FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KONVERJDANS TO PERFORM AT BROOKLYN’S MARK O’DONNELL THEATER AT THE ACTORS FUND ARTS CENTER, MAY 31 AND JUNE 1, FEATURING THREE WORLD PREMIERES
April 21, 2019 – konverjdans, the Brooklyn-based contemporary ballet company founded and directed by Tiffany Mangulabnan (former principal dancer with the Philippine Ballet Theatre), Jordan Miller (formerly of the New York City Ballet), and Amy Saunder (formerly of Suzanne Farrell Ballet), three female dancers/choreographers, launches its third spring season with ‘konverjdans: III’, presenting three world premieres:
‘Rosé then Red’, choreographed by BalletX’s Caili Quan over two of konverjdans’s annual choreographic residencies at Silo Kirkland Farms Pennsylvania, is a lively narrative ballet for five dancers told through live music, sprinklings of romance and humor, and energetic dancing that is a mix of technical pointe work for the three women and the quirky, quick, and fluid contemporary vocabulary that Quan is so adept at. The piece is set to the live jazz-and-blues music of Likho Duo, an acoustic group comprised of contrabassist Cliff Schmitt and Italian guitar-and-harmonica virtuoso Noé Socha.
‘Nobody Knows Our Names’, for six dancers, is the third piece artistic director Tiffany Mangulabnan has choreographed for konverjdans, this time drawing inspiration from literary giant James Baldwin and the recording of his speech “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity”, given in New York City in 1962, which lends its cadence, rhythm, and underlying meaning to the piece. She collaborates with Brooklyn-based African-American “conscious emcee” and music engineer The Real Mike Wilson and percussionist Christian Lee to weave music through and around Baldwin’s words and her choreography.
Closing the evening will be ‘Quantum Entanglement’, artistic director Amy Saunder’s visual brain-child of light and dance - a world in which dance, light, and shadows, with the help of Conor Mulligan’s lighting design, collide with the intense percussive music of electronic musician and drummer Ian Chang, who is known and acclaimed for the use of his technologically-rigged drum kit to create and manipulate the worlds of sound and light around him.
‘konverjdans: III’ runs from May 31 to June 1, 2019, 7:30pm, The Mark O’Donnell Theater at The Actors Fund Arts Center (160 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201). $20 general admission. Tickets: bit.ly/konverj3
‘konverjdans: Cocktails at Golden Hour’, the company’s spring 2019 fundraiser, takes place on April 29, 2019, 6pm, at Lighthouse (145 Borinquen Pl, Brooklyn, NY, 11211). $25 ticket includes entrance and a cocktail. Tickets: bit.ly/konverjlight
About the company:
konverjdans is a Brooklyn-based contemporary ballet company co-founded in 2016 by Tiffany Mangulabnan, Jordan Miller, and Amy Saunder, three female dancers/choreographers who hail respectively from the Philippines, Indiana, and Zimbabwe. They create, present and produce dance in collaboration with musicians, composers, visual artists, filmmakers and other artists, and have performed in various spaces throughout NYC, like The Mark Morris Dance Center, Danspace, The Actors Fund Arts Center, Gibney Dance Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Unruly Collective, John Doe NY, and The Living Gallery, among others. In the fall of 2018 konverjdans toured to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where they filled the PPG ArtsLab theater over a two-night performance run, and then to Vero Beach, Florida, where, at the recommendation of Wendy Whelan, they were invited by Ballet Vero Beach for a choreographic residency and performance. The company has also been presented several times by their fiscal sponsor, Norte Maar, since 2017. In 2018 konverjdans was a Selected Choreographer at the Women in Dance Leadership Conference in New York City.
About the artistic directors:
Tiffany Mangulabnan was born in Manila, Philippines, where she trained at the Philippine Ballet Theatre Conservatoire. She was fifteen when she started dancing professionally with the Philippine Ballet Theatre and performing in the company’s corps de ballet for many full-length classical productions as well as contemporary Filipino pieces. She became a principal dancer with the company in 2010 and danced the lead roles in ballets like ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Carmina Burana’, and others. In 2012 she moved to New York City, where she danced with Charles Askegard and Michele Wiles’ BalletNext for four years, performing at BAM, New York Live Arts, The Joyce Theater, and The Lensic Performing Arts Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since then, she has been freelancing in the city’s contemporary ballet scene, dancing as part of companies such as Emery LeCrone DANCE, Gabrielle Lamb’s Pigeonwing Dance, Gleich Dances, Claudia Schreier & Company, Indelible Dance, and Terra Firma Dance (in DC). Before this season, she choreographed ‘(Listening) Through Walls’ and ‘You Can Be Baby Too’ for konverjdans.
Jordan Miller, originally from Indiana, trained at the New American Youth Ballet and Conservatory. She moved to New York City when she was 16 to study at the School of American Ballet, and after two years began performing as an apprentice with the New York City Ballet. She trained in Pilates under her mentor Marimba Gold-Watts and went on to receive her own Comprehensive Mat Certification from the Kane School of Core Integration in 2015. She has been teaching Pilates throughout the city ever since. As a freelance dancer, she has performed with The Ashley Bouder Project, Claudia Schreier & Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, BalletNext, Gleich Dances, Brookoff Dance Repertory Ensemble, and Michelle Thompson Ulerich. In 2018, and choreographed ‘Cetacean Shadow’ for konverjdans, in collaboration with musicians from Fort Wayne, IN.
Amy Saunder, originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, moved to the United States in 2002 and studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Ethan Stiefel. After graduating, she went on to train with North Carolina Dance Theatre and Richmond Ballet. Amy has danced professionally with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Eugene Ballet, BalletNext, Traverse City Dance Project, Eglevsky Ballet, and Ballet NY. She has been freelancing in New York City since 2016, performing for companies like Gleich Dances, Brookoff Dance Repertory Ensemble, and MorDance. In 2017 she choreographed ‘SHINE’ for konverjdans to perform at Socrates Sculpture Park as well as at The Mark Morris Dance Center.