Contemporary Dance Doubleheader at MASS MoCA

DSC_2602(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – New York-based contemporary dance artists Katie Workum and Kimberly Bartosik are featured in an evening of cutting-edge movement in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at 8pm. Workum brings her new work. “Black Lakes,” full of improvisation, risk, and humor, while Bartosik performs “Ecsteriority4 (Part 2),” which constructs a landscape of power and desire to explore violence in American culture today.

The evening of dance is a co-presentation of Jacob’s Pillow and MASS MoCA are made possible by the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance.

Katie Workum’s “Black Lakes” (2014) is both adventurously intimate and whimsically human. Workum challenges the expectation of performance by creating “dreamlike settings where movement relates to deep sensations” (Gia Kourlas, the New York Times). The hour-long work utilizes a set structure of solos, duets, and trios with improvised movement performed by Workum’s collaborators and Bessie Award-winning artist Weena Pauly and Bessie Award nominee Eleanor Smith.

eleanor eyes closedDerived from an improvisational practice called Authentic Movement, the choreography is rooted in kinesthetic awareness and the natural, instinctive responses of bodies in space. Black Lakes is set to a minimalist score comprised of ambient sound, subtle excerpts of indecipherable conversation, and musical bells by NYC-based Bessie Award-winning sound designer James Lo. Esteemed dance critic Deborah Jowitt describes the work as “beautiful as well as unusual — fluidly arrived at, seriously performed and then organically disarranged.”

Dubbed “one of the most intriguing descendants of Merce Cunningham” by Dance Magazine’s editor at large Wendy Perron, Bessie Award recipient Kimberly Bartosik presents an excerpt of her evening-length work in “Ecsteriority4 (Part 2)” (2015). “Dense in a wonderfully woozy, mysterious way” (Siobhan Burke, the New York Times), full throttle movement and powerful collisions between bodies are mirrored by a purposefully cacophonous soundscape. “Ecsteriority4 (Part 2)” is performed by an “all-star trio” (Brian Schaefer, The New York Times) including dancer/choreographer Burr Johnson of Shen Wei Dance Arts and John Jasperse Projects, former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member Dylan Crossman, and fellow Cunningham dancer and alumna of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Melissa Toogood.

“Jacob’s Pillow is a vibrant, year-round dance organization. So many people around the world are familiar with the Festival, but do not realize that we are working hard for dance artists all year long through Creative Development Residencies, programs in Berkshire County schools, audition tours, and more,” explains Andrea Sholler, Jacob’s Pillow General Manager. “Our co-presentations with MASS MoCA are an important part of this year-round programming and we are excited to co-present Katie Workum and Kimberly Bartosik this October – two extraordinary contemporary choreographers.”



Lauded by Brian Seibert of The New York Times as “thrilling and rare”, Katie Workum began making dances in 1997 and has since been presented by venues including Mount Tremper Arts, Danspace Project, Movement Research at Judson Church, Dance New Amsterdam, Dance Theater Workshop, PS122’s performance series COIL and Catch, and many others. Workum has been an artist in residence at Chez Bushwick, Dance new Amsterdam, Mount Tremper Arts, The Kitchen, and Tribeca Performing Arts, among others.


Workum has been supported by New York State Council on the Arts, Concord Academy Summer Stages, and The Astral Artists.  With Terry Dean Bartlett, she was part of the curatorial team for DANCEOFF!, a dance cabaret series at Performance Space 122. Additionally, DANCEOFF! was presented at Tanz im August in Berlin, Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, Symphony Space and Joe’s Pub.  As a dancer, she has worked with and been inspired by esteemed artists including Ivy Baldwin, Young Jean Lee, Katy Pyle, David Neumann, Stacy Dawson, Ken Ninzel, Elizabeth Streb, Sarah East Johnson, Jenny Seastone Stern, and Julia Jonas. Workum holds a Master’s in Dance Education from New York University.



“A steady, poetic presence on New York’s contemporary dance scene” (Siobhan Burke, The New York Times), former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member for nine years Kimberly Bartosik founded the organization daela in 2005 in order to facilitate the development of the creation of her artistic work. Under Bartosik’s artistic leadership, daela functions as an ensemble of performers and designers who work on a project-to-project basis and are dedicated to rigorous exploration of movement, sound and visual design towards the creation of performances in space-specific environments. daela is currently under the fiscal sponsorship of New York Live Arts.


Bartosik’s work has been commissioned and presented by New York Live Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, French Institute Alliance Française’s Crossing the Line Festival, The Kitchen, and La Mama, among many others. In addition, Bartosik has received support for her choreographic work from the Jerome Foundation; Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International (USAI); New York Foundation for the Arts through Building Up Infrastructure Levels for Dance (BUILD); MAP Fund; and New Music USA through Live Music for Dance, among others.


Bartosik also participated in Jacob’s Pillow Creative Development Residences in 2006, 2008, and 2009.


The Irene Hunter Fund for Dance

Through the financial support of the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Dance and MASS MoCA continue to co-present performing arts programming, a partnership established before the museum was opened in 1999. The Pillow played a pivotal role in establishing MASS MoCA’s role as a performing arts presenter and sponsored events at the museum site as early as 1995. In the spirit of deep collaboration, this partnership creates opportunities for visual and performing artists by encouraging cross-disciplinary experimentation; cultivates new dance audiences in the Berkshires by presenting innovative, high-quality performances; and expands the public’s understanding of the creative process. Past co-presentations include Kyle Abraham/, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, STREB, MOMIX, DanceBrazil, Stephen Petronio Company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Armitage Gone! Dance, Cuba’s Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Chunky Move, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and most recently KEIGWIN + COMPANY.


Performance and Ticket Information

Saturday, October 24 at 8pm; Hunter Center at MASS MoCA.


Ticket prices:

$12 advance, $18 day of, $10 students, $24 preferred, $5 MASS MoCA members


To order tickets: 413.662.2111 or MASS MoCA


MASS MoCA is located at 87 Marshall Street, North Adams, MA 01247.





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