What a Show!
Celebrating Four Decade's of Cornfield's Choreography
Cornfield Dance presented Wasp in the Window and the premiere of Scrambled Legs at University Settlement, three performances over two days, August 25th and 26th.
We are so grateful for the excited audience that joined us during our performances. Our opening night was sold out, even with added seats! The feedback post-show was enthusiastically positive. Many in the crowd noted their response to the beautiful costumes, intriciate choreography, brilliant sound, colorful lighting design, and, of course, the glorious performances by the dancers.
Choreography: Ellen Cornfield
Music: Jerome Begin, Andreas Brade
Lighting Design: Kathy Kaufmann
Costumes: Kimberly Manning, Karen Young
Dancers: Mariah Anton Arters, Eve Jacobs, Vanessa Knouse, Aaron Loux,
Jin Ju Song-Begin, Ned Sturgis, Mac Twining
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
“The Wasp in the Window” (2022), conceived in the peaceful, bucolic surroundings of Rockport, MA. focuses on the contradictions within our lives. Even when all seems “normal,” or occasionally even sublime, we live with the ever-present possibility of “getting stung,” by unforeseen events that buzz frantically in our environs and consciousness.
“Scrambled Legs” (2023), a light-hearted dance, investigates Cornfield’s interest in mapping our psychological systems. It travels along infinite emotional variations and pathways, spinning off into unexpected territory and scrambling our intended journeys and behavior.
The movement in this program ranged from elegant, technical movement punctuated by evocative gestural sequences to a robust and playful vocabulary filled with saucy character.
The stellar dancers provided Cornfield with a lush and delightful palate of movement colors and shapes with which to manifest her vision. For dancer bios, please click here.
Summer 2022 Update
Our tour was fantastic!
... Rockport Park Performance - "Squaring Into Space"
We completed two new works that we took on a successful tour to Massachusetts and Connecticut with six performances over ten days. We began rehearsals in December 2019 for the new dance, interrupted for a year and a half by the pandemic, resuming our work together in September 2021. We rehearsed throughout the months of 2022 up until our August tour, when we premiered a new piece, “The Wasp in the Window,” at Windhover Center for the Performing Arts in Rockport, MA. I also constructed a versatile new dance, “Squaring into Space,” comprised of material from two already existing works, performed on the grass in a Rockport park with the dancers wearing tennis shoes, and performed on dance surfaces barefoot at both Windhover and at the Dragon’s Egg in Ledyard, CT.
The tour was glorious. We were generously supported for our endeavors by a prestigious grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, presented through Windhover and the Dragon’s Egg. The dancers were simply gorgeous! I was so moved by their artistry, commitment and endurance under such a demanding schedule. The audience response was most gratifying, and the new dance had a mystery and beauty beyond anything I had imagined. I wanted the tour to go on and on. Our gratitude goes to both venue directors, Lisa Hahn, Windhover, and Marya Ursin, the Dragon's Egg, for their invaluable support.
... relaxing - Windhover campus
... attentive well fed benefit audience ... celebrating after a job well done after the benefit!
... "The Wasp in the Window" - Windhover Stage
... "Squaring Into Space" - Windhover Stage
... Enjoying dinner hosted by Marya
... "Wasp in the Window" - Dragon's Egg Space
... "Wasp in the Window" - Dragon's Egg Space
... "Squaring Into Space" - Dragon's Egg Space
... Mission Accomplished!
August 14-August 23, 2022
Cornfield Dance Goes On Tour!
Performance Tour to Rockport, MA and Ledyard, CT
We are delighted to let you know that we have received funding from the competitive New England States Touring (NEST) Grant! With the receipt of this grant, we will embark on a tour to Windhover Center for Performing Arts in Rockport, MA and Dragon's Egg in Ledyard, CT from August 15th to August 23rd.
"Spaced Out" and "The Wasp in the Window"
When we return for our second residency at the magical Windhover Center for Performing Arts and beautiful environs, run by director Lisa Hahn, we will have the full company in tow. Exciting highlights of this Residency will include stage and pop-up park performances, Q+As, as well as a special performance for a gala fundraiser.
From there, we continue on to Dragon's Egg in Ledyard, CT, run by Marya Ursin and Dan Potter. Cornfield Dance was the first company-in-residence when they opened their space over 20 years ago. What a treat to return!
We will be performing our new work, "The Wasp in the Window," as well as reprising our outdoor piece, "Spaced Out."
Schedule of Events:
Please click here for more information on each event, and to obtain tickets:
August 16: Cornfield Dance Special Performance
Windhover's 2022 Gala Fundraiser
Tickets: $85.00, 6:00pm
August 18: Pop-Up Dance in Rockport
Performances at Millbrook Meadow Park, Rockport MA
Free, 3:00pm & 6:00pm
August 20 & 21: Cornfield Dance at Windhover
Matinee Performances, 3:00pm
General Admission: $35
Student Tickets: $24
August 23: Cornfield Dance at Dragon's Egg
Free, Suggested Donation: $10
401 Shewville Road, Ledyard CT
- Photos from June 6th Open Culture Show on East 11th Street
Photos by Julie Lemberger unless otherwise specified
Sunday was a magical day! It was thrilling to have people coming together to experience and celebrate the return of live dancing in New York City and to relish mingling with others.
There was a class:
There was running:
There was jumping:
Photo: Jerome Begin
There was a touch of romance:
There were lots of chairs:
There were squares:
There were newspapers:
There was live and recorded music:
And there were those incredible dancers:
Photo: Jerome Begin
Photo: Jerome Begin
Special Thanks to:
The Cornfield Dance performers:
Alexandra Berger, Eve Jacobs, Vanessa Knouse, Jin Ju Song-Begin, Ned Sturgis, Joshua Tuason, Mac Twining, Michael Bryan Wang
David Parker and his dancers from THE BANG GROUP:
Chelsea Ainsworth, Dylan Baker, Louise Benkelman, Nik Owens, Thomas Seibold
Andreas Brade and Welf Dorr
Cornfield Dance Performing Outdoors
Live Dance Returns to NYC!
CORNFIELD DANCE & NYC’s OPEN CULTURE Present:
SPACED OUT & SMALL STAGES (excerpts)
Performed by Cornfield Dance
Joined by guest soloists from THE BANG GROUP
Sunday June 6th
outdoors on East 11th Street (bet. 2nd & 3rd Avenues)
Performances @ 2-2:30pm & 3:30-4:00pm
Open Community Class @ 12:15pm
Cunningham based class taught by Andrea Weber
All Events are Free
For questions or directions: [email protected]
Cornfield Dance Performers: Alexandra Berger, Eve Jacobs, Vanessa Knouse, Jin Ju Song-Begin, Ned Sturgis, Joshua Tuason, Mac Twining, Michael Bryan Wang
The Bang Group Performers: Chelsea Ainsworth, Dylan Baker, Louise Benkelman, Jeffrey Kazin, Nik Owens, Thomas Seibold
Cornfield Dance, led by Artistic Director Ellen Cornfield, will be joined by guest artists from The Bang Group, led by David Parker, to present a joint day of free, public dance in the open air of a New York City block. With the material moving up and down the public city block, audiences will be encouraged to watch the dances from any viewpoint and move around freely. Two 1/2 hour performances at 2 PM and 3:30 PM.
The program will feature the premiere of Cornfield’s new work Spaced Out, a playful, socially distanced dance tailored to animate the New York City block East 11th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The rhythmic phrases in the dance layered together create a visual counterpoint, charging the piece with energy and momentum as the dancers travel up and down the block, their formations constantly changing. The dancers will at times cavort on and cartwheel over a moveable set of eight red chairs, as well as step and dance around numerous colorful rubber squares. The theme of interpersonal distancing is explored throughout the piece. The musical score by composer Andreas Brade wraps the dance in luscious sounds – a woven aural tapestry including a lone line of cello and the chirps of birds and insects. Originally commissioned by the Georgia Museum of Art, created entirely over Zoom on dance students at the University of Georgia and performed outdoors on their campus in October 2020, this work, restaged on Cornfield’s company, has been a grand experiment in what is possible when the normal slips into the inconceivable.
Excerpts of Cornfield’s repertory work Small Stages will appear in the performance event as well. Sporting a robust movement vocabulary from everyday movements and facial expressions to rigorous dance sequences, this piece was created for performance on a 6’ X 6” stage. The Small Stages material will be performed at the beginning and end of each performance, simultaneously presented with solos choreographed by David Parker and performed by members of his company The Bang Group.
The performances will be preceded by a free, outdoor Cunningham based technique class for any dancers in the NYC community, taught by former Cunningham dancer Andrea Weber. Each of the two performances will also be followed by a brief Q&A with Ellen Cornfield, composer Andreas Brade, and the company dancers.
- The Inside Story
- “The Inside Story” is a new video-dance work in response to the current global pandemic and subsequent stay at home requirements. Working within the restrictions of small indoor spaces, hallways, kitchens, NYC apartment living rooms, the piece places movement within those environments, challenged to retain a sense of expansive dancing.
- To view the completed “Hallway Dance,” the first installment of this larger video work, click above. Cornfield Dance was grateful to have this work chosen for the MarDelDance disDANCE Film Festival and to receive the "Viewer's Choice Award" distinction.
Stairs, Chairs & Squares at the University of Georgia
“Stairs, Chairs & Squares” is a playful site-specific dance piece created for performance on the University of Georgia campus on the grounds of the Quad next to the Georgia Museum of Art. This inspiring location is enhanced by the soaring sculpture by artist Beverley Pepper that coheres the whole – the grassy areas, the walkways, and the stairs to the Performing Arts Building. The dancing will be located in all these areas, fitting the dance material to each new environment, and utilizing a moveable set of 9 red chairs that the 9 female performers dance on, cartwheel over, and generally use to expand their material. Not a strict narrative work, “Stairs, Chairs & Squares” aims at delighting the eye with an evolving and unexpected landscape of movement, with suggestions of emotional interactions among the dancers that appear fleetingly within the robust dance language. The dancers gather and disperse like a flock of athletic birds, their formations constantly changing, moving from one end of the Quad space to the other. The audience will be able to watch from any viewpoint in the Quad and is encouraged to move around as the dancers change their locations.
Created entirely over Zoom, this work is a grand experiment in what is possible when all that has been normal slips into the inconceivable. All the artists involved, New York choreographer Ellen Cornfield, two of her company dancers/assistants Cori Kresge and Joshua Tuason, composer Andreas Brade, UGA faculty member Jason Aryeh, plus all the glorious and energetic dancers, have overcome these enormous challenges, following the spirit and joy of the dancing to bring this explosion of life affirming energy directly to the audience.
- Two University of Georgia Dance Majors rehearsing in front of Beverly Pepper's sculpture "Ascension."
- Portal Video Dance
- Our new video dance "Portal" premiered successfully as part of the Battery Dance Festival on the evening of Thursday, August 20th. The response from those who were able to view it that night was very positive, and we are now making the full video available to view online.
Free "Small Stages" Workshop Series
Cornfield Dance announces the free "Small Stages" Workshop series! The workshops will be taught by two incredible company dancers: Cori Kresge and Joshua Tuason.
They are FREE, though donations are accepted, and are completely open to the dance community. Created for performance on a 6’ X 6’ platform, this material is ideal for being executed in your bedroom or living room. The workshop will be offered on the following dates:
Monday, August 10th
Tuesday, August 11th
Wednesday, August 12th
At the following times:
Solo #1 (taught by Cori Kresge): 2-3pm Eastern Time
Solo #2 (taught by Joshua Tuason): 3-4pm Eastern Time
All are welcome to learn one or both solos, attending as many or as few of the sessions as you like. Please come warmed up and prepared to dance.
For the full experience of dancing the work as you would on stage, consider taping off a 6' x 6' square on your floor!
To register for the workshops, get more info, and to find links to the full solos, click here
March 18 - April 13
- The company has four weeks of rehearsals in one of the beautiful studios at BAC, two in preparation for the Harkness Dance Festival performances, followed by two weeks of a video project with the work "Portal" that premieres in the Festival.
March 29 - 30
- Harkness Dance Festival 2019 @ 92nd Street Y
March 29th @ 8PM
March 30th @ 4PM and 8PM
Tickets: $15*, $35, $40
Cornfield Dance is honored to be participating in the Harkness Dance Festival, focused this year to be part of the 2019 global celebration of Merce Cunningham’s birth. Ellen is gratified to have the opportunity to share this very special moment with New York audiences, presenting a program of her choreography created over the past five years.
The company is being supported for these performances by Baryshnikov Art Center Rehearsal and Video Project Residency.
Cornfield Dance will be presenting two repertory works along with the premier of a new piece titled “Portal.” Each of these dances defines its own world, and the beautiful and expansive Buttenwieser Hall at the 92nd Street Y provides a delightful and unique container in which they will be seen.
Although Cornfield has been working as a choreographer for sometime now, the process of creating dances continues to surprise her, thrill her, challenge her, and invariably stimulate her into new territories of artistic and personal growth. She can think of no better way to celebrate Merce’s lifetime of masterful creation, and to express her love and gratitude for all the ways he changed her life, than to continue creating her own truth, as witnessed in these three dances.
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT
Cornfield Dance performed an adapted version of Ellen's newest work Close-Up throughout three of the Center's gallery spaces. The physical shapes of selected art in the Center's collection were incorporated into portions of the dance language, bringing the viewers "close-up" and intimate with the performers, the museum, and the artwork.
November 13 - 17
Cunningham Trust Workshop
New York City Center
- Ellen Cornfield and Alan Good co-taught a one-week workshop for the Cunningham Trust at New York City Center teaching material from Torse by Merce Cunningham with two showings performed on Friday, November 17th at 3:00pm and 4:30pm.
May 18 - 21
January 27 - 28
November 30 - December 4
- Dancers Joshua Tuason and Vanessa Knouse performed a duet from Small Stages at the LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival in the Lower East Side.
- Two-week Repertory Workshop of Ellen’s Pas de Detour, which included daily technique classes.
Repertory Workshop Showing: Excerpts from Raw Footage and Pas de Detour
New York Theatre Ballet Studio, St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery
New York, NY
Yale Center for British Art
New Haven, CT
Emelin Theatre for the Performing Arts