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Deborah Hay Workshop Philadelphia 2018

June 11 @ 9:00 am - June 15 @ 5:00 pm

$420 - $480

a continuity of discontinuity or a way to practice dance

no walking, no running, no laying on the floor, no hanging out in the body, no stretching, no floppy arms or hands, no deliberate loss of grounding, no noodling, no prolonged narrative movement, no obvious sequence of movement, no prolonged body memory apparent, no time to explore, no obvious frontality, no need to be creative or unique, no obvious adrenalin driven movement, no apparent inner timing driving your dancing, no hesitation or reconsideration.

June 11th – 15th from 10am – 5pm all at Mascher Space Cooperative with an hour lunch each day.

Mascher Members price – $140 for the week
Non – Member price is $420 to $480 sliding scale for the week


A Mascher Space subsidized project, this workshop is open to professional level dance artists.  We are opening 8 spots for Mascher members and 8 spots for non members.   If you are interested, but don’t live in Philadelphia, we will help you find housing for the duration of the workshop.

Previous familiarity with Deborah Hay’s work is not required, but we are trying to create a well balanced and rigorous group of attendees.  This is why we have a short application process.  If you can commit to the whole workshop, please fill out the application and send it to programs(at)mascherdance(dot)org with subject line “Deborah Hay 2018”.

Also, please answer the following questions and include your resume and a short bio.

Your name:

Your location:


Phone number:

Can  you commit to the whole workshop?(yes/no)

Have you studied with Deborah before?(yes/no)

How does your work(or you yourself) resonate with Deborah’s teachings? Feel free to look at her mission statement and choose one part that relates to your current art making practice. (no more than 200 words)

Tell us why now is the best time to take this workshop? (no more than 200 words)


Deadlines: Application is due April 25th, 2018.

Acknowledgement of acceptance/rejection: May 5th, 2018.  Once accepted you will be send a payment link to reserve your spot.  If at that time, you no longer want to participate in the workshop, your spot will be offered to the first person on the waiting list.

Once accepted, if the whole sum is too large for you to pay at one time, please ask us about creating a payment plan that works for all of us.

Any questions email Zornitsa Stoyanova at programs(at)mascherdance(dot)org

The Deborah Hay Dance Company Mission

my choreographed body by Deborah Hay
Photo credit: William Frederking

The Deborah Hay Dance Company’s mission is to foster a discerning appreciation for the human body within the cultural construct of contemporary society, through dance as experienced by audience, student, and/or performer. Central to this mission is the role of humor in recognizing the wildly cogent dancer we are capable of exercising into action.

The goals of the DHDC are: to challenge judgments which limit how we identify the physical body in time and space, broadening the traditions of flow, beauty, and form that are currently prevalent in dance, and to expand the cultural concept of “dance” by defining the dancer as a site for inquiry, i.e. a bodily presence trained in the performance of parallel experiences of perception. An outline for advancing this project follows:

1) continue to introduce and explore through teaching and performing, how the cellular body, when invested with imaginative capability, can produce feelings of altering immediacy and gripping relatedness in the sensate body;

2) raise our standard of participating in a world beyond the subjective, where dance can become not just the site where movement and shape are produced, but a threshold where energies shift, multiply, and become visible;

3) expand the notion of choreography to include the conditions by which the choreographer transmits a dance to a performer, accounting for the many and often discontinuous threads within a visible and invisible context for beholding now.


Deborah Hay bio:

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. She was also sharing with her Judson colleagues the artificial distinction between trained and untrained performers. She focused on large-scale dance projects involving untrained dancers, fragmented and choreographed music accompaniment, and the execution of ordinary movement patterns performed under stressful conditions.

In 1970 she left New York to live in a community in northern Vermont. Soon, she distanced herself from the performing arena, producing Ten Circle Dances, performed on 10 consecutive nights within a single community and no audience whatsoever. Thus began a long period of reflection about how dance is transmitted and presented. Her first book, Moving Through the Universe in Bare Feet (Swallow Press, 1975), is an early example of her distinctive memory/concept mode of choreographic record, and emphasizes the narratives underlining the process of her dance-making, rather than the technical specifications or notations of their form.

In 1976 Hay left Vermont and moved to Austin, Texas. Her attention focused on a set of practices (“playing awake”) that engaged the performer on several levels of consciousness at once. While developing her concepts she instituted a yearly four-month group workshop that culminated in large group public performances and from these group pieces she distilled her solo dances. Her second book, Lamb at the Altar: The Story of a Dance (Duke University Press, 1994), documents the unique creative process that defined these works.

In the late 1990’s Deborah Hay focused almost exclusively on rarified and enigmatic solo dances based on her new experimental choreographic method, such as The Man Who Grew Common in Wisdom, Voilà, The Other Side of O, Fire, Boom Boom Boom, Music, Beauty, The Ridge, Room, performing them around the world and passing them on to noted performers in the US, Europe, and Australia. Also, My Body, The Buddhist, her third book was published by Wesleyan University Press, 2000. It is an introspective series of reflections on the major lessons of life that she has learned from her body while dancing.

Hay conducted 14 annual Solo Performance Commissioning Projects from 1998 through 2012, first on Whidbey Island in Washington state and then at the Findhorn Community Foundation in Findhorn, Scotland. A film about this groundbreaking experiment, Turn Your F*^king Head, was made by Becky Edmunds in 2012. Rutledge Books produced and is now distributing this one hour documentary.

In 2002 Hay made a decision to apply what she had learned from 30 years of working with mostly untrained dancers to choreographing dances for experienced dancer/choreographers. In 2004 she received a NYC Bessie award for her quartet The Match. In 2006 she choreographed “O, O” for 5 New York City choreographer/dancers and then for 7 French dancers of comparable experience. The Festival d’Automne, in Paris, presented The Match in 2005, “O, O” in 2006, and If I Sing To You, in 2008, which was commissioned by The Forsythe Company and which toured extensively in Europe and Australia. In 2009 The Toronto Dance Theatre premiered her work, Up Until Now, and in 2010 Lightening premiered at the Helsinki Festival, a dance for 6 Finnish dancers/choreographers.

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 April 2012, Deborah Hay became one of the 21 American performing artists to receive the inaugural and groundbreaking 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award.

After a two year research collaboration with Motion Bank, a project of the Forsythe Company directed by Scott delaHunta, an online interactive website dedicated to Hay’s choreographic aesthetics was launched in June 2013. One outcome of that collaboration was Hay’s first museum installation, Perception Unfolds: Looking at Deborah Hay’s Dance, curated by Annette Carlozzi for the Blanton Museum in Austin, TX. The installation also travelled to Yale Art Museum in New Haven, CN.

Hay, in collaboration with Laurie Anderson and lighting designer Minna Tikkainen created an evening length work Figure a Sea, for 21 dancers and commissioned by the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm, Sweden. It premiered September 24, 2015.

May 5, 2015 France’s Minister of Culture and Communication awarded Hay the title of CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE DES ARTS ET DES LETTRES.


More about Deborah Hay find on her website: www.deborahhay.com 



June 11 @ 9:00 am
June 15 @ 5:00 pm
$420 - $480
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Mascher Space
155 Cecil B Moore
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