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June 27, 2007

Baltimore Dance Project Performs at the Creative Alliance at The Patterson

Saturday, July 14, 2007, 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 15, 2007, 3 p.m.

Contact: Thomas Moore
Director of Arts & Culture

Note: You may view or download this release as a pdf file.

Baltimore Dance Project (Photo: Lindsey Vait)On July 14th and 15th, at the Creative Alliance at The Patterson (3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224), Baltimore Dance Project performs Strange Soup, in which choreographers Carol Hess and Doug Hamby, “two of the most exciting choreographers in Maryland,” join with puppetry director Colette Searls, known for her “wildly inventive staging,” to present a program of riveting works.

The dancers perform sumptuous and thrilling movement in choreography that ranges from the provocative and dramatic to the bizarre and hilarious. Dancers encounter video surveillance equipment, create virtual identities, trigger explosions in sound, and find unconventional uses for newspaper.

Known for their groundbreaking fusions of dance and technology, Hess and Hamby bring together some of the most exciting dancers from Baltimore and beyond.

Program fare:

  • Newspaper Dance — newspapers dance with attitude — a favorite from Basura! (New York International Fringe Festival 2005) and ps 122’s (New York City) Avant-Garde-Arama.
  • Habitrail, a new work choreographed by Carol Hess to an original score by August Schwartz and performed by Lindsay Phebus, in which a woman, caught in the web of routine, longs for escape.
  • Persona — a woman reveals dual identities of her character through roles she plays. Includes projections from a tiny surveillance camera and music by Kevin Bewersdorf.
  • Square Breath — Trapped in a room without exit, six women use body microphones and a wired table to create and manipulate an interactive, shattering sound score by Ferdinand Maisel.
  • Fog by Doug Hamby — Live video and simultaneous editing transport two women on a sensuous journey, ship-wrecked and adrift beneath the sea. The Washington Post said, “performed knowingly, bravely, with a heated sultriness rarely seen in the ethos of modern dance...Hamby’s movements showed what it is to be human, soft underbelly up.”
  • In Fits and Starts/Scenes from a Personal Space by Carol Hess, with hardcore/punk piece to music by Baltimore grindcore band Lilu Dallas. Both the dancing and the music are thrashy and chaotic, and reflect the forceful energy of the current youth subculture that embraces hardcore and metalcore music. Visual projections include text and imagery inspired by current popular social networking websites and blogs such as MySpace. Four dancers fling themselves through space in an explosive style of movement that is both demanding and physically exhausting, and can only be performed in short bursts. In its more quiet parts, the piece raises issues about self-presentation, posing, and the creation of identities both online and off.
  • Substrata — A videodance choreographed, filmed and edited by Hess to music by Dillinger Escape Plan, in which two dancers push and pull one another down a long, narrow tunnel. Screened at several film and video festivals, including the 2006 Maryland Film Festival and the 2007 Rosebud Film and Video Festival.
  • Jennifer Webb — A special cameo appearance by a digitally animated electric puppet.

Baltimore Dance Project (photo: Lindsey Vait)

About the Artists

Carol Hess was born in New York City where she trained as a dancer. She received her BA in Dance from Barnard College and her MA in Dance Education from Columbia Teachers College, where she studied dance composition with Robert Ellis Dunn, whose approach to developing and manipulating movement has had a profound effect on her creative work. For over ten years, her creative work has focused on the interaction between dance and video. Many of her works for the stage feature the use of live camera feeds and/or pre-recorded images. In New York she performed with Hannah Kahn and Dancers, The Rondo Dance Theater, and DANCES/Janet Soares. Also a tap soloist, she appeared on television and in concerts in the United States and Europe. Her choreography has been presented in New York at the Cubiculo, Dance Theater Workshop, the Grand Finale, and in Germany and The Netherlands. Recent works include: Newspaper Dance, created in collaboration with Colette Searls and performed at the New York Fringe Festival 2005; Floating Above, performed at Artscape, the Bethesda Dance Festival, and at Dance For Life Aids Action Baltimore at Center Stage 2006; and Substrata, a dance film to music by the metalcore band Dillinger Escape Plan, screened at the Maryland Film Festival 2006, Artscape 2006, Tucson Shortfest, and the Dallas Video Festival. She also coordinates the company’s outreach program, Project Reach, which was recently awarded a generous grant from the Macht Philanthropic Fund, and chairs the dance department at UMBC, where she has taught since 1982.

Baltimore Dance ProjectDoug Hamby has a MFA degree from Temple University and extensive experience as a dancer, choreographer and educator. He is the artistic director of Doug Hamby Dance, a company that specializes in works created in collaboration with dancers, composers, visual artists and other creative people. Hamby’s work has been seen in New York City at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Riverside Dance Festival, New York International Fringe Festival and in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. His work has also been seen at International Fringe Festivals in Edinburgh, Scotland and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as in Anchorage Alaska by the Alaska Dance Theatre. Mr. Hamby performed in dance companies directed by Martha Graham, May O’Donnell, Rachel Lampert, Elizabeth Keen, Pearl Lang and Norman Walker. He has received choreography awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, New York State Council for the Arts, Arts Council of Montgomery County, Maryland and the Baltimore Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Arts and Culture. He is an Associate Professor in Dance at UMBC, and is currently archiving and restoring the dance films of Martha Graham dancer Helen McGehee for submission to the Library of Congress. He has also appeared on national television as a giant slice of American Cheese.

Colette Searls’s recent directing credits include the east coast premier of Noah Haidle’s Vigils at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Much Ado About Nothing, Sam Shepard’s Action, Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Maria Irene Fornés's musical Promenade (nominated for three Orange County Weekly awards, including Best Direction), at the University of California, Irvine. She has received grants from The Jim Henson Foundation and Puppeteers of America for her work in mixed media and found object puppetry and she serves on the board of directors for UNIMA-USA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette). Her original productions include Basura!, at PS 122 (New York International Fringe Festival 2005), BURIED, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (National Finalist, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival), Victor Frankenstein, and Fanto, a Mysterious Vaudeville at UMBC. She directed Lunatique Fantastique’s Fixed Boundary (voted “Best of the San Francisco Fringe Festival,” Exit Theatre) and Dramaton’s Weight of the Head (HERE Theater Puppet Parlor, NYC) and served as puppet choreographer for Woolly Mammoth and the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (Santa Maria, CA). She is assistant professor of theatre at UMBC.

On Saturday the 14th: $15.00; Creative Alliance members and students: $12.00.
On Sunday the 15th: $12.00; Creative Alliance members and students: $10.00.
Box Office: or 410-276-1651.
Tickets will also be available at the door.

Baltimore Dance Project:
UMBC Arts website:
UMBC Arts News Releases:
Creative Alliance at The Patterson:

Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online: or by email or postal mail.
Photos 1 and 2 by Lindsey Vait; Photo 3 by Carol Hess; Photo 4 by Richard Anderson.

Baltimore Dance Project (Photo Richard Anderson)

Posted by tmoore at June 27, 2007 10:53 AM