LiquidBody works are created collaboratively. Caryn Heilman’s role as “choreographer” functions much the same way as a collage artist. She scouts out very interesting territories, assembles a team, leads everyone to the respective areas, putting the pieces together according to an initial vision that then transforms responsively as the elements begin to interact together. Then like a conductor she helps everyone work together harmoniously.
Caryn Heilman is the Artistic Director of LiquidBody media, movement and dance and Topia Arts Center, a green arts and education center in development in the Berkshires and LiquidBody’s second home. As a “standout dancer” she performed for ten years with the Paul Taylor Dance Company before founding LiquidBody. With Taylor, Caryn performed as a soloist in over 50 countries at such venues as Paris Opera Garnier, New York City Center, Kennedy Center and London’s Sadler’s Wells. She collaborated on over ten new works, directed rehearsals for several revivals and represented the United States as a cultural ambassador in Japan, China, India, Egypt, Greece, Russia, Turkey and Hungary and is featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary Dancemaker Having received a direct choreographic tutelage from one of American Modern Dance’s recognized masters, Caryn has taken this formidable foundation into more experimental territory, focusing on the fluid systems of the body and choreographic structures that include audience interaction, multimedia, live music and aerial dance. LiquidBody has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Dixon Place and BRIC in NYC, SOMA Fest in L.A., at the Electronic Festival in Warsaw, at spas in Mexico and Italy and at a 2000 seat amphitheater in Greece. She has choreographed for Julianne Moore in The Forgotten, for animations by DorosMotion and Volvox, and for the theater company Mad Woman of the Woods and was hired for The Acting Company’s production of American Dreams. She created multimedia for the premiere of award-winning hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’s Something to Do with Love. Recent choreographic commissions include Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth and Sola Fest for students at Orange County High School of the Arts. Her multimedia work has recently been commissioned in New York and L.A. and is currently on exhibit at the networked art site turbulence.org ~ http://turbulence.org/Works/touching_gravity and at Greylock Arts Gallery in the Berkshires. Caryn has an MFA from the University of California, Irvine and has taught graduate classes in multimedia and multidisciplinary performance at the University of California, Irvine in the Studio Art, Drama and Dance departments and has been an artist in residence and has taught master classes at Princeton, Hollins, Texas Christian and Dennison Universities, Smith College, Beijing Dance Academy, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Orange County and LaGuardia High Schools of the Arts, SOMA Fest L.A. and more. She has taught with and been mentored by Continuum Movement founder Emilie Conrad, award-winning filmmaker and postmodern dance icon Yvonne Rainer, intermedia artist Annie Loui, John Crawford, founder of the Embodied Media + Technology Performance Lab and Emmy-nominated choreographer Paul Taylor. She has received scholarships, fellowships and grants from the American Dance Festival, Alvin Ailey, UCI, TCU, The Andy Warhol Foundation, Turbulence.org, Medici Circle and more. She has served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Dance Notation Bureau and the Somatic Movement Arts Festival.
Nana Simopoulos, composer and musician (sitar, bouzouki, voice, didgeridoo), draws her music’s melodic color from the map of world cultures. She artfully blends sounds and textures from around the world. Indian sarangi master Ustad Sultan Khan accompanies her on her last two releases, After The Moon and the new Daughters Of The Sun #1 on the New Age and World radio charts. Other albums include Pandora’s Blues, Wings and Air, Still Waters and Gaia’s Dream. Performances include appearances with Oscar winner Tan Dun as a soloist on sitar in Marco Polo with the New York City Opera and the RAI Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy. She has also performed widely with her ensemble in venues such as Montreux and appears on their compilation CD Live at the B&W Montreux Music Festival, Vol. II. She performed at Symphony Space in the Wall to Wall Joni Mitchell event and at the Kennedy Center for the Women in Jazz Series. She has written numerous commissions for films and dance companies for festivals and choreographers such as Peter Pucci for Pucci Plus Dancers and the Joffrey Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, American Dance Festival, Ballet Hispanico, and LiquidBody. She has conducted and performed her original music with ensembles at the Joyce Theatre, on Broadway, at the American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow. She recently wrote music for opera diva Lauren Flanigan and performed with her at the Met and Symphony Space. Last May Nana wrote the music for the TONY winning Acting Company’s adaptation of American Dreams, Lost and Found.
