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Rinde Eckert wins an inaugural Doris Duke Artist Award!

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Rinde Eckert wins an inaugural Doris Duke Artist Award!
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Kristin Roth-Schrefer
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
212.974.7003
[email protected]
THE DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION AWARDS MORE THAN $5.5 MILLION TO
THE FIRST CLASS OF DORIS DUKE ARTISTS
21 Outstanding Performing Artists Are the First Participants in an Unprecedented
Nationwide Initiative to Expand Artistic and Personal Freedom for Creative Leaders
in the Fields of Jazz, Contemporary Dance and Theatre
NEW YORK, NY, April 19, 2012 — Twenty-one of America’s most vital and productive
performing artists in contemporary dance, jazz, theatre and multidisciplinary work were
announced today as the first class of Doris Duke Artists, sharing a total of $5.775 million
awarded in an unprecedented new initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).
Each member of the first class will receive an unrestricted, multi-year cash grant of $225,000,
plus as much as $50,000 more in targeted support for retirement savings and audience
development. Creative Capital, DDCF’s primary partner in the Doris Duke Performing Artist
Awards, will also offer the awardees the opportunity to take part in professional development
activities, financial and legal counseling, and grantee gatherings—all designed to help them
maximize the use of their grants.
DDCF is granting these awards as part of a $50 million, ten-year commitment over and above
its existing funding for the performing arts. By the end of the ten years, DDCF will have offered a
total of at least 200 artists greatly expanded freedom to create, through an initiative that makes
available the largest allocation of unrestricted cash grants ever given to individuals in
contemporary dance, jazz, theatre and related fields. Provided to honorees through a rigorous,
anonymous process of peer review—no applications are accepted—the grants are not tied to
any specific project but are made as investments in the artists’ personal and professional
development and future work.
DDCF is naming the first Doris Duke Artists in the year that marks the centenary of the birth of
Doris Duke (1912-1993). The 2012 inaugural award recipients are:
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Anne Bogart, theatre (New York, NY)
Don Byron, jazz (New York, NY)
Wally Cardona, dance (Brooklyn, NY)
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Rinde Eckert, multidisciplinary performance (Upper Nyack, NY)
Bill Frisell, jazz (Seattle, WA)
Deborah Hay, dance (Austin, TX)
John Hollenbeck, jazz (Binghamton, NY)
Vijay Iyer, jazz (New York, NY)
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, multidisciplinary performance (Oakland, CA)
Elizabeth LeCompte, theatre (New York, NY)
Young Jean Lee, theatre (Brooklyn, NY)
Ralph Lemon, dance (New York, NY)
Richard Maxwell, theatre (Brooklyn, NY)
Sarah Michelson, dance (Brooklyn, NY)
Bebe Miller, dance (New York, NY and Columbus, OH)
Nicole Mitchell, jazz (Long Beach, CA and Chicago, IL)
Meredith Monk, multidisciplinary performance (New York, NY)
Eiko Otake, dance (New York, NY)
Takashi Koma Otake, dance (New York, NY)
Basil Twist, theatre (New York, NY)
Reggie Wilson, dance (Brooklyn, NY)
The members of the first class of Doris Duke Artists vary in age from their mid-thirties to their
late sixties and early seventies. While all are widely recognized as accomplished creators in
their fields, some are known for exploring and reinterpreting an existing tradition (Don Byron),
some for expanding the parameters of an art form (Meredith Monk) and some for creating
astonishing new hybrids (Rinde Eckert). To qualify for consideration by the review panels, all of
the Doris Duke Artists must have won grants, prizes or awards on a national level for at least
three different projects over the past ten years, with at least one project having received support
from a DDCF-funded program. The first class of artists were chosen based on demonstrated
evidence of exceptional creativity, ongoing self-challenge and the continuing potential to make
significant contributions to their fields in the future.
Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at DDCF, stated, “We are thrilled to offer these
awards to a remarkable inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists. We hope these flexible, multiyear, unrestricted cash grants demonstrate our commitment to investing in, empowering and
celebrating these individuals, who have proven time and time again that they are leaders in their
fields and deserving of our support. We established the Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative
in recognition of the fact that individual artists—however celebrated and accomplished—too
often struggle to piece together a life of economic dignity. We hope these awards allow artists to
step off the project treadmill, should that be their desire, and offer them freedom to experiment,
to reflect and to try something new without fear of failure or other negative consequences.”
Rachel Ford, Program Director for the Doris Duke Performing Artists Awards, stated, “This first
class of 21 Doris Duke Artists is known for creating work that inspires and challenges audiences
across the country, and indeed around the globe. Our program will give these incredible artists
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an opportunity to define their own needs on their own schedules—whether those needs include
health insurance, project research or just time to sit down and think. At its heart, this award
recognizes the important contributions of these performing artists to the dynamic cultural fabric
of our nation.”
