photo: jim doyle dancer: chelsea paige johnston
“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.
This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.”
– Agnes de Mille
Following a national call for submissions, Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), the independent, not-for-profit affiliate of SDC, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, today announced the selection of five choreographers who will receive commissions to create original works inspired by a sealed envelope containing an unknown idea by famed choreographer Agnes de Mille, an SDC Founder, that has been held in SDC’s custody for more than a half-century.
RECIPIENTS OF THE COMMISSIONS ARE
Al Blackstone, Raja Feather Kelly, Kitty McNamee, Jenn Rose, and Katie Spelman
to Debut Original Works at SDCF “Mr. Abbott” Award Gala
TRIBUTE PERFORMANCE DIRECTED BY 2013 “MR. ABBOTT” AWARD WINNER JERRY MITCHELL
Sometimes you find yourself surrounded by genius. It’s hard to call it work when you get to listen to some of the world’s greatest opera stars singing together on one stage. Plácido Domingo, Anna Smirnova, Ana María Martínez, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Ramón Vargas came together in this production of Don Carlo and created some kind of magic. I gain so much more than I give on a project like this - knowledge, inspiration, and camaraderie. Very proud of this one!
Off to Texas then DC for performances of RIFT, the contemporary ballet composed by the brilliant Anna Clyne. Excited to have my work performed in Texas...spent some formative years there dreaming of a life in dance! CANNOT wait to see the piece on the stage of the Kennedy Center with live orchestra conducted by the uber talented Miguel Harth-Bedoya!
highlights from last year's SHIFT festival:
"SHIFT celebrates the vitality, identity, and extraordinary artistry of orchestras and chamber orchestras by creating an immersive festival experience in the nation's capital. The week-long festival is composed of mini-residencies, with each participating orchestra presenting education events, symposia, and community events in venues around Washington, D.C., along with full-orchestra performances in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
This fascinating evening features two works inspired by literary connections: Bel Canto by Jimmy López is based on Ann Patchett's 2001 novel of the same name; Serenade by Leonard Bernstein is based on Plato's "Symposium." Also featured is RIFT, a symphonic ballet by Anna Clyne choreographed by Kitty McNamee for six dancers on stage." - FWSO
LOVED creating with Texas Ballet Theater for an upcoming performance of RIFT at Bass Hall with the Ft. Worth Symphony. The piece was originally commissioned by Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and composed by the incredible Anna Clyne. I'm very honored to be working under the leadership of Ben Stevenson, the Artistic Director of the company. I fell in love with the ballet all over again!
Special thanks for Andre Silva and Alexandra Farber for sending me footage from their latest reh!
I'm very excited to be returning to LA Opera for their 2018-2019 season! I'll be opening the season with Don Carlo starring Placido Domingo, and closing the season with my art deco production of La Traviata directed by Marta Domingo.
The Yellow Room is on a roll!
Excited to be accepted to our sixth festival - Short Waves Festival. The Yellow Room was one of just two American films (both directed by women) selected for the Dances with Camera category. Screenings will take place March 20-25th in Poznán, Poland.
The Yellow Room
Director + Choreographer: Kitty McNamee
Dancers: Jessica Gadzinski + Junji Dezaki
DP: Jim Doyle
Composer: Ali Helnwein
Editor: Arielle Zakowski
Camera Operator: Lachlan Turczan
Super excited to announce that NATIONAL SAWDUST, an incubator for contemporary music in Brooklyn, has given us a residency to begin the creation of our new opera EVA.
EVA is a new 75-minute opera scored for five vocalists, chamber orchestra and electronics with a libretto drawn from the recently published Diaries of visual artist Eva Hesse. Thunderstruck with pain, Eva collapses in her loft hurtling us back in time to confront the pivotal artistic and personal moments of her tragically short life.
Composer - Anna Clyne
Libretto - Kitty McNamee and Jocelyn Clarke
Dramaturg - Jocelyn Clarke
Conceived by Kitty McNamee
About NATIONAL SAWDUST
National Sawdust (NS), an unparalleled, artist-led, non-profit venue, is a place for exploration and discovery. A place where emerging and established artists can share their music with serious music fans and casual listeners alike.
In a city teeming with venues, NS is a singular space founded with an expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres a home in which they can flourish, a setting where they are given unprecedented support and critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work.
How PERFECT is it that my first short film as a director, The Yellow Room, will have it's World Premiere at the Kerry Film Festival in Co. Kerry Ireland!!!!! The following month it will be screening at the Olympia Film Festival and hopefully more to come!
Happily I had some incredible collaborators on this project including Jim Doyle - my talented DP and co-producer, dancers Jessica Gadzinski and Junji Dezaki, composer Ali Helnwein, and editor Arielle Zakowski.
For more details on production and upcoming screenings you can visit The Yellow Room
San Diego Opera
BEHIND THE SCENES
the making of LA TRAVIATA
From the first day of taping down the rehearsal space, to costumes, stagehands constructing the set, dancers, singers, to the buzz and excitement of opening night, photographer J Kat documented the behind the scenes experience of the making of La Traviata.
Enthusiastic, creative and energetic, Katarzyna Woronowicz, Kat for short, is a generous collaborator!
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Kat immigrated to the United States in 1983. Clearly grateful to be doing what she loves, her infectious joie de vivre is capturing the moment in a unique and fresh way. Provoking thought. Inciting a grin. Moving the heart. I owe a big THANK YOU to Kat for the warm memories and rare photos of me at work!
Visit Jkatphoto to explore the full photo essay and see more of Kat's insightful work.