Emilie Conrad, the founder of Continuum, resides in Los Angeles, California. She is considered a visionary whose work is incorporated by an International audience of professionals from fields such as Rolfing, Zero Balancing, Hellerwork, CranioSacral, Osteopathy, Physical Therapy, Dance, Psychoneuroimmunology, and Physical Fitness. Emilie has been a featured teacher, lecturer, and Keynoter at: Sri Aurobindo Assoc. in America, American Humanistic Psychology, UCLA, USC, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, U of San Jose, U of Arizona, Rolf Institute, Esalen Institute, Newport Sports Clinic, Center for the Healing Arts, Open Center NYC, Tarrytown Group, Omega Institute NY, Common Boundary, Naropa Institute, Kripalu Institute, Actors Studio West, Lee Strassberg Institute. She has been on the advisory board of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Orange, NJ. and Bio-energy Field Foundation, Malibu, Ca. (Dr. Valerie Hunt). She has led workshops throughout the US, Canada and Europe. She has received awards for “Movement Teacher” of the year and for her work as a Somatics Pioneer. Emilie Conrad was born and raised in New York City where she studied ballet and Afro-Haitian dance. Her early influences were Sevilla Fort, Katherine Dunham, Robert Joffrey and Don Farnsworth. Subsequently, she spent five years as a choreographer with a folklore company in Haiti furthering her interest in Haitian dance. Her love for movement inspired her to discover the essential, primary movements common to all life forms that lie beneath cultural influence. These fundamental movements are a “cosmology” of life, where form is fluidly mutable, dissolving and shaping itself anew. In 1963 she moved to Los Angeles where she began teaching at the Actors Studio. Her novel approach to movement enriched the performing artist and led to choreographing and directing many plays and performance works. Her choreography has been seen at: the Japan America Theatre, John Anson Ford, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Theatre West, Pasadena Art Museum, Highways, UCLA, Actors Studio West. She continues to develop the art of performance. In 1974, she pioneered a protocol for spinal cord injury. Emilie is the author of “Life on Land“ recently published by North Atlantic Press. www.continuummovement.com.
Luisah Teish is a writer, performer and a ritual priestess. She is the author of several books on African and African American Spiritual Culture and Feminist Myth. They include “Jampalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals” a women’s spirituality classic, “Carnival of the Spirit” Seasonal Celebrations and Rites of Passage”, “Jump Up: Good Times Throughout the Seasons with Celebrations from Around the World,” and “What Don’t Kill Is Fattening Revisited: Twenty Years of Poetry, Prose and Myth.” Other writing credits include contributions to thirteen anthologies and published articles in magazines such as Essence, Ms., Shaman’s Drum, and the Yoga Journal. Teish is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora, and she holds a chieftancy title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria. Presently she is the Chair of the World Orisha Congress Committee on Women’s Issues. She is also a devotee of Damballah Hwedo, the Haitain Rainbow Serpent, under the guidance of Moma Lola. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Spiritual Therapeutics from Open International University’s School of Complementary Medicine in Colombo Sri Lanka in 1993. She holds in Inter-Faith minister’s license from the International Institute of Integral Human Sciences. In 1969, she received initiation into the Fahamme Temple of Amun-Ra in St. Louis, Missouri. Teish has conducted tours with the School of Conscious Evolution, to sacred sites in several countries, including Egypt, Nigeria, and Jamaica and is a member of the Fellowship of Isis. A resident of the Bay Area for thirty years, Ms. Teish has been actively involved in teaching transformation, working to insure justice and peacekeeping. www.luisahteish.com.
