POD – Four Philadelphia Choreographers Collaborate On A Season Of Premieres

Point of Departure (POD), a collection of performances from four Philadelphia choreographers premieres at Christ Church Neighborhood House Theatre on October 5-7 and 19-21, 2012.  The POD collaborators have designed two programs that highlight the departure points, the individual methods and ideas each artist used to create, while finding common ground in their works’ depth of investigation.

photo by Gabriel Ramos

From October 5-7, the Point of Departure series presents Sticky by Melanie Stewart and poor lost sometime boys by Beau Hancock.  Stewart’s duet Sticky, for Eun Jung Choi and Guillermo Ortega Tanus of Da·Da·Dance Project, explores the nature of bonding, in image and in memory,  of one human to another.  Working with a host of collaborators including computer engineers, animators, and composers, Stewart weaves multiple layers of movement, 3-d media, film animation, music, and text together to create a work that examines sticky situations in relationships.

photo by Lindsay Browning

For his new work poor lost sometime boys, Hancock draws from such disparate sources as Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, David Bowie, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Trisha Brown, and the woodland trails of rural Pennsylvania.  The half-hour duet features Hancock and Scott McPheeters in a series of quirky vignettes, a gay superhero comic book come to life.  And from this somewhat queer and certainly complex amalgam of material comes a sexy and enigmatic dance, a dance that offers a peak inside the fantastic world of the poor lost sometime boys.

photo by Bill Hebert

From October 19-21, the Point of Departure series presents Study #2 Holy Cabinet from Eun Jung Choi and Ask the Painted Ladies by Bronwen MacArthur.  Set to original music by Alban Bailly, Choi’s Study #2: Holy Cabinet is performed by John Luna, MacArthur, Ortega Tanus, and McPheeters.  Holy Cabinet’s playfulness breaks down its original structure, displaying a wide variety of visual images with its humor, buoyancy, and perplexity.

photo by Lindsay Browning

In Ask the Painted Ladies, MacArthur finds inspiration in the remnants collected from past experiences, the debris and images that are left over and kept in a box of stuff.  Ask the Painted Ladies explores the meaning of things when the memory of their purpose has faded.  This investigation takes form in a physically fluid and richly textured quartet of stellar Philadelphia dancers: Ellie Goudie-Averill, Hancock, MacArthur, and McPheeters.  Ask the Painted Ladies is performed with original music by Philadelphia-based composer Todd Horton.

Each individual work spanning these two weekends represents a significant amount of research and development by the artists over the past two years.  The POD artists delight in the divergent paths and unexpected connections of the weekend pairings, in the splicing of artistic ideas for one evening.  This integration of diverse ideas is one of the central goals of the Point of Departure series, to examine how, from various departure points, both artists and audience come together in the final production arena, and what that mixing of influences provides.


Melanie Stewart (Choreographer/Director) creates darkly absurd movement driven theatre focusing on the nuanced, weird and vulnerable side of American culture. She is the Artistic Director of Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre, a critically acclaimed director/choreographer and a recent nominee for a USA Artists Fellowship. Other awards include fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Dance Advance, and The PA Council on the Arts. She has been a choreographer in residence at The American Dance Festival and Jacob Pillow’s Winter Pillow. She holds two degrees in dance; a BA from Webster University and an MFA from Temple University and is a professor and Chair of Theatre and Dance at Rowan University.

Beau Hancock recently earned his MFA in Dance from Temple University, where he was a University Fellow and recipient of the Rose Vernick Choreographic Achievement Award. He also received a Temple Provosts Commission on the Arts grant, was a 2011 nEW Festival Artist-in-Residence, and a recent Dance/UP Polish Exchange Artist. He was the 2009 Cleveland Art Prize/Kathryn Karipides Scholarship recipient, a national prize. As a performer, Beau has had the pleasure to work with Ben Munisteri, Douglas Dunn, Merian Soto, Nichole Canuso, Bronwen MacArthur, and Miro Dance Theatre. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Temple University and Rowan University.

Eun Jung Choi, featured as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2012, is a movement artist who has been working professionally for the past 15 years in the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Korea. Since 2008, she has been Artistic Co-Director of Da·Da·Dance Project, a duet repertory dance theater. The company’s repertoire has been presented at La MaMa Moves, Performance Mix, nEW Festival, Painted Bride Arts Center, XI Muestra Internacional de Danza Contemporánea, Joyce SoHo, Hollins University, and Seoul International Dance Festival. An accomplished dancer, Choi was a company member of Sean Curran Dance, Limon Dance Company, Malashock Dance and Co., and Risa Jaroslow and Dancers. Currently she is working with Nichole Canuso and Sebastienne Mundheim in Philadelphia, and is an Artist-in-Residence at the Live Arts Brewery 2011-2012.

Bronwen MacArthur danced as a freelance artist with New York and Copenhagen (DK) based companies including those of Bill Young, Donna Uchizono, and Tim Feldmann. With these and others she has performed and taught throughout Europe, the U.S. and South America. Bronwen formed MacArthur Dance Project in 2007 and her choreography has been performed in NYC, New England, Philadelphia, Russia, France and Scotland.
 MDP and its collaborative work have been supported by NEFA’s Regional Dance Development Initiative, Vermont Performance Lab, Summer Stages Dance/Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist Project, LEF Foundation, Silo DanceNOW/NYC and Susan Hess Choreographers Project 2010-12. Bronwen is the recipient of the 2011 Ellen Forman Memorial Award and is on faculty at University of the Arts.


Point of Departure: Four New Dance Works

Melanie Stewart’s Sticky & Beau Hancock’s poor lost sometime boys — October 5 & 6 at 7:30pm, October 7 at 2:00pm

Eun Jung Choi’s Study #2 Holy Cabinet & Bronwen MacArthur’s Ask the Painted Ladies — October 19 & 20 at 7:30pm, October 21 at 2:00pm

Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tickets:  $20 General Admission, $10 Dance Professionals/Student/Senior, $30 for both shows (general),  $20 for both shows (dance professionals/student/senior)

Tickets available  online at www.pointofdeparture.com.
Additional information is available by calling (215) 359-7775.


About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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