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Laura Schandelmeier & Stephen Clapp

Notes From the Artists
From the Artists:

October 21, 2014 - Coming off the heels of the premier of Windswept at Dance Place and a month-long run of Yentil which Laura choreographed for the DCJCC, I thought I would post my responses to some interview questions that Dance Place had asked me a day before the work was to premier. (See Dance Place's post here.)

1. Describe this performance in five words.

A kinesthetic experience of climate change dogma. [sorry, that's seven words.]

2. Tell us a little bit about the inspiration/creative process behind the work.

My approach to the development of this work began with an exploration of ecological processes as movement inspiration, metaphor and as a lens to examine social inequities, media responses and the human experiences of climate change.

Choreographic explorations included a significant research phase that included participation in an experiential lecture series hosted by the Mount Washington Observatory at the summit of Mount Washington in Northern New Hampshire. This series focused on the complexities of our changing climate and was facilitated by Harvard University geologist Dr. Mark Van Baalen.

I am grateful to the folks I have met through the research process including Nicky Sundt and Althea Skinner of the World Wildlife Fund (Althea is also a dance artist with Rebollar Dance, among others). These and other individuals have helped me to contextualize information about climate change and see a wider perspective than what is generally reported in the mainstream news media.

3. What do you hope to communicate to audience members through your performance?

Windswept aims to share a vision of hope that identifies potential pathways of thought and action for personal consideration by each witness [audience member] in order to further the imaginative discourse of human evolution. Thus, exploring the possibilities of how personal experiences become political dialogue, ultimately fostering positive social change.

4. Who or what have been some of your greatest creative inspiration and/or influences?

Starting with my family, Laura Schandelmeier, my creative and life partner is a constant inspiration. And my step-daughter Holly Rae McClintock, who is currently studying in the fashion department at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago is also a huge source of inspiration. Not only is it the privilege to witness their creative impulses and the ability to engage in meaningful dialogue about art making and the conceptualization of art in our own home a truly invaluable source of inspiration (and joy), but the capacity to laugh and love and live artfully in the world with them is my single greatest source of inspiration. Aside from my familiar inspiration, some of my greatest creative influences and inspiration... Marty Pottenger, Celeste Miller, John O'Neal, Liz Lerman, Nayo Watkins, Paul Zaloom, Potri Ranka Manis, Naomi Klien, to name just a few...

5. What do you do to stay artistically inspired and creatively challenged?

It’s not necessarily something that I do to stay creatively challenged. It is simply how I choose to exist in the world. Living artfully, seeing as much live dance and theater performances as possible, and working outside of the studio to support the network of dance happening here in the DC area. I am constantly inspired by the many, many dance artists making work here in the DC area. I recently saw the performance of PEARSONWIDRIG Dance Theater and was extremely moved by their artistry. So, I suppose, seeing the work of other artists is certainly a source of inspiration.

Ok, Cheers y'all! I've got to go write my thesis paper now...


June 18, 2012 - It's hard to believe that were almost half way through 2012! There's lots going on this summer in Dance Box Theater's world. Here's just a quick little update for the curious of heart...

Keep your eyes peeled for info about the Cultivate Dance Festival where Stephen will be presenting a workshop and performance with Mount Washington Valley area artists. Laura is engaged in some ongiong S.T.E.M. development with the WolfTrap Foundation for Early Learning Through the Arts. There's a new partnership with the U.S. Veterans Medical Center in Washington, DC where Stephen is working with Nancy DeBello (CRT) to inlcude movement and dance into group thearapy sessions. Laura will be working in the studio with some new friends to re-mount After Hours (1992). The company recently received funding from the Maryland State Arts Council and Alternate ROOTS to present We Are Here at Joe's Movement Emporium in September.

We hope this summer season has been going well for you all thus far! We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Peace & love,
Stephen and Laura

November 13, 2011 - Greetings Friends!

We hope this autumn has brought you moments to be cozy... We were thrilled to have such a fantastic Give to the Max Day last week! But even better than that, we've got our creative juices flowing and some wonderful folks to dance with!  We've been in process for "We Are Here" to premier at Dance Place in late March 2012! 

Keep your eyes and inboxes peeled for more info about "We Are Here" and "Dance at Your Door" (A new project in partnership with Council Member Will Campos), and workshops from our new Creative Equity program! 

Peace & love,

Stephen and Laura

November 16, 2010 - Greetings Friends!