Ruby Lerner, Executive Director, Creative Capital, added, “We are so excited to be partnering
with DDCF on this important program, which will make an extraordinary investment in the
careers of the awardees, and by extension in the field overall. Creative Capital is a permanent
laboratory for best practices in artist services, with more than a decade’s experience of helping
thousands of artists achieve success. This flexible program of funding and multi-faceted support
will encourage these outstanding artists to think boldly in their artistic work and strategically in
their professional and personal planning.”
DDCF will eventually name a total of at least 100 Doris Duke Artists, each of whom will receive
$225,000 as an unrestricted cash grant over three to five years and will qualify for an additional
$25,000 earmarked for audience development—including but not limited to arts education. In
addition, DDCF is prepared to provide $25,000 more on an incentive matching basis for
retirement savings. DDCF will also offer Doris Duke Impact Awards to at least 100 jazz, theatre,
contemporary dance and multidisciplinary artists, selected through an anonymous peer-review
process for their demonstrated potential to influence their fields. Unlike the Doris Duke Artists,
these individuals may not yet have received significant national support. Each Impact Award
recipient will receive $60,000 in unrestricted funding over a period of two to three years, an
additional $10,000 earmarked for audience development and $10,000 on an incentive matching
basis for retirement savings. The Doris Duke Artist Awards and the Doris Duke Impact Awards
will be announced in classes of approximately twenty between 2012 and 2016, and 2014 and
2018, respectively.
More information about the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards is available at www.ddpaa.org.
About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives
through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research
and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental
legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. Established in 1996, the Foundation supports four national
grant-making programs. It also supports three properties that were owned by Doris Duke—in
Hillsborough, New Jersey; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Newport, Rhode Island—all of which are open
to the public for educational and recreational purposes.
The Foundation awarded its first grants in 1997. To date, the Foundation has awarded grants
totaling more than $1 billion.
For more information, please visit www.ddcf.org.
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About Creative Capital
Creative Capital is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing integrated financial
and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in five disciplines: Emerging
Fields, Film/Video, Literature, Performing Arts and Visual Arts. Working in long-term partnership
with artists, Creative Capital’s pioneering approach to support combines funding, counsel and
career development services to enable a project’s success and foster sustainable practices for
its grantees. Since its founding in 1999, Creative Capital has committed nearly $25 million in
financial and advisory support to 372 projects representing 463 artists, and its Professional
Development Program has reached more than 4,000 artists in 50 communities across the
country. For more information, visit www.creative-capital.org.
About Doris Duke
On the Centenary of Her Birth
Born on November 22, 1912 in New York City, Doris Duke was the only child of John Buchanan
(J.B.) Duke, a founder of the American Tobacco Company and Duke Energy Company. Upon
his death in 1925, his fortune was divided between Doris, who was then only 12 years old, and
the Duke Endowment—a foundation he established to serve the people of the Carolinas.
Intelligent, daring and independent, Doris Duke used her wealth to pursue her personal
interests, many of which were considered unconventional during the period but today reveal her
prescience as a free-thinking adventurer. Among other things, she was a passionate patron,
participant and lover of the arts, actively pursuing forms such as jazz piano and composition as
well as modern dance—which she studied with celebrated choreographer Martha Graham.
She was also an early funder of AIDS research; an environmentalist and horticulturist who bred
a new hybrid of orchid; a war correspondent in Italy during World War II; and a bold
experimenter who learned to surf before the sport was widely known outside of Hawaii. Her
abundant interests also extended to foreign cultures, international travel and the visual arts.
Through her many trips around the world, she acquired countless treasures, most of which are
currently on display at her former home, Shangri La—now a center for the study of Islamic art
and cultures.
A lifelong philanthropist, Doris Duke also contributed to a variety of public causes, including
medical research and child welfare. When she was just 21, she established a foundation called
Independent Aid through which she gave away the equivalent of hundreds of millions in today’s
dollars—often as anonymous contributions. At age 56, she then established the Newport
Restoration Foundation (NRF) to save the rapidly disappearing 18th-century architecture in
Newport, Rhode Island. Finally, through her will, she established her ongoing legacy by calling
for the creation of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), which has to date awarded
more than $1 billion in grants.
