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 Post subject: Misnomer Dance Theater's Extended Run of Throw People
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
For Immediate Release

Contact: Chris Elam,, 917-602-0478
Ticket and Show info at




August 17-27, 2006

Press praise for Throw People from May 2006:

"Chris Elam's dances burst with distinctiveness ... he is a talent, no doubt about
it... Mr. Elam is well on his way to establishing himself as an important voice in
downtown dance." - John Rockwell, The New York Times

"Elam knows how to allow space and calm into his works. His mysterious
investigations hovered at the edge of violence, ... he seems well in control of his
material and confident in the ability of movement and music to express something
unique and persuasive." - Susan Reiter, Dance View Times

"Wonderfully strange and unpredictable choreography." - Brian Seibert, The New Yorker

"If the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, don't expect Elam
to walk it. [Elam's work] makes you chuckle and recoil at the same time."- Eva Yaa
Asantewaa's dance blog

The Brooklyn Lyceum presents the extended run of Misnomer Dance Theater's Throw
People, a production that sold-out its premiere at Performance Space 122 this past
May 2006. Throw People is an evening of new, original dance choreographed by Chris
Elam, which runs from August 17-27. Tickets and show info at

Created during a year-long residency at The Joyce Theater, Throw People is an
evening divided into two parts, each investigating the notion of being thrown.
Ranging from intense, sharp movement to highly physical partnering, Elam's distinct
movement style blends serious play with jarring tenderness in a performance that
manages to be both otherworldly and innately human. Throw People features six
top-notch dancers - Brynne Billingsley, Alison Clancy, Chris Elam, Coco Karol,
Dorian Nuskind-Oder and Luke Wiley, as well as new, original music by renowned
composer Andy Teirstein on marimba, accordion, trumpet, alto saxophone, mandolin,
harmonica, bass clarinet and viola.

Elam's work has been informed by intensive commissions and research in Cuba, Brazil,
Indonesia, Holland, Ireland and Turkey. His movement style draws from his extensive
training in both traditional Balinese and modern dance, resulting in innovative
choreography that integrates the angular, quick-action style of Balinese dance with
his own broken-flow modern movement.

Throw People will be accompanied by a gallery showing of twenty photographs of the
company taken by photographer Mark Sadan. The photos capture the quirky and intimate
relationships for which the company is known and is the latest in a series of
collaborations with photographers by the company.

Misnomer Dance Theater has presented six critically acclaimed seasons in New York in
addition to touring throughout the U.S. and abroad, appearing in over 200 theaters
since its founding in 1998 and is the subject of a documentary made by Apple
Computers to be featured on Apple's homepage this August 2006. Misnomer will also be
featured in the trailer for the 2006 Resfest International Film Festival. The
company is currently on a year-long residency at New York University's Skirball
Center for the Performing Arts.

Throw People was made possible in part by The American Music Center Live Music for
Dance Program the Manhattan Community Arts Fund/New York City Department of Cultural
Affairs, administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and was created during
a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation, New York City, with major
support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Choreographer: Chris Elam; Performers: Brynne Billingsley, Alison Clancy, Chris
Elam, Coco Karol, Dorian Nuskind-Oder, and Luke Wiley; Composer: Andy Teirstein;
Costume Designers: Kaibrina Sky Buck, Heather McArdle; Photography Exhibit: Mark

Misnomer's Throw People is being presented as part of the Brooklyn Lyceum's Gowanus
Urban Invasion (GUI) festival - a combination of Film, Comedy, Dance, Opera & Music
events from July 19th-August 30th. A portion of the proceeds from the Gowanus Urban
Invasion events is earmarked for the restoration of the base of the Green-Wood
Cemetery's Louis Moreau Gottschalk monument, which is severely weathered and is
missing its capping angel. Gottschalk, a New Orleans native, was America's first
matinee idol and was also the first American pianist to achieve success in Europe.
His music encompassed a pan-american perspective that captured the imagination of a

About Misnomer Dance Theater

Founded in 1998 by choreographer Chris Elam, Misnomer Dance Theater is a six-person
modern dance company celebrating the nuances of human communication, including the
tenderness, humor, and absurdity that drive our day-to-day interactions. Elam has
created an innovative movement language by combining extensive improvisation and
studio work with international research and exchange in countries ranging from Cuba,
to Indonesia. Finding connections with cultures still rooted in their traditions,
rituals, deities and mythologies, Elam has worked extensively with Balinese dance
forms, incorporating into his own work an extreme angularity and ideas about

The company has performed throughout the United States, Cuba, Brazil, Indonesia,
Ireland, and Turkey, and has been produced at numerous New York City venues,
including Performance Space 122, Symphony Space, Danspace Project, Joyce SoHo,
Chashama Theater, Baruch Performing Arts Center, University Settlement, Dixon Place,
Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Williamsburg Arts Exchange, White Wave DUMBO Festival,
Galapagos, and New York University. In addition to performances, Misnomer regularly
conducts international projects teaching, researching, and choreographing dance.

Fashioning Misnomer as a repertory company, long periods of creative invention and
collaboration play a pivotal role in the company's success and mission. Misnomer
produces a guest artist series in which choreographers are invited to present a work
alongside Elam's repertory during company seasons. Past artists have included Ann
Carlson, Sean Curran, Yoshiko Chuma, Heidi Latsky, and Thoth, the subject of the
2002 Academy-Award-winning documentary "Thoth." Misnomer has also collaborated with
fourteen composers in the past seven years, including renowned musicians Andy
Teirstein, Scott Killian, Mike Vargas, Jesse Manno, Rob Erickson, and the Talujon
Percussion Ensemble.

About Choreographer/Artistic Director: Chris Elam

Chris Elam graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1998 and in 2001
received his MFA in Dance from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He has
served as adjunct faculty at Brown University, Manhattanville College, and Hofstra
University. He co-organized the movement laboratory for intercultural movement
studies at Brown University for the Performance Studies Institute (PSI), and
frequently teaches in dance and theater programs in conjunction with offering
performances. He is on the artist advisory board for Fractured Atlas, an arts
organization offering support to the Arts.

Elam began dancing at age 14 and spent the next six years dancing and choreographing
eight hours a week without ever taking a traditional technique class. Instead, his
high school dance teacher focused on choreography and improvisation, teaching the
students to invent their own movement vocabulary. Having already created eight
pieces, Elam didn't learn to "tendu" until college.

In 1999, Elam spent seven months living and training with a Topeng dance master in
Bali, Indonesia, during which time he performed in several temple ceremonies. Upon
returning to the U.S., he began to work with the Indonesian community in New York,
including performances in a temple ceremony in Queens, and Balinese performances at
The Duke Theater, Lincoln Center, and The Kaye Playhouse with Tina Croll and James
Cunningham. In 2001, Elam spent two months in Havana on a commission to choreograph
a premiere of DanzAbierta, a national dance company of Cuba; this production was
presented at the National Theater with televised previews broadcast in forty
countries. In April 2004, Elam was invited to Cork, Ireland to perform as part of
the European Cultural City events, which led to a long-term collaboration with
interactive technology artists in Amsterdam, Holland.

Misnomer Dance Theater's "Throw People" will be performed from August 17 through 27
on the following schedule at The Brooklyn Lyceum Theater ( 227 4th Avenue between
President & Union Streets, Brooklyn, NY): Thursday-Sunday at 7:00pm, Saturday has an
additional show at 5pm. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling 718-857-4816
or online at For additional information visit or
call 917-602-0478. Directions: R train to Union Street.

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