That’s a stretch

Choreography on the Edge returns to Woodstock’s Byrdcliffe Theater next weekend

by Ann Hutton
August 20, 2011 11:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo of Clyde Forth by Lois Greenfield
Photo of Clyde Forth by Lois Greenfield
As its name implies, the 26th annual showcase of envelope-pushing, wing-stretching, experimental dance performance called “Choreography on the Edge” is a unique opportunity for dancers and audiences alike. The requisite creation of combined movement and music in wholly new forms works particularly well at the Byrdcliffe Theater, a space that, lacking a lot of theatrical equipment, minimizes technical aspects and maximizes concentration on the choreography itself.

With no hidden places offstage, performers are challenged to utilize the openness and exposure to the audience. Likewise, audiences will be engaged in a more energetic, intimate manner as they witness truly premiere performances – even including the producer of the show. “I typically do not see anything until the dancers come in for technical and lighting rehearsal,” says Zack Jacobs. “Until the week of the show, I do not know what the individual pieces are or what the final product will be. I find it a lot of fun to put a show together that is pretty much an unknown until just before the audience sees it.”

This season’s production, to be staged on Friday and Saturday, August 26 and 27 at 8 p.m., is comprised of choreographers and dancers spanning a wide range of styles and techniques – primarily modern dance and contemporary ballet, with a sprinkling of cultural motifs expressed through Irish step dancing like you’ve never seen it before, choreographed by Joel Hanna (from the original cast of Riverdance) for dancers from Solas An Lae. A number of choreographers will be performing their work as solos, and others will work as duets and trios. Among this stellar group are Matthew Keefe with dancers from the American Ballet Repertory Company, Laura Ward with Octavia Cup, Andrea Pastorella and Movita Dance, Jessie Tomanek and J. T. Lotus Dance. Claire Jacob-Zysman, clyde forth, Maleda Funk, Sage Horsey and Sharon Penz will perform solos of their work. Additionally, Cameron Lussier and David Rodriguez, Holly Gross, Laura Seaman, Jennifer Yackel and Christy Williams will present special works.

Choreography on the Edge is produced by Jacobs with support from the Ulster Ballet Company, the Woodstock/Byrdcliffe Guild and the Bardavon Opera House. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at the door or reserved by calling (845) 453-8673 or by e-mailing The historic Byrdcliffe Theater is located at 3 Upper Byrdcliffe Way in Woodstock. Please visit for directions.

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