We hope this finds you well and enjoying this spectacular fall! As this incredibly busy season rolls onward, we want to invite you to join us for our final event of the calendar year:

A FREE Open Studio
at Joe's Movement Emporium

November 21, 2010

Joe's Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Please join us in the studio to share your thoughts, ideas and dances, offer feedback on the seeds of a new work and come move with us in the beautiful studios at Joe's Movement Emporium! We hope to see you in Mount Rainier...

Since the premier of Affectations last month, we are enjoying some time to breathe deeply, reflect on this whirlwind of a year, and register the gratitude we feel for being part of this vibrant dance community! This year certainly has been quite an exceptional year for Dance Box Theater... from mounting The Loving Project: E-Race at Joe's Movement Emporium for a two week run in June, to touring in Edinburgh, UK for a two week run of Haunted in August, to the week-long Deep Space residency at North American Cultural Laboratory in September, and finally the world premier of Affectations commissioned by the Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project, on the Millennium Stage in October.

*Just a side note for all you DC area choreographers out there, the Kennedy Center's Local Dance Commissioning Project Application is due January 7.

But that's all just scratching the surface... And there is much to come in 2011 including more Open Studios and a tour of Affectations. We hope to see you at Joe’s on Sunday and we look forward to being in touch with you as the Holiday Season is quickly falling upon us... Thank you for all that you do!

Dance on...
Stephen and Laura

October 10, 2010 - We hope you are enjoying the turning of the leaves as well as the bounty of art and culture that the fall season brings! We are sending you a brief hello to let you know what we've been up to and where we're heading soon...

Where We've Been:

Our October began in upstate New York with a week-long residency at the North American Cultural Laboratory (NACL) where we spent long days (and nights) working on Affectations. NACL's artistic director, Tannis Kowalchuk has created an amazing program called Deep Space in which an ensemble can come and stay in a beautiful 11 bedroom inn and work in the church turned theater, only steps from the inn, for a week! Our residency culminated in a showing for the NACL community and was met with great warmth and excitement. It is hard to describe how wonderful this experience was... When we walked in the door we were met by Brett Keyser, who is an artist we know from Alternate ROOTS and who, unbeknownst to us, is currently working on a new work with Tannis. Tannis is an amazingly generous artist who even cooked us dinner before the showing on our last night. And, it seems that a great deal of our favorite people have been through NACL including: Mondo Bizarro and ArtSpot from New Orleans and The New York Neo-Futurists. Needless to say we felt very much at home.

We packed up the car early Sunday morning so that Ben could get back to Dance Place, Ilana could facilitate the first fall Fieldwork session, and Laura could perform Pola Nirenska's Exuberance in the Prelude concert for the 10th annual DC Metro Dance Awards at the Kennedy Center.

Speaking of which, we are thrilled to announce that Dance Box Theater received the 2010 FOUNDERS AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN DANCE! A shout out and thanks goes to ALL the DC area dance artists making work now and finding ways to sustain themselves and survive as performing artists!

Where We Are:

As we write this, we are in the house of Eleanor Rufty Carlyon, fantastic visual artist based in Richmond, VA (and our Auntie Em), working on the costumes for Affectations. Everything is coming together quite nicely.

So, if you would like a sneak peak of what we've been working on and you would like to play with some of the wondrous technology that Lorne and James are developing, please join us next week for a FREE open studio at Joe's!

          Sunday, October 17 @ 1-3pm
          Joe's Movement Emporium
          3309 Bunker Hill Road
          Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Then, drum roll please...

Where We're Going:

Dance Box Theater presents the world premiere of:

Affectations is commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Local Dance Commissioning Project

Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
6pm October 21 and 22
FREE and Family Friendly

Affectations is a full-evening multi-media work created and performed by Dance Box Theater Artistic Directors Stephen Clapp and Laura Schandelmeier in collaboration with Ilana Faye Silverstein, installation artist Lorne Covington and composer James Harkins. The technical and creative collaboration between Harkins and Covington provides the movement-responsive framework for Affectations. Specialized computers capture and analyze the dancers' positions, speeds and gestures and translate the movement into electronic data. This movement analysis controls video projection onto the stage and is transmitted to Harkins' custom designed software to generate the music in real time. This interactive loop comes full circle as musical information feeds back into the video projection software: the dancers respond to the music and projection, their movements influencing both; and the video and audio interface kinesthetically and electronically.

If you've made it this far in our e-newsletter, thanks for sticking with us! Lastly, but certainly not least, we are celebrating two of our favorite local partners this month - Dance Place will host its 30th Anniversary on October 16th and Joe's Movement Emporium is celebrating its 15th Anniversary on October 30th. If you'd like to check out their Gala evenings, please click through their links!

