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Douglas Dunn + Dancers to present acclaimed work "Garden Party"

Douglas Dunn + Dancers to present acclaimed work "Garden Party"


Douglas Dunn + Dancers


Douglas Dunn Studio, 541 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Manhattan


Wednesday, September 6, 2023 - 8:00pm daily through September 10, 2023
Saturday, September 9, 2023 - 4:00pm daily through September 10, 2023



Douglas Dunn + Dancers


SEPTEMBER 6–10, 2023


New York, NY (June 29, 2023) – After nine sold-out performances this past April, Garden Party, a collaborative work by choreographer Douglas Dunn, visual artist/designer Mimi Gross, and lighting designer Lauren Parrish, will return this fall. Performances are September 6–10 (Wednesday–Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 4pm and 8pm, Sunday at 8pm), at Douglas Dunn Studio, 541 Broadway, 3rd Floor, in Manhattan. Tickets for Garden Party are $20-$25 (inclusive of all fees) and will be available beginning July 15 at http://www.douglasdunndance.com/upcoming.

Garden Party is a series of vignettes, each with its own elegant and playful interaction of movement, visual art, music, and language. Dunn partners with longtime collaborator Mimi Gross to transform his loft space into a verdant haven. Ten members of Douglas Dunn + Dancers, including Dunn himself, frolic within this lush garden landscape while lighting and projections by Lauren Parrish illuminate each scene and its interruptions. In this hour-long work, Dunn’s steps are interwoven with poetry (John Keats, Anne Waldman, and others) and music (Robert de Visée, John Lennon, Emmylou Harris, to name a few). The delicate texts, varied musical scores, and the intimacy of the space may urge viewers toward narrative associations and the opportunity to feel themselves in, not just looking at a garden. In her review of the premiere, Gia Kourlas of The New York Times writes: “Woven throughout this party of a dance is emotion and with it a sense of surrender… But it’s also a mischievous, eccentric Day-Glo adventure, or a dance you’d find in the middle of a Wes Anderson movie. It’s a secret garden three floors from the city sidewalk.”

Choreography by Douglas Dunn, set and costume design by Mimi Gross, lighting and projection design by Lauren Parrish, sound design by Jacob Burckhardt. Pre-show live music by Tosh Sheridan. Garden Party is performed by Alexandra Berger, Janet Charleston, Grazia Della-Terza, Douglas Dunn, Vanessa Knouse, Emily Pope, Paul Singh, Jin Ju Song-Begin, Timothy Ward, and Christopher Williams.


About the Artists

Douglas Dunn is a New York-based dancer and choreographer working since 1971. He was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1969 to 1973, and a founding member of Grand Union from 1970 to 1976. Following duet, solo, and film work in the 1970s, he formed Douglas Dunn + Dancers in 1978, and in 1980 set Stravinsky’s Pulcinella on the Paris Opera Ballet. He is Board Member Emeritus of the New York City presenting organization Danspace Project. He likes to collaborate with poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers, and playwrights to offer a multifaceted theatrical experience. In 1998 he was awarded a NY Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for Sustained Achievement, and in 2008 was honored by the French government as Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. While continuing to lead Douglas Dunn + Dancers, he teaches Open Structures at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and presents salons at his studio at 541 Broadway in Manhattan. His book of collected writings, Dancer Out of Sight, is available at Amazon.

Mimi Gross is a painter, set and costume designer, and teacher. Working in a variety of media, she has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is in numerous significant public and private collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum, le Musée des Art Decoratifs in Paris, the Nagoya Museum of Art, the Onasch Collection in Berlin, and the Lannan Foundation, as well as the Fukuoko Bank in Japan, and New York’s Bellevue Hospital. The Minneapolis Museum of Art recently acquired several works. Gross is the recipient of countless awards and grants including from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for Visual Arts, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Bessie for sets and costumes. She has collaborated with Douglas Dunn + Dancers since 1979, making sets and/or costumes for more than 25 of Dunn's dances. Currently she is non-exclusively represented by Eric Firestone Gallery in New York. June-September 2023: Exhibition of recent paintings, drawings, sculpture and sketchbooks at North Norway Art Center, Lofoten Islands, Norway.

Lauren Parrish is a lighting and projection designer who has created designs for companies such as Ailey II, American Repertory Ballet, Flux Theater Ensemble, Keigwin + Company, Loni Landon Dance, Megan Williams Dance Project, The New York Neo-Futurists, TAKE Dance, and Teatro SEA. Finding flexibility and inspiration in the limitations of space and time, Parrish’s work is founded on the concept that collaboration that respects everyone in the room and the audience is key to making the best art possible. She is currently the associate director of production at Abrons Arts Center and lives in the Bronx. 

All the while making underground movies, Jacob Burckhardt has worked at a variety of jobs: Blueberry picker, Steel Mill laborer, grape harvester, Fuller Brush man, Truck driver, Taxi driver, camera repairman, adjunct professor, and sound engineer. He did sound recording and mixing from North Africa to the porn industry. After making two features, he went back to making shorts, in film and video, where it is possible to preserve a direct relationship between the film and the film maker. He enjoys collaborating with Douglas, and they are currently shooting a movie called Disappearances.

Tosh Sheridan is a guitarist and composer working and living in New York since 1998. He earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in 1998. In 2004, he went on to earn his Masters in Jazz Performance from City College of New York. While at City College, Sheridan studied with the world-renowned solo jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini. Sheridan has been performing throughout the tri-state area since the age of 16 when he first started playing guitar. He has released three CDs under his own name ranging in styles from solo jazz guitar to roots rock. He also has been working as a producer and engineer at One Soul Studio since 2013.