Marlena Tsagaris grew up in New York City and Athens, Greece, and now lives in Ardsley, NY with her husband, two sons and daughter. She is a self-taught professional photographer and has practiced for over 25 years, including wedding, portrait, PR and fine art photography. Marlena is attracted to the rhythms and structures found in nature and is interested in exploring the relationship between nature and art.
Laia Cabrera, is a filmmaker and video artist born in Spain and based in New York since 1997. As a filmmaker and visual artist she uses a variety of media—music, video, storytelling, projected imagery merging cinematic arts; dance, music; photography; theater; visual arts; voice; writing. Sense of timelessness, human landscape: faces, fragments of the body. She graduated from the Conservatoire of Lleida, Spain, has a MFA in Audiovisual Communication and a BFA in Media Studies from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, and in Film Production at the New School University in New York. Ms. Cabrera is the recipient of several awards including the KrTU to Young Creators by the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Kodak and Color Lab award for Best Cinematic Film for Under Influence. Her work as a filmmaker includes Singularity (inauguration of the International video animation festival “Animac” in Spain), Invisible, Under Influence, Lines and Dropped (mix-media) among others. Her latest film-video piece “Is There an Edge of Belief?” premiered at the International multidisciplinary art festival “Jaen en Femenino” in Spain, May 2009. Her visual art work credits includes “Claim your Place”, a large scale video-installation-performance presented in the USA and Europe, “For Feather” a two-video streams projected live in conjunction with live musicians performed at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), November 2008, “LA JAULA BAJO EL TRAPO” multimedia theater play, Festival Teatro Vivo @ King Juan Carlos Center, NYC, “Touching Gravity” dance video in collaboration with Dancer/Multimedia Artist Caryn Heilman, “New York” video-installation @ Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs, Lleida, Spain, “Life is a dream”, multimedia theater play @ Festival de Teatro Clásico de Almagro 2008. She is also an award winning visual effects artist, director, editor, writer, playwright and composer. As a film-video artist she has collaborated with Arts International, New Stage Theatre Company, World Music of Nana, Liquid Body Media, Movement and Dance, Cinema Tropical among others. She recently edited the Docu-Concert “Cachao” with Andy Garcia and Cachao, the Feature Film “Shut Up and Do It” and the documentary The World of Vija Vetra. Her artwork in film, video, and performance has been presented in Europe, the USA and Latin America. She is currently working on her latest video-art-music installation “Shifting Gaze” to be premiered in Times Square in October 2010.
Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell, M.A., R.S.M.E. (Registered Somatic Movement Educator through the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association) , is a skilled dancer, teacher and ritual facilitator who cherishes the body, the imagination, and all that they have to teach us. A graduate of Tamalpa Institute and a practitioner of Continuum Movement for ten years, she performs and teaches with a profound gratitude for her mentors, Anna Halprin and Emilie Conrad, for pioneering movement pathways that honor the human body with curiosity and reverence. Elisabeth offers her work based on the training curricula of Tamalpa Institute (www.eco-movement-arts.com) in Manhattan and the Hudson River Valley, and has taught groups and individuals in a range of educational settings including Tamalpa Institute (Kentfield, CA) and Omega Institute (Rhinebeck, NY). She advocates for practitioners of somatic movement and creative arts by serving on the Boards of Directors of Tamalpa Institute (2003 – 2009) and the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA) from 2008 – present. She also guides students interested in earning Master degrees in these fields through Lesley University’s Self-Designed Masters Degree Program.
Linda Ivarie- Kaplan, dancer, is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Tamalpa Institute for Expressive Arts, and was a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC. She has danced with Dance Theatre of Iowa, and DanceQuake Hawaii, as well as numerous improv dance companies in Ohio, California, & Colorado. She is the owner and founder of Ayapis Malibu Canyon Retreat, a two acre haven for dance, drumming, voice, and healing modalities in Calabasas, CA.
