Artistic Director Laura Peterson
My dances are deeply influenced by the visual art of the 1970’s, particularly Earth Art and time-based conceptual art as well as the minimalists sculptors of the 1960’s in Europe and America. Since 2007, my work has included built-in performance environments that transform the space and are developed simultaneously with the choreography. I frequently employ repetition, iteration, and mathematical patterns as a means of expanding my concepts. These techniques developed in the work of minimalist artists and composers in the 20th century have been part of my research regarding form and serve as a point of departure from which I consider visual and compositional possibilities. Each dance is an environment, a concept, a performance, highly refined and rigorously researched.
– Laura Peterson, 2014
Jon Pope (C0-Installation Designer and Technical Director) has worked in collaboration with Laura Peterson Choreography creating performance environments and directing installations for the last 10 years. He is a NYC Licensed Contractor building and renovating residential and commercial spaces. Jon is a LEED Accredited Professional and a DSNY Certified Master Composter. For the last 4 years Jon has worked with Public Works Collaborative with whom he has created public art in NYC, and built a permanent sound installation in Lexington, Kentucky. He is a graduate of SUNY College of Environment Science and Forestry at Syracuse University, and was a fisheries biologist for the State of Alaska for four years. In 2013, Jon was a contributing author to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s publication Easy Compost. Jon plays bass and writes music with his bands Commonweath Revival and Poor Colin.
Jennifer Sydor described as “dazzling” by The Boston Globe and “remarkable for her intense focus and vivid dramatic skill” by The New York Times is thrilled to be working with Laura Peterson Choreography. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University. In NYC, Jennifer has worked with choreographers such as Vanessa Walters, Jill Sigman, Stefanie Nelson, Nia Love, Janice Lancaster, Sharon Moore, Ben Asriel and Janessa Clark. She has toured internationally to 12 different countries as a dancer with the avant-garde performance troupe and electro pop band Fischerspooner, in collaboration with the experimental theater company, The Wooster Group. She has performed in Doug Elkins’ Bessie Award winning Fraulein Maria, as well as a featured performer in David Parker and The Bang Group’s Nut/Cracked, for five seasons. Jennifer was a guest artist with the Dayton Ballet’s 75th Anniversary season, featured as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Most recently she danced the role of the bird in Peter and The Wolf, directed by Isaac Mizrahi with choreography by John Heginbotham at The Guggenheim Museum. Jennifer is also in her sixth season as a guest dancer with The Metropolitan Opera where she has worked with Tony Award winning directors such as Mary Zimmerman, Michael Grandage and Bartlett Sher. She has appeared in The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts worldwide, and on PBS’s Great Performances in the operas Manon, Don Giovanni, Armida and La Sonnambula.
Darrin Wright (Dancer), a Brooklyn-based artist, is a native of Los Angeles, California where he started tap dancing at the age of six. His early trainings were taking tap classes, which led into jazz with Ian Gary; learning about choreography and performance in high school with Janet Roston; taking post-modern dance with Rudy Perez. In 1997, Darrin joined The Bella Lewitzky Dance Company as part of its farewell tour. He received his BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2002. Since graduation, Darrin has had the pleasure of working with The METopera, Susan Marshall, Terry Creach, Jane Comfort, Bill Young/Colleen Thomas, Yanira Castro, Jack Ferver, Tami Stronach, Antonio Ramos, Leslie Cuyjet, Doug Varone, Laura Peterson, Amber Sloan, Nancy Bannon, Linsey Bostwick, Nina Winthrop, Linsday and Jason Dietz Marchant. Darrin teaches master classes in technique, composition and improvisation throughout the country. In 2009, he received a Bessie Award for his work with A Canary Torsi’ Dark Horse/Black Forest. .
Kate Martel (rehearsal director. company 2007-2017) grew up in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, she has danced in NYC since 2002. A member of Laura Peterson Choreography since 2007, Kate has also performed dances by Luis Lara Malvacias, Juliette Mapp, David Hurwith, Sarah White-Ayon and Nora Stephens. Abandoned classrooms, rooftops, blackbox theaters, churches and lofts have been homes to her choreographic experiments (St. Cecilia’s, Rooftop Dance, Dixon Place, Women in Motion and Movement Research at Judson Church). She has taught nationally, internationally and is on faculty at Western Connecticut State University. Kate earned her BA in Dance from Goucher College and an MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is also participating in the Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course at Balance Arts Center. This year she joined dance artists Sarah Weber Gallo and Whitney Jacobs in forming a collaborative trio, Pigeon Congress, which taught and performed at ACDF in Spring 2014. In May, her new work Absolute Construction premiered at Center for Performance Research.
Ayumu Poe Saegusa (Lighting Designer) started his professional career in 2000 in Tokyo, Japan. He moved into NYC in 2005 and became the resident lighting designer of HERE in SoHo. From 2006-2016 Poe has worked as a designer for the annual CultureMart Festival at HERE Arts Center. He also works as a freelance lighting designer for various shows from NY Fringe Festival to Lincoln Center. His credits include Skriker(William College 2016, MA) by Kameron Steel and Rite of Spring (ROSE THEATER Jazz At Lincoln Center 2014, NY) by Basil Twist. Philharmonic Orchestra New York Season 2016 &2017 (Lincoln Center ROSE THEATER). He has toured throughout the US, Europe and South America with shows he designed. He also works as a lighting coordinator between USA and Japan for the Japan Society, NHK (Japan Broadcast Corporation), FCI and many other clients with international projects. In 2017, he founded “CMsl” (www.creativemachien.lighting).
WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES
Classes are offered for any guest artist or touring engagement.
Laura has taught dance and created repertory at universities in the US including Princeton, Marymount Manhattan, Hunter College, Old Dominion, SUNY Brockport, NYU’s Tisch Dance Department and others. She currently teaches dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, in studios throughout NYC, and in festivals in the US and internationally.
An intermediate workshop offered for universities and festivals:
This workshop is highly physical and blends full-bodied and dynamic movement with elements of improvisation to create a sense of continuity, athleticism and detailed dancing.
We begin with focusing exercises designed to support the experience of looking closely at the space around us as we simultaneously bring awareness to the body’s internal systems and small continuous movements that connect the outside with the inside. With this awakened state the dancing becomes fuller as we both find clarity in the body through contemporary dance technique and work toward an understanding of how these elements relate to the concepts that are at the heart of Laura’s choreographic process and the resulting dancing.