howard worked at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts as Producing Coordinator in the Theatrical Production department and stage managed more than 30 productions for the NYU Graduate Acting Program. Other favorite credits include The Lincoln Center Institute, WP Theatre and The Cider Mill Playhouse. Howard has also taught Stage Management at SUNY Binghamton where he received his BA in Technical Theatre.
Warren Cross (Sound Design, Composition) is the Resident Sound Designer for the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University, joining the department in 1990. In addition to designing sound for department productions, Warren teaches courses in Sound Design, Post Production, and Interactive Performance Technology. He attended Five Towns College for Music Technology, Manhattan School of Music for Composition, and SUNY Stony Brook for Technical Theatre, and is designer/builder of acoustic and electronic musical instruments.
Jeffrey Palmer (Film Editor, See You Again), a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, is an award-winning filmmaker and media artist. He describes his work as a multimedia exploration of Indigenous people's lives in twenty-first century America. He recently completed his first feature film, "N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear", examining the life and mind of the first and only Native American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and aired nationally on the PBS series, American Masters. In 2020, the film was nominated for an Emmy in support of American Masters' 33rd season, for Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction Series. The film also won the 2019 Ted Turner Award for the film that most encourages environmental stewardship. Of Palmer's numerous short films, "Isabelle's Garden", was a winner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Short Film Challenge at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. His films screened at venues such as Hot Docs, The Seattle International Film Festival, The Berlinale European Market, and many others around the world. He received numerous awards, grants, and recognition from the Sundance Institute, ITVS, Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the Firelight Media Documentary Lab. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Television Academy, and is an Assistant Professor of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. In 2020, Palmer co-founded the Dark Laboratory at Cornell University. The lab centers embodied modes of multimedia storytelling surrounding the entangled histories of Black and Indigenous peoples.
Jason Simms (he/him) is an award winning scenographer for Theater, Opera, Musicals and film and has designed over 150 productions. Born and Raised in Carson City, NV, Simms started designing for theatre at the age of fifteen. He designs in New York City as well as at regional theaters across the United States. Jason is thrilled to be joining the faculty of PMA this year. jasonsimmsdesign.com
PMA Production Staff and Crew
Videographers/Photographers, the Eclipse (ellipses)… …. … : Max Buckholtz, Mckenna Mellon, Crystal Navellier
Cinematographer, See You Again: Steven Blasberg
Scenery Construction & Electrics Crew: Darion Fiorino, Amit Hanadari-Levy, Rachel Horrigan, Jeena Park, Joseph Welsh, Trence Wilson-Gillem
Scenery Student Staff: Wilhelm Aubrecht, Elizabeth Sherman
Lighting Student Staff: Emlen Brown, Malcolm de Long, Emil Gibson, Anastasia Kreisel, Matthew Secondine, Julia Smith
Costume Stitchers: Chiara Corey, Destiny Nwafor, Gemma Standley, Noah Harrelson, Christian Romero, Joanna LaTorre
PMA PRODUCTION STAFF
Director of Productions & Events: Pamela Lillard
Technical Director: Fritz Bernstein
Stage Manager: Howard Klein
Props Coordinator: Tim Ostrander
Master Electrician: Steven Blasberg
Costume Shop Supervisor: Lisa Boquist
Computer Support: Chris Christensen
Media Assistant: Randy Hendrickson
Communications & Events Coordinator: Youngsun Palmer
Box Office Manager: Julie Tibbits
Communications Manager: Lindsey White
Partner Support: Kitchen Theatre Company
Kitchen Theatre Company
The Journey to 30