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Stephen & Laura

October 7, 2010 - We were delighted by last night's 10th Annual Metro DC Dance Awards! Beautiful performances by all... and we are honored to be recipients of the Founder's Award for Innovation in Dance! Many thanks to the entire dance community for continuing to create work... It's always so lovely to have the DC dance community all under one roof!

Cheers and Love!
Stephen & Laura

October 3, 2010 - Just returned from an amazing week at NACL for a Deep Space residency. 14 hour days, intense rehearsals, a fabulous performance, good food and great people! Thanks so much to Ilana, Ben, Lorne, Evan and Tannis, Brett and Zoot! The Lakewood house was beautiful, as was the studio/theater. Ben built us a gorgeous theater, Ilana danced beautifully (so did Laura and Stephen!) and Lorne and Evan forged ahead with their dynamic interactive technology! As we get closer and closer to the premier of Affectations at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, we're getting clearer and clearer about the development of the work. Our week at Deep Space has been essential for the development of Affectations and we look forward to more time in the studio! A HUGE thanks to Tannis, Brett, Zoot and all our collaborators!

And even after a week at NACL, Laura performed Exuberance (1986 by Pola Nirenska) earlier this evening at the Kennedy Center as part of the 2010 Metro DC Dance Awards. She was exquisite!

Much Love from Mount Rainier!
Stephen & Laura

September 21, 2010 - Hope to see you soon!
Stephen & Laura

June 19, 2010 - Hello Friends! Our opening weekend for The Loving Project: E-Race went very well with fantastic responses and an amazing performance on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage! You can catch Dance Box Theater again this coming weekend at Joe's Movement Emporium! We've got Ilana Faye Silverstein and Mervin Primeaux dancing with us and this incarnation of The Loving Project: E-Race features Lorne Covington's Electric Heliotrope Theater! You can read the article by Jessie Newburn in the Washington Examiner about Lorne Covington's Electric Heliotrope Theater.

The Loving Project: E-Race

Friday, June 18 @ 8:00pm
Saturday, June 19 @ 8:00pm
Sunday, June 20 @ 7:00pm

Joe's Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Hope to see you soon!
Stephen & Laura

March 15, 2010 - Great News! We were recently awarded a commission from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of their Local Dance Commissioning Project! This award is for the development and premier of Affectations on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage in October. We're delighted to receive this commission that has helped us to garner interest in touring the work during the 2010-2011 season. You can check out our Affectations page to see where we'll be next year.

In the meantime, we're gearing up for a two-week run of The Loving Project: E-Race at Joe's Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier as well as a performance on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in June.

Then in August, we're off to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform Haunted at Dance Base with Chloe and Leah Smith of Rising Appalachia and Kofi Dennis. We're thrilled to be invited back to Edinburgh and are looking forward to an exciting summer! (Oh, and Holly will be coming with us to Edinburgh!)

As we are in the midst of dialogue with Mid-Atlantic presenters for touring engagements of Affectations, we are always seeking partners and potential tour sites for our newest work! On the horizon, we're talking with Baltimore Theatre Project, Irondale Ensemble Project, and Dance Place. Hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows!

More soon...
S & L

December 20, 2009 - Happy Holidays! We hope our letter finds you well and in good spirits as the Holiday season is upon us! We are truly grateful for your support and belief in our work this past year.

We are writing to you now with lots of exciting news for the upcoming year. Our new company name is Dance Box Theater, Inc. Our amazing board of directors has approved our name change so that we may kick off the New Year with our brand new name! While our mission, goals and creative vision remain the same, we feel our new name more accurately identifies our work and reflects our creative process. We received a matching grant award of $800 from Alternate ROOTS to assist us through this transition and we are now in the process of replacing the Dancenow website and introducing Dance Box Theater to our community (that's you!).

But a name is just a name! We are even more excited about all the performance opportunities we have coming up in 2010!

  • In June, we will present The Loving Project: E-Race, which premiered last fall at Dance Place, over two weekends at Joe's Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, Maryland. A new version of this evening-length performance examines the experiences of interracial and non-traditional partners and the impact of couples whose love for each other defied convention and changed the course of his/herstory. Please save the dates and tell your friends ~ June 11-13 and 18-20.
  • We are creating a new section of The Loving Project: E-Race for Beth and Terence Humphrey-McKay, the interracial couple who in October 2009 were denied a marriage license from a Justice of the Peace in the State of Louisiana.
  • We have been invited to present The Loving Project: E-Race on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on June 16, 2010 as the opening performance of the Dance/USA conference.
  • After successful performances of an excerpt from Haunted at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dance Base in Edinburgh, UK has invited us back across the pond and will present the full-evening ensemble version of Haunted for 12 performances as part of Dance Base's programming during the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. We fell in love with Dance Base and are thrilled that they have invited us back to Edinburgh!