A classically trained dancer since early childhood, Lilly Bright, dancer, spent the first two decades of her life dancing and performing in traditional ways. While a Dance & Theater major at Northwestern University, Lilly discovered the rich and growing field of Somatics. Ever since, she has been deeply immersed in the mystery and wonder of the living body as movement, intelligence, and a path for empowerment and awareness. Combing a more structured dance background with highly attuned states of inner-movement awareness, complexity, play, and presence while performing is her passion. With expertise ranging from Continuum Movement, Body-Mind Centering, the Feldenkrais Method, Bartenieff Fundamentals, contact & improvisational dance, and Choreographic Theatre, Lilly most recently became certified as a Laban Movement Analyst and is currently pursuing a MA in Dance and Somatic Well-Being (the first and only program of its kind in the world). She has previously danced and performed with Caryn Heilman’s LiquidBody in various locations in NYC and at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Lilly currently lives and works in Los Angeles where she has owned and operated a film production & distribution company (Curiously Bright Entertainment / Arthouse Films) for the past eight years. Her passions include spending time with her husband and their 16 month old son and cooking creatively delicious macrobiotic meals.
Melanie Gambino‘s performing and healing arts background as a dancer, actress, singer, teacher, choreographer and healing minister and expressive therapist spans over 30 years. Melanie’s core philosophy is based on her own life experiences, and extensive study and practice of multi-traditional healing and performing arts. Melanie has been studying and practicing Continuum Movement with its founder, Emilie Conrad for over 22 years and has been teaching Continuum for much of that time. Melanie has worked in clinical, therapeutic and educational settings as well as professional performing arts venues for the last 30 years. Melanie is presently a full time teacher at The Harvey School in the Performing and Movement Arts and Health and Wellness Departments. Melanie lives in Somers NY with her loving husband Michael, a naturalist, writer, artist and curator of a Westchester County Nature Sanctuary. Melanie is a graduate of the Ohashi Institute of Shiatsu and holds a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase and a MA in Natural Theology and Sacred Healing from HLCC
Stefanie Weber is an action-based artist specializing in dance, movement and performance. She began training with Caryn Heilman for LiquidBody in 2005 and has performed with her in numerous venues since. Stefanie also currently performs with Nutshell Playhouse, Sole & Bone, Silver Swimmers (USA), and with her own Creatures of Habitat Physical Poetry Performance Project. She is the founder and maker of the wildly successful and playful Pittsfield City Hoopla, an annual outdoor movement arts festival that celebrates the craft, craze and creativity of the hoola hoop in her hometown of Pittsfield, MA. Stefanie is a sought after teaching artist in Western Massachusetts and beyond and is presently preparing to take suitcases of Tap shoes to Nairobi for joyful use in the making of rain dances. For more information about her and her projects visit www.fertileuniverse.com
Teri Carter is a somatic dance artist who has taught, choreographed and performed internationally for more than 30 years. She’s received Dance grants in NYC, L.A., WI, OR, Germany and Monterrey Mexico. In addition to her classical Dance training, Teri has danced with such visionaries as Emilie Conrad, Simone Forti, Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark-Smith. Teri holds a BFA and a Masters in Dance and she is certified as a Registered Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist, authorized Continuum Movement™ Teacher, Tai Chi and Chi Gung Instructor, Personal Fitness Trainer, Life Performance Coach, Massage Therapist. She completed the 4 year Body-Mind Centering® practitioner training and has taught Contact Improv for 26 years. Teri is the founder and director of Intention Dance Theatre and the SOMA Fest (Somatic Movement Arts Festival), founder of the new Somatic Movement Arts certification training program, co-director of L.A.’s Improv Dance Festival, and was the founder/director of NYC’s Mobility Junction Dance Company of mixed physical ability performing artists. She is a board member of ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association) and an editorial board member for the Journal for Dance and Somatic Practices. Teri offers Bodywork, Dance and Somatic Movement to individuals and groups in a range of therapeutic and educational settings www.embodiedlife.com.
