Molissa Fenley and Company – Danspace Project
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Molissa Fenley and Company

Photo: Roy Fowler

Community ACCESS provides subsidized off-season rental opportunities for Danspace Project community members.

Molissa Fenley and Company with Frank Cassara and Ralph Farris present Their Mark, an evening of new dance and new music.

This past year, Molissa Fenley, along with percussionist Frank Cassara and violist Ralph Farris, created an evening of dance works set to music by four contemporary composers. The program premiered at Vassar College in October 2016 and subsequently traveled to the Days and Nights Festival in Carmel, California in September 2017. Now Fenley brings this program to her hometown of New York City. The program consists of dances from Water Table, never before seen in New York. The dances of Water Table present the qualities of water, the abundance or lack of pure water in a geographical area, or the conditions and patterns of large bodies of water. Also on this special evening, Fenley and Company present a shortened version of an early work from 1979: Mix.

Choreography by Molissa Fenley
Dancers: Jared Brown, Betsy Cooper, Holley Farmer, Molissa Fenley, Giada Ferrone, Kristen Foote, Ananda Gonzalez, India Gonzalez and Timothy Ward
Music by Frank Cassara, Ralph Farris, Tigran Mansurian, Andrew Toovey performed live by Frank Cassara (percussion) and Ralph Farris (viola)
Lighting by David Moodey

Molissa Fenley founded Molissa Fenley and Company in 1977 and has since created over 85 dance works during her continuing career.  She grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria traveling there with her family in 1961, completing all of her early education there in International Schools and her last two years of high school in Spain. She returned to the US in 1971 to study dance at Mills College in Oakland, California. Upon graduation in 1975, she moved to New York. With her company, Molissa Fenley and Company, and as a soloist working in collaboration with visual artists and composers, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Her work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Dia Art Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, the New National Theater of Tokyo, The National Institute of Performing Arts in Seoul, The Kitchen, and Dance Theater Workshop/New York Live Arts. Both Cenotaph and State of Darkness were awarded a Bessie for Choreography in 1985 and 1988 respectively.  Molissa has also set many works on ballet and contemporary dance companies, most recently for the Oakland Ballet (Redwood Park), Pacific Northwest Ballet, (State of Darkness), Repertory Dance Theatre (Energizer), Barnard/Columbia (Amdo), Robert Moses’ Kin (The Vessel Stories), and the Seattle Dance Project, (Planes in Air). She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, has enjoyed residencies at Yaddo, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Baryshnikov Art Center, Djerassi and is a twice recipient of awards from the Asian Cultural Council to visit Japan. Molissa is Professor of Dance at Mills College, in residence in the spring semesters, and often teaches choreographic and repertory workshops at other universities, most recently at Bennington, Barnard/Columbia and Hunter. Seagull Press/University of Chicago recently published Rhythm Field: The Dance of Molissa Fenley.

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