On the local front...

  • Starting January 8, 2010, we are teaching a dance class for professional dance artists on Friday mornings from 10-11:30 am at Joe's Movement Emporium! Please join us!
  • We have recently teamed with a brilliant technology artist named Lorne Covington (check out his creations at www.noirflux.com). Lorne brings a dynamic, interactive environment through projection and computer engineering to The Loving Project: E-Race We've been having a blast in the studio and can't wait to show you what's cooking!

As you can see, Dance Box Theater is off to a great start and we could not have done it without you! Your continued support will sustain the development of our creative work, help us to further engage with community, assist with the matching requirements for our Alternate ROOTS grant award, and launch Dance Box Theater into an international performance arena. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to Dance Box Theater this year. Donations can be made through our website www.danceboxtheater.org or checks can be made out to Dancenow Productions, Inc. (with 'Dance Box Theater' in the memo) and mailed to 3311 Rhode Island Avenue, #305, Mount Rainier, MD 20712.

We send you all our best this holiday season!

Stephen and Laura

December 16, 2009 - It's official! We've changed our name to Dance Box Theater!

October 12, 2009 - A fabulous evening in the studio with the Dance Place Repertory Performers tonight! Great to have Peter and Ken in the space too... (and a little visit with Cheles!) Hope you can join us for the premier of The Loving Project: E-Race in two weeks at Dance Place... oh, and check out the Loving Project blog: http://LovingProject.blogspot.com

October 3, 2009 - We're seeking a new name for our 501(c)(3) umbrella organization! Potential names currently under consideration: Ilex Productions, Inc. and Ilex Dance. Ilex is the latin name for the Holly plant. So, for now -- we still live at dancenow.org, however we will be transitioning away from this domain over the next several months...

August 19, 2009 - Just arrived home after an amazing 10 days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! We shared a bill with some fabulous artists including Erin Elliott (Los Angeles), Anna Myer and Dancers (Boston), C. Eule Dance (NYC), KDNY (NYC), Kim Robards Dance (Denver), and Michael Mao Dance (NYC). Our performances went very well as we performed an excerpt of Haunted. We had one of the finest venues in Edinburgh, thanks to producer Jodi Kaplan: Venue150 at the Edinburgh International Conference Center! Holly was with us and we were able to see lots of performances make some great connections! We do hope to go back to Edinburgh!

As for now, We're back in the studio this week in preparation for our upcoming performance of The Loving Project at Dance Place in October. We're also gearing up to teach the fall 2009 repertory and performance class at Dance Place. Participants of this class will be invited to perform with us in October as we premier our latest work.

Also, Laura will be performing in Richmond, VA as part of the city-wide retrospective for the late Richard Carlyon. Laura will perform There, Then & Now/Doin' the Shorty George at the Grace Street Theater on September 26, 2009.

It was an amazing journey in Edinburgh, but we're so happy to be back in Mount Rainier! And with some great news on the home front too: Dancenow Productions, Inc. is now officially a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization!

Much Love,
Laura & Stephen

January 17, 2009 - Whew! After several weeks of conceptualizing, writing, and video editing, we finally submitted our MAP grant application online! Please keep your fingers crossed! As we approach this inaugural week with a couple million folks coming into the city, we are hopeful that the arts can stay on the table for President Obama's administration!

In the meantime, we thankfully say goodbye to Bush! If you're coming into the city on Tuesday, please give us a shout out and say hello. We'll be at Joe's Movement Emporium on Tuesday for a celebration extraviganza! Hope to see you there!

Until next time!
Laura & Stephen

December 21, 2008 - As we cross the solstice into winter's heart, we are preparing for our showcase performance during the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) in January. We will be performing an excerpt of Haunted at the Ailey Citigroup Theater as part of Jodi Kaplan & Associates' boutique roster showcase! We're looking forward to re-connecting with our friends in New York City and sharing a showcase with the fabulous artists on the JK&A Boutique roster.
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So, enjoy your Holiday Season! Laura and Holly are currently making peppermint meringue cookies! Yum! Hope to see you in New York...also, keep on the look out for more information about our upcoming spring performance in New Orleans at the State of the Nation Festival in March 2009!