The foundation of Sabine Mead‘s experience is Modern Dance and Movement Improvisation, which she began studying in 1976. She performed with Improvisations Unlimited, a company focused on improvisation in performance, from 1980-1989. During that time, she graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Dance, Kinesiology and Poetry. In 1986, She choreographed and performed a solo at the National Dance Festival and received a scholarship to Jacobs Pillow. Dance led her into the broader field of Somatics where she completed in depth studies of Authentic Movement and BodyMind Centering. An interest in psychotherapy led her to completing a two year training in Hakomi Body-Centered psychotherapy in 1996. In 1999, she completed a yoga certification program with Erich Schiffmann and several in depth study courses with Shiva Rea. In 2007, she became an Authorized Continuum Movement Teacher. She is the creator of ” Women, Eros & Pleasure; Redifining Sexuality through the Art & Practice of Continuum” and “ The Alchemy Of Eros: Continuum for Couples”. She lives and teaches in Durham, North Carolina. www.resonantbody.com.
Ashley Murray (performing artist) received her BA in DAnce at the University of California, Irvine in 2008. Since then she has continued to explore and experiment with improvisation, modern dance, yoga and dance-for-the-camera in NYC and Durham, NC at the American Dance Festival in the Summer of 2009. She is currently teaching kids yoga in NYC and working with local dancers on collaborative projects. She has most recently worked with Accidental Movement at the Judson Church in Manhattan, NY and with Julia Edwards at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, NY.
Banghan Nabi Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and one of her earliest memories was of dancing with her Grandpa in fancy bell-bottoms. The Kim family then emigrated to New York City, where she grew up, discovering her love for the visual arts. She received her BFA from The Cooper Union in Manhattan, and she dove into the world of design, from the web, to textiles, and eventually starting her own jewelry design company. It was only in her mid-20’s that she really started to understand she LOVED exploring movement! Banghan is currently completing her 500hr Yoga Teacher’s Training and is teaching in her community in Brattleboro, Vermont. She has since had the immense fortune of studying and practicing yoga, somatic movement, contact improvisational dance, and Continuum with masters such as Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Patty Townshend, Emilie Conrad, Angela Farmer, and Nancy Stark Smith. She is hoping to dive deeper into the fluid worlds of healing through Craniosacral therapy, 5 Elements studies, and the endless noticing of the constant dance between Movement and Stillness.
Edson Aparecido da Silva, Café, Percussionist, Singer, Composer, and Producer, was born in Villa Maria, São Paulo, Brazil. In 1980 his world touring began with such artists as Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Djavan and Simone. After moving to the US in 1985, it continued with James Last, Phillippe Saisse, Sadao Watanabe, The New York Samba Band, Roberta Flack, David Byrne, Tania Maria, Herbie Mann, Larry Coryell, Morthiam, Gato Barbieri, Vinx, Pepeu Gomes, Michael Franks, and Harry Belafonte, among many others. He has recorded with Chuck Mangione, Stevie Winwood, Jon Lucien, Dave Liebman, Eliane Elias, Rob Mounsey’s Flying Monkey Orchestra, Edu Lobo, Batacoto, Gilberto Gil with Ernie Watts, Paquito d’Rivera, David Byrne, Baden Powell, Herbie Mann, Bireli Lagrene, James Taylor, Djavan with Stevie Wonder, Sergio Mendes, and on Randy Brecker’s Grammy® Award Winning “INTO THE SUN.” He has performed on video with Mick Jagger, David Byrne, Margareth Menezes and PBS’ Harry Belafonte and friends. Besides numerous independent film and TV commercials, Café’s percussive improvisations have been heard in the musical backgrounds of ABC’s documentary series “TURNING POINT” and, most recently, in the motion picture “BELOVED”, directed by Jonathan Demme, as well as the soundtrack of the motion picture “FOUR COPS,” directed by Connor McCourt. Café has also appeared in the US with Ashford & Simpson with Maya Angelou, Michael Brecker, Paul Winter, Astrud Gilberto, Betty Buckley, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Alex Foster, Lew Soloff, Manfredo Fest, David Kikoski, Aydin Essen, Vinicius Cantuaria, Claudio Roditi, Tony Cedras, Dianne Reeves, and many others. www.cafedasilva.com.
