Live Stream of W & P Monday Night on The Winger

Once again, Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum has sold out and they are offering a live stream of the show.  Tune in to The Winger or DIYdancer tomorrow night, February 28th at 7:30pm, to see John Zorn’s Music Interpreted – New Choreography by Donald Byrd and Pam Tanowitz.

Each choreographer was commissioned by W & P to create new works to the music of composer John Zorn. Below, is an interview with John Zorn and Pam Tanowitz to get you warmed up for the show:

I will be moderating an online discussion in real time via Ustream and Twitter. Hope you will join me!

P.S.  You can view the video from the last live stream of PNB: Giselle Revisited here.

The King of Limbs

Hey everyone!

I hope that everyone on the interweb and beyond are having a great start to the new year.

I want to share with you all a new video that i made and share some insight into the making of the video. Remember that show on MTV, Making the Video? Remember back when MTV played music videos?!?! Any who………Recently my favorite band Radiohead released a new album called The King of Limbs with a new music video with Thom Yorke dancing titled Lotus Flower. Not only is he dancing in it but he employed the services of the Royal Ballets resident choreographer Wayne McGregor to set the movement which is a very fascinating yet a perfect collaboration. I have always enjoyed McGregors work and have had the pleasure of speaking with him after one of his shows with the San Francisco Ballet and he is a very smart down to earth man with some great insight. Me being a huge Radiohead fan and currently developing new material the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, my new artistic home(YESS!!!) and working on my own projects and other collaborations I have been listening to all kinds of different music most recently Flying Lotus which reminds me a lot of Radiohead’s new album The King of Limbs. Both having jazz, dubstep, hip-hop, world, scatter, and electronic music all mixed with a human element have led me expanding my own personal dance vocab over the past couple years because i naturally listen to all different sorts of music which of course influences my work.
Video below of Lotus Flower.

Now lets take a walk down memory lane to see how my work came to be…. Twas a dark stormy night. SCRATCH THAT!!!

Last Saturday i was leaving a teachers meeting at a local studio that i will be teaching Contemp partnering/rep and me being the last one to leave because i was working out new moves during the entire meeting on the floor, the director of the studio said that i could stay behind as long as i wanted to. Little does she know that I always travel with a some sort of hand-held recording device because you just never know when lighting is going to strike and decided to do some filming in the space. First I set up the composition for the shot and then loaded my ipod into the dock with surround sound and went to town. I just danced, Lady Ga Ga styles with no rhyme or reason except the fact that i knew that i owed someone a video for valentines day. After i did about 3 takes while reviewing each one i noticed that my entire upper body was cut out of frame and my legs and feet appear to be acting as a drum kit which sparked the idea for me to create this video below. Plus how self absorbed would i be if sent a valentines video just of me dancing? I thought to myself having my upper body cut off is not as bad(is it?). Once i got home and to the editing business i had no big plans or ideas for what i wanted aside the fact that it needs to be musical along with not having too many effects to muffle up the movement which is already muffled. Note that i did not make any specific choreography. It was all improv. The most important thing in the video is the movement which is the only constant with my legs turning into drum machines so i wanted to keep that element in tact as much as possible so i did a lot of splicing. I know that I’m not a film director or anything but i do have a high expectations for myself and editing a video was a good way for me to learn more about Final Cut Pro which i love but also freak out about because I’m not a director.

Thankfully my friend liked the video after i posted it on her wall. I still don’t know what to think about the video because i made it with no supervision whatsoever so i hope that you enjoy and will also appreciate any feedback.

take care everyone.


Rehearsals for Dance On Canvas/8th Season

Hi Wingers!

We have been relishing in our rehearsals at The Art Students League in Manhattan during a very special part of our process: Dance on Canvas. We share the space with visual artists and they draw/paint/sketch while we work!, it’s such a special feeling. Here are a few shots of yesterday’s rehearsal..

It’s such a great feeling to be surrounded by such inspiration!

We are over halfway through setting “Toward Home”, almost finished setting “the last of the leaves” and “Dolce” will be up and running soon!! SO much to do, but it’s a fun rush!! It’s always refreshing to re-set work because I get to know it a little more every time, and make some changes and just finesse it. It’s a good feeling.

Any New York Wingers around tomorrow should stop by our fun event “Dance Your Pants Off”! It’s a silly fun event where there is a “dance contest” (ALL shapes, sizes, abilities welcome) It’s a time to show off your living room dance grooves! More info here: Dance Your Pants Off!

And tickets just went on sale for our New York Season here:
enter code “winger” for a discount :)

see you all soon!

