This brand-new year brings the second installment of (a)merging, a dance festival that presents as many budding and up-and-coming choreographers as possible (14 this time around). These Oregon-based artists are provided with two months of rehearsal space to create and then are presented in the Northwest Dance Project Studio Theater. With seven artists’ work shown each weekend, the works are each a shorter component of a diverse and palatable tasting flight. In addition, both programs emphasize the eclectic diversity of work being made in the city, giving both beginning and seasoned viewers a chance to be introduced to new voices.
Program Sol occurs January 17th-19th and is the sunrise to the festival, featuring choreography by Sara Himmelman, Sam Hobbs (BodyVox 2-guest artist), Briley Neugebauer (Polaris Dance Theatre), Megan McCarthy & Patrick Kilbane (Northwest Dance Project), Sara Parker, Kate Rafter, and SubRosa Dance Collective.
Program Nox, the 24th-26th, serves as the sunset to the program featuring choreography by Jennifer Camp, Selina DiPronio, Cat Egan, Katie Scherman, Emily Schultz (Portland Festival Ballet), Sydney Skov's Free Body Project, and a special guest.
Jess Evans finds herself moving from a place of memories and premonition alike. Accessing the infinite aspects of who we are and presenting a piece that is as new as it is soulfully foundational inspires her.
She worked closely as a Principal dancer and choreographic collaborator with Rainbow Dance Theater from 2005-2011 and was awarded with the Best Student Choreography Award from Western Oregon University where she earned her Bachelors of Art in Dance.
Jess has danced with Portland based companies and artists such as Polaris Dance Theater and Mihn Tran and has performed and taught dance Internationally.
In 2010 Jess co-founded SubRosa Dance Collective and has been choreographing pieces on the Collective since.
SubRosa Dance Collective strives to create work that is provocative and accessible, evocative of both laughter and poignancy, and performed with technical and emotional prowess.
Growing up in a creative dance school in Cleveland, OH fed Sara's curiosity for movement from a young age. She presented work regularly while earning her BFA at the University of Akron and as a part of the Akron New Music Festival. While traveling the country and gathering inspiration she has had the opportunity to perform with Emily Power Dance in Denver, CO and Poor Richard Dance for the Boulder Fringe Festival. Arriving this summer to Portland you may have seen her as part of the improvisation score for Alchemy, and with Esther LaPointe’s The Wheel. Most recently her solo work was presented by Third Eye Dance.
Samuel Hobbs was a university track athlete until he was exposed to dance in 2004, beginning his training in both contemporary dance and classical ballet. Samuel's professional career includes main roles in ballet productions in both Oregon and Washington, performances nationally with Minh Tran & Co. and BodyVox 2 in Portland, OR, and internationally with Rainbow Dance Theatre of Monmouth, OR — most notably at the World Exposition in Nagoya, Japan in 2005 and Shanghai, China in 2010.
Briley Neugebauer originally from Seattle studied many forms of dance such as ballet, modern, and jazz. Upon high school graduation she received talent and academic based scholarships from the University Of Arizona. In 2011 she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the School Of Dance where she performed the Choleric role in Balanchine's Four Temperaments and Lead Female Daemon in Carmina Burana. During the summer of 2011 she joined ART-IF-ACT Dance Project for their five week performance tour of China. Then she was accepted as an apprentice at Spectrum Dance Theater_Donald Byrd. Currently Briley dances with Polaris Dance Theater.
Megan McCarthy, native to Portland, earned her BFA in dance from California Institute of the Arts in 2012. She has performed as a guest artist with the Portland Opera, Rosanna Gamson//Worldwide, Nugent Dance, and in numerous independent projects.
Kilbane is from Bainbridge Island, WA but calls Portland his home. He is currently entering his fifth season with Northwest Dance Project as a performer, teacher & choreographer.
Kilbane & McCarthy are excited to be presenting their second independent collaboration- their previous work was recently shown as a part of Alchemy: The Practice of Making Gold.
Sara Parker holds a B.S. in Dance from University of Oregon and is a second year MFA student in Modern Dance at the University of Utah. At the U, Sara teaches in the Modern and Ballet departments andcoordinates outreach for the Performing Dance Company.
Her work has appeared at The Hult Center, Lincoln Performance Hall, Conduit Dance Inc. and the Mariott Center for Dance (SLC, UT).
Currently, Sara is researching how choreography is a mirror of the self and the experiential journey of discovery between herself and the dancers in her work.