YES...my love for dance and dancers is well known...especially the unexpected, the unusual.
I started dancing at the very late age of 16. small town ohio. not much dance available and we lived out in the country which made getting to the one class in town challenging. thank goodness for my patient first teacher the amazing Helen Goshinski.
when i was asked to create for this TARGET spot I jumped at the chance... i love this representation of strong! inner and out strength...guts...perseverance....girl power!!!
and my inner teenager relates to and is inspired by the awesome Lizzy Howell - who's passion for dance matches my own.
thank you @Target for bringing me on to work with these beautiful ballerinas! Big shout out to dancers Kennedy Daniels and Liv Mai!
screenings to date:
- Cleveland International Film Festival
- Brooklyn Short Film Festival
- Boston International Film Festival
- Deep Focus: Women in Film: Ireland
- Tokyo LIft-Off Online Film Festival
- Milan Online Film Festival
entelechy def: the realization of potential
"Musician, filmmaker, and activist Ariana Delawari has announced the forthcoming release of her double album Entelechy I & II due out August 12"
Entelechy I was produced by Butchy Fuego and Entelechy II is the same collection of tracks presented as acoustic and unproduced featuring Salar Nader - a fellow Afghan-American and a famed virtuoso of the tabla.
i'm excited to announce that the short film i choreographed which accompanies Entelechy, will premiere in the next few months! it's already hit the festival circuit, screening all over the world, the responses have been very positive and heartfelt. the debut of the film will coincide with the release of Ariana Delawari's double album. Thank you to the amazing Nicole Disson for bringing me on board.
you can listen to the first single from the album here or take a peek at the film's trailer!
RIFT - we are deep, deep within the collaborative process. enjoying every moment of creating a new work for full orchestra and six dancers. it's a gift to find a true artist who is interested in your process as well as her own, who's generosity is profound.
here is a little sneak peek into rehearsals @ edge performing arts center while anna clyne was in town for a premiere at LA Phil's Cello Festival. anna provides insight into composing and collaborating as well.
More to follow...if you happen to find yourself in Santa Cruz on August 5 - don't miss us on the opening night of Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
Power & Devotion, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music has announced it's Opening Night concert on August 5. The opening will feature the thrilling world premiere of a symphonic ballet titled RIFT. A Festival commission, the work is a collaboration between myself and composer Anna Clyne. I recently visited Santa Cruz to meet with staff and explore staging possibilities at the Civic Auditorium.
Anna and I have been filming during our creative process. We’re sharing our first short video about RIFT, which gives background on the piece, and describes our progress to date. It's a very exciting project, and we are happy to share it with you now!
Collaboration is key and one of my FAVORITE aspects of creating work.
I'm thrilled that the short film I choreographed for Ariana Delawari, ENTELECHY, will be screening at three festivals this spring: cleveland international film festival, boston international film festival, and deep focus: women in film, a new festival in Ireland.
ENTELECHY is a haunting experimental, docu-musical about global warming and changing the dream. A woman is guided by a dream therapist onto a shamanic journey through the inner and outer worlds of being. Within the dream state she works to shift her dream to a vision of love, and in doing so succeeds in shifting the universal dream as well.
With an original soundtrack by Delawari and Butchy Fuego, from their yet to be released album, the film features Ariana Delawari, Daniel Blinkoff, Bo Foxworth, Lita Albuquerque, Austin Westbay and Lila Danscecs with cinematography by Bérénice Eveno and editing by Mariana Blanco. A big thank you to producer Nicole Disson for bringing me on board,
ok...so it's pretty great to have one of your projects highlighted in Rollingstone! loved bringing the title track of Josh Kelley's highly anticipated new album "New Lane Road" to life in dance with the stunning Kelsey Landers and Derek Tabada.
See Josh Kelley, Katherine Heigl in Dramatic 'It's Your Move' Video
"The artful, dramatic video, which has the couple acting out the roller coaster of emotions that so often accompany a relationship, also features two professional dancers helping tell the true story of a fight Kelley and Heigl had early in their marriage". Rollingstone
For the last 25 years as conductor, music director, and guiding light of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Marin Alsop has championed new music, nurtured artists and audiences and raised the Festival to international stature. Maestra Alsop concludes her fruitful tenure at Cabrillo with a smashing series of premiere-filled concerts.
Among this season’s highlights are several world premieres including a new symphonic ballet by Anna Clyne, choreographed by Kitty McNamee and danced by members of Hysterica Dance Co.; Lola Montez Does The Spider Dance by John Adams, commissioned in honor of Marin Alsop by the musicians of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra; a Festival-commissioned work by emerging composer Michael Kropf; and the West Coast premiere of Kevin Puts’ The City.
I have spent far too long writing this entry for my blog!!! Vincent Paterson is such a tremendous inspiration to me! At every turn i discovered beautiful, groundbreaking creations and could NOT resist watching. He has generated innovative, iconic work that is embedded in and literally shifted pop culture. I'm looking forward to his future projects and continue to draw inspiration from his focus, creativity and generosity.
In addition to his expansive credits (some of my favorites are Dancer in the Dark for Bjork, Smooth Criminal for MIchael Jackson and Express Yourself for Madonna) this stood out to me as i studied his bio:
"He is respected and loved by those with whom he creates for his focused work ethic, his originality, his appreciation of his collaborators, his respect for his artists and his generosity of spirit."
I'm so very excited to begin collaborating with my friend composer Anna Clyne on upcoming projects! click links below to read NY Times article that addresses her process and our collaboration!
"colony" commissioned by LA Ballet