Read More UMBC News Blog Stories

January 7, 2002

Phoenix Dance Company performs at UMBC

Phoenix Dance CompanyUMBC's Department of Dance presents the Phoenix Dance Company in concert on February 13, 14, 15 and 16, 2002. All performances will be held at 8 p.m. in the UMBC Theatre.

About the Phoenix Dance Company
The venerable Phoenix Dance Company, founded in 1983, has played in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Theatre Project, Ohio State University, Judson Church, Goucher College, Western Maryland College, Salisbury University and Temple University. A professional company in residence at UMBC, Phoenix is co-directed by choreographers Carol Hess and Doug Hamby.

Operating at the intersection between art and technology, the Phoenix Dance Company has explored radical dance collaborations with UMBC videographers, mechanical engineers, computer programmers and visual artists, recently including Steve Bradley, an intermedia artist who has generated live computer-enhanced video images and a system for generating sounds based on dancers' movements; Tony Farquhar, a mechanical engineer who developed a spunky six-legged dancing robot (Maurice Tombé); Vin Grabill, an MIT-trained videographer; and composer Linda Dusman.

Phoenix Dance CompanyThe Program
The Phoenix program features the premiere of a major new work choreographed by Carol Hess. This half-evening interdisciplinary piece is a collaboration between Hess and members of the Streaming Umbrella Group, which includes video and sound artist Steve Bradley, composer Linda Dusman, percussionist Tom Goldstein, videographer Vin Grabill, and artist John Sturgeon. The Streaming Umbrella Group is a collective of experimental artists working together to create a unique multimedia event incorporating dance, video and sound, to be presented both as a live performance and as a streaming event on Internet 2.

Choreographer/dancer Cathy Paine will present an improvised solo. Of her work in improvisation, Paine said, "The solos I create are event-specific. Each work is informed by the nature of the venue, the size, responsiveness and familiarity of the audience, recent events in the world or my life, and my desire for people to understand what I do. Humor is also -- and has always been -- a large part of my work. I speak to the audience as I dance, and although my text is not planned, my range of topics is."

Dancers Sandra Lacy and Mary Williford-Shade will present a duet by choreographer Tonya Lockyer and two solos choreographed by Gabriel Masson and Sean Curran.

Phoenix Dance CompanyPrincipal Members of the Company
Choreographer and artistic director Carol Hess received a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.A. from Columbia University. Before coming to Maryland, she danced professionally in New York City, where she performed and taught in hundreds of public schools through the Young Audiences Programs and Residencies in the Schools and the Lincoln Center Touring Program. She has performed with Hannah Kahn and Dancers, the Rondo Dance Theatre, the Janet Soares Company, and as a tap soloist she has appeared on television and in concerts in the United States and Europe. As Artistic Director of the Oregon Dance Theatre, Ms. Hess, in partnership with the Carpenter Foundation, initiated a series of program and workshops in schools, in which nearly fifty schools participated. As associate professor of dance, Ms. Hess has taught at UMBC since 1982 and is currently chair of the Department of Dance, where she also directs Project REACH, an outreach program to Baltimore City and Baltimore County elementary, middle and high schools.

Doug Hamby lives and works in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area. He has extensive experience as a dancer, chroeographer, and educator. In addition to his work with the Phoenix Dance Company, he is the artistic director of Doug Hamby Dance, a professional dance company in residence at UMBC. Recent collaborators include artist Timothy Nohe, intermedia artist Steve Bradley, video artist Deborah Gorski, and mechanical engineer Tony Farquhar. Hamby has performed with Martha Graham, May O'Donnell, Rachel Lampert, Elizabeth Keen, Pearl Lang, Norman Walker, the Chicago Moving Company, Phoenix Dance Company, and Hamby and Lacy. His works have been featured at Dance Place, Washington, D.C.; Riverside Dance Festival, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, and Celebrate Brooklyn, in New York City; the 1998 New York International Fringe Festival; 1997 Philadelphia Fringe Festival; and 1996 International Fringe Festivals in Edinburgh, Scotland and Vancouver, Canada. He has received choreography awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, New York State Council on the Arts, Arts Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, and the Baltimore Mayor's Advisory Committee on Art and Culture. He served as a dance advisory panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council for three years. He is an associate professor of dance at UMBC and holds an MFA in Dance from Temple University and a Biology degree from Michigan State University. He has also appeared on national television as a giant slice of American cheese.

Cathy Paine is a choreographer, dancer, vocalist, composer and performance improviser. Since 1974 she has created, performed and taught her work in the United States, England, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong. She holds an M.A. in Dance from UCLA, and is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. She currently teaches Feldenkrais, creative process, and contact improvisation in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

Principal dancer Sandra Lacy has been the recipient of three Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in Solo Dance Performance. She holds a B.A. in psychology and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance in London. She has performed with Maryland Ballet, Impetus Dance Company, Path Dance Company, Lacy & Shade, and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Ms. Lacy is on the faculty of UMBC and the Baltimore School for the Arts.

Guest artist Mary Williford-Shade has been commissioning solos and duets for more than a dozen years from such artists as Susan Marshall, Bebe Miller and Marta Renzi. During that time she has worked with Mark Taylor, both in his New York company (Mark Taylor & Friends), and his current Pittsburgh company (Dance Alloy). In addition, she has performed internationally with companies such as Mark Dendy & Dancers, Daniel West Dancers, Maryland Dance Theatre and Toe Jam & Fresh Jelly. She is on the faculty of Texas Woman's University.

Principal dancer Julie Peoples graduated cum laude from UMBC with a B.A. in Dance. Peoples has performed with the Pittsburg Dance Theatre, the Pittsburgh Ballet, Phoenix Dance Company, Doug Hamby Dance, and Baltimore Voiceworks. Her choreography has been showcased at the American College Dance Festival. She is a regional manager for D.A.R.E. America and is manager of Project REACH, an outreach program to Baltimore City and Baltimore County elementary, middle and high schools.

Phoenix Dance CompanyAdmission
General admission: $15.00.
Students and seniors: $7.00.

Telephone and web
Box Office: (410) 455-6240
UMBC Artsline (24 hour recorded message): (410) 455-ARTS
Media inquiries only: (410) 455-3370

UMBC Arts website:
UMBC News Releases:
UMBC Department of Dance website:

From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Theatre.

From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Theatre.

Online campus map:

Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online: or by email.

Phoenix Dance Company

# # #

Posted by dwinds1 at January 7, 2002 12:00 AM