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Forceful and dynamic, the Erica Essner Performance Co-Op builds vibrant movement from autobiography, and theme. Essner's work has been described by the San Francisco Examiner as "exceptional...all the drama of story and character while putting movement at center stage." The key to each dance is the cast; their input and personal history, all contribute to the final “story”. The Co-Op’s intricate gestures, high-flying partnering and original music deliver a visceral experience. This collaborative-based company seeks broad audiences, to this end; it offers open rehearsals and forums that provide insight into the company’s creative process.
Presenting work rooted in social commentary, this New York City-based company of five has been hailed as "Exceptional...all the drama of story and character while putting movement at center stage. —San Francisco Examiner
Now celebrating its twenty-first year, the Erica Essner Performance Co-Op incorporates a physical narrative into its intense and compelling work. This Brooklyn- based dance company has been described by the New York Times as …”consistently, unself-consciously quirky in the best way.” Erica Essner Performance Co-Op seeks broad audiences who have limited exposure to contemporary dance, to this end, we have recently instituted a new outreach program that offers open rehearsals and forums to provide an introduction to dance composition and the relationship of live music to dance.
The Erica Essner Performance Co-Op was founded in 1990 in San Francisco and enjoyed a decade of performing, teaching and touring in the San Francisco Bay Area. During this period, Essner collaborated with award-winning composer Erik Ian Walker. Together, Essner and Walker enjoyed a highly successful partnership that saw the creation of ten works.
In 2000, Erica Essner moved to New York City and re-established the Company. The Company is still going strong in New York, and is proud to mark its 20thh Anniversary this year with significant recent achievements. These include Performances at Central Park SummerStage, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joyce SoHo, the Rio de Janeiro Choreographic Center, Gooseroute Dance Festival West Virginia, Alaska DanceTheater, Miller Theater Houston TX, The Puffin Room NYC and the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. Erica Essner’ s work has been selected for Dance Theater Workshop’s Freshtracks, she been awarded a Bessie Schonberg Choreographers residency at The Yard in Chilmark MA, and was commissioned by Alaska Dance Theater in 2008.
There is a remarkable fluidity governing Essner's phrasing; her movement sequences connect so organically that one's eyes remain forever married to the seamless choreographic action. —Lisa Jo Sagolla- Backstage Blog
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