Dance Advance debuts danceworkbook series on Philadelphia artists

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The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announces the launch of danceworkbook, a series of web based and DVD-ROM publications produced by Dance Advance. The danceworkbook series will establish a body of reference material concerned with interrogating a variety of choreographic processe —stages of creation and development that form the ‘back story’ to the finished dances audiences see in performance. The debut work in this series is Braiding Unbraiding Rebraiding: Headlong Dance Theater examines artistic process in collaboration with Tere O’Connor.

Headlong Dance Theater, whose new dance more is currently being performed in the 2009 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, traces its latest creation to the two year long project of working with Tere O’Connor, artistic director of Tere O’Connor Dance in New York City. The company has immersed themselves in an interrogation of choreographic methods with O’Connor since 2007. This effort involved not only the artistic directors, but also an ensemble of collaborating dancers. According to Andrew Simonet, one of three co-artistic directors of Headlong Dance Theater, “most approaches to the artistic process remain on the ground, looking for clues in the forest, [but] Tere blasts into the air, giving us a dimensional map of the landscape. I nominate Tere to run the art world.” The Braiding workbook will be housed at a new website www.danceworkbook.org and is also available in DVD-ROM format by contacting either Headlong or Dance Advance.

Target audiences for the workbook are dance practitioners, dance composition students, and the public interested in gaining insight to choreographic practice, learning about the concerns of collaborative partnerships in directing a dance company, and how issues of dance composition are viewed by contemporary artists in the field.

Essays are featured by Tere O’Connor, and by Anna Drozdowski, former administrative manager of Headlong who is also a dance writer and dramaturg. There is also a wide ranging anthology of filmed recording of rehearsal and workshop sessions, interviews with all the principle artists including collaborating dancers in the project, and biographic profiles.

An over view of the intercultural explorations of choreographer Roko Kawai will be the next volume in the danceworkbook series, expected to be released later this fall.

About The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the five-county, Southeastern Pennsylvania region. Established in 2005, the Center houses seven funding Initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Through these Initiatives the Center supports area artists and arts and heritage organizations whose work is distinguished by excellence, imagination, and courage.

Each year, the Center’s grants make possible more than 800 performances in dance, music, and theatre as well as history and visual arts exhibitions, and other public programs for audiences in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. In addition to its grantmaking, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage functions as a nexus for the exchange of ideas around artistic expression and cultural interpretation. The Center also produces lectures, symposia, workshops, and publications that engage critical issues in the fields we serve.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. For more information visit www.pcah.us

About Headlong Dance Theater

Headlong Dance Theater was founded by Co-Directors David Brick, Andrew Simonet and Amy Smith in 1993. David, Andrew and Amy collaborate in the creation and performance of all Headlong’s dances and share credit for all the company’s work. Over the years, Headlong has created over forty dances, many of which are known for their witty take on contemporary culture. Headlong has performed nationally and internationally to a range of audiences, and their work — informed by a deep commitment to collaboration, humor, and formal experimentation — has won many fans and much acclaim. For more information visit www.headlong.org

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