Automal is a pop-up dance thingy with a general focus on risk and interactivity. Choreographer Kate Rafter splits her time between Portland and Colorado. As commander of Automal, she has presented work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Scotland’s Dance Base, American College Dance Festival NW, Dance Coalition of Oregon, and Portland’s Someday:Incubator. In March, Kate and creative partner Dustin Ordway scored a Mellon Foundation-funded student residency with Witness Relocation (New York) to research devised-theatre methods and recalibrate Black & Blue for two.
For more on Kate, please visit www.katerafter.com
Jennifer Camp, originally from Atlantic City is recognized as an innovative choreographer. With over twenty years of professional experience in the field, she has danced, taught and choreographed classically infused contemporary works nationally. Jennifer’s work has been described asevocative, image‐driven choreography that taps into the essence of human experience, deeply exploring what motivates and moves us. Jennifer earned a BA from Arizona State University and an MFA from University of California, Irvine. She currently directs the dance program at Pacific University since her arrival in Oregon in 2003. To read full bio go to www.jenniferlcamp.com.
Selina hails from Tampa, Florida, where she graduated from the University of South Florida with a BFA in modern dance performance. As a performer, she has had the privilege of performing work by artists such as Doug Varone, Michael Foley, and Ben Munisteri, as well as original Talley Beatty repertoire under the direction of former Alvin Ailey member John Parks. As a choreographer, Selina has collaborated with artists of multiple mediums, including architects, videographers, visual artists, photographers, and musicians, and her work has been shown both locally and internationally. She is currently teaching and freelancing in Portland.
Catherine Egan is a dancer, actor and digital artist. She is the recipient of an Oregon Artist Fellowship for choreography and several RACC grants. She recently served as movement director and performed in Push-Leg's Nighthawks, a devised work of physical theater.
Catherine has an extensive history with Imago Theatre touring with the company, and performing in their experimental work. Currently she is developing a piece for three dancers produced by Push Leg and hosted by Portland Center Stage. She is also working with the senior theater students at the Washington School for the Deaf, exploring Shakespeare as choreographed sign language.
Katie Scherman began her training at Anaheim Ballet with additional studies at Ballet Pacifica, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Houston Ballet. At 15, she began training with the Houston Ballet Academy where she danced with Houston Ballet II and in Houston Ballet productions. In 2004, Scherman joined The Washington Ballet Studio Company, where she spent two seasons.
In 2010, Scherman graduated Magna Cum Laude from Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet/Dominican University with a BFA in Dance. Scherman has performed with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Central California Ballet and Terpsicorps Dance Theatre, and Zhukov Dance Theatre, where she is a founding member. In 2009, she was honored with a Princess Grace Award in Dance. Scherman was also a member of Hubbard Street 2, where she performed all over the US and in Europe.
In 2013, her choreography was presented at the Hult Center and the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. Katie was recently featured as a choreographer and teacher for the 2013 Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Summer Program and Laguna Dance Theatre’s Summer Intensive. Katie is currently holding a dance fellowship at the University of Oregon where she is pursuing her MFA in Dance. Katie teaches Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Vinyasa Yoga, and Tap at The University of Oregon. Her graduate research is focused on vulnerability, intuition, and resilience in the creative process.
Emily Schultz, a native of Wisconsin, started ballet when she was sixteen. After attending American Ballet theater's summer program, she joined Portland Festival Ballet and started training with John Magnus. She is in her fourth season with Portland Festival Ballet having performed as Sugar Plum, Arabian and Dew drop. Last year, she had the opportunity to do a choreography workshop with PFB. Her piece was well received and so it was performed that year at the Spring show. She is very excited to be apart of amerging and another creative opportunity.
Sydney grew up dancing in Portland, Oregon. As a high school student performing with the Jefferson Dancers, she trained in contemporary ballet with Northwest Dance Project's Sarah Slipper. Sydney continued her training in New York while pursuing an individualized degree at New York University. Sydney has since pursued a passion for human rights and grassroots social change which has taken her to live and work in Senegal, West Africa and Kolkata, India. In both places, Sydney experienced the power of movement to raise awareness of human rights issues, strengthen communities, and build peace.
While performing with Polaris Dance Theatre, Sydney began Free Body Project, a community effort to raise awareness of human trafficking in the United States through performance, community classes, and film. Sydney is currently working with the Rebecca Davis Dance Company, perpetuating dance as a tool for development and empowerment while earning her Master's Degree in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
Lindsey Matheis hails from North Carolina and is in her fifth season dancing for Northwest Dance Project. She has trained at UNC School of the Arts, LINES Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In January of 2013, she directed her first show entitled (a)merging – a dance show that showcased a merging of emerging local Portland choreographers. Her second show, Alchemy, was named by Best in Dance 2013 by Willamette Week.