Colorado College Dance Festival Circles the Globe - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release


Patrizia Herminjard
(719) 963-1893


Taiwanese, Cambodian and Indian dance among performance offerings

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – June 22, 2010 – The 7th annual Colorado College Dance Festival will whirl through myriad global dance styles and cultures, with classes open to the public, an “informance” lecture/performance, a young artists concert and two faculty gala performances.

“This year’s festival is a celebration of dance from the far corners of the world combined with the rich artistic talent of Colorado Springs. While our primary mission is to train dancers in diverse dance styles, our goal is also to enlighten and entertain the local community with innovative choreographic works that aim to broaden the audience’s understanding and love for dance. I am very proud of our 7th season and look forward to sharing it with our community.” said Patrizia Herminjard, festival director.

The dance festival’s intensive dance instruction runs June 28-July 16; community members are welcome to attend classes on a drop-in basis. Classes are $15 each, plus a one-time $10 registration fee. Single and five-class passes may be purchased from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning June 28 at the Dance Festival office in Cossitt Hall, Room 104, 906 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus. In addition, observers are welcome for most activities and classes; call the festival office to register as a guest before attending: (719) 389-6353. See for full details.

Performances are as follows:
July 7:
Informance by 8213 Physical Dance Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center South Theatre, 825 N. Cascade Ave., $5 at the door
Taiwanese choreographer Jack Sun and Colorado College alumna Casey Avaunt will premiere their innovative new work “Ripple Effect,” an excerpt from 8213's upcoming performance at the National Experimental Theater in Taiwan. “Ripple Effect” attempts to use pure energy and force to discuss the impact that each person has on others. The final piece will be performed on a 7-by-7-meter glass box. Through working with award-winning musicians and lighting designers 8213 hopes to discover the essence of untapped inner power—vitality contained and released like ripples in the big city. Dancers Yen-Meng Liu, Birdy, Yu-Jen Chen and Casey Avaunt will perform; music is by Yong-Da Chang. A question and answer session with the company’s director and artists will follow the performance.

July 14:
Young Artists’ Concert, 7:30 p.m., Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center South Theatre, 825 N. Cascade Ave., $5 at the door
Choreographers of the future showcase new dances created during the festival’s intensive three-week instruction sessions. An eclectic evening of dance that is sure to surprise.

July 10-11:
Faculty Gala Performance, 7:30 p.m. both nights, Armstrong Theatre, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St. Tickets at or Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave., $20 general admission, $10 with a Colorado College ID, or $5 with a student ID.
The gala, a perennial audience favorite, this year features international artists from Cambodia and Taiwan with regional favorites Ormao from Colorado Springs and Lemon Sponge Cake from Boulder. This year’s gala program features:

  • Julie Rothschild, “Ode,” solo, a sparse, quiet, and introspective piece. Rothschild, independent artist and Alexander Technique teacher, graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in sociology in 1991 and soon after began teaching, choreographing and performing throughout the United States, Ireland and Mexico. A performing and teaching member of the Zen Monkey Project since 1999, she recently moved to Boulder from Athens, Ga., where she co-founded Floorspace Movement Arts Studio.
  • Robert Sher-Machherndl, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, solo. Sher-Machherndl, a native of Vienna, Austria, has worked as principal dancer, choreographer, master-teacher and artistic director. He has worked with and danced the works of Rudolf Nureyev, Jiri Kylian, Hans van Manen, Ulysses Dove, George Balanchine, Sir Fredrick  Ashton, Rudi van Dantzig, John Neumeier, Ed Wubbe, Ben Stevenson, Maurice Bejart and John Cranko. As a principal dancer he performed leading roles for Dutch National Ballet and Bavarian State Ballet. Sher-Machherndl was co-director of Salzburg Ballet and assistant to the artistic director Ed Wubbe at Scapino Ballet. He is a four-time winner of the prestigious New York Ballet Builders choreography award, and is featured on MTV’s reality TV series MADE. Sher-Machherndl is founder of Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, whose mission is to bring change and new possibilities to the field of dance and its audiences, via the performance of new work, and new choreography that take risk and express the unpredictable and unexpected.
  • Echo Gustafson, solo “Bird.” Gustafson serves as associate artistic director of Moving People Dance in Santa Fe, N.M., and has danced professionally around the world with companies such the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Pearl Lang Dance Theatre. Gustafson has been dancing with Moving People Dance Santa Fe since 2003. She teaches modern, jazz and Gyrokinesis for pre-professional students of Moving People Dance. As a teacher, Gustafson cultivates functional and healthy technique informed by Gyrotonic Principles. As a choreographer, she strives to create movement that demonstrates energetic connection.
  • Chey Chankethya (Saturday only), Cambodian classical court dance, “Chuy Chai Chumtung.” This piece tells of the inner and outer beauty of a young Cambodian woman. It was choreographed by the late dance master Chea Samy, one of the few great dancers of the palace who survived the Khmer Rouge period; she passed away in 1994.  She created this piece in 1981 based on a similar work called “Chuy Chai Tevada,” which was choreographed by Queen Kossamak in the 1950s. Chankethya began training in Cambodian classical dance in the female role at the age of six and obtained her B.A. in choreographic arts from the Royal University of Fine Arts in 2005. In 2007 she founded Compass Ensemble, a contemporary dance platform for her and her young like-minded colleagues from the Royal University of Fine Arts to create works of contemporary dance, strongly rooted in their classical training. 
  • Ormao, “O.R.M.A.O,” choreographer: The Dancers & Billy Chang, featuring dancers Mary Ripper Baker, Ila Conoley, Laura Hymers Treglia, Janet Johnson, Katelin McGrath, Leah Ragan, Tiffany Tinsley Weeks and Jen Viola. Students from the festival will be guest dancers. For the past 16 years, Ormao has been the resident contemporary dance company of Colorado Springs, offering an expressive, dynamic and athletic repertoire. With a growing reputation for excellence in modern dance and collaborations with visual artists, musicians, and actors, Ormao Dance Company has toured Colorado's Front Range and become a Colorado Springs tradition. 
  • “Anarchy’s Dream,” (Saturday only), choreographed by Hsieh Chieh-Hua, features dancers Lai, Yu-Hsuan, Huang, Yu-tze, and Chiu, Yu-wen. In the “Anarchy” series, started in 2008, Hsieh has been trying to discover a new body vocabulary through instability: turning, twisting, stretching and transformation, along with a constant shifting of weight and momentum. Furthermore, he has represented the ambiguity and complexity of human relationships, revealing the unvarnished truth of eternal instability. Under the dual background of architecture and dance, Hsieh’s work displays exceptional creativity, space conception and character. The “Anarchy” series delineates the suppression and agitation of real society. See Hsieh graduated with an M.F.A. in dance choreography from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2007. He is presently a resident artist at Taipei National University of the Arts.
  • Yu-Wen Chiu, dancer of WCdance, is currently an M.F.A. student of performance and choreography at Taipei National University of the Arts. Chiu graduated in dance from National Taiwan Sports University.
  • Yu-Hsuan Lai, an M.F.A. student of arts and humanities education at Taipei National University of the Arts, graduated in dance from Taipei National University of the Arts.
  • Yu-tze Huang, an M.F.A. student of dance theory at Taipei National University of the Arts, graduated in dance from TNUA. Huang has worked with choreographers including Lin Hwai-Min, Lo Man-Fei, Zhang Xiao-Xiong, Shu-Ghi Cheng, Benoit Maubery and Sirilak Songklib, among others.
  • Students from the National Chu-Pei Senior High School will perform “Floating” choreographed by Lin Su Lien to music from Memoirs of a Geisha. Nine dancers will explore the theme of existing time in space.
  • 8213 Physical Dance Theater: “It's Not Too Late,” choreographed by CC alumna Casey Avaunt and featuring Yu-Jen Chen, Chuo-Tai Sun (Jack Sun) and Avaunt. This piece was developed from the experience of training mice to run through a maze. It was selected as the winner in Taiwan's 2009 Creative Dance Competition and is sponsored by the Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan; National Culture and Arts Foundation; and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan.
  • Artist-in-Residence piece, to be created during the festival on select festival participants, with choreography by Cynthia Lee. Bridging the worlds of contemporary avant-garde performance and classical kathak dance from India, Lee's choreography focuses on rigorous intercultural collaboration and on developing kathak as a contemporary form. Simone Forti's text-movement improvisation, the work of Eiko & Koma, and contact improvisation deeply inform Lee's approach to contemporary dance; her style of kathak reflects studies with Bandana Sen, Kumudini Lakhia, and Anjani Ambegaokar. She holds an M.F.A. in choreography from University of California-Los Angeles’ department of world arts and cultures and is a member of the Post Natyam Collective, dedicated to contemporary approaches to South Asian dance.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>.