Rarely are performers as at home at Lincoln Center as they are in a longhouse. Composer, cellist, vocalist, educator and Grammy-nominated performer, Dawn Avery is equally comfortable with either. Of Mohawk descent, Dawn’s Indian name is Ieriho:kwats and she wears the turtle clan around her neck. Working with musical luminaries from Luciano Pavarotti to Sting, Dawn spent years honing her musical talents, collaborating and performing with John Cage, Glen Velez, Joanne Shenandoah, Ron Warren, Amadou Kouyate, David Darling, Ustad Sultan Kahn, Sussan Deyhim, Karsh Kale, Baba Olatunji, Reza Derakshani, John Cale, and Mischa Maisky. Dawn Avery has performed at the Montreux, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Banlieu Bleu Jazz Festivals in Europe. She’s played uptown at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as in New York’s thriving downtown music stages like the Knitting Factory, La Mama and Thread Waxing Space. Dawn Avery specializes in the performance of Native American music with her own band from her new CD entitled OUR FIRE: Native American Contemporary Songs, produced by grammy winning artist, Larry Mitchell and premieres solo and chamber works by indigenous composers as part of her North American Indian Cello Project which was funded in part by a Ford Foundation Grant for the First Nation’s Composers Initiative of the American Composer’s Forum. Dawn Avery’s compositions span from orchestral to chamber to contemporary. She has collected awards for her works and performances from the American Dance Festival at Duke University, NYU, Meet the Composer, the Maryland Flute Association and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County in Maryland and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Expressive Collaboration Award. www.dawnavery.com.
Stacey-Jo Marine (Lighting Designer) has worked in over 30 countries and in all 50 states touring with many dance and theater companies including Paul Taylor Dance Company, Taylor 2, STOMP, New York Theatre Ballet, Dar A Luz (Tight Right White), Dance by Neil Greenberg and Richard Move. Off-Broadway, she was the Production Stage Manager for En Garde Arts (“Stonewall 25″ and “J. P. Morgan Saves the Nation”) and Assistant Stage Manager for “And the World Goes Round”. Ms. Marine joined the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College in 2000 as the Conservatory’s Technical Director. Best known as a refined Production Stage Manager, she has also designed lights for hundreds of dances and enjoys teaching “Lighting for Dance” and other dance production/dance profession related courses. In 2009 Ms. Marine served as Interim Associate Dean for the Conservatory of Dance and in 2010 moved to the newly formed School of the Arts at Purchase College as Assistant to the Dean, Ken Tabachnick. She is currently on the Board of Directors at CorbinDances (Patrick Corbin, Artistic Director) and served as their Executive Director from November 2005 – November 2011.
Isabelle Duverger (St Germain en Laye, France, 1983) is a visual artist and photographer working in New York and Paris. She has a Masters Degree in Communication and Arts Management from the Audencia Nantes, France. She is also a graduate of the Estienne School of Art in graphic communications. She has worked at Hachette Livre, a Paris publisher and for the international design exhibit “European Way(s) of Life”. She also worked as a graphic designer for Altedia Editing, Paris and collaborated with french photographer Michel Azous. She assisted Ms. Cabrera for the “New York” piece, on the presentation of the film piece as an art object and on the venue at the BAM Cafe with live drawing animations. She also collaborated on the multimedia theater-poem play “La Jaula Bajo El Trapo” at the King Juan Carlos Center on the visuals and drawing animations. She focused her work on visual design for the theater festival “Inspiracion” and for the multimedia play “Playing Equality”, still photography-live drawing animations for “Walk” at Monkey Town Space, Pianos and sound design for the multimedia installation “Is there and edge of belief?” in NYC. Her latest performance installation collaboration “Claim Your Place” has been presented in New York at the Centro Espanol NYC and in Tournefeuille, France in the festival “Les Nuits Euphoriques”.
