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Dance In Progress @ The Kitchen

The Kitchen’s longest-running program features four emerging choreographers/collaborators showcasing innovation in dance. Each evening is the culmination of a two-month long laboratory of creating work and incorporating feedback. This season’s program offers work by Leigh Garrett/Katie Workum, Jon Kinzel, Heather Kravas, and Johanna S. Meyer. Performances are on Thursday & Friday, May 27 & 28 at 8pm at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, New York City). Tickets are $12.

In their newest dance-theater collaboration, Leigh Garrett and Katie Workum invite the audience into their whodunit dance-play set in an Eastern European hotel lobby, circa 1947. With this first installment of HOTEL, Garrett and Workum draw from radio plays, Hitchcock, pure and stylized movement, and the structure of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books to create a world of fascinating characters in a serio-comic environment.

Return My Jeep marks John Kinzel’s first performance in New York after a two-year absence. This new solo addresses concerns for the body, theater and athleticism, and straddles the line between contemporary dance and conceptual art. Kinzel is interested in the notion of the audience as a “social construct,” while presenting theatrical work that incorporates ideas of authority, environment, fashion and improvisation.

In Heather Kravas’ the gnome is bad. repetition and extended timing obliterate a sense of narrative. Defying perceived notions of virtuosity, the piece uses emotionally charged and physically exhausting movement to attempt transformation, leaving meaning open to interpretation. The elements of power– submission, domination, control and chaos– will be explored.

I cancan 2 is the second work by Johanna S. Meyer to explore the origins of cancan, stripping, and carnival dancing, and their influences on 19th and 20th century attitudes toward women and independence. Drawing from sources such as Jean Renoir’s film, French Cancan, and Susan Meiselas’ photo series, Carnival Strippers, Meyer and Beth Kurkjian perform with edgy humor, restrained chaos, and precise, erotic glamour.

Leigh Garrett and Katie Workum began creating dance theater together five years ago. Since then, their work has been produced at Joyce SoHo, The Flea Theater, Joe’s Pub, Symphony Space, WAX, CBGB’s, PSNBC at HERE, Spoke the Hub and the Lisa Leann and Terry Dean Put on a Dance Show at Galapagos Art and Performance Space. Their full length The Miami Project, premiered at WAX in February 2002 and later ran for four weeks at GAle GAtes et al in June of that year. Katie and Leigh have also appeared in work by Stacy Dawson, David Neumann, Sarah East Johnson, Ken Nintzel, DD Dorvillier, Fischerspooner, and GAle GAtes et al. Katie curates and performs in DANCEOFF!, a cabaret at Joe’s Pub, and Leigh creates and presents The Garrett & Phillips Show, a live sit-com seen at various venues throughout the city. They are recipients of the 2001 and 2002 Choreographer’s Fellowship at Summer Stages Dance Festival in Concord MA. In 2001 they won a NFAA Astral Grant to produce Smart Set.

Jon Kinzel's commissions include Moo (Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church) with designs by Cynthia Rowley; a one-man show, Who Has a Bill? (Menageria de Verre, Paris); and Quality of Life (NYONY-The Puffin Foundation). John’s most recent creation, Wastewater Management was presented at The Underground Theater in Provincetown. He was a Movement Research artist in residence in 1998-1999, and has worked with John Kelly and Matthew Barney.

Heather Kravas grew up in Pullman, WA where she studied a variety of dance and theatre forms. In 1994, she began creating dances in Seattle with Karn Junkinsmith and Jack Magai before moving to NYC in 1997. Kravas currently improvises with cellist Okkyung Lee as the nono twins, and has performed with human future dance corps and Jennifer Allen. Her work has been presented by DTW, Movement Research @ Judson Church, Hothouse @ P.S. 122, The Yard and subtonic, among others. She has been funded by the Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation and the Seattle Arts Commission. At present Kravas is working on a series of “gnomadic” dances in collaboration with Canadian artist, Tonja Livingstone.

Johanna S. Meyer has been choreographing and performing in New York since 1991. She has created two evening-length works and ten short pieces, many in collaboration with long-time choreographic partner Alexandra Hartmann. The first version of I cancan premiered at Galapagos in September 2003. Johanna’s work has also been presented at such venues as P.S. 122, Dixon Place, Joyce SoHo, and through Movement Research at Judson Church. Her experience choreographing for theater includes work with Ontological Directors in Residence DJ Mendel, Robert Cucuzza, Juliana Francis and Ken Nintzel, and with Amanda Charlton in the Williamstown Theater Festival production of Chuck Mee’s Big Love. As a performer she has appeared in the work of OBIE-winner Richard Maxwell, Nami Yamimoto, Karen Sherman and Tanya Gagne, Andrea Kleine, and Nina Martin. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.