After many years studying classical ballet, Alexandra Berger finally found herself within modern dance vocabulary. Working professionally in New York since 2003, Berger has had the privilege of dancing for, among others, Pat Catterson, Merce Cunningham (RUG 2007), Douglas Dunn, Matthew Mohr, Roz Newman, Sally Silvers, Dǔsan Týnek, and Matthew Westerby. In addition to dancing, Berger ascribes to the Gyrotonic Expansion System® through the lineage of Juergen Bamberger and Hilary Cartwright, teaching at Fluid Fitness in Manhattan and privately in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Berger holds a BFA from The New School and is currently pursuing an MSW through Fordham University, interning this year with the United Nations. She has had the honor of dancing with Douglas Dunn + Dancers since the fall 2013.

Janet Charleston joined Douglas Dunn + Dancers in 1993 and has continued as dancer, rehearsal director, and manager. She danced with the Lucinda Childs Dance Company for many years and performed in the 1992 world tour of Einstein on the Beach. She has worked with an array of other artists including Christopher Williams (currently), Chamecki/Lerner, Kota Yamazaki, David Parker, RoseAnne Spradlin, Stephen Koester, Yoshiko Chuma, June Finch, and Beverly Blossom. Invited to teach in his studio by Merce Cunningham in 2001, she currently teaches for the Merce Cunningham Trust and independently. Other teaching engagements have included Sarah Lawrence College, Barnard College, SUNY Purchase, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, University of Kansas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program, SEAD (Salzburg, Austria), and El Centro Cultural Los Talleres (Mexico City). Charleston has also taught yoga and movement for children and the elderly. Her choreography has been presented at venues in New York City, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Arizona, and South America. A Fulbright Scholar in Santiago, Chile in 2008, she subsequently served as Peer Reviewer in Dance for the Fulbright organization. She has an MFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Grazia Della-Terza first danced with Douglas Dunn + Dancers in 1980. She has also danced in the works of Susan Dibble, Christopher Williams, Yoshiko Chuma, Anneliese Widman, Associated Solo Artists, The Court Dance Company of New York, Renée Wadleigh, Paul Thompson, Jim Self, Ohad Naharin, Philip Grosser, Mel Wong, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Martha Armstrong Gray, and Anna Sokolow and Martha Graham while at SUNY Purchase. Della-Terza has taught and practiced Shiatsu for many years.

Vanessa Knouse is a dancer and teacher in New York City. Originally from Santa Fe, NM, Knouse trained at the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet before earning her bachelor of fine arts at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has worked with the Merce Cunningham Trust, Cornfield Dance, Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Co, Ian Spencer Bell, Jody Oberfelder Projects, Kimberly Bartosik, and Susan Marshall & Co.

Emily Pope (she/they) is a performing artist, teacher, choreographer, dancer, and video artist. They are an alumna of UNCSA (1991), received their BFA in performance/choreography from OSU Dance (summa cum laude, 1997), and their MFA in dance/choreography from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (2007). They currently perform with Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects, Tiffany Mills Dance Company, Yoshiko Chuma, and Douglas Dunn + Dancers. They are a recipient of the 2020 Bessie Honoree Award for Outstanding Performance.

Paul Singh (he/him) is a dance artist, choreographer, and educator living in New York City. He earned his BFA in dance from the University of Illinois. He has danced for Gerald Casel, Risa Jaroslow, Will Rawls, Phantom Limb Company, Stephanie Batten Bland, Douglas Dunn, Christopher Williams, Kathy Westwater, Faye Driscoll, and was featured in the inaugural cast of Punchdrunk’s NYC debut of Sleep No More. While abroad, he was a dancer in Peter Sellars’ opera The Indian Queen (Madrid), as well as Peter Pleyer’s large-scale improvisation work Visible Undercurrent (Berlin). Singh has had his own work shown at multiple venues in NYC, Berlin, and in 2004 his solo piece Stutter was presented at the Kennedy Center. He has taught contact improvisation (CI) around the world, and currently teaches varied technique classes (floorwork, CI, contemporary partnering) for Movement Research, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Juilliard School. In 2021, he began his role as artistic associate at Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Jin Ju Song-Begin is a choreographer, dancer, and dance teacher from Seoul, South Korea, whose work has been presented internationally in Korea, Japan, Singapore, and the U.S. Since moving to New York in 2010, her work has been shown in many venues in NYC. In 2012, she founded her dance company, Da-On Dance. In 2021, she created the dance film Bubble as part of the StuffedArts residency at Judson Church, and she was recently chosen to participate in the Rauschenberg Residency. She has danced for Tere O’Connor, Keith Thomson, Emily Berry, and Daniel Roberts. Currently she dances in NYC with Douglas Dunn + Dancers, Sean Curran Company, Cornfield Dance, and Netta Yerushalmy. In 2023 she will be starting a new project with Big Dance Theater.

Timothy Ward grew up in Abita Springs, LA. After graduating from the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and earning a BFA in dance from the Juilliard School, he was a final member of the Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group. Ward has worked for dozens of choreographers over the years. He continues to dance with Molissa Fenley, Julia Gleich, Fadi J Koury, Pat Catterson, Yvonne Rainer, and Douglas Dunn. He currently teaches Cunningham Technique® at Rutgers University.

Named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in choreography, Christopher Williams is a critically acclaimed NY Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award-winning choreographer, dancer, and puppet artist working in New York City and abroad since 1999. He holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and has performed for Tere O’Connor, Rebecca Lazier, Yoshiko Chuma, John Kelly, Dan Hurlin, Basil Twist, and Peter Sellars, among many others. He has had the honor of dancing for Douglas Dunn + Dancers since 2000.

For more information about Douglas Dunn + Dancers, visit DouglasDunnDance.com.


Janet Charleston, Emily Pope, Jin Ju Song-Begin. Photo by Jacob Burckhardt

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