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Behind the Scenes with Katie Dean and Nadia Tykulsker

Behind the Scenes with Katie Dean and Nadia Tykulsker

Published on February 17, 2014
Photo: Michael Drake

as the Choreographers Prepare for their Shared Evening Performances at Triskelion Arts

Here I Am Again Alone Again

Choreographers: Katie Dean and Heather Bregman

Sculptor and Set Designer: Mike Drake

Sheathings from a Steep Slope

Choreographer: Nadia Tykulsker/Spark(edit) Arts

Performers: Tara Sheena, Aya Wilson, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes

Designer: Hiroko Ishikawa

Composer: Guillermo E. Brown


February 20-22 at 8 p.m.

Triskelion Arts

For ticket information, please click here.

In late February, Nadia Tykulsker and Katie Dean along with Dean's co-choreographer, Heather Bregman will present a split bill program at Williamsburg's Triskelion Arts. While Tykulsker and Dean create choreography that looks markedly different, both display collaborative tendencies. This impulse manifests itself in alliances with visual artists and composers. The two met while dancing with Red Hook based choreographer Shannon Hummel, and their common interests as twenty-something dance-makers seem the perfect launching point to produce a joint show.

Nadia Tkulsker/Spark(edit) Arts during rehearsal
Nadia Tykulsker/Spark(edit) Arts during rehearsal. Photo courtesy of Spark(edit) Arts.

Nadia Tykulsker, born and bred in Brooklyn, holds a degree from the University of Michigan. After graduation, she returned home and embarked upon her choreographic journey, which has encompassed acting as an artist in residence at Chez Bushwick. Tykulsker likens herself to a curator, carefully selecting elements that conspire to create her vision. Her current work, Sheathings from a Steep Slope, highlights a strong visual factor. She based the piece in the realm of memory, inspired by what we remember and forget.

Tykulsker brought in artist Hiroko Ishikawa to craft components such as a nest-like structure and hanging blinds. These elements, combining both form and function, act like characters. Dancer/collaborators Aya Wilson, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, and Tara Sheena will use these items to construct the set during the performance to a score by electronic and percussionist composer, Guillermo E. Brown.

Artwork by Hiroko Ishikawa.
Artwork by Hiroko Ishikawa.

Katie Dean and Heather Bregman met while students at Virginia Commonwealth University, studying dance and sculpture respectively. Bregman now lives and works in the British Virgin Islands on a charter boat, which forces the two to get creative with their communication. They correspond often, using a Google document to aggregate their comments and discoveries as they create their work, Here I Am Again Alone Again.

Katie Dean and Heather Bregman. Photo: Ian Douglas.
Katie Dean and Heather Bregman. Photo: Ian Douglas.

Collaborating with sculptor Mike Drake, Dean and Bregman envision a set — which will contain scaffolding and an infinity mirror box among other accouterments — that act less as props and more as artifacts from the unique world they have constructed. Bregman returned at the end of January, and the two are fitting together the pieces from their independent explorations.

Tykulsker and Dean effervesce about the opportunity to share this performing opportunity. They found the divvying up of duties — in one instance, Dean designed their promotional materials while Tykulsker distributed them — well suited to their personalities. While they acknowledge there is always the worry that presenting two disparate works can confuse the audience, both believe there is much more to be gained from sharing a program in the form of audience enrichment and personal fulfillment.

Follow Erin Bomboy on Twitter @ErinBomboy


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