Carbondale's community connector

Dance Initiative announces 2016 AIR lineup

Locations: News Published

Scholarship deadline April 15

Sopris Sun Staff Report

“When Dance Initiative first opened the Launchpad in the fall of 2014, we had much room to grow and immediately set our sights on making the studios at the Launchpad a place where both local and regional dance artists could create dances,” said founder Peter Gilbert in the group’s recent newsletter.

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“In 2015, Dance Initiative forged ahead with a whole new Artist-in-Residency program that hosted nationally known artist Molissa Fenley & Company, regional dance artist Patrick Mueller, and local choreographer Alya Howe,” Gilbert continued. “Each of these artists created original work, held open rehearsals, and shared their work through studio performances that many … were a part of.”

Each residency helped the Dance Initiative community grow throughout Colorado and nationally. In 2016, the spring program will include Denver-based dance artists Meg Madorin and Laura Ann Samuelson, who will collaborate with local CoMotion dancers.

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In July, HEWMAN, a collaborative and unconventional dance project from New York, will join Dance Initiative for a week of innovative and creative fun.

In October, the program will be bring in Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener. Mitchell and Silas are former Merce Cunningham Company members and are currently at the forefront of movement research in the New York City dance scene.

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“We hope you mark your calendars and plan to join us,” Gilbert said.

The Artist-in-Residence schedule is as follows:

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• Meg Madorin and Laura Ann Samuelson in April-May, with a studio performance June 3-4. Madorin recently re-located to Denver from New York where she worked with several creative artists. She was also a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 2012-2014. Madorin has been a teaching artist at the Denver School of the Arts and Gibney Dance in New York. Samuelson is a three-time recipient of the Encore Performance Award at the Boulder International Fringe Festival and has been an artist-in-residence at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance and at SKOGEN arts in Gothenburg, Sweden. She was named one of Colorado’s most creative minds in Denver Westword’s “100 Colorado Creatives Series” (2014). Madorin and Samuelson will be working with dancers of CoMotion, a Carbondale dance company produced by Dance Initiative.

• HEWMAN on July 11-16, with a studio performance on July 15. HEWMAN is an unconventional collaborative dance project from New York City and was founded by Juilliard graduates Jason Collins, James Lindsay Harwell and Ingrid Kapteyn. HEWMAN’s works are considered unique in that they strive to involve at least one medium other than dance, are created through collaborative and open-ended creative processes, and present dance in new spaces where dance performance is not usually found. HEWMAN’s residence will include an open rehearsal, a presentation for youth at the Carbondale Branch Library, a workshop and a studio performance of their work in progress. To learn more about HEWMAN, visit their website.

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• Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener on Oct. 17-22, with a studio performance on Oct. 21-22. Their faces recently graced the front page of Dance magazine. Rashuan Mitchell + Silas Riener are from New York. “Dance Initiative is privileged to host Mitchell and Riener, as they are leading-edge artists in the contemporary and modern dance scene in New York,” Gilbert said. Mitchell and Riener worked together as members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and began collaborating on varied performance projects in 2009. They are particularly known for continually pushing at the boundaries of dance and for creating dance in response to complex and active spatial environments, often incorporating elements of fantasy. Mitchell and Reiner’s residency will include an open rehearsal, a presentation (location to be announced), a workshop, and a studio performance.

To learn more about Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Reiner visit their website.

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Performances etc.

• Dance Initiative commissioned Alya Howe (an Artist-in-Residence in 2015) to create a new work in the same year. Howe is back in 2016 with another new work, which will involve multi-media and the community. Her career includes dancing professionally with the critically acclaimed Jose Limon Dance Company in New York, performing as a soloist with renowned tabla player Zakir Hussain, and serving as a faculty member at the Laban/ Bartenieff Institute in New York. Her choreography has been performed internationally. She currently teaches yoga in Carbondale, and is co-curator and founder of The Salon, Writ Large, and the Poetry Brothel at Justice Snows in Aspen. She is also teaching Dance Initiative’s professional training class for CoMotion Company Members.

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• The Spectrum Dance Festival returns to Carbondale on Sept. 23-24. It will feature performances of original choreography by some of Colorado’s most exciting dance companies as well as local dance artists and a series of workshops for the purpose of entertaining, educating and developing awareness and appreciation for the art of dance. “We are currently working on our lineup of artists and we are overwhelmed with the exciting possibilities. Stay tuned,” Gilbert said.

• The deadline to apply for Dance Initiative’s Development Grant or Promise Scholarship is April 15. Every year, Dance Initiative offers up to $2,000 through its Development Grant program. The grant goes to one experienced dance artist or teacher seeking financial support to further their education or artistic development in dance. Applicants are not required to demonstrate financial need but rather to select a dance program to attend that has demonstrated a standard of excellence. Dance Initiative also offers a $1,000 grant to one serious student of dance who has exhibited determination, commitment and passion for dance and has been recommended by his/her teachers as having significant “promise” of achieving a professional dance career. Applications for both the Development Grant and the Promise Scholarship are available a For more information, mail

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Rashaun Mitchell (shown here) and Silas Riener close out Dance Initiative’s Artist-in-Residence program on Oct. 17-22, and perform on Oct. 21-22. They were recently featured on the cover of Dance magazine, and worked together as members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Photo by Paula Lobo

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Published in The Sopris Sun on February 4, 2016.

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