Mary Lee Grisanti is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, film, television, as well as journalism and scholarship. She teaches screenwriting, film and literature, and directing at the School of Visual Arts, and the University of Connecticut, where she has specialized in collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to writing. Mary Lee’s most recent screenplay is a collaboration with former Marine Reeves Lehmann based on the true stories of combat veterans coping with Post-Traumatic Stress later in life. Mary Lee’s original screenplays combine classical narrative structures with unconventional uses of time and representation, and reflect influences as diverse as Italo Calvino and BIlly Wilder. Two of her novels have been adapted for films, Mornings in Heaven (ABC), and Rare Earth (Columbia). Rare Earth was a choice for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. She has also written for television and has collaborated on several projects with Sesame Street, including as lead writer in the largest initiative in early childhood literacy in U.S. history, Pebble Soup, in conjunction with Head Start. As well, Mary Lee was co-head writer for Focus Films International’s 40-episode drama, The Diary of Maria, which played in English, Spanish and Portuguese markets. Her true Holocaust drama, Lifeforce, won the New England Drama Festival in 2006 and premiered in Europe at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She writes regularly about theater and film for Hearst newspapers, and her work has appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, and Films in Review (www.filmsinreview.com) among others. Mary Lee has advanced degrees in Comparative Literature and Human Development, from New York University and Teacher’s College Columbia University, respectively. Her scholarly work is concerned with the development of moral creativity, and particularly the influence of narrative on hope.
Gisela Stromeyer, set designer, and New York based architect comes from a family of fourth generation German tentmakers. Her sensuous creations can be found in a variety of locations such as private homes, stores, showrooms, theater sets, promotional events and office spaces. ”My achitecture training taught me how to perceive and define spaces and to turn my vision into a built form. It was my experience as a dancer, however, that allows me to sense space as movement. Spaces are fluid. Architecture can be so linear and rigid. It’s usually not shaped like the human body, so it rarely reflects our natural longings for softness, flexibility and flow. We long for spaces that not only contain us, but allow our spirits to soar as well.” Gisela has been honored with five awards for Outstanding Achievement in Design and Fabrication by the IFAI and Best of Furniture Award by ID Magazine.
Paul Wirhun, set and costume designer, focuses his artwork on eggs. “I believe that eggs are events – not simply objects. They are the confluence of primal life-forces, sexual energies, that create new life – new beginnings. The shells are memories of these events. I have worked on eggshells since I was a child, learning the traditional Ukrainian art of pysanky from my mother. Pysanky are talismen created through batiking designs with specific intentions to use the egg’s life-power for a desired result. This cultic use of eggs informs my work to this day – for I consider eggmaking a sacred magical art. Since 1990 I have used this folk art to explore my fantasies, desires and cosmology. During this period I have manipulated traditional processes with innovative dyeing & brush techniques, etching, and mosaic to forge a new visual language to write on this versatile, organic sphere. Each egg is a spherical space, a continuously turning pictorial plane around which images distort, challenging common perceptions. As a talismanic event, the egg holds the possibility of recreating the known world. I endeavor to combine all these properties to create a new art, a synthesis of ancient design for a new worldview.” See his work on www.paulwirhun.com.
Philippe Vercruyssen, A.K.A. Philippe Versen, rigger, has performed his single trapeze act in Europe, Canada and the US for the past 25 years. He is presently a professional rigger in New York City. He is also the co-founder and co-director of the Circus Arts Camp at Purchase College. Philippe has opened CIRCUS TOWN in Pelham Manor, a venue to promote and teach circus skills to the public as well as professionals. For more information please contact Philippe at email@example.com.