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 Post subject: "ThIStHaT ShoW no.4 and no.5": curated by Daniel McCusker
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:33 am
Posts: 11
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Daniel McCusker Dance Projects, in collaboration with Central Square Theater, presents ThIStHaT ShoW no.4 and no.5 ; new and recent works featured over a 2 week period. Works created by Sarah Baumert/Sara Smith, Lara Binder/Sheriden Thomas, Adriane Brayton, Nell Breyer, Audra Carabetta, Caitlin Corbett, Brian Crabtree, Heidi Henderson, Kristy Kuhn, and Morgan Packard; curated and produced by Daniel McCusker; lighting designed by Paul Marr. Performances run January 12-21: Thurs. (7:30 pm), Fri. (8 pm), and Sat. (8 pm). Tickets: $20, $15 BDA members, $10 students/seniors; $10 for 2nd weekend for 1st weekend audience members [subject to availability at the door, bring 1st weekend ticket stub for discount]. For advance tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit Tickets also available at the door [cash or check only] one hour before each show. Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 [conveniently located near the MBTA Red Line & bus connections, visit for directions]. For further information, log onto or call the ThIStHaT information line at 617-544-7408.

Dancer/choreographer/producer Daniel McCusker has been showcasing his dance and dance-like “discoveries” since the spring of 2008. Each year the showcases have become more daring and the audience capacity has burst at the seams to the point that it has become necessary to move to a larger venue and to expand his ThIStHaT ShoWs into a two weekend extravaganza.

To break the mold even further, his annual spring affair is now in the height of winter, with ThIStHaT ShoW no.4 and no.5 poised to pay a warm tribute to many of the kindred spirits who figure in McCusker’s lively artistic world. McCusker is keen on investigating the true nature of dance and performance. The work that interests him the most is formal, very structure-based, making deliberate choices regarding its structural components. This formality serves to mediate any narrative elements so that the full meaning of the work can be revealed.

McCusker’s quest to discover this true nature by way of structure doesn't always play out, but as many of his fans have come to realize, the exciting part is when it does indeed play out. And they happen to be there when it all comes together. The yearly showcase has become a huge success, critically and otherwise, and is a much anticipated not-to-be-missed annual celebration for all lovers (and soon-to-be lovers) of local dance.

“Disparate works mesh in a satisfying, moving show...
the dance-oriented mixed bill "THISTHAT" at
Green Street Studios this past weekend…
is a testament to the vision and aesthetic of
the concert's curator and producer, Daniel McCusker.
The veteran dancer/choreographer believes all the program's works
share a common concern for
'structure combined with the intuitive,' and
hopes "THISTHAT" inaugurates a series of showcases
bringing together kindred artistic spirits.
I hope so, too."

[Karen Campbell, Boston Globe]

The schedule of talent for each weekend is as follows:

ThIStHaT ShoW no.4 (running January 12-14):
***Lara Binder/Sheriden Thomas***
(work-in-progress, movement by Binder movement, text by Thomas);
***Adriane Brayton***
(“Here”, a new duet with dancers Brayton and Joe Gonzalez, and also an In-progress solo featuring dance Wayne Ong);
***Nell Breyer***
(Video works to include at least one segment from her "Perspectives on a Dance in 'Bars of Color Within Squares’” (performed at MIT and includes dancers Sarah Baumert, Sarah Witt, Theodossis Issaias, Kate Ladenheim, David Glista, Catherine Murcek);
***Audra Carabetta***
(two dances, “Roots” featuring dancers Brianna Bailey, Alison Ball, Leah Bergmann, Jackie Flynn, Andria LaRocco, Rebecca Lay, Eliza Mallouk, Marcie Mitler, Allison Ryan; and “Rewind” with dancers Jillian Grunnah, Audrey LaVallee, Tara McCrystal);
***Brian Crabtree***
(new duet entitled “Waltz, Adjust” featuring Alison Ball and Eleanor Duckworth).

