Leah Stein Dance Company premieres Portraits: Duets for a More Perfect Union?

Mira Treatman | Leah Stein Dance Company
215-432-1806 | info@leahsteindanceco.org
Photos available on request

(Philadelphia – April 2017) Leah Stein Dance Company’s Portraits: Duets for a More Perfect Union? will premiere at Woodmere Art Museum as part of the exhibit “A More Perfect Union? Power, Sex, and Race in the Representation of Couples.” The performance will be held in the galleries on May 20 at 6:00 pm. The cost is $22 for general admission and $12 for museum members. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Tickets will be available via the Woodmere Art Museum website or at the door.

About the Work
Portraits: Duets for a More Perfect Union? is a series of duets created for the gallery space at the historic Woodmere Art Museum. Inspired by select works in the exhibit, Portraits integrates the architecture of the space and the body to activate the images. The performance creates a textured layering of couples’ multiple viewpoints and speaks to the complexities, passion, tension, vulnerabilities and strength of human connections. This work gives audience members an intimate look at couples while breaking expectations of race, gender and orientation using movement, sound and text.

The exhibit A More Perfect Union? Power, Sex and Race in the Representation of Couples explores changing ideas about marriage and artists’ depictions of couples from the time of the American Revolution to the present. With a purposeful question mark in its title, this exhibition asks how artists over the years have responded to changing societal attitudes in the representation of human relationships. The exhibition includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, printmaking, and graphic work, as well as both fine art and popular culture imagery.  Artists address issues pertaining to differences in social class, race, and gender roles within the marriage union, the purpose of sexual activity whether for procreation or personal fulfillment, the nature of sexual orientation, and public versus private expressions of love.

Dance Workshop with Leah Stein
Leah Stein Dance Company will offer a movement workshop at Woodmere that invites participants to move playfully in a relaxed setting. Simple grounding exercises and activities are followed by explorations in improvisational movement, sound and gesture. This class, open to all, will be held on May 18 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Woodmere Art Museum. Registration for this class and more information will be available at woodmereartmuseum.org.

About the Performers/Collaborators
Leah Stein is the award-winning artistic director and founder of the Leah Stein Dance Company, now in its 15th Anniversary Season. Originally from the Hudson Valley New York, Leah Stein studied with influential artists Kei Takei, Diane McIntyre, Eiko and Koma, Simone Forti and Deborah Hay in her formative years as a choreographer. Improvisation is at the heart of her practice. Stein has collaborated with composers Byron Au Yong (TURBINE), David Lang (battle hymns), Pauline Oliveros (Urban ECHO), Dave Burrell (Brush Mind), Germaine Ingram (The Break, Other People’s Children), and Diane Monroe (Bellows Falls, Adjacent Spaces), and poet Josey Foo (Imprint and A Lily Lilies). Stein received a 2010 Independence Foundation Fellowship, three Pennsylvania of the Arts Fellowships for Choreography, and a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and she was a 2013 finalist for a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Through study and research with composer Pauline Oliveros and the Deep Listening Institute, Stein is a Certificate Holder in Deep Listening. She has taught extensively at Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, and Drexel University and teaches children, young adults, seniors and professional artists.

Jungwoong Kim is a dancer born and raised South Korea now based in Philadelphia. From a young age he trained in martial arts and traditional Korean dances. He graduated from Korea National University of the Arts in Seoul with a degree in choreography. In Seoul he collaborated and performed extensively with award winning Trust Dance Company with whom he toured across the Korean country, as well as Kathy Duck’s improvisational group Magpie in Amsterdam. His choreographic work has been supported by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture and Arts Council Korea. Some of his long-term collaborators are Marion Ramirez, Ellen Gerdes and Merian Soto.

David Konyk is a dance artist based in Philadelphia. He received a BFA degree from Temple University and has worked with many local artists including Myra Bazell, Manfred Fischbeck, Leah Stein, Kate Watson-Wallace, Brian Sanders and Gina Hoch-Stall. His performing and teaching career has taken him to Japan, Germany, Cyprus and across the United States.  David has performed with the Leah Stein Dance Company for over 10 years and assists in the company’s many community engagement programs, including its five-year partnership with Science Leadership Academy, a Philadelphia charter high school.

