Alyce Finwall Dance Theater
Shared Program with Olga Kosterina
Presented by Alyce Finwall Dance Theater and SFIAF (duration 60 minutes)
Choreography and Direction – Alyce Finwall
Dancers – Kristin Damrow & Ashley Brown
Sonic Composition – glou glou (Gretchen Jude & Arjun Mendiratta)
Piano Composition – Lo Chau
These performances of RUNE are made possible in part through the generous support of the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
Alyce Finwall Dance Theater presents RUNE for the San Francisco International Arts Festival at Fort Mason. This new work is loosely based off the Norse myth of Ragnarök. It is not a literal re-creation of the myth; rather, it is an exploration of the emotional elements that make up the story and its subliminal metaphors. It is an abstracted language, one of mysterious patterns and meanings reflecting the turmoil, anxiety and love in our modern lives. The piece utilizes spoken word in both Norwegian and English interwoven throughout. It is a fast moving, athletic and mysterious affair. Performing in RUNE are Kristin Damrow and Ashley Brown, sound designed and mixed by Alyce Finwall, including an original score by Hong Kong based pianist Lo Chau.
Alyce Finwall Dance Theater (AFDT) was established in 1999 by artistic director and choreographer, Alyce Finwall. The mission of AFDT is to blend an unabashed movement language with dramatic expression to create a powerful vehicle for theatrical dance. Originally based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, AFDT has produced more than 40 works throughout the company’s fifteen year history. In 2001, after much encouragement by AFDT's Board of Directors, Alyce Finwall moved the company's operations to New York City in order to present her work on a larger platform and to a wider audience. While in New York, AFDT presented many new works at such venues as P.S. 122, Dance Theater Workshop (New York Live Arts),, White Wave Theater, 92nd Street Y and the Joyce SoHo. In 2007 AFDT moved its operations to San Francisco where it has become an important participant in the Bay Area dance community and continues to present work across the U.S.
Alyce Finwall - Artistic Director and Choreographer
Alyce has been making dances since 1994, developing a uniquely creative and theatrical style, noted for having an “impressive and accomplished choreographic symphony” by the SF Examiner and a “fierce fluidity in performance and a brooding surrealism in the choreography” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She started AFDT in 1999 and has produced over forty original works in this fifteen year history and has had the great pleasure of collaborating with many diverse artists on works for both stage and film. Alyce’s wide ranging dance career began after a brief hiatus from dance to study art (with a focus on painting and printmaking) and communications theory at Hamline University. She has danced professionally with the Minneapolis based avant-garde company, Ballet of the Dolls, where she performed in over 20 original ballets in her six years with the company and was its first ever guest choreographer. She has also danced with Rincones & Company in Washington, DC and has studied with the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden (under invitation from artistic director Lena Wennergren-Juras), the Cunningham Dance Company (under scholarship) and with many teachers of ballet and contemporary techniques in NYC, Minneapolis, DC and San Francisco. Her work has been presented at such venues as P.S. 122, The Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop (New York Live Arts), Dixon Place, 92nd Street Y on 42nd Street, Cunningham Theater, White Wave Theater, The Cowell Theater, The Southern Theater, ODC Theater, The Garage Theater and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and American Dance Festival. She is the recipient of a McKnight Choreographic Fellowship, continued support from the Jerome Foundation, as well as awards from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Alyce has also taught and choreographed for college and pre-professional programs such as the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Radford University, Cedar Crest College, Mission College and Mills College, and is currently an adjunct professor of dance at Santa Rosa Junior College. She has an MFA in choreography from Mills College where she was awarded the Liatis Foundation Award. Alyce is the proud mother of two daughters.
Ashley Brown – Dancer
Ashley Brown, an official West Coaster, is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida. She studied for 13 years at the Academy of Ballet Florida and danced with the Company as a trainee in 2007-2008. In 2008, Ashley moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a degree at Alonzo King's LINES B.F.A. program. Ashley has danced professionally with Ben Stevenson, Alonzo King, Val Caniparoli, Gregory Dawson, Emote Dance Theater, Melissa Payne Project, Joe Landini and Alyce Finwall Dance Theater.
Kristin Damrow - Dancer
Wisconsin native, Kristin Damrow began her dancing career in Chicago where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Columbia College. While in the midwest, she danced for Kate Corby, Margi Cole, Brock Clawson and Miguel Mancillas. After moving to the Bay Area in 2009, Kristin founded Kristin Damrow & Company and currently is a company member of Alyce Finwall Dance Theater and CALI & CO. She has also performed in works by Peiling Kao, Samantha Giron, Kelly Kemp, Anna & the Annadroids and Bianca Cabrera's Blind Tiger Society. Kristin is on faculty at RoCo Dance and Dance Mission Theater and guest teaches at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Sonoma State University and ODC Dance Commons.
Lo Chau - Composer
Lo (www.lomusique.com), born 1990 in the North China Plain, is a classically-trained composer, pianist, and teacher currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Hong Kong. A recent graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Lo was awarded Bachelor's Degree of Music in Music Composition. Her compositional focus lies in instrumental and dance music, and her talent reflects particularly in the arts of orchestration and counterpoint. She has received commissions from musicians and ensembles such as Diablo Valley College Philharmonic Orchestra (Pleasant Hill, CA). Lo also possesses a diploma and a certificate in film making from Hollywood Film Institute and has written scores for numerous short films, art projects and advertisement videos for studios, independent filmmakers and companies. As a pianist, Lo performs frequently in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a performer/member of numerous ensembles and concert series such as the Awes me rchestra ollective a land er eley, A , the Opus Project (Berkeley, CA), Forest Hill Concert Series (San Francisco, CA), and more. Lo actively promotes unconventional keyboard repertoire such as one-hand repertoire, player piano, and toy piano music through these performance opportunities and through her own compositions. In addition to composition and piano performance, Lo is also an accomplished accompanist and teacher. She has her own private piano and music theory studio and had been the official accompanist for Sedro- Woolley High School (WA), Diablo Valley College, and Fei Tian Academy of Arts (CA); a piano instructor at Fei Tian Academy of Arts, Parsons Music (Hong Kong); and theory tutor for the Contra Costa Community College District (CA).
glou glou – Composer
Active in the Bay Area since the beginning of 2012, glou glou is dedicated to creating improvised electronic music that is primarily ambient and consonant. Gretchen Jude plays Roland SP-404, koto and sings (among other things); Arjun Mendiratta plays laptop, violin and rocks (and such). glou glou [pronounced glue glue] is the birdsong of the future. glou glou is concerned with texture, timbre, tonality, post-human improvisation, and whimsy. glou glou's first release, hymn her hum (Full Spectrum Records, 2014) has been described as "subtle and extended electronic simplicity for creating headspace."