Leah Stein Dance Company announces Studio Works performance series

Leah Stein Dance Company is pleased to announce the pilot season of Studio Works. This informal in-studio performance series presents movement-based artists who create in Philadelphia. Artist driven, this platform is an opportunity to see new work bridging dance, the visual arts, theatre, and music. The nine vastly different makers and thinkers in the pilot season will each present their work in the format that suits their process, which will range from soliciting feedback, performing a completed short work, audience engagement exercises, and much more! The series is meant to be a celebration of Philadelphia’s performance landscape through sharing insight into the artists’ diverse, rigorous processes.

The pilot season artists are (in order of appearance): February 26: Sean Thomas Boyt, Thomas Choinacky, and Mira Treatman;  March 26: John Bezark and Gabrielle Revlock;  April 30: Kimya Imani Jackson, Leah Stein, Sheila Zagar; and May 21: Shavon Norris.

Studio Works will be held on Monday evenings once per month from February to May at The Art Room Studio, the former art room of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, located at 2329 S. 3rd Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia. The performance starts at 7:00 pm and runs for approximately two hours. Admission is by $5-20 sliding scale donation at the door or online at www.leahsteindanceco.org/donate.

February 26: Sean Thomas Boyt, Thomas Choinacky, Mira Treatman

Sean Thomas Boyt is a dancer and dance-maker based out of Philadelphia.  He currently dances with The Naked Stark, Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, stb x at, and Dana Powers-Klooster.  Sean’s work has been presented at a variety of concerts, mixed bills, and colleges in Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, Chicago, Washington D.C., Omaha, Boston, Iowa City, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis.  His practice consists of a shifting combination of classical composition structures, nontraditional material generation, and theatrically-inclined performances to find new uses of dance as a medium.  As a choreographer, he operates under the phrase, “Dance like no one likes you.” stbdancing.com

Thomas Choinacky is an interdisciplinary artist who has been creating new performance work in Philadelphia since 2007. He has been the grantee of 1812 Productions’ Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Program and has been awarded artist residencies at Kultuuritehas Polymer in Tallinn, Estonia and Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC. He is a founding member of Applied Mechanics, a radically immersive theater collective. His solo works include A USER’S MANUAL (2017), which has premiered in six cities across the US, and THOMAS IS TITANIC (2012), which was named Editor’s Pick by the Washington Post. thomaschoinacky.com

Mira Treatman is a dance-theatre artist who creates performances stemming from experimental research. As evidenced by her work described by Julius Ferraro in thINKingDANCE as not “graceful,” she works to reframe what dancing bodies can mean on stage, screen and site. Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, Goldilocks Gallery, the Sandy Spring Museum, and Glasshouse. She has performed in works by and with Sylvain Emard, Irina Varina, Katherine Kiefer Stark, Zornitsa Stoyanova, Headlong, and Teatro Linea de Sombra/Cie Carabosse. In 2017, she was an artist in residence at Arts Letters & Numbers. She is a 2018 participant of LANDING at Gibney Dance. miratreatman.com


March 26: John Bezark, Gabrielle Revlock

John Bezark is a Philadelphia-based Interactive Designer, Video Artist and Theater Director. He graduated from Fordham University with a BA in Theatrical Directing and has directed several plays in NYC. He has studied and performed in New York, Los Angeles, Prague, Italy, Scotland and Moscow through such programs as the La MaMa International Directors Symposium, the Moscow Art Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Nowadays he works in MAX/MSP/Jitter, Node.js and Unity to make wacky videos, interactive installations, and live video mixing systems. He loves board games  and history among other things. johnbezark.com

Gabrielle Revlock is known for her signature work with the hoop and her “inventive”, “rambunctious”, and “mesmerizing” choreography. Presenters include American Dance Festival, New York Live Arts, Philadelphia Dance Projects, FringeArts, Gibney Dance Center, Omi International Arts Center, JACK, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and international festivals in Japan, Russia, and Singapore. Her work has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Independence Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, among others. Interested in bridging experimentation and populism, she created the online video So You Think You Can’t Understand Contemporary Dance?, a two-minute conversation with her favorite five-year-old. GabrielleRevlock.com


April 30: Kimya Imani Jackson, Leah Stein and Sheila Zagar

Kimya Imani Jackson is a dancer, performance artist, and clown based in Philadelphia, PA. She has performed with Philadanco training program, Eng & Friends Dance Company, Donna Oblongata, and Joy Mariama Smith. She has shown work at the Rotunda, Chi Mac, The Painted Bride, CEC, and Panorama. She is fascinated by the magic of the mundane – the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Leah Stein grew up in Hudson Valley in New York State. She is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who has been making site-inspired dances for 20 years. In 2001, she formed the Leah Stein Dance Company whose site-specific dances have been performed internationally and throughout the United States, in train garages, open fields, corner parking lots, vacant city lots, historic sites, gardens and burial grounds. Her choreography refers to particular landscapes and addresses the relationship between people and their physical surroundings. Building on a background of western dance, she has trained in Aikido, Javanese dance, improvisation and contemporary dance techniques. She has collaborated with numerous artists including long-standing artistic partnerships with Toshi Makihara, Josey Foo, Roko Kawai, Alan Harler of the Mendelssohn Club Chorus and currently engaged with Germaine Ingram. She received a 2010 Independence Foundation Fellowship and three Pennsylvania of the Arts Fellowships for Choreography. In 2001, she won a Herald Angel Award for her dance In Situ in Edinburgh, Scotland. A Lily Lilies, poems by Josey Foo, notes on dance by Leah Stein was published by Nightboat Books Press. leahsteindanceco.org

Sheila Zagar has been teaching, dancing and choreographing in Philly for over 35 years. Sheila’s work is about personal stories that empower individuals and build community. Teaching older adults is one of her specialties. Zagar created 9 dances with her father, Asher, which dealt with their changing relationship as he slipped into ever deepening stages of dementia. This experience was transformational for their relationship and her dance making. She has worked with many Philadelphia artists, most recently with Michael Kiley whose yearlong project “Close Music for Bodies” was featured in the 2017 Philly Fringe. Currently teaching “The Joy of Dancing Together” for dancers and non-dancers alike.


May 21: Shavon Norris

Shavon Norris is an artist, educator, and facilitator. She grew up in an African American Sci-fi Christian home in the Bronx. She uses movement along with text and sound and imagery to reveal and highlight the stories living in our bodies. Her work explores our relationship to our identities, to our experiences, and to others. An examination and celebration of what we feel, think, and believe. Shavon is grateful. To the learners that have shared their humanity with her. To the audiences that have witnessed her art. To the creatives that have shared visions with her. Shavon loves all of what she does.

STUDIO WORKS, a new performance series curated by Leah Stein
February 26, March 26, April 30, and May 21 at 7:00 pm
The Art Room Studio, 2329 S. 3rd Street,  2nd Floor, Philadelphia, 19148
Tickets: $5-20 sliding scale donation at the door or online at www.leahsteindanceco.org/donate