Germaine Ingram is a performer, choreographer, teacher, oral historian, video-maker, and producer. She started intensively studying jazz tap dance in the early 1980s with internationally acclaimed tap artist and teacher LaVaughn Robinson. She has performed with her mentor, Robinson, and in shared bills with tap greats Honi Coles, Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, the Nicholas Brothers, Gregory Hines, Dianne Walker, Brenda Bufalino, Savion Glover and Bakari Wilder. Germaine’s choreographic commissions from Manhattan Tap and Tappers With Attitude have been performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has collaborated with renowned jazz composers and instrumentalists Odean Pope (saxophone), Dave Burrell (piano) and Tyrone Brown (bass). She holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed postgraduate studies at Harvard University as a Fellow in Law and Humanities.

Diane Monroe, violinist/composer, was born in Philadelphia. She has performed with world-renowned musicians from Yo-Yo Ma to Max Roach. She has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Switzerland’s Tonhalle. As a composer, she has written incidental music for two plays by Tap-it/New Works Ensemble. She was concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and has performed with Zero Moving Company, Karen Bamonte, and the Mark Morris Dance Company. She has collaborated with choreographers Lisa Kraus, Germaine Ingram, and Leah Stein. Presently, Monroe performs with her jazz quartet/quintet and her duo with vibraphonist Tony Miceli.  Monroe’s visibility in the jazz world began with her long tenure as first violinist of the Uptown String Quartet and the Max Roach Double Quartet. Diane Monroe is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and University of the Arts. She teaches at Swarthmore College and Temple University.

Megan Wilson Stern is a movement artist and educator based in West Philly. She performs and collaborates with many companies including The Naked Stark and Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Co. Megan is a teacher, facilitator, and organizer of contact improvisation. She also teaches creative dance and yoga to children and adults. Megan was born and raised in North Carolina where she completed a BFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2009.

Michele Tantoco has worked with many Philadelphia choreographers/artists, including Megan Bridge, Shannon Murphy, Moving Parts/Meg Foley, IdiosynCrazy Productions, Brian Sanders, Sebastienne Mundheim, Lisa Kraus, and Myra Bazell. She also has had the great opportunity to work with Lucinda Childs, Ty Boomershine, Sean Feldman (UK) and Siobhan Davies (UK). She has been a member of the Leah Stein Dance Company since 2002.

About Leah Stein Dance Company
Now in its 15th anniversary season, Leah Stein Dance Company creates site-specific performances that invoke and illuminate the living histories of built and natural spaces. Working in close collaboration with cross-disciplinary creative artists, Stein stirs new perspectives about the interactions between people, their communities, and the physical environment. LSDC has created work for major sites throughout the region, including the Fairmount Water Works, Eastern State Penitentiary, Longwood Gardens, Christ Church Burial Ground, and Bartram’s Gardens, among others. LSDC has performed in Poland, Romania, Japan, Scotland, and across the US. From 2006-2015 LSDC undertook major collaborations with the Mendelssohn Club Chorus under the direction of Alan Harler. Leah Stein Dance Company maintains active outreach programs for youth, seniors and community dance community through open Voice/Movement workshops.  To learn more visit http://www.leahsteindanceco.org

About Woodmere Art Museum
Housed in a 19th-century stone mansion on six acres in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Woodmere tells the stories of the art and artists of Philadelphia. The Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1910. The building, grounds, and core of the permanent collection are the gifts of Charles Knox Smith (1845 – 1916). A passionate collector of contemporary art in his day, Smith was a civic leader of wealth and stature, serving on Philadelphia’s Common Council (the precursor to today’s City Council). Born of modest means, Smith’s first job was that of “grocer’s boy,” but he eventually built a successful mining company that was active in Mexico. He lived in downtown Philadelphia most of his life and purchased the Woodmere estate in 1898 with the grand ambition of providing a spiritual experience to the people of Philadelphia through encounters with great works of art in the context of the green beauty of the Wissahickon and Chestnut Hill.  Woodmere continues to honor and interpret Smith’s vision of bringing art and nature together, and in recent years has acquired important examples of outdoor sculpture. Woodmere’s Collection consists of more than 6,000 works of art. Exhibitions and education programs “tell the stories” of the artists of Philadelphia, with special attention to 19th-century landscape painting, the circle of Violet Oakley, the circle of Arthur B. Carles, and Philadelphia’s unique brand of modernism.  Woodmere’s collection can be viewed online, and the museum encourages artists and their friends and families to use our website to share information about works in the collection.


Leah Stein Dance Company premieres
PORTRAITS: Duets for a More Perfect Union?
A new site-specific performance at Woodmere Art Museum

WHAT: PORTRAITS: Duets for a More Perfect Union? – A new site-specific dance performance
WHEN: May 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm
WHERE: Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Info: leahsteindanceco.org/portraits

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