Getting ready for 8th NY Season performances!

SYREN in "Toward Home" photo: Christopher Duggan

We here at SYREN are excited to be in rehearsals for our upcoming New York Season!
Lots of work getting the pieces up and running! We are presenting “Toward Home” (music by Damon Ferrante), “Dolce” (Grieg) and “the last of the leaves” (Adams) in performances at Baryshnikov Arts Center March 29-April 3!

Toward Home photo: Christopher Duggan

Toward Home photos: Christopher Duggan

We have some new company members so we are busy teaching LOADS of material to them and refining things as we go.
All the musicians are getting ready and we are getting that itch to hear it all live again!
super exciting all around!! Costumes being made, musicians rehearsing, press releases going out, postcards hot off the press…It’s almost showtime!! I will definitely start posting some rehearsal shots and keep everyone in the loop as we approach the shows!! And as always, we definitely create an online discount for fellow winger readers!!

Pacific Northwest Ballet, “Giselle Revisited” - Streaming Live Tonight

Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum presents Pacific Northwest Ballet–Giselle Revisited.

Watch the sold out show live tonight, right here, at 7:30p and join our online discussion:

Online Discussion moderated by me, Candice Thompson on DIYdancer and The Winger.

Works and Process and PNB live on The Winger!

A special event via The Winger: This Sunday night, January 9th at 7:30pm, Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum will be live streaming one of their shows for the first time! You can catch the show and online discussion live on the The Winger and DIYdancer.

The show, Pacific Northwest–Ballet Giselle Revisited, will preview excerpts of Peter Boal’s new staging of Giselle, featuring reconstructed choreography utilizing Stepanov notation circa 1899-1903 and French sources from the 1840s and 1860s. There will be discussion among dance scholars Doug Fullington and Marian Smith and artistic director Peter Boal as well as performances by PNB dancers Carrie Imler, Carla Körbes, James Moore, and Seth Orza.


Not only am I looking forward to being enlightened by all of this history and retelling of my favorite classical ballet, I can’t wait to moderate the live chat accompanying the streaming! The show is sold out but you can be a part of it by coming back to The Winger at the above date and time, enjoy the show and be a part of the discussion online!

In all ways, this is going to an historic event, so don’t miss out!


{Photos courtesy of Works and Process at the Guggenheim. Amanda Clark in PNB’s new version and Tamara Karsavina and Vaslav Nijinsky in Ballet Russes’ Act 2.}

Reader’s Choice Top Dance Blogs 2010

Happy Snow Day, Wingers!

If you have nothing to do while stuck in the snow, I recommend checking out Dance Advantage’s Top Dance Blogs of 2010 competition that opened for voting today!

Many dance blogs from around the world entered themselves to the commenting round last week, and now the final voting round means we need more reader support! Though many of the major (and longest-running) dance blogs are not in the running, there are lots of new blogs in the various categories that are fun to check out. Here’s the list of those that made it to the voting round.

My blog, “Off Center,” is entered in the Dancer Musings Category and the Top 20. After the first round I was in 3rd place for both…so, can you help me out? :) I’ve been posting reasons why you should vote for me up on my blog here.

Go here to place your vote, and be sure to check out some of the blogs in the other categories and place votes for them, too! It’s a fun way to surf (er, sled?) the dance internet on a snowy day!

Off Center, circa 2007

Off Center, circa 2010

W&P Brings Reality to Dance

Last Sunday and Monday, the Guggenheim’s Works and Process series gave us a debut of reality television proportions.  I mean that in the most flattering of senses–being a fan of Top Chef and Project Runway– and I strongly encourage Bravo to look into the possibilities of launching a show called Project Choreography.  After attending and tweeting the world premiere on Monday night, I was reminded of why reality television is so popular and effective, aside from just being economical for networks.   America today is a world of ever growing inequality; and for an hour, this dose of “reality” offers you a chance to vicariously feel the exhilaration of being placed on an even playing field with the same circumstances as all of your competitors, with a shot at greatness.  And in the dance world, choreographers and dancers alike are no strangers to the desire for equal footing in their careers.

W&P meant this commission as more of an artistic challenge as opposed to an “I’m not here to make friends” kind of competition, and the limitations they placed on the choreographers did yield creativity and  strikingly divergent results.  The challenge given choreographers Jessica Lang and Pontus Lidberg, was to create a new work to the same two pieces of music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang with the dancers of Morphoses.   The resulting work was night and day, Lidberg being the former and J Lang the latter.  J Lang’s choreography was as aggressive as Lidberg’s was sensual; while Lidberg’s fluidity let the dancers give in to gravity at times, J Lang’s dancers had staccato patterns for their limbs and often inverted themselves against gravity.  The choreographers even ordered the pieces of music in their work opposite of each other.