Peace Y'all!
Laura & Stephen

August 27, 2008 - What an amazing summer! The Alternate ROOTS Annual Meeting at Lutheridge; the Network of Ensemble Theaters gathering in New Orleans; then a week on the beach at the Outer Banks in North Carolina! We're all rested and energized as the summer has quickly come to a close and the fall season starts again next week (Holly's already back in school...8th grade!)

Some breaking news: We have been nominated for three Metro DC Dance Awards for Portals: Outstanding New Work, Excellence in Sound Design/Original Composition, and Excellence in Lighting Design for Cathy Eliot.

Join us for in October for an extended run of Haunted at Joe's Movement Emporium. We're having a special midnight Halloween performance, so be sure to reserve your tickets early by calling Joe's!

So much more to come...we hope you all have been having a fabulous summer and we look forward to seeing you at Joe's this fall...or in New Orleans next March! (More to come about that soon!)

Peace Y'all!
Laura & Stephen

July 10, 2008 - It's been a busy summer already. We premiered Haunted at Dance Place with Leah and Chloe Smith of Rising Appalachia and Kofi Dennis to wonderful responses...even though no press came (shame on you DC print media!) We'll be performing excerpts at the Alternate ROOTS Annual Meeting and the Network of Ensemble Theaters NET Gathering this August. We are also in dialogue with Nick Slie of Mondo Bizarro to bringHaunted to New Orleans, hopefully during the 2009 State of the Nation Festival with ArtSpot Productions. If you didn't get a chance to see it, you can check out the brief 2 minute video clip of Haunted on our website here.

We also just completed a quick new collaborative work with musician/composer Jonathan Morris. Paint it Blue was a result of an invitation to participate in the 2008 Source Theater Festival Mash-Up. Using film footage from Ray Schandelmeier in 1970, Laura, Jonathan and I explored the theme of surveillance and asked the question, "Who's watching us now?" You can raed Jonathan's blog here.

And for now, we've got a few weeks rest to get our 501(c)3 application submitted. We've been fortunate to work with a wonderful lawyer through Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts who is assisting us through the legal labyrinth of IRS form 1023. Soon, we'll be able to receive tax-deductible contributions, foundation and government grants, and corporate contributions for Dancenow Productions, Inc. It's an exciting time and a great time to be a dance artist!

We hope the summer is going well for you all. We hope to see you soon...maybe at the PG pool or out supporting some of the fabulous performance venues in the city of DC!

Laura & Stephen

February 24, 2008 - Hi there! As the New Year quickly becomes not so new (hard to believe that March is right around the corner), the winter season was quite eventful and Laura and I have been burning the midnight oil - only one day off thus far since New Year's day! So what has been keeping us so busy? The National Performance Network’s Annual Meeting last December, brought us to New Orleans where we co-facilitated a professional development workshop for national touring artists as part of a team from the Alternate ROOTS’ Resources for Social Change Program. January found us at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference in New York where we showcased an excerpt from Portals as part of Jodi Kaplan and Associate’s National Boutique Roster. Closer to home, the InSeries commissioned us to create and perform the roles of Monteverdi’s doomed lovers in Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, which premiered in January at the ATLAS Performing Arts Center. We've been applying for grants like there's no tomorrow, and even through there is little instant gratification for this, if we don't ask...

Anyway, just yesterday, we set up our Portal again in preparation for a special repeat performance at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center coming up on March 4. We've also been in the studio with Chloe Smith of Rising Appalachia in creating our 4th evening-length performance work, Haunted. On top of all of this, visits from Kip Lee and Carlton Turner have kept us in touch with the ROOTS community. Oh, and by the way, we're in the process of incorporating and applying for our 501(c)3 status. More to come about that later.

Hope the season is going well for you all. Sending you much peace.

L & S

January 17, 2008 - Hello! Laura and I are just coming back from APAP where we had a fabulous performance as part of Jodi Kaplan and Associates' National Boutique Roster showcase. This week, we're getting ready to perform in the InSeries production of Opera Triptych at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. We hope to see you soon and please join our mailing list!


November 13, 2007 - Greetings! Hope the season is going well for you all. Here's a quick update about what we're up to in the near future...In December we will be on the team of facilitators for Principles of Working in Community, the professional development workshop offered by the Resources for Social Change Program of Alternate ROOTS for artists at the National Performance Network Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

In January, look for us in New York at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters confernece on the Jodi Kaplan and Associates' Boutique Roster Showcase at the Ailey Theater, Monday January 14 at 4:10pm where we will perform an excerpt from our latest full-evening duet work, Portals to original music by Clapp. The full work will also be presented by the Take 5 Series at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland on March 4, 2008.

