CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER is committed to creating and producing original dance theater projects that merge multiple art forms through artistic collaboration, as well as fostering the aspirations and talent of young performers committed to pursuing a life in the arts by facilitating educational workshops and mentoring opportunities.
A note from Artistic Director, Clare Cook
A new year begins and Clare Cook Dance Theater is jumping in head first with new projects for 2013. In keeping with the company's mission of artistic collaboration, several new artistic partnerships are on the horizon. Currently in development is Boring the Tall Blond to Death, a dance narrative in collaboration with composer Donny Codden and writer Leah Miles. This creative pair brought the idea for Blond to me in the Fall of 2012 and we have been brainstorming and working in the studio for the last few months to develop the project. Clare Cook Dance Theater performed an excerpt of the work-in-progress on Novemver 29 & December 1, 2012 as part of MuSE's Sounds of the Arts Festival at The Secret Theater in Long Island City and we continue to move forward with our Blond collaboration.
Another exciting partnership in the works is with New Orleans based visual artist, Mallory Page. Mallory was in NYC last Fall for an artistic residency and during her stay we planted some creative seeds that I know will start to blossom in 2013. With themes of opulence, revelry and celebration supported by bold, powerful colors, we are starting to build an interactive experience of sights, sounds and movement to be premiered in South Louisiana. Stay tuned for more information in 2013 as the project continues to expand.
The company has so much to be thankful for in 2012, most of all the generous support from so many between New York and Louisiana and even abroad. Here's to another year of dance, theater and innovative partnerships full of creative inspiration! -- January 2013
SHOW ME REAL
Conceived and choreographed by Clare Cook
Original Music and Lyrics by Amy Burgess
Dramatic Text and Lyrics by Gena Oppenheim
Direction by Mason Beggs
Lighting Design by Mike Inwood
Costume Design by Liam O'Brien
CAST - Lori Byargeon, Clare Cook, Claire Glassford, Dana Hunter, Julia Kelly, Courtney Pruden
The lives of three present-day modern dancers intersect and collide with those of a coterie of 1920s Ziegfeld Follies-era chorus girls in this original dance-theater piece. From learning those tricky tap steps as a child to leaving her small town to move to the Big Apple, hustling from job to job, some things have not changed much for a girl trying to 'make it' as a performer. Contemporary dance, original song, narrative, and video projection combine to reveal how much past is in our present.
Check out some SHOW ME REAL preview press from our 2012 performances.
Lori Byargeon - Performer
Lori Byargeon holds an MFA in Dance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she performed pieces by Deborah Jowitt, Camille A. Brown, and Kay Cummings as well as choreographed her own work. Byargeon, a native of Louisiana, graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.A. in French and a minor in dance. While in Louisiana she danced with Twin City Ballet Company and Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, and also choreographed and performed for the LSU Dance Ensemble. After working as company manager for David Dorman Dance, she now serves as office manager for Design Brooklyn. Lori also serves on the Dance/NYC Junior Committee. Lori dances with colectivodoszeta / carlos a. cruz velázquez, Clare Cook Dance Theater, and Choreo Theatro Company.
Halley Cianfarini - Performer
Halley Cianfarini is thrilled to be a part of Show Me Real! Originally hailing from the Berkshires, she completed her BA, Theatre/Dance, at Muhlenberg College. She most recently performed in Annie at Millbrook Playhouse (Sophie/Annette/Boylan/Usherette), Cats at Ocean City Theatre Company (Rumpleteazer), and at Dance New Amsterdam and Ballet Arts in Alden LaPaglia's Where the Wild Thangs Are. Original cast: Angelina Ballerina; The Musical (swing) in NYC; film debut: Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock; performed with Berkshire Theatre Festival, toured nationally with Chamber Theatre Productions, taught musical theater and improve with Barrington Stage Company.
Claire Glassford - Performer
Claire Glassford is thrilled to be in this cast of talented performers. She is currently a student at New York University studying at the New Studio on Broadway for Musical Theatre where she is pursuing Drama and a minor in Business of Entertainment and Media Studies. Past roles have included Maisie (The Boy Friend) at NYU and Jacky's mother (Jacky-Ursle) at Playwrights Horizons. She is thankful for this opportunity and sends love to all those that support her.
Merrill Grant - Performer
Merrill Grant has sung Cinderella at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall with the Little Orchestra Society. She has also sung at the Kennedy Center and various concerts for the New York Ziegfeld Society around New York. Merrill's solo cabaret act on Shirley Temple and the leading ladies around her at Twentieth Century Fox in the 1930's received rave reviews at The Metropolitan Room in New York, and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland where she won a "Best of Fest" award. She enjoys working with composers and has originated lead roles in staged readings of over 20 new musicals in New York as well as roles at both the New York Fringe and New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). Lead roles in regional productions include: West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Guys and Dolls, Chorus Line, Wizard of Oz, The Mikado as well as operetta concerts in Austria. Merrill has studied at Butler University, University of California Berkeley, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria, and the Yale Cabaret program.
Dana Hunter - Performer
Dana Hunter is loving Show Me Real with CCDT in NYMF!!! NYC Credits: Recently nominated "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play" by Planet Connections Theatre Festivity for Viola in Twelfth Night: Wall Street (Bleecker Street Theatre), FPSVD (NYC Fringe), Alba (Gene Frankel Theatre), Missunderstood the Musical (Emerging Artists Theatre Co); Regional: Sweet Charity (Charity), Diamond Tooth Gerties (Gertie) & her solo show Heinz 57; Film: "theACTOR Web Series", "Little Accidents" (Sundance). Dana studied Acting, Dance and Musical Theatre, respectively; at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, The Ailey School, Canadian College of Performing Arts. Much love & gratitude to the cast & creative as well as my wonderful family and friends. www.DanaHunter.com
Julia Kelly - Performer
Julia Kelly grew up on the Virginia coast of the Chesapeake Bay and now hails from Brooklyn. She may owe her early fascination with human expression to her mother’s piano and the American movie musical. Julia holds a B.A. in Dance and Theater, summa cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a certificate from the Professional Studies Program of the Limón Institute. She has had the good fortune to dance the work of Martha Graham and Paul Taylor and professionally perform the work of Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow and José Limón – in solo performance and recently on the Limón Dance Company’s inaugural tour to China. Julia is a company member with Riedel Dance Theater and with Benn Rasmussen’s Ardent August. She has also enjoyed contemporary projects with Geraldine Cardiel, Alan Danielson, Propel-her Dance Collective, VIA Dance Collaborative, and with Clare Cook, including the opera they learned in a week. She thanks the team for all the times she was welcome to put in her two cents during rehearsals.
Courtney Pruden - Performer
Courtney "Coya" Pruden - Coya is originally from Long Island, NY. She spent many summers at the Joffrey Ballet School (NY), danced with Florida West Ballet Company, and graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in theater and a minor in dance studies. Theater credits include Moya Dolan in "The Shaughraun", Erma (Bonnie) in "Anything Goes", Aphrodite in "Metamorphoses", and the lead in the original musical "Inertia." Dance credits include Come and Get the Beauty of it Hot (Rooftops and Stairwells), Swan Lake (Odette), and Napoli (Teresina). Much love to my wonderful family and the CCDT family