Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Spector Dance & New Dawn Studios will be presenting the 2020 Choreographers Showcase as a virtual event for the first time with performances taking place on Saturday, September 12 at 7:30pm and Sunday September 13 at 3pm. The national lineup of choreographers include Kyla Barkin & Aaron Selissen (New York City, NY); John Castagna (Los Angeles, CA); Winifred Haun (Oak Park, IL); Stephanie Martinez – Verb Ballets (Cleveland, OH);  Sandra Scheuber (Alameda, CA); Fran Spector Atkins (Monterey, CA); Margaret Wingrove  (San Jose, CA); Verb Ballets Dancers (Cleveland, OH); and Tina Zoccoli Mayers (Franklin Lakes, NJ).

Barkin/Selissen Project - Photo by Hannah Han

Barkin/Selissen Project – Photo by Hannah Han

Spector Dance was founded in 1997 by Artistic Director, Fran Spector Atkins and Media Artist William Roden with the goal of expanding the role of artists in cultivating audience’s knowledge of dire social issues,  and to “bring diverse audiences together around a shared experience” through dialogue. Since that first year, Atkins and Roden have been presenting The Choreographers Showcase “with the vision of nurturing creativity and fueling the creativity in dance arts” with over 400 choreographers participating in the annual Showcase. Choreographers were invited to apply through open calls and from those applications, nine works were selected to be a part of Spector Dance’s first Virtual Choreographers Showcase.

Tina Z Mayers - Photo by Michael Blase

Tina Z Mayers – Photo by Michael Blase

Barkin/Selissen Project is a New York City based contemporary dance company founded in 2009, that presents the choreography of Artistic Directors Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen through live performance, film and workshops. John Castagna serves as Resident Choreographer for the Contemporary Ballet Collective/LA since2001. Castagna won a Los Angeles area Emmy Award for a television special entitled Peace by Piece, a collaboration with choreographer Lori DuPeron and composer Mark Governor.  Winifred Haun is the founder, award winning choreographer and artistic director of her own modern dance company, Winifred Haun & Dancers. Since the 1990’s, Ms. Haun has created over 60 new dance works, including one full-length dance. Verb Ballets is one of Northeast Ohio’s oldest and most respected dance companies. Verb Ballets has gained a reputation for artistic excellence and exemplary community engagement since its founding as The Cleveland Repertory Project in 1987. Stephanie Martinez is a Chicago-based choreographer and 3Arts Award winner. Stephanie Martinez creates environments which captivate, connect, and move her audiences along a journey guided by the kinetic momentum of her work. Sandra Scheuber, a freelance choreographer, has created works for high school, college, and semi-professional dance companies. Sandra has studied and performed throughout California and beyond. Her work has been selected for sjDANCEco’s ChoreoProject, DVDance Collective Artists, Mills College Alumni concert, and others.  Fran Spector Atkins is the artistic director and founder of Spector Dance and its School, Company, Community Outreach, Creative Projects, Choreographers Showcase, the Sadie Rose Residency Program, and the Monterey Ocean Arts Festival. She has directed studios in NYC, Cleveland, and Monterey and has choreographed throughout the United States and abroad.  Margaret Wingrove is the founder and artistic director of Margaret Wingrove Dance Company (MWDC) as well as being a guest choreographer for other dance companies such as Palo Alto Ballet and San Jose Dance Theatre. She has choreographed commissioned works for Berkeley Ballet, sjDANCEco, San Jose Taiko, Opera San Jose, and San Jose Symphony [now Symphony Silicon Valley]. Tina Zoccoli Mayers studied classical dance as a child and adolescent before performing with the Washington Ballet Studio Company in 2004-2005. Later as an undergraduate at Stanford University ’10, they began transitioning into modern dance through release-technique with Hope Mohr, and then performed intergenerational, environmental site-specific scores with Anna Halprin.

Cindy Chen - Spector Dance choreographer - Photo by William Roden

Cindy Chen – Spector Dance choreographer – Photo by William Roden

What: The Virtual Choreographers Showcase 2020 presented by Spector Dance & New Dawn Studios.

When: Saturday, September 12 at 7:30pm and Sunday September 13 at 3pm.

For information, The Virtual Choreographers Showcase 2020 and tickets, click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Natalie Gibbs – Spector Dance choreographer – Photo by William Roden