Most recently, we have been commissioned by the IN Series to create and perform the roles of Monteverdi’s doomed lovers in Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, a mini opera featuring a soprano, tenor, baritone and string quartet. The work will premiere at the ATLAS Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC January 19 & 20 and 26 & 27, 2008.

We are currently working on Haunted, a new full-evening work that unearths local lore and ghost stories of the diverse community in which we live and work – Mount Rainer, Maryland, where some say the story behind “The Exorcist” took place. Created in collaboration with musicians Chloe and Leah Smith of Rising Appalachia and members of the Mount Rainier community, Haunted will unfold through arts-based experiences and story circles where community participants will be invited to share their tales. Revealing commonalities among people through relationships to the past, the unknown and community histories, Haunted will premiere on May 31 & June 1, 2008 at Dance Place in Washington, DC.

Just a quick update...hope to see you soon!


Octoher 8, 2007 - Thanks to all who made possible and participated in the The Creative Convergence! Many connections were made and we hope that the dialogues continue and we can sustain the ideas and connections that were created and strengthened during this festival. Thanks especially to all the partners in Baltimore!

For more info, please visit The Creative Convergence page and check out these links for information about some of our partners: Alternate ROOTS Baltimore Theatre Project ClancyWorks Dance Company Community Performance Creative Alliance Free Fall Baltimore Goucher CollegeMaryland Institute College of Art Red Emma's 2640 University of Baltimore

Thanks to all! We look forward to future collaborations!


July 3, 2007 - Thanks to all of our fabulous friends and supporters, the premier of Portals was excellent! Made possible by the generous support of the Creative Communities Fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and over 25 individual donors, the opening of Portals was a great success!

We have recently signed on with Jodi Kaplan & Associates to assist with booking and promotions. You can check out our new 5 minute video here or if you would like to receive a high-quality dvd of the 5 minute video, please contact us and we will send you a dvd. We are also currently on the Alternate ROOTS 2007 Tour Roster. This means that any presenting organization who wishes to present our work may apply for an artist fee subsidy to cover a percentage of artist fees. You can feel free to contact us for more information about the Alternate ROOTS Tour Roster too.

Stephen has recently returned from Atlanta after teaching a two-day workshop with some amazing artists/social change agents from Alternate ROOTS during the Gathering at the Crossroads workshop. Stephen was able to meet some fabulous people at the US Social Forum and comes back to DC with renewed vigor and perspective. In partnership with Ashley Sparks, Adrienne Clancy (of ClancyWorks Dance Company), Carlton Turner (of Alternate ROOTS) and the Baltimore Theater Project, the DC/Maryland/Virginia/West Virginia Regional Rhizome of Alternate ROOTS will host Creative Convergence on October 5-7, 2007 in Baltimore. Creative Convergence aims to identify and share the strengths of artists in the DC-Baltimore region as an integral piece of a movement towards sustained social change. See here for more info about Creative Convergence.

Laura has been teaching for the 7th year in a row at the Greenbelt (MD) Creative Kids Camp. With an original musical by Christopher Cherry, Laura is choreographing and facilitating dance performances every two weeks through July.

As we move through the rest of our summer, you can be sure that we are gearing up towards the Alternate ROOTS 2007 Annual Meeting. This year's AM will be August 7-12 and will take place at the Lutheridge Conference Center in Arden, NC. Check out the Alternate ROOTS website for more info about the 2007 Annual Meeting!

We hope to cross paths with you soon! Peace.

December 6, 2006 - Laura was the recipient of a $10,000 commissioning grant from the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region's 2006 Creative Communities Fund. This grant award is for Laura & Stephen's latest evening length performance project, Portals, and the Open Door Project in partnership with Joe's Movement Emporium. Click Here to download Laura's CCI profile (832 KB).

Check back soon for more details about upcoming Portals events including Open Door rehearsals and other performances. Also, don't forget to check out a repeat performance of The Dragons Project at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on January, 31, 2007. Until then, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season! Much love and Peace!

October 1, 2006 - Laura's recent performance with the Art of the Solo was a great success as she performed Pola Nirenska's Exhuberance with a host of other artists and works from some of the most celebrated dance choreographers of the 20th Century.