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BIOGRAPHIES
THE FIRST CLASS OF DORIS DUKE ARTISTS (2012)
Anne Bogart: Director (New York, NY)
Anne Bogart is Artistic Director of the ensemble-based SITI Company, which she co-founded with
Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. With SITI, Bogart has directed more than 25 works at
venues across the country and around the world including bobrauschenbergamerica, Hotel
Cassiopeia, Radio Macbeth, Score and the April 2012 world premiere of Café Variations at Emerson
College in Boston, MA. The influential actor training methods—the Viewpoints and the Suzuki
Method—used by SITI and pivotal in the creation of their productions are taught around the United
States and the world. Bogart heads the MFA Directing program at Columbia University, where she
has been a professor since 1993. She has written three key books on approaches to acting and
directing. Bogart has received numerous awards and fellowships including the ATHE Career
Achievement in Professional Theater Award (1999), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2000), the USA
Rockefeller Fellowship (2006) and an honorary doctorate from Skidmore College (2011). With SITI,
she will collaborate with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company on a piece for the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s celebration of the centennial of The Rite of Spring in 2012.
http://www.siti.org/
Don Byron: Composer, Clarinetist, Saxophonist, Arranger (New York, NY)
Don Byron is a multi-instrumentalist, who has performed at festivals around the world and has been
repeatedly voted top jazz clarinetist in the DownBeat Critics Poll. He is also a composer who has
created albums that celebrate music legends or bring new life to neglected moments in the history of
jazz and popular music. These albums include Do the Boomerang—The Music of Junior Walker
(Blue Note, 2006) and the Grammy-nominated Ivey Divey (Blue Note, 2004), interpreting the music
of Lester Young. Additionally, he has composed and arranged for a wide range of projects, from
documentary film soundtracks to dance performances. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim
Fellowship (2007) and the USA Prudential Fellowship (2007); in 2009, he received the Rome Prize in
musical composition and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in musical composition for “7 Etudes for
Solo Piano.” A native of New York City, he has long been a part of the New York cultural community
through roles such as Artistic Director of Jazz at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Artist in
Residence at Symphony Space. He was recently a visiting associate professor at MIT and is
currently at the State University of New York, Albany, where he teaches theory, saxophone,
improvisation and composition. His most recent release is Love, Peace, and Soul (Savoy, 2011), the
debut album of the Don Byron New Gospel Quintet, exploring the music of Thomas A. Dorsey and
Sister Rosetta Tharpe. http://www.donbyron.com
Wally Cardona: Choreographer, Performer (Brooklyn, NY)
In 1997, Wally Cardona founded Wally Cardona Quartet, which is known for works that combine
scale (whether intimate or large), site architecture and materials from construction paper to synthetic
grass to create movement. This approach is revealed in works such as Everywhere (2005), in which
all action was shaped around 300 columns, and vice-versa; Site (2007), a work for five dancers,
wood, paper, tape and The Capital H.S. Band in Helena, MT; and Really Real (2009), a work that
unites the life and thoughts of philosopher Sören Kierkegaard with seven dancers and 35 nondancers ranging in from age 11 to 55. Cardona has been commissioned to create works for the
Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Joyce Theater,
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, Symphony Space
and many others. A recipient of awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006) and Bessie
Award (2006), he has also received support from MAP Fund, National Performance Network
Creation Fund and NEFA National Dance Project. Originally trained as a competitive gymnast and
clarinetist, he studied dance at the Juilliard School and subsequently danced with Ralph Lemon’s
company until 1995. Cardona has taught for festivals, universities and companies around the globe;
he currently teaches at The Juilliard School and The New School in New York City. Tool Is Loot
(2011), a collaborative production with Paris-based choreographer Jennifer Lacey, is now on tour.
http://wcvismorphing.org
Rinde Eckert: Writer, Composer, Director, Performer, Singer (Upper Nyack, NY)
Rinde Eckert is a singer, writer, composer, performer and director known for the flexibility and
inventiveness of his singing voice. Performed throughout North America and abroad, his
interdisciplinary works have included the recent national tour revival of And God Created Great
Whales (2000 Drama Desk nomination, OBIE Award), Orpheus X (2007 Pulitzer Prize in Drama
Finalist) and Horizon (2008 Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk nomination). Among other awards,
Eckert has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship (2007), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2009)
and a Grammy for Best Small Ensemble Performance (2012) for his vocals on eighth blackbird’s
Lonely Motel: Music from Slide, for which he also created the libretto. Eckert’s creative process often
integrates with his teaching practice and takes place in university settings—including extended
teaching artist residencies at the University of Iowa, Princeton University, the University of California
at Davis and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In autumn 2012, he will work on a new commission
with scholars in animal studies and neuroscience as part of a residency with the theater department
of Wesleyan University. http://www.rindeeckert.com
Bill Frisell: Guitarist, Composer, Arranger (Seattle, WA)
Bill Frisell’s artistry on the guitar reveals an extraordinary range, rooted in jazz but just as often
incorporating elements of American blues and popular music traditions. As a performer and
composer, he has won acclaim for his solo and jazz trio performances; interpretations of the music
of figures such as John Lennon with his 2011 work, All We Are Saying; explorations of Brazilian,