The different visions also played out through the costume designs brought to each.  J Lang’s group was a battalion of army combatants in olive greens and browns with harness like vests, letting you know a gun was only put down for the sake of the dance.  Lidberg’s dancers were in subdued monochromatic tones of gray that then bled to a dreamy surprise splash of color as the dresses changed instantaneously with a simple quick port de bras.  Congratulations to Benjamin Briones for this onstage costume change coup!

But the thing I enjoyed most about the show was how it allowed me to hear the music, Forced March and The So Called Laws of Nature, by David Lang more deeply.  David Lang’s music can be simultaneously spare and complex; but it is his use of small and seemingless endless variation that lend this music a sense of lightness v. darkness, making the notes so ripe for the expression of dance.  In fact, the choreographers brought out such different motifs and moods–while still referring back to a common theme of war (J Lang)  or interplay (Lidberg) between the sexes with their respective use of partnering– my ears felt deceived and each time I heard the music it felt completely new.

As far as my comparison with reality television, here is where it breaks down.  Instead of one choreographer emerging victorious over the other, I found it a win-win situation for all.  The choreographers stayed true to their own styles, allowing for the audience to learn a little more about their process and what makes their work unique.  The dancers of Morphoses showed themselves to be a troupe of flexible, smart and capable dancers, fully showcasing and immersing themselves in different styles of movement to the same music (which is not always easy to accomplish to different music).  Compliments aside, I am not convinced all of the components would make for as interesting an evening on their own.  To that end, Works & Process is the true winner for commissioning this new work to music that demands listening and having the foresight to curate for this collaborative art form successfully.

If you want to read my twitter feed from the actual event, you can find it here.

Next up on the W&P Calendar: Voices and Dance within the Americas.

Works and Process is back!

I know that it is now officially fall because the Guggenheim’s Works and Process lecture and performance series is back.  And I will be tweeting as many as I can live from many places: @worksandprocess (the Guggenheim twitter feed), @clthomps (my personal feed), and @diydancer (DIYdancer is my newest project that is in development and it is shaping up to be a new blog about dancers that do art! and many other interesting and cerative projects outside of the studio).

This Sunday and Monday, Works and Process will be premiering 2 new works by Pontus Lidberg and Jessica Lang performed by Morphoses. Both choreographers are using the same piece of music by David Lang.  Personally, I love David Lang as he has often been the composer of choice for the work I do with ad hoc Ballet, and I am also looking forward to seeing this commission by two choreographers with whom I am somewhat unfamiliar.

Here is a video clip of a studio showing of this upcoming work by Morphoses at Martha’s Vineyard this summer:

I hope you can join me either in the audience of the show or on twitter Monday night at 7:30pm!



Hello there ladies and gentleman.

Last Saturday night i attended an limited run at a new downtown art gallery called NIETO FINE ART who was hosting the works of San Francisco Ballet principal Ruben Martin. Everyone came out to the event that night to show Ruben some love and it was great to see a lot of the local dance scene all in one place because the rarely happens with everyone schedules. Interestingly come to find out a couple days before i had learned that we had a works in progress showing for the new show INK that im choreographing for. I thought we were showing in October but already we have gotten offers for spaces to host us so i put on my thinking cap real fast!

We have been in the space all week hacking away at new material which is nerve racking because i get kinda worried about one of us(me) knocking a painting off the wall which i could not afford but the director of the space is a really cool dude and likes what i have come up with thus far which is good because if that happens ill be like “Well…..its part of the work!”. Lets see how well that would fly with him:) The showing on the 19th is gonna be really neat for the viewers to watch because not only is there gonna be some great dancing that never stops but there will also be live music and painting all working under the theme of “INK” and how it flows. Such a simple idea with infinite possibilities and not one show will ever be the same with a rotating cast of dancers and musicians from all over.  Ohhhhhh, Alex is gonna be dancing a 10 min solo with 4 live percussionist so please wish her well because she was dead after the run yesterday.

 Man of the hour Ruben Martin thumbs up at his showing.

Man of the hour Ruben Martin thumbs up at his showing.

view from the top

view from the top

dancers working in the space trying not to hit anything.

dancers working in the space trying not to hit anything.

Click here for some rehearsal footage of Chris Stuart from the Nashville Ballet and I working out some new movement.

Click here to “like” on FaceBook. Only if you “like” it though!

lator gators.