Laura and Stephen are currently in the studio to create their third evening length duet, Portals, to be presented by Dance Place in June 2007. Other upcoming news - Laura and Stephen will be working with Jane Franklin Dance Company as well as performing and/or facilitating a workshop during the Alternate ROOTS DC, MD, VA, WV regional rhizome event on November 19 at Joe's Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, MD.

And Holly Rae just turned 11 on September 20. Happy Birthday Holly!

August 30, 2006 - With the summer coming quickly to a close, we have been busy with traveling, performing and spending time with friends and family. From working in Paris, France with Clara Gibson Maxwell and planning for her Distillations project at Florida Southern College in February 2007; The Alternate ROOTS 2006 Annual Meeting where we had the honor of meeting and working with community based artists and activists from across the Southeast, around the country and across the pond in the United Kingdom; traveling breifly to the beach at Cape Hatteras, then to New England to visit family - now back in Mount Rainier, diving head-first back into work and the studio (Plus... we got married [yay!] at Dorsey Chapel, with a fabulous reception at Dance Place...then a lovely honeymoon to Jamaica.)

We are currently in the development of a new evening-length work entitled Portals to be presented at Dance Place in June 2007. Stay tuned for more information about Portals coming soon. Also, check out our video clip of excerpts from The Dragons Project: Power Play.

We hope that you all are doing well and we look forward to our upcoming performances at Yes, Virginia Dance and Laura's performance with the Art of the Solo. And keep your eyes peeled for a look into our process of Portals thruogh the Open Door Project where we will open our rehearsal doors and invite participants into our process - in partnership with World Arts Focus at the new Joe's Movement Emporium! See you all soon. In Peace and Love...

May 13, 2006 - With the premiere of The Dragons Project: Power Play behind us (for now), we are very greatful for all the fabulous support from friends, family and dance/theater enthusiasts who contributed time, energy, capital, blood and intellect to the Dragons Project. And on we go...looking forward to collaborating with Nayo Watkins, Jessica Hirst and Omari Fox on a workshop for Alternate ROOTS' Resources for Social Change program at the Pedagogy/Theater of the Oppressed conference next weekend. Then on to Paris, France to work with dance artists and choreographer, Clara Gibson Maxwell. We are fortunate enough to be able to bring Holly Rae with us on this exciting trip. And finally, the summer will kick off with our wedding on June 17! We wish you all well and look forward to crossing paths with you all agian soon. With much love...

March 14, 2006 - The year has been a whirlwind thus far and our latest performance project, The Dragons Project: Power Play is fast approaching. This past January, we were invited to be part of the Winter Carnival, a 10-minute play festival with the Madcap players at the H Street Playhouse in Washington, DC, where we performed Endgame, an excerpt from The Dragons Project in eight performances for a new audience. February brought us the invitation to perform in the 25th Annual Choreographers Showcase at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts where we had three more performances of the same excerpt. And in early March, we performed a larger excerpt of Dragons at Politics and Prose, a wonderful bookstore and cafe in Washington, DC as part of Dance Place’s Any Space is a Dance Place series.

Stephen recently received a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council for Solo Performance and Laura received an Artistic Assistance matching grant from Alternate ROOTS towards the purchase of a video camera. With funds from the Maryland State Arts Council, we have hired the fabulous Ilana Silverstein to help us with support for our administrative and production needs.

The full-evening premiere of The Dragons Project: Power Play will be presented by Dance Place on May 6 and 7, 2006. This new full-evening work is a movement-based fairy tale exploring the dragons in our midst as well as those we hold within. We have been working for over a year on this project and are very excited to share this new duet, featuring original music by Stephen. Please mark your calendars, tell your friends and check out our our Dragons Project page for more information!

January 23, 2006 - With the new year at our heels, Laura and Stephen have been engaged in the continued development of The Dragons Project. This month's performance of Endgame with Madcap Players at the H Street Playhouse has been quite a treat! Dipping back into the theater world has been particularly rewarding as has working with Madcap and the fabulous artists in the Winter Carnival. Also coming up, Laura and Stephen will be performing a section of The Dragons Project at Politics & Prose in Northwest, DC. This will be a 30 minute performance followed by a 20 minute discussion and "talk-back" with the audience. Thanks to Sarah Hemphill and Dance Place for this wonderful opportunity. Laura and Stephen will also be performing the Endgame section of The Dragons Project as part of the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts' 23rd Annual Choreographer's Showcase.

