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The Young Choreographers Brown Bag Series

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Since 2007, Hathaway Brown School has hosted The Young Choreographers Brown Bag Series, a series of four all-day workshops designed to bring young dancers and professional choreographers together for a day of making dance. 

Abby Zbikowski

Saturday November 9, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Abby is a choreographer interested in interrogating dance traditions and finding new meaning in physical practice.  Abby makes work with her company Abby Z and the New Utility, which has been presented as part of  DNA’s Raw Material, Movement Research at Judson Church, the nEW Festival, Philly Fringe, COLLAGE Arts Festival, the Hear/Now series presented by the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, among others. Her work has also been commissioned by the Ohio State University, where she received her MFA and currently teaches full-time.  In the past Abby has performed with Charles O. Anderson/Dance Theatre X and is a current performer/collaborator with the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project.

Annika Sheaff

Sunday September 29, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Annika Sheaff earned a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School.  There she danced the works of Paul Taylor, Ohad Naharin, Jessica Lang, and Ron Brown to name a few. She was the first woman in the graduating class of 2006 to secure a job in the professional dance field.  She toured the world with Pilobolus Dance Theater from 2006-2010. During that time Annika collaborated with the artists Jonathan Wolken, Robby Barnett, Michael Tracy, Inbal Pinto, Avshalom Pollak, OKGO, Art Spiegelman, Dan Zanes, Basil Twist, and Robert Whitman.

Commercially she has worked with Sesame Street, America’s Got Talent, Dance Magazine, EXTRA!, Hyundai, Departures Magazine, and Channel 11 in Chicago.

In 2010, she helped to create the musical James and the Giant Peach, which was a collaboration between Pilobolus, director Graciela Daniele, and composers Justin Paul and Benj Pasek.  Sheaff was a proud member of Aszure Barton and Artists for the 2011 Fall Tour.  

Her choreography has been presented in Chicago, New York City, California and Florida.  Sheaff has taught workshops for Pilobolus worldwide.  She is a teaching artist for Artists Striving to End Poverty, and maintains her relationship with Pilobolus as a teaching and guest artist.  Annika is currently dancing for GroundWorks Dance Theater in Cleveland, Ohio. With GroundWorks, she has danced the work of David Shimotakahara, Doug Elkins, Kate Weare, and Amy Miller. www.annikasheaff.com

Kent de Spain

Sunday October 27, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

KENT DE SPAIN is recognized for his work as both a dance/multimedia artist and a researcher. He received his B.A. in Dance (1980) and M.A. in Choreography (1986) from U.C.L.A., and his Ed.D. in Dance Studies from Temple University (1997). He has taught and toured throughout the United States and beyond, including performances at Jacob's Pillow and Judson Church, and has performed for a number of choreographers, including being a guest artist with the Brazilian modern dance company Grupo Tran Chan, Kei Takei and Moving Earth, Lower Left, and the dance/theater troupe Ausdruckstanz. He has been the recipient of several major awards, including the Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Choreography and an Established Choreographers Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He also received a Performance Fellowship from the Philadelphia Repertory Development Initiative that commissioned choreographer Ralph Lemon to create an original work, So this is the hero, for he and his partner Leslie Dworkin. Most recently a Visiting  Professor  of  Theatre and Dance at Oberlin College, De Spain has taught master classes and workshops in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, has been a Visiting Artist/Professor in Dance at the University of Texas at Austin, Columbia College, University of Georgia, Luther College, U.C.L.A., and the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, and has been on the dance faculty at Temple University and Bryn Mawr College.

De Spain is widely known as a researcher and master teacher of movement improvisation and contemporary choreographic practice. He has written a series of articles for Contact Quarterly examining the relationship between movement improvisation and recent scientific thought (Chaos Theory, Quantum Theory, Neuropsychology). He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow guiding an improvisation ensemble at Ohio State University, his dissertation is still the most comprehensive academic study of improvisational process yet undertaken, and his essay, The Cutting Edge of Awareness: Reports From the Inside of Improvisation, appears in the book “Taken by Surprise.” His feature-length film on improvisation, A Moving Presence: Ruth Zaporah and Action Theater, is now available on DVD. He has presented his research on contemporary dance practice and theory at numerous international conferences and symposia, including CORD and SDHS, the “Uncommon Senses” Conference in Montreal, the “body/machine” congress in Toronto, and the Multimedia Technologies and Applications conference in Irvine, California. De Spain has also written extensively on the interface between dance and technology, and his articles, Dance and Technology: A Pas de Deux for Posthumans and Come in and Make Yourself at Home: Colonization and the Body/Technology Interface.

Kirsten Pianka

Saturday December 7, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Kirsten was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She started dancing in high school when she had to pick an “art” and has developed a deep love for dance ever since. She graduated from Bates College as a Dance and Women and Gender studies double major and strongly believes that movement is intricately related to the social world that surrounds us. Kirsten hopes to continue sharing dance with others as she finds her place and purpose in Cleveland.

Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed Early Childhood

19600 North Park Boulevard Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122 P: 216.932.4214
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