ThIStHaT ShoW no.5 (running January 19-21):
***Sarah Baumert/Sara Smith***
(“What she saw and how it felt” created by Baumert and Smith, performed by Baumert);
***Caitlin Corbett***
(In-progress work “I’m Like, No Way” with dancers Leah Bergmann, Jimena Bermejo-Black, Rebecca Lay, Kaela Lee, Nicole Pierce, Lindsey Ridgeway);
***Brian Crabtree***
(two dances, “Waltz, Adjust” with Alison Ball and Eleanor Duckworth, plus a new duet entitled “Means To An End” featuring Audra Carabetta and Crabtree);
***Heidi Henderson***
(“sad solo from Pine” choreographed and danced by Henderson);
***Kristy Kuhn***
(“Holding Pattern” with dancers Sara Fenstermacher and Kuhn [first version of this piece was produced by The Dance Complex and developed as part of the Shared Choreographers' Concert]);
***Morgan Packard***
(“Thicket”, an audiovisual art piece, toy, and instrument, distributed as an iPhone/iPad app. Developed by Packard, a composer and musician, with visual artist Joshua Ott).

”Boston’s dance showcases have often been motley affairs…
Bring in a curator as seasoned as Daniel McCusker, however,
and motley changes to melody.
McCusker had been wondering how to shine a light
on his own creative preoccupations as a dancemaker,
concerns that include non-narrative dances that
‘require a mentally and emotionally active audience to imaginatively complete them.
These are pieces that use form and structure to convey content.’ …
he gathered some friends and associates and came up with a
coherently beautiful ‘salon’ of dance and video works
he called ‘tHisTHat Show No. 1’ at Green Street Studios in Cambridge.
May there be No. 2, and No. 3, and up into double digits.”

[Debra Cash, Boston Phoenix]

Central Square Theater (CST) is committed to creating collaborative relationships with Boston-area artists, helping to shine a spotlight on their talent and artistry. CST is excited to be hosting the Daniel McCusker Dance Project and supports their commitment to fostering community connections through dance.

More background information:

Daniel McCusker:
Since 1994, Daniel McCusker has been part of the heart and soul of Boston’s vibrant dance community. He is a dancer, choreographer and educator, currently teaching modern dance, ballet, composition and special topics courses in the Department of Drama & Dance at Tufts University. Before moving to the Boston-area, McCusker directed Ram Island Dance in Portland, ME for seven years; and prior to that endeavor, while living in New York City, he performed on tour and in New York seasons with the Lucinda Childs Dance Company among others. More information on Daniel McCusker Dance Projects can be found at

Sarah Baumert/Sara Smith:
Sarah Baumert is a dance artist and choreographer living in Cambridge, Massachusetts currently working with local choreographers Daniel McCusker, Sara Smith, and Nell Breyer. She has worked frequently with international artists including UK Choreographer Sean Feldman, Austrian Willi Dorner and Berlin based Xavier LeRoy. As a company member of the Zenon Dance Co. she has performed the works of Tere O'Conner, Trisha Brown, Jeanine Durning, and Keely Garfield. Baumert received a BFA in dance from the University of Minnesota, is a yoga educator, and is a 2011 grant recipient from the Somerville Arts Council.

Sara Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer and archivist who lives in Western Massachusetts. She has collaborated on multiple performance projects over many years with Karinne Keithley, including choreographing Spinozan Calisthenics for Keithley's "Montgomery Park" which won a 2011 Bessie Award. Smith has an MFA in dance from Sarah Lawrence College and her performance works, installations and sound designs have been seen and heard at venues throughout the Northeast, including Catch!, Danspace Project, Green Street Studios, Here Arts Center, Joyce Soho, LaMama, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and the too short-lived Ur, among others. She is also the editor of KINEBAGO, a forum for writing about New England dance and movement-based performance.

Lara Binder/Sheriden Thomas:
Lara Binder, Artistic director of B-Dance, has extensive experience as a dancer, teacher, producer and choreographer in San Diego, California. She has had the opportunity to train and perform with Faith Jensen-Ismay, Michael Mizerany, John Malashock, Allyson Green Dance, Joe Alter Dance, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, the PGK Project, Patricia Sandback and Dancers and Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater at events such as Bravo San Diego, Celebrate Dance Festival and Trolley Dances. In 2005 Binder graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance and was named the Outstanding Graduate in Dance for San Diego State University. Since then she has performed nationally and abroad with Malashock Dance Company and Mojalet Dance Collective. Binder is also the co-founder and producer for IGNITE, an annual choreography showcase in San Diego. She currently resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, where she is working with James Morrow–The Movement, Braided Light Dance Project, and teaching at The Ballet Arts Center.

