Deborah Hay Solo Festival

Presented by Mascher Space Co-op and thefidget space in partnership with The University of the Arts

Judson era dance luminary, Deborah Hay, spends a week in residence in Philadelphia, PA. November 6th – 11th, 2012. She will offer a workshop to dance artists at Mascher Space Cooperative

The week will culminate in a festival featuring acclaimed soloists performing work by Deborah Hay from the past 15 years.  Deborah Hay will introduce the solo performances and will speak briefly about her Solo Performance Commissioning Project.

Friday & Saturday, Nov 9th and 10th (8PM)
Sunday, Nov 11th (3PM)

thefidget space, 1714 North Mascher St.

Tickets avail at the door: $20/10 (student/senior/artist)
Buy tickets here


Friday, Nov 9th, 8pm
Nicole Bindler – I Think Not (2011)
Manfred Fischbeck – I Think Not (2011)
Sally Doughty – I Think Not (2011)

Saturday, Nov 10th, 8pm
Karen Schaffman and Eric Geiger – FIRE (1999) and Art and Life (2010)
Hana van der Kolk (with videography by Jesse Johnson) –  Boom Boom Boom (2006)
Grace Mi He Lee – Voila (1995)

Sunday, Nov 11th, 3pm
Melanie Stewart –  I’ll Crane for You (2008)
Leslie Elkins – Boom Boom Boom (2000)
Hana van der Kolk (with videography by Jesse Johnson) –  Boom Boom Boom (2006)
Deborah Black –  The Runner (2007)

Deborah Hay was born in Brooklyn. Her mother was her first dance teacher, and directed her training until she was a teenager. She moved to Manhattan in the 1960s, where she continued her training with Merce Cunningham and Mia Slavenska. In 1964, Hay danced with the Cunningham Dance Company during a 6-month tour through Europe and Asia. Hay was a member of a group of experimental artists that was deeply influenced by Merce Cunningham and John Cage. The group, later known as the Judson Dance Theater, became one of the most radical and explosive 20th century art movements.

Hay’s work is now at a stage where she redefines the inimitable choreographic method of her solo pieces in collaboration with highly trained dancers. In 2004 she received a NYC Bessie award for her choreography of the quartet The Match. In 2007 Hay received a BAXten Award. “Your experimental work has remained alive & contemporary over four decades, inspiring your colleagues and peers and now – new generations of choreographers & performers. Your sustained commitment and your willingness to change course provides an example for others. Your articulate writing on the body & dance has had a profound impact on the field.” In October 2009 Deborah received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Dance from the Theater Academy in Helsinki, Finland and in 2010 she was awarded an US Artist Friends Fellowship and a 2011 artist’s grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, based in New York. In 2012 she became one of 21 artists to receive the Doris Duke Performing artists award., a new cooperative venture between the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Creative Capital.

Dancers commission a solo dance from Deborah Hay. She guides and coaches them in the performance of the solo during an 11-day period in a residency setting. At the conclusion of the residency each participant signs a contractual agreement to a daily solo practice of the new piece, for a minimum of three months before their first public performance. What is unique about this project is that the dancers must raise the commissioning fee from within his/her community. This becomes the selection process by which a performer attends the SPCP. Community, whether family, friends, local, state, or national granting agencies, corporations, become the patrons for each dance. All patrons receive program acknowledgment every time the solo is performed by any of the participating dancers. With the Solo Performance Commissioning Project all participating artists commission the same solo dance choreographed by Deborah Hay. Hay rarely demonstrates solutions to the choreography. Rather, she conveys her concepts through directives that each performer translates individually into movement in his/her unique way. As part of the process, the artist is bound to the material through meditation-like exercises that are applied throughout the choreographed dance. In the latter half of the SPCP each artist is personally coached in his/her performance of the dance, with everyone present. Ultimately the solo is adapted by each performer through a period of practice that extends into the months following the project.