a dark and tender evening of contemporary dance
WHEN: December 14-15, 8 PM
WHERE: County Prep High School (525 Montgomery St., Jersey City, NJ 07302; enter on Bright St.)
TICKETS: $5-20, available at katelynhalpern.com/looseheart.
Loose Heart is the company’s second major work, and the first to premiere in the artist’s home, Jersey City.
Beaten through with arrhythmia and percussive gesture, Loose Heart traces an inner landscape of longing. By turns solitary and unified, the trio of dancers delve into physical meditations and small, rough acts of violence before arriving at a more balanced peace. Characteristically, Halpern enriches the performance world with a variety of materials. Lines of speech and dialogue weave through the dance, matching the movement in weight and abstraction. In a predominantly dark world, dancers urge an unknown listener to “cross into the light,” and repeatedly offer the reassurance that the heart in question isn’t broken, “it’s just loose.” The work is further defined by an overgrown green blanket, crocheted by Halpern, an evocative symbol of comfort that shape-shifts from ground to nest to tent to net, softening a fall or binding a body. Loose Heart features sound design by composer Elliot Cole, and is performed by Brooklyn-based artists Arianna Dunmire and Julia Galanski (Then She Fell), and Jersey City’s Myssi Robinson (Kyle Marshall Choreography, Meagan Woods & Company).
Taken alone, Loose Heart is an ambitious sophomore work. It is also the company’s second major work to premiere in 2017. In June, KH&D opened JUICE, a bright and glossy analytic of human concerns, to a sold out run in New York. “The pace at which we’re building work is exhilarating,” says Halpern. “It’s rewarding to feel the momentum from JUICE and know that we’re riding that same wave throughout our creative process for Loose Heart.”
Loose Heart is supported by the 2017 Choreographers In Residence Program (CHIRP) at County Prep High School. Heather Warfel Sandler, Director of the County Prep Dance Program, initiated CHIRP as a community-oriented exchange with professional local artists. CHIRP choreographers teach as guest artists in the County Prep Dance Program and are supported with rehearsal and performance space. The program launched in spring 2017 and will host a new artist each semester. For Halpern, CHIRP is a great opportunity because it supports her creative work and draws on her skill in the classroom. A 2012 Teach For America - New Jersey Corps Member, Halpern taught high school English for KIPP Public Charter Schools in Newark, New Jersey from 2012-2015 before joining the staff of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County, where she served as Unit Director and led after-school programs for elementary and middle school children.
About the Company & Collaborators
Katelyn Halpern & Dancers is a modern dance company formed in 2016 under the artistic direction of Katelyn Halpern. The company’s first major work, JUICE, premiered June 2017 in a sold out run at the Alchemical Theater Laboratory in New York. Recent presenters include Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place, and Art House Productions’ Your Move Dance Festival; their work is supported by DANCENOW Silo, chashama, and the 2017 Choreographers In Residence Program at County Prep High School in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Katelyn Halpern makes her home in Jersey City, where she works as a multi-disciplinary artist and performer. Her work has been presented throughout Jersey City, New York, and at festivals across the county, including Omaha’s Under the Radar and San Francisco’s Switchboard Presents. In addition to directing Katelyn Halpern & Dancers, Halpern performs with the bi-coastal piano/dance duo K A T E S, co-creates the zine Under Glass, and installs interactive labyrinths and dance invitations as Do a Dance! She is from Austin, Texas.
Myssi Robinson is a Jersey City-based artist from Richmond, Virginia. Along with Katelyn Halpern & Dancers, she currently performs with Baye and Asa, DriggProductions, Kyle Marshall Choreography, Meagan Woods & Company, and the Median Movement. After graduating from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, she spent three years as an educator and performer for Nimbus Dance Works. Her markings have been presented by Crushed Muffins IV, BUMP through Harlem, Bloomsbury Square Cafe, and the Jersey City Theater Center.
Arianna Dunmire is a born and raised New Yorker currently moving, teaching, and choreographing in Brooklyn. After finishing a degree in dance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Arianna began training in acrobatics, parkour, animal locomotion, and other athletic styles. In addition to her work with Katelyn Halpern & Dancers, Arianna teaches and trains at the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics and creates dance styled performance work under the project name Aestheticized. Although movement is her primary means of making, Arianna is also a fine artist forever interested in human anatomy and aesthetic.
Julia Galanski is a Brooklyn-based dancer raised in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Currently, she performs in Third Rail Projects’ award winning hit Then She Fell and works with Katelyn Halpern & Dancers. When she is not performing, she teaches ballet. Julia received her B.F.A. in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Minor in History.
Elliot Cole (Sound Designer) is a composer, performer, and "charismatic contemporary bard" (NY Times). His work has been performed by A Far Cry, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, the Lucerne Festival Academy, and over 100 percussion ensembles all over the world. In 2016 he performed two sold-out shows of his music with Grammy-winning vocalists Roomful of Teeth at the Park Avenue Armory. He is a PhD candidate at Princeton University, and is on faculty at the The New School and Juilliard Evening Division. He is Program Director of Musicambia at Sing Sing, where he runs a music school for incarcerated men. He lives in Jersey City.