Sheriden Thomas began her professional career at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis on a Bush Fellowship. She has acted and directed in Los Angeles and New York City as well as regionally for over 35 years. Thomas has directed for The Company Theatre in Los Angeles; Manhattan Class, WOW Cafe Festival and Women in Theatre in New York City; and Queer Soup in Boston. Since joining the Tufts University faculty, her directing has been seen in A Piece Of My Heart, Hay Fever, The School for Scandal, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Hedda Gabler and The Importance of Being Earnest. Thomas received The Dallas Theatre League's Leon Rabin Award as Best Supporting Actor for multiple roles in Angels In America. In New York City, she won Theatre Week Magazine’s Straw Hat - Best Actress Award for Didi in Constance McCord's gender-mixed production of Waiting for Godot. In Boston she has acted for Stoneham Theatre in The Porch and Steel Magnolias. She received an IRNE nomination for her performance of Mrs. Drudge in The Real Inspector Hound for the Publick Theatre. Thomas is currently a Senior Lecturer in Acting/Directing at Tufts.

Adriane Brayton:
Adriane Brayton, born in Boston, began dancing at a young age with Anna Myer, and Boston Dance Company. She later attended the Boston Arts Academy where she was able to perform the works of Jose Limon, Pedro Ruiz, and Nathan Trice. Brayton is a graduate of Connecticut College, where she studied with faculty David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Heidi Henderson, Shani Collins, and Derrick Yanford. While in college she was able to perform the works of Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Nicholas Leichter, Colleen Thomas, Laura Dean and Kyle Abraham. Her work “And Then There Were Two” was selected for inclusion in the American College Dance Festival in 2009 and was also performed at the This/That show in Boston 2009. Brayton’s newest work “Sound Bite” was most recently performed at the Shared Choreographers Concert at the Dance Complex in Cambridge 2011. After graduating in 2011 with BAs in Dance and Biological Sciences, Brayton moved to Boston to follow her passion for dance. She is currently working with Anna Myer and Dancers and Weberdance.

Nell Breyer:
Nell Breyer’s choreography and video installations have been shown in the US, Canada, Europe, the UK and Bangladesh. Her work focuses on the intersection of dance, new media, and visual art. She was a Research Affiliate at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and Program for Art, Culture & Technology (2002-2010); a Baryshnikov Art Center/Summer Stages Fellow (2008-9) and Dance Theater Workshop digital ARM Fellow (2003-4).

Audra Carabetta:
Audra Carabetta holds an MFA in dance from Smith College and a BFA in dance from UMass Amherst. She has been on faculty at Amherst College, Smith College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Bridgewater State College, Holy Cross College, Ballet Arts Center of Winchester and Acton School of Ballet. Carabetta has performed with choreographers and companies such as Lorraine Chapman The Company, Caitlin Corbett Dance Company, Brian Crabtree, Daniel McCusker, Marcus Schulkind, Weber Dance and the Ken Pierce Baroque Dance Company. Choreographically, Carabetta has received attention via awards and grants, and her work has been presented at various venues.

Caitlin Corbett:
Caitlin Corbett, artistic director of Caitlin Corbett Dance Company, has presented work in the Boston area since 1984. Corbett received her BA from Bennington College where she studied with Martha Wittman and Judson choreographer Judith Dunn. She also holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art. She has danced with Johanna Boyce, Lisa Kraus, Wendy Perron and Susan Rethorst. In spring 2009, she received a Fulbright fellowship to teach and create new choreographic work in Helsinki, Finland. She has received commissions from Dance Umbrella and First Night as well as grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council and Cambridge Arts Council and a Carnegie Foundation Copper Scholarship. Corbett is a Professor at Salem State University where she teaches dance.

Brian Crabtree:
Brian Crabtree has been dancing and making dances for thirty five years in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and his hometown of Portland, Maine. For eight years he was a member of Ram Island Dance Co. under the direction of Daniel McCusker. Since moving to Boston in 1994, his own work has been produced by the Boston Center for the Arts, Dance Umbrella, World Music, Green St. Studios, and the Cambridge Arts Council. He continues to make work with his pickup ensemble, Brian Crabtree and Dancers. He studied dance and composition with Dan Wagoner, June Finch, Viola Farber, Mark Morris, Margaret Jenkins and many others.

Heidi Henderson:
Heidi Henderson, choreographer for elephant JANE dance, a pick up company in RI, is a three time recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship. Henderson has danced in the companies of Bebe Miller, Nina Wiener, Peter Schmitz, Sondra Loring, and Paula Josa-Jones. She is a contributing editor at Contact Quarterly, a vehicle for moving ideas. Henderson received her BA from Colby College and her MFA from Smith College and is in her ninth year on the faculty at Connecticut College. She has been teaching at the Bates Dance Festival for many years.

elephant JANE dance has performed at the South Bank Centre in London, in New York City, at Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Festival, at The International Festival of Dance in Taegu, Korea, at the Bates Dance Festival, and at many venues in New England. Most recently elephant JANE dance premiered Pine, a trio, at the Flynn Space in Burlington, VT.

Kristy Kuhn:
Kristy Kuhn planted herself in Boston in 2009 after happily dancing and teaching in and around NYC for many years. She has worked with Gibney Dance, Jenni Hong Dance, Treehouse Shakers, Stephan Koplowitz and other wonderful artists in NY, in addition to Weber Dance, Prometheus Dance, Kelly Donovan & Dancers and Stephanie Heroux in Boston. Kuhn received her MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS in Biology and dance minor at Bucknell University where she taught as a Visiting Professor of Dance in 2009 and 2011. She has taught in a variety of settings including Bridgewater State University, Long Island University/CW Post, Nassau Community College, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Summer Program and Dance New Amsterdam. Kuhn is currently dancing with Weber Dance, teaching at Charlestown Yoga and OMBE and loves integrating her passions for movement, science and living/learning/growing through her studies and teachings of yoga and dance. The Dance Complex produced the first version of "Holding Pattern" as part of the October 2011 Shared Choreographers' Concert.

Morgan Packard:
Thicket is an audiovisual art piece, toy, and instrument, distributed as an iPhone/iPad app. Thicket transforms simple gestures on the screen it inhabits in to mesmerizing visual patterns and kaleidoscopic sound. Thicket embodies the combined strengths of two programmer/artists: Joshua Ott, a visual artist, and Packard, a composer and musician. Nearly a decade ago, both Ott and Packard realized that they heard their own creative voices most clearly when designing processes, rather than finalities, that many of their most interesting ideas were best expressed in code, rather than traditional media. After exciting and productive years of performing with their own, separate software creations — Ott’s SuperDraw for visuals and Packard’s Ripple for sound — the two decided to roll their ideas together in to a single package, to undertake a grand experiment in synergistic software, to create a single system which united both of their approaches to sound, image, and physical gesture. The result was Thicket, an App Store release which found a surprisingly large audience. Since its launch, Thicket has been downloaded thousands of times, has caught the attention of numerous tastemakers and blogs, and was featured by Apple in its 2010 "best generative art and music apps" list, along with being quite a lot of fun for its creators.

Central Square Theater (CST) is a four-year old nonprofit organization, created through a groundbreaking partnership between The Nora Theatre Company (The Nora) and Underground Railway Theater (URT). Located in Central Square, Cambridge, and steeped in its multiracial, intergenerational, ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods, the CST theater experience exudes a democratic energy where classes, races and age groups come together to be inspired, entertained and energized.

ThisThat4&5-text200dpi..jpg [ 63.39 KiB | Viewed 4277 times ]

PO Box 290703, Boston, MA 02129
617-470-5867 (cell),
"dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in non-traditional venues"
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