Greek and Malian music; arrangements for extended ensembles; creating scores for Buster Keaton
silent films; and arranging music for Gus Van Sant films such as Finding Forrester. He is an
extremely prolific artist, often releasing as many as three recordings in a year for projects as diverse
as a soundtrack to accompany a retrospective of photographer Mike Disfarmer with Disfarmer
(Nonesuch, 2009) to self-described “futuristic roots music” with the ensemble Floratone in the newly
released, Floratone II (Savoy, 2012). Among many awards, he has received the USA Rasmuson
Fellowship (2006) and has been nominated for Grammy awards in 2004 for The Intercontinentals
and in 2008 for History, Mystery; in 2004, he received the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz
Album for Unspeakable. Most recently, he composed and arranged the music for The Kentucky
Derby Is Decadent and Depraved by Hunter S. Thompson (429 Records/Paris, 2012), featuring a
cast of musicians and actors led by Tim Robbins, Dr. John, Ralph Steadman, Annie Ross, John
Joyce III and Will Forte. The project brings together Thompson's classic Gonzo reportage on the
1970 Kentucky Derby to life through spoken word and musical composition. http://www.billfrisell.com
Deborah Hay: Choreographer, Performer (Austin, TX)
Emerging in the 1960s from the Merce Cunningham Company and Judson Dance Theater, and now
with more than 40 years of work in the dance field, Deborah Hay began early in her career to
challenge the distinction between trained and untrained performers and embarked upon nowlegendary large-scale dance projects. During the 1970s, she developed her distinctive set of
practices and memory/concept mode of recording choreography (based on narratives underlying the
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dance), first in Vermont and then in Austin, Texas. She distilled her solo dances from months-long
group workshops, and by the late 1990s, she was focusing on these experimental works, which she
both performed herself and set on noted performers from around the world. Hay’s most recent works,
including The Match, O,O and No Time To Fly, seek to redefine the choreographic method of her
solo pieces. She is also the author of three influential books regarding her creative approach to
dance and has received awards including an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Dance from the Theater
Academy in Helsinki, Finland (2009), the USA Friends Fellowship (2010) and a Foundation for
Contemporary Arts grant (2011). She regularly teaches, leads workshops and participates in artist
residencies, including serving as the 2012 Paul Mellon Distinguished Fellow at the Skowhegan artist
residency program. Her upcoming projects include site-specific work at the Menil Collection in
Houston, TX; continued exploration of her Solo Performance Commissioning Project in Scotland; and
performances of No Time to Fly at Danspace in New York City. She will also be performing at the
Museum of Modern Art as part of Ralph Lemon’s curated performance series in November 2012, and
her works, A Lecture on the Performance of Beauty, No Time to Fly, As Holy Sites Go will be
featured at the Walker Art Center in December 2012. http://www.deborahhay.com
John Hollenbeck: Drummer, Percussionist, Composer (Binghamton, NY and Berlin, Germany)
John Hollenbeck's versatility as a drummer, percussionist and composer is shown in a range of work
that challenges genre boundaries. His compositions and performances with smaller ensembles
include the more avant-garde Refuge Trio (with vocalist Theo Bleckmann and keyboardist Gary
Versace) as well as the modern jazz and popular music influenced Claudia Quintet (DownBeat’s
Rising Star Jazz Group, 2008). His unique approach to big band work is evident in the John
Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, which was cited as DownBeat’s Rising Star Big Band, 2011. The
ensemble’s releases A Blessing (Omnitone, 2005) and eternal interlude (Sunnyside Records, 2009)
were also nominated for Grammys. Recently, the CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange
Program awarded Hollenbeck a grant to develop work with Daniel Yvinec and the Orchestre National
de Jazz of France, resulting in the release of Shut Up and Dance (Bee Jazz, 2010). This recording
was named as one of the top five albums of 2010 by Le Monde, and his song “Falling Men” received
a 2012 Grammy nomination for Best Musical Composition. Known also for his prolific career—often
releasing several recordings in a year—he has been recently commissioned by Bang on a Can and
the People’s Commissioning Fund; the Ethos Percussion Group funded by the Jerome Foundation;
Gotham Wind Symphony; and the Painted Bride Art Center of Philadelphia, PA. His awards and
honors include winning the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Contest (2002), a Guggenheim
Fellowship (2007) and the ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award (2010). Since 2005, he has been a
professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation at the Jazz Institute Berlin. http://johnhollenbeck.com
Vijay Iyer: Pianist, Composer (New York, NY)
Grounded in the jazz piano traditions of Ellington, Monk and others, and drawing from a wealth of
South Asian, African, European and American influences, Vijay Iyer has won acclaim for his vital solo
performances and compositions. He has released sixteen albums as a leader, including the multipleaward-winning Historicity (ACT, 2009), featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore,
drums; Stephan Crump, bass). A 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album,
Historicity explores relationships between the past and the present, offering both original material
and covers of songs such as hip-hop artist M.I.A.’s “Galang.” Iyer was voted the 2010 Musician of
the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and named one of the “50 Most Influential Global
Indians” by GQ India. His many other honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts (2003), the
Greenfield Prize (2012), a Creative Capital grant (2002) and numerous composer commissions. A
polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities and the arts, Iyer received an
interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley.
He teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, the New School and the School for Improvisational
Music. In 2013, he will serve as Director of the Banff Centre's International Workshop in Jazz and
Creative Music, a program founded in 1974 by Oscar Peterson. His most recent release with the Trio
is a follow up to Historicity, called Accelerando (ACT, 2012). http://www.vijay-iyer.com
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Marc Bamuthi Joseph: Writer, Director, Performer, Choreographer (Oakland, CA)
A self-described “cultural athlete,” Marc Bamuthi Joseph has crossed the disciplines of hip-hop,
spoken word, theater and dance. Several of his works have toured across the U.S., Europe, and
Africa including Word Becomes Flesh, which uses poetry, dance and live music to document nine
months of pregnancy from a young single father's perspective and the break/s, a multimedia hip-hop
performance incorporating a drummer and beat box artist. As an educator and essayist, Joseph has
lectured at more than 200 colleges and universities; been a commentator on National Public Radio;
and has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford University, Lehigh University, Mills College and
the University of Wisconsin. He mentored 13- to 19-year-old writers and curated the Living Word
Festival and Left Coast Leaning as founding program director and artistic director emeritus of the
San Francisco nonprofit, Youth Speaks. He is also the co-founder of Life is Living, a national series
of one-day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life
through hip-hop arts and focused environmental action. Among his awards and citations, he has
received the USA Rockefeller Fellowship (2006), a Creative Capital grant (2006) and the Alpert
Award in the Arts (2011). Word Becomes Flesh was re-mounted in December 2010 as part of the
National Endowment for the Arts' "American Masterpieces" series, and will tour throughout North
America and Hawaii through 2013. He is the new Director of Performing Arts at the Yerba Buena
Center for the Arts in San Francisco. http://livingwordproject.org/lwp_mbj.html
Elizabeth LeCompte: Director, Designer, Choreographer (New York, NY)
Elizabeth LeCompte is a founding member and Artistic Director of The Wooster Group, an ensemble
known for deconstructions of classic texts (Hamlet, The Emperor Jones) and integration of
multimedia. Recent productions have toured to cities around the world and include Who's Your
Dada?! (2006), commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art to close its Dada exhibition; the
opera La Didone (2009) by Francesco Cavalli and Giovanni Francesco Busenello; and Vieux Carré
by Tennessee Williams (2011). Over three decades, LeCompte has directed more than 20 theatre
works, nine film and video works and choreographed four short dance pieces. She has received
many honors including an NEA Distinguished Artists Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in
American Theater (1991), a MacArthur Fellowship (1995), a NEFA National Dance Project grant
(2001), a MAP Fund grant (2001), the Skowhegan Medal for Performance (2005), the order of the
Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (2006), the USA Rockefeller Fellowship (2007) and a Guggenheim
Fellowship (2008). In 2012, with the Wooster Group, she will collaborate with the Royal Shakespeare
Company on a production of Troilus and Cressida that will premiere at the World Shakespeare
Festival as the culmination of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad in London. http://thewoostergroup.org
Young Jean Lee: Playwright, Director, Performer (New York, NY)
Playwright and director Young Jean Lee often starts her creative process by forcing herself to
imagine a play she would hate to write—and then writing that play. The results are emotionally raw,
sincere and humorous works that address issues of race, gender and identity such as Songs of the
Dragons Flying to Heaven, a Korean American identity play about white people in love. She has
written and directed nine shows in New York with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and toured
her work to more than twenty cities around the world. Her plays have been published by Theatre
Communications Group and by Samuel French. Her work is currently under commission from Lincoln
Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Plan B/Paramount
Pictures. She is the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant (2006), four MAP Fund
grants, a Creative Capital grant (2009), the Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts
and Letters (2010) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2011), among many other honors. She is a
member of New Dramatists and 13P and has an MFA from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program at
Brooklyn College. Currently, she is an artist in residence at the Park Avenue Armory and has
upcoming international tours of Untitled Feminist Show and the 2011 OBIE Award-winning We’re
Gonna Die. http://www.youngjeanlee.org/
Ralph Lemon: Choreographer, Conceptualist, Director, Writer, Installation Artist (New York, NY)
Choreographer Ralph Lemon is artistic director of Cross Performance, Inc. in New York. Lemon
develops intellectually rigorous and experimental performances that are as socially and politically
resonant as they are personal. His epic cycle The Geography Trilogy—which includes Geography