While it has been a trying time in these first few weeks of 2006, with the passing of Richmond artist, Richard Carlyon, Laura and Stephen send love and healing to Eleanor, Jason, Cheryl and the Rufty, Schandelmeier, Carlyon families who stood by Richard throughout his passing. And through these challenging times, Laura and Stephen urge us all to continue creating, dancing and making art. In peace, light and love...

October 6, 2005 - In these times of global struggle and national emergencies, many opportunities exist to actively support those who have lost family, friends and/or their homes in the Gulf Coast Region due to Hurricane Katrina. Alternate ROOTS is a Southeastern community arts organization which seeks allies to respond from our strengths as artists, activists, and cultural workers. We are working to support constructive self-determination by affected communities as the process of healing and rebuilding begins among Gulf Coast Communities.Click Here to find out how YOU can partner with Alternate ROOTS to support ARTISTS and CULTURAL WORKERS that have been directly and adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina. You can also print out and distribute this flier. Our actions can and do make a difference. In solidarity and peace...

October 1, 2005 - Laura recently performed with Clara Gibson Maxwell for the "Arts on Foot" performance of the Washington, DC Fringe Festival. Performing Maxwell's Trinity, Laura and Clara danced in an abandoned storefront to Ornet Coleman's music played through speakers via telephone by Tom Chieu in New York City. While they were performing, Stephen was in China. He has just returned to the United States after three weeks of traveling with his father - visiting Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yichang, Tongli, Guilin and Hong Kong. Whlie he had a wonderful time with his father, he missed Laura and Holly Rae very much and is very happy to be home again. He is also very much looking forward to getting back into the studio with Laura!

August 21, 2005 - Just returning to Maryland - Laura, Stephen and Holly spent a week at the Alternate ROOTS Annual Meeting followed by some visits in North Carolina, Virginia Beach and West Virginia. At the ROOTS Annual Meeting at Lutheridge in Arden, NC, Laura co-facilitated a two day studio with Nayo Watkins and Bob Leonard based on the Principles of Alternate ROOTS's Resources For Social Change Program and the Community/Artist Partnership Program. Stephen was elected to serve as Chair of the Executive Committee and will be facilitating the leadership of a dynamic, courageous and diverse group of artists that make up the current body of the ROOTS Ex Comm. Holly Rae spent her week immersed in creative activities with youth from across the Southeast US and performed in a fabulously sweet showing presented by the young participants of the annual meeting.

The ROOTS annual meeting also offered the opportunity to experience some amazing performances by Carpet Bag Theatre, Joe Woods, Lashanna Mickens, Lori Teague and D. Patton White, M.U.G.A.B.E.E., Looking for Lilith, Kathy Randels, Valentine Pierce, Mondo Bizarro, Raquel Almazan and Teo Castellanos, Dora Arreola and Andrea Assaf, Carolyn Morris, Bailey Barash, Chip Epsten, Jose Torres Tama, Theron Schmidt, Millicent Johnnie, Rudy Cano and a host of other dynamic and engaging artists! We also saw some extraordinary digital media work by ROOTS members facilitated by the fabulous folks with the Center for Digital Storytelling! Thanks to Carolyn Morris, Carlton Turner, Vanessa Manley and all who offered their blood, sweat and tears to make the 2005 Annual Meeting a treasure to remember! Onward and Peace...

July 26, 2005 - As midsummer 2005 has passed us through, Laura and Stephen are in the midst of creating their next evening-length performance work, The Dragons Project. Stephen has been busy building their website thanks to a grant from Alternate ROOTS. Laura has been teaching at Creative Kids Camp (with Holly Rae) in Greenbelt, MD. It has been a busy summer so far...and after a quick visit with Clara Gibson Maxwell in West Virginia this coming weekend, they are looking forward to the Alternate ROOTS Annual Meeting in August. Hope to see you there!

July 11, 2005 - Laura and Stephen recently performed an excerpt of their new work: The Dragons Project at PS 122 in New York City as part of The Field's Go Tour Roadshow. They met some fabulous artists from across the country including: Jennifer Lanier (Hawaii), Julie Troost (NYC), The Switch (NYC), THELOS Theater Group (Miami), Parallel Exit (NYC) and others, as well as fellow DC area artists: Jessica Hirst and Lotta Lundgren. Thanks to the Field staff, the staff at PS 122 and all the artists who made the Go Tour Roadshow possible! Read more about the Field's Go Tour Roadshow in the New York Times or in the article by Brook Stowe or on the PS 122 website!

June 14, 2005 - Laura and Stephen launch new website: www.dancenow.org Website goes live today!