REVERBdance Festival returns for 9th season

Calen J. Kurka’s work REVERBdance and Steps Beyond will present the ninth annual season of the REVERBdance Festival on Friday-Sunday, March 21-23 in New York City, introducing the works of 20 choreographers across four performances. The eclectic assembly features creative and daring dancemakers pooled from around the world, with choreographers from all over the U.S. and as far as Australia, Taiwan, Italy and the Philippines.


This fast-paced showcase of contemporary work will be presented at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, located at 55 Lexington Avenue in NYC. Curators of REVERBdance are noted choreographers Kate Griffler, Sidra Bell, Lane Gifford and Bradley Shelver, whose companies will also appear during the festival.


This year, REVERBdance offers three special awards: a commission for a new work for Steps Repertory Ensemble, appointed by the company’s Artistic Director Bradley Shelver; a “Steps on Broadway Dancer Award,” consisting of one month of unlimited dance classes at Steps on Broadway; and a $1,000 “REVERB Award,” going to the favored choreographer from an audience and curator-combined vote.


The first festival performance takes place on Friday, March 21 at 8 p.m. and it will present: Vanessa Tamburi/Flusso Dance; Bryn Cohn/Bryn Cohn + Artists; Tom Tsai; Erin Lustig/Seamless Dance Theatre; Joshua L. Peugh/Dark Circles Contemporary Dance; Lane Gifford/LaneCoArts; Nathan Madden; Mario Coccetti/Compagnia della Quarta; Abdur-Rahim Jackson/aB-LiV dAnCe; and Mike Esperanza/BARE Dance Company.


Choreographer Bryn Cohn’s work …and if you sink will be presented by her dance company Bryn Cohn and Artists at this first performance as well as the final performance on Sunday evening. She said the inspiration for the work “was incited by the vulnerabilities that are present in the face of love.”


Bryn Cohn and Artists will perform at REVERBdance Festival 2014She said, “I think there would be no art without love. It is such a huge part of the way we function as human beings. I embrace that reality and welcome it into my artistic process when it feels necessary. [The work]…and if you sink examines how the purity of a bond can be hindered when we lose ourselves, lose our autonomy, lose pieces of our identity. The concept of sinking, both literally and metaphorically, feels relevant to this idea: our emotions, our strength, our sense of independence, all sinking…”


The second festival performance, taking place the next night on Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m., will feature: Roya Carreras + Dancers; Calen Kurka/Noesis:Kinetics; Teddy Tedholm & Friends; Joseph Simons; Ashley Lindsey Dance; Kate Griffler/121 Dance Project; Sidra Bell Dance New York; Michael Cerwinski/Michael James New York; Carson Reiners/CDR Dance Projects; and Bradley Shelver/Steps Repertory Ensemble.


Choreographer Calen Kurka said his piece recognition, which will be presented Saturday and at Sunday’s 7 p.m. show, is inspired by one’s duality. He comments, “In it’s simplest form it explores our innermost shadow as a lingering beast at the edge of our conscious, and the ideas in struggle with this elusive awareness.”


The third performance will be presented Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. and will include: Michael Cerwinski/Michael James New York; Lane Gifford/LaneCoArts; Teddy Tedholm/Teddy Tedholm & Friends; Erin Lustig/Seamless Dance Theatre; Tom Tsai; Kate Griffler/121 Dance Project; Joseph Simons; Sidra Bell Dance New York; Joshua L. Peugh/Dark Circles Contemporary Dance; and Bradley Shelver / Steps Repertory Ensemble.


Choreographer Joseph Simons, hailing from Australia, will present his First Things First on Saturday and then again at this Sunday afternoon performance. He said it’s about “the transition from unknown to routine.” He said, “I created this solo in Berlin last year, when I was awarded the Tanja Liedke Fellowship to travel to Germany for a choreographic residency at Ufer Studios. It was my first trip to Berlin, so I was inspired to create a piece about first experiences.”


Joseph Simons' The final festival performance will be Sunday, March 23 at 7 p.m. It will present Vanessa Tamburi/FLUSSO dance; Mario Coccetti/Compagnia della Quarta; Bryn Cohn/Bryn Cohn + Artists; Mike Esperanza/BARE Dance Company; Roya Carreras/Roya Carreras + Dancers; Calen Kurka/Noesis:Kinetics; Abdur-Rahim Jackson/aB-LiV dAnCe; Ashley Lindsey/Ashley Lindsey Dance; Carson Reiners/CDR Dance Projects; and Nathan Madden.


Choreographer Ashley Lindsey said his work Bind, which will be presented Saturday and at this last performance on Sunday, was inspired by “going back to a familiar place that shaped my life.”


Tickets are $25 for general admission and $18 for students with I.D. Tickets can be reserved by calling 646-312-5073 or by going online to For more information on each choreographer and their work, visit


Photo (top): Dancers perform Calen J. Kurka’s recognition. Photo (middle): Bryn Cohn and Artists in performance. Photo by Jaqi Medlock. Photo (bottom): Australian dancer and choreographer Joseph Simons in First Things First. Photos courtesy of REVERBdance.