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(1997), Tree (2000) and Come Home Charley Patton (2004)—evolved over nine years and has been
performed at major venues across the United States. He has also exhibited visual art installations
drawn from his research and working process and has published several books with Wesleyan
University Press to accompany The Geography Trilogy. Other recent projects include the three-DVD
set of The Geography Trilogy; a web installation; and a 2009 multimedia performance commission for
the Lyon Opera Ballet, Rescuing the Princess. His most recent multimedia project, How Can You
Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?, is a culmination of an eight-year collaboration with
Walter Carter, a 102-year-old former sharecropper, carpenter and gardener from Mississippi. Lemon
is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), a Creative Capital
grant (2000), the USA Prudential Fellowship (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009) and the
American Choreographers Award. He has been artist-in-residence and George A. Miller Endowment
Visiting Artist at the Krannert Center (2004); Temple University in Philadelphia (2005–06); and most
recently, he was an IDA fellow at Stanford University. http://www.ralphlemon.net
Richard Maxwell: Playwright, Director, Composer (Brooklyn, NY)
Richard Maxwell is the founder and artistic director of the New York City Players. In staging his own
works and other plays, he is known for an approach that strips away the conventions and habits of
American theatrical realism. With his company, he has staged more than 20 of his works including
Drummer Wanted, Showcase, Ode to the Man who Kneels, Ads and Neutral Hero and has been
commissioned by the Barbican Centre, London; the Lyric Hammersmith, London; Theater Bonn; the
Wexner Center, Columbus; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Steirischer Herbst, Graz; the
Hebbel-Theatre, Berlin; Toneelgroep Amsterdam; Festival Theaterformen, Hannover; Festival
d’Automne, Paris; Project Arts Centre, Dublin; and Performance Space 122, The Kitchen and Soho
Rep in New York. A volume of his plays, Plays, 1996-2000: Richard Maxwell, has been published by
Theatre Communications Group. Among his awards and honors, he is the recipient of a Creative
Capital grant (2000) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010), and his work has been recognized with
an OBIE Award (House) and Best in Festival Award at Theatrespektakel Zurich (Good Samaritans).
Currently, he is a resident writer at New Dramatists. Maxwell’s latest commission, in collaboration
with the New York City Players, is from the Whitney Museum of American Art and as part of a
residency at the 2012 Whitney Biennial, April 25-29. http://www.nycplayers.org/
Sarah Michelson: Choreographer, Performer (Brooklyn, NY)
Choreographer Sarah Michelson synthesizes performance, installation, sound and architectural
elements in unexpected ways. In works such as Dover Beach (2009), she literally recasts and
restages the piece as she travels from place to place, retaining the strongest elements of the
previous performances but allowing the character of the new dancers and new locales—from Arizona
State University to The Kitchen—to influence the piece as well. Her work has been commissioned by
Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oaks Project (The Experts), the Walker Art Center (Daylight (for
Minneapolis)) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (Dogs), among others. Michelson has been a resident
artist at On the Boards, Montclair State University, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Walker Art
Center, among other venues. Her work has been supported by numerous grants and awards,
including the Der Foerder Prize, Arts International’s DNA Project Grant, the Altria Group, the Jerome
Foundation, multiple NEFA National Dance Project grants, multiple MAP Fund grants, a Creative
Capital grant (2006), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2006) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). She
has served as associate director of Movement Research and editor-in-chief of Performance Journal
and is currently an associate curator of dance at The Kitchen. Devotion Study #1- The American
Dancer is a reinvestigation of her recent collaboration with playwright/director Richard Maxwell,
Devotion, and is featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial.
Bebe Miller: Choreographer, Director, Performer (New York, NY and Columbus, OH)
Bebe Miller has been creating dances for more than 20 years and formed Bebe Miller Company in
1985. Known for a mix of virtuosic dancing and fundamental humanity, her choreography has been
produced at major dance centers throughout the world. In addition to her ongoing work with her
ensemble, Miller has received commissions from Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Dayton
Contemporary Dance Company, Philadanco, Phoenix Dance Company in Great Britain and
Johannesburg's PATH Dance Company, among other groups across the country and abroad.
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Collaboration being fundamental to her creative process, she has worked with numerous composers,
visual artists, writers, filmmakers and directors on works such as Verge, Aerodigm, Landing/Place
(NEFA National Dance Project grant recipient) and Necessary Beauty (Creative Capital, MAP Fund,
NEFA National Dance Project and National Performance Network Creation Fund grant recipient).
