By experimenting with aleatoric processes, Andrew Wass finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. He formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious processes of composition that are the generative source of much of his works. Influenced heavily by his undergraduate studies of Biochemistry at U.C. San Diego, Andrew works by creating a defined, almost crystalline palette in order to generate a myriad of possibilities. The possibilities are reduced and concentrated in the moments of execution and reception. A member of the performance groups Non Fiction and Lower Left he graduated from the MA program of Solo/Dance/Authorship at the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum für Tanz in Berlin in 2013.
Kelly Dalrymple-Wass creates performances, paintings, drawings and films. With a subtle minimalistic approach, Dalrymple-Wass seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and confuses the intervals that articulate the stream of daily events. Moments are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and becomes multifaceted. By applying abstraction, she creates intense personal moments masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles. A graduate of Mills College, a member of Non Fiction and Lower Left, Kelly Dalrymple-Wass currently lives and works in Berlin with Marfa always on her mind.
MARGARET SUNGHE PAEK
Margaret Sunghe Paek is a collaborative dance artist whose research engages in inclusionary methods, ensemble enterprises, finding spaciousness in liminality and joy in creative practice. She sees dance as a life practice and life as a dance practice. As a mixed-race performer, maker, educator, and community builder, she is deeply influenced by her relationships with contact improvisation, Ensemble Thinking, Alexander Technique, Barbara Dilley, The Resident Artists/Dancing Mamas, Uh Oh Trio, Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, and their daughter. A member of the international Lower Left performance collective since 2000, the group continues to provide her artistic foundation and home. Her dance works have been presented in Europe, Mexico, and the US, including at Judson Memorial Church and in collaboration with musicians Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran for the 2012 Whitney Museum Biennial in NYC. Margaret has been on faculty at Movement Research, Marymount Manhattan and Manhattanville Colleges in NYC, as well as taught at many international festivals. She has authored articles for loveDANCEmore and Contact Quarterly and is on the boards of Marfa Live Arts and Renaissance Charter Arts High School. In 2015, Margaret moved from New York City to ancestral homelands of the Menominee and Ho-Chunk people (Appleton, Wisconsin) to teach dance in the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University, and she loves it.
Nina Martin’s (Lower Left co-founder) choreographic and improvisational work (Improvography) has been performed in Finland, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Venezuela, and the US including 17 years presenting her work while living in New York. Her choreography has received support from numerous sources including New York State Commission on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and seven choreography fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, she has received two Tommy’s (San Diego), an Irvine Foundation California Dancemaker Grant and collaborated with Shelley Senter and taught in Japan. Her work has been influenced by Elaine Summers, Mary Overlie, Trisha Brown, and Steve Paxton among other Post-Modern greats. Nina has performed with David Gordon Pick Up Company, Martha Clarke, Deborah Hay, and Simone Forti as well as being a founding member of Channel Z in New York. (see Sharing the Dance; Cynthia Novack.) Presently, Martin carves out a new dance destination in the wild west in Marfa, Texas.
Shelley Senter has been involved with experimental and post-modern dance for over thirty years, touring the world as a performer, choreographer and teacher. She has been critically recognized for her distinct approach to movement, both independently and as a collaborator with many distinguished artists.
Her practice is rooted in the investigation of movement, the consciousness of kinesthetic experience, and the participation of the self in its continuous reorganization in time, space and imagination. Her interest lies in improvisation, collaboration and experimentalism, and in the coordination or layering of simple and non-virtuous movement to create a virtuosic complexity. Principles that underlie her work include self as habit, non-doing and the novelty and inherent possibility for narrative of the present moment.
Senter has been investigating the application of the principles of the Alexander Technique to the performing body and mind for three decades. A certified teacher of the Alexander Technique since 1994 (ACAT), her approach to teaching has influenced artists in all disciplines and has been written about in various dance, arts and Alexander Technique publications and scholarly papers.
As a dance artist, Senter has taught in festivals, universities and colleges throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia, such as the Juilliard School and The New School (NYC), Centre National de Danse Contemporaine (France), P.A.R.T.S. (Belgium), Impulstanz Festival (Austria), Kalamata Festival (Greece), Instituto de las Bellas Artes (Mexico), Casa Hoffmann (Brazil), the American Dance Festival, SFDI (Seattle), MELT (NYC) and the San Francisco School of Circus Arts, to name a few.
Her own work has been presented in New York City, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, France, Italy, England, Denmark, Sweden, and Greece.
She is a repetiteur of the seminal dance “Trio A” by Yvonne Rainer, and stages and creates original adaptations of the works of Trisha Brown for institutions such as the Lyon Opera Ballet and Ballet Rambert, as well as visual art venues such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Barbican and the Museum of Modern Art.
Leslie Scates is a dance artist whose work is characterized by the persons, moments, and spaces in which they are realized. She has worked collaboratively at University of Houston’s Dance and Theatre department, Rice University’s Recreation Department, with professional dance companies, visual artists and experimental musicians over several dance generations in Houston, Texas. Leslie stays at work studying improvisation and composition by holding onto a dance home for herself within the fluid boundaries of Lower Left Performance Collective and its ongoing research into ensemble and solo dance improvisation. Leslie has been supported in creating works by the Blaffer Gallery, Diverseworks Artspace Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Houston Arts Alliance, and by the City of Houston’s Parks and Recreation Division. She has created original, collaborative gallery performance works with visual artists Tony Feher, Allard Van Hoorn, CORE Dance Performance Company Atlanta, Sophia Torres, Lower Left, and performed with Deborah Hay at the Menil Collection, Houston. She has taken Ensemble Thinking practices into communities to spark fun, teach collaboration through dance improvisation, and help small business groups refine in-house communications. She has shared Ensemble Thinking and ReWire practices through her work with early onset Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers, young adults with neurological differences, math professors, and small creative businesses. Leslie was named a “Houston’s Top 100 Creatives” in 2013, and received a “Best Dancing on the Side of the Road” award in 2001, both by the Houston Press. Leslie helped to launch the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival in its first five years, hosting the second annual event at Rice University with Rosie Trump. Leslie continues to dance about the things we do to each other over our intertwined lives, focusing on echoes and residues those events and interactions leave in our bodies, minds, and landscapes.
KAREN HØYBAKK MIKALSEN
Karen Høybakk Mikalsen is a dancer, artist, mover, choreographer, teacher and community builder based in Oslo, Norway. She has been deeply invested in improvisation, composition, group work and contact improvisation since the late 1990’s and traveled and lived abroad for 9 years. She did her dance studies in Oslo, Stockholm, Salzburg and New York and sees traveling as part of her artistic lineage. She met Lower Left and Ensemble Thinking in New York in 2007 and has since then dived into research on collective work and built a community around improvisation in Oslo through ImproLAB and Improfestivalen, now PRAXISfestivalen. She is also a founding member of PRAXIS Oslo – an arena for artistic sharing for performing artists. Karen runs her own company Living Movement, she has presented her work in Norway and the Nordic countries, is active in various artistic collaborative constellations (such as music, theater and narrative art), and she choreographs for others companies and theaters in Norway. She is also part of Lonely Riders - a Nordic network on community work and improvisation with dancers from Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Norway. From 2015-17 Karen was the recipient of an artistic work grant from the National Arts Grants. Currently she is teaching movement at a performance art college in Oslo and recently did a research project on Ensemble Thinking facilitated for acting studies. Karen is thrilled to finally hold an Ensemble Thinking Teacher Certification and to be a Lower Left member!
Julie Lebel gratefully lives and dances on the ancestral and unceeded Indigenous territories of the xʷməθkʷəjˀəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil Waututh) First Nations. She is a choreographer invested in community engaged dance and in interactions between public space and community - involving musicians, visual artists, film makers and writers with a body of work spanning 25 years. She is the Artistic Director of Foolish Operations, creating new dance experiences for and with people of all generations, especially very young children. She is a member of Lower Left Collective (USA, Germany, Norway and Canada) teaching and performing Ensemble Thinking.