Miller has received four Bessie Awards for choreography and direction, most recently for her
collaboration with the 11-member creative team in Landing/Place (2005), and is also the recipient of
a Guggenheim Fellowship (1988) and the USA Ford Fellowship (2010). She is currently a Full
Professor of Dance at Ohio State University, a Founding Fellow of the Center for Creative Research,
a member of the International Artists Advisory Board of the Wexner Center and a board member
emeritus of Danspace Project. Her newest work, History, features video by Lily Skove and installation
by Maya Ciarrocchi and investigates archives as sites of re-creation and interaction. It will have a
world premiere at the Wexner Center for the Arts in September 2012.
http://www.bebemillercompany.org
Nicole Mitchell: Flutist, Composer, Bandleader (Long Beach, CA, and Chicago, IL)
Nicole Mitchell is an instrumentalist, composer, bandleader and educator known for her improvisation
and technique on the flute, and repeatedly cited by DownBeat Critics Poll as top flutist and noted by
the Jazz Journalists Association as Flutist of the Year in the last few years. As the founder of Black
Earth Ensemble and Black Earth Strings, Mitchell reaches across genres, integrating new ideas with
moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion through albums
such as Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007), Awakening (Delmark, 2011) and Xenogenesis Suite: A
Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), which received commissioning support from Chamber
Music America’s New Jazz Works. She served as the first woman president of Chicago's Association
for the Advancement of Creative Musicians; in recognition of her impact within the Chicago music
and arts education communities, she was named Chicagoan of the Year in 2006 by the Chicago
Tribune. Mitchell is a recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts (2011) and has been commissioned by
Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival,
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Maggio Fiorentino Chamber Orchestra (Florence,
Italy). In 2009, she created Honoring Grace: Michelle Obama for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. She
has been a faculty member at the Vancouver Creative Music Institute, the Sherwood Flute Institute,
Banff International Jazz Workshop and the University of Illinois: Chicago and is currently an assistant
professor in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology at the University of California,
Irvine. Her recent composition, Flight for Freedom for Creative Flute and Orchestra, a Tribute to
Harriet Tubman, premiered with the Chicago Composers’ Orchestra in December 2011.
http://www.nicolemitchell.com
Meredith Monk: Composer, Singer, Director/Choreographer, Filmmaker (New York, NY)
A pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance,”
Meredith Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and
object, and light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. In
1968, Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to
performance. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to further expand her musical
textures and forms. In addition to her numerous vocal pieces, music-theater works and operas,
Monk has created vital new repertoire for orchestra, chamber ensembles and solo instruments, with
commissions from Michael Tilson Thomas/New World Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Kronos
Quartet, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Her music can also
be heard in films by Jean-Luc Godard and the Coen Brothers, among others. Celebrated
internationally, Monk’s work has been presented by Lincoln Center Festival, Houston Grand Opera,
London’s Barbican Centre and at major venues in countries from Brazil to Syria. Monk’s numerous
honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (1995), a Creative Capital grant (2000), the USA Prudential
Fellowship (2006), a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts (2011), and induction into the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006). She was also recently named Musical America’s
2012 Composer of the Year and one of NPR’s 50 Great Voices. With a discography featuring more
than a dozen recordings, mostly on ECM Records, her CD impermanence was nominated for a 2008
Grammy Award. Monk is currently developing a new music-theater work, On Behalf of Nature,
premiering in 2013. http://www.meredithmonk.org
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Eiko Otake: Choreographer, Performer, Writer (New York, NY)
Eiko Otake is a choreographer, director and performer. For nearly forty years, she has partnered
with Takashi Koma Otake as Eiko & Koma—creating a unique theater of movement out of stillness,
shape, light, sound and time. Eiko & Koma’s choreography and stagecraft are characterized by bold,
highly theatrical strokes, as well as serenity in lush, visual environments. In addition to working
closely with Koma in creating every aspect of their production, Otake shapes the conception and
contextualization of their work through her writing. She also often works on lighting and digital media.
Eiko & Koma’s stage performances include Cambodian Stories, a collaboration with young
Cambodian painters; Death Poem; and Mourning, a collaboration with pianist Margaret Leng Tan.
Outdoor spaces have also played a crucial role in their work, particularly Offering (in Battery Park
near Ground Zero in 2002), Tree Song (at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. in
2004) and Water (in the reflecting pool on Lincoln Center Plaza in 2011). Awards include a
MacArthur Fellowship (1996), the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004), the
Dance Magazine Award (2006) and the first USA Prudential Fellowship (2006). Otake is a Founding
Fellow of the Center for Creative Research and is currently an artist-in-residence at Wesleyan
University, where she teaches interdisciplinary classes. Otake received a Master of Arts from the
Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Her translation of Kyoko Hayashi’s
memoir From Trinity to Trinity was published from Station Hill Press in 2010. From 2009–12, Eiko
and Koma presented a multi-venue Retrospective Project. It featured video documentaries, two
career exhibitions (at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the New York Public Library for
Performing Arts), a revival of several pieces from their past repertoire, a national tour of
retrospective program, new performance works—Raven and Water (both a collaboration with
musician Robert Mirabal)—and Fragile (a collaboration with Kronos Quartet). The Retrospective
Project also included a 144-hour performance of "living" installation Naked at Walker Art Center,
which published the first comprehensive monograph of Eiko & Koma's work: Time Is Not Even,
Space Is Not Empty. www.eikoandkoma.org
Takashi Koma Otake: Choreographer, Performer, Installation Artist (New York, NY)
Takashi Koma Otake is a choreographer, director, performer and installation artist. For nearly forty
years, he has partnered with Eiko Otake as Eiko & Koma—creating a unique theater of movement
out of stillness, shape, light, sound and time. Eiko & Koma’s choreography and stagecraft are
characterized by bold, highly theatrical strokes, as well as serenity in lush visual environments.
Otake takes the lead—while still informed by and shaped with Eiko—on designing and creating the
distinctly hand-made, visual environments for Eiko & Koma’s performances and installations
including When Nights Were Dark, Naked, and Tea House. Outdoor spaces have also played a
crucial role in their work, particularly Offering (in Battery Park near Ground Zero in 2002), Tree Song
(at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. in 2004) and Water (in the reflecting pool on
Lincoln Center Plaza in 2011). Awards include a MacArthur Fellowship (1996), the Samuel H.
Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004), the Dance Magazine Award (2006), and the first
USA Prudential Fellowship (2006). From 2009 to 2012, Eiko and Koma presented a multi-venue
Retrospective Project. It featured video documentaries, two career exhibitions (at the Museum of
Contemporary Art Chicago and the New York Public Library for Performing Arts), a revival of several
pieces from their past repertoire, a national tour of retrospective program, new performance works—
Raven, Water (both a collaboration with musician Robert Mirabal)—and Fragile (a collaboration with
Kronos Quartet). The Retrospective Project also included a 144-hour performance of "living"
installation Naked at Walker Art Center, which published the first comprehensive monograph of Eiko
& Koma's work: Time Is Not Even, Space Is Not Empty. www.eikoandkoma.org
Basil Twist: Puppeteer, Director (New York, NY)
Puppeteer and director Basil Twist furthers the artistry and technical craft of puppetry through a
diverse range of works—from the abstract underwater ballet Symphonie Fanastique (1999 OBIE
Award, Drama Desk nomination) to the large-scale marionette staging of La Bella Dormente Nel
Bosco (staged at the Spoleto Festival USA and the Lincoln Center Festival in 2005) to his multimedia
interpretation of the intimate Japanese dogugashi stage mechanism in Dogugaeshi (Japan Society,
2004). A third-generation puppeteer, Twist is the only American to have graduated from the École
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Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in France. Twist’s work also investigates the
synthesis of puppetry with live music with pieces such as Master Peter’s Puppet Show, which he
created with the EOS Orchestra and subsequently performed at the Ravinia Festival and with the Los
Angeles Philharmonic) or his upcoming commission for the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill’s celebration of the centennial of The Rite of Spring in 2012. Awards and honors include a
Creative Capital grant (2000), the USA Ford Fellowship (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006),
multiple MAP Fund grants and multiple Jim Henson Foundation grants. He currently serves as
Artistic Director of HERE Art Center’s Dream Music Puppetry Program, one of the few programs in
the country to develop and commission contemporary, adult puppet works. Four of his shows are
currently being presented as part of a Basil Twist Festival in Washington, D.C., running through May
6, 2012. http://www.basiltwist.com
Reggie Wilson: Choreographer, Performer (Brooklyn, NY)
Choreographer Reggie Wilson is Artistic Director of Fist & Heel Performance Group, which he
founded in 1989. Drawing from the movement languages of the blues, slave and spiritual cultures of
Africans in the Americas and combining them with post-modern elements, he forms his own personal
movement style to create what he calls “post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances.” His work with
Fist & Heel has been presented nationally and internationally at venues such as Dance Theater
Workshop (NYC), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, MA), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San
Francisco), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), Dance Umbrella (Austin, TX), Summerstage
(NYC), Linkfest and Festival e’Nkundleni (Zimbabwe), Dance Factory (South Africa), Danças na
Cidade (Portugal), Festival Kaay Fecc (Senegal) and The Politics of Ecstasy (Berlin, Germany). He
has also traveled extensively to research religious communities throughout the American South, and
to the Caribbean and regions of Africa to work with dance and performance groups. These
experiences have informed his work, including Black Burlesque (revisited), Big Brick - a man’s piece
and more recently, The Good Dance- dakar/brooklyn. This last work reflected a multi-year exchange
and collaboration with Congolese choreographer Andréya Ouamba’s company 1er Temps. He has
recently served as visiting faculty at Columbia College in Chicago, Northwestern and Wesleyan
universities, and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2002), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2009),
the USA Prudential Fellowship (2009) and the Joyce Award (2012), among many other awards. His
upcoming (project) Moseses Project, will explore how we lead and why we follow and will have its
New York premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival in 2013.
http://www.pentacle.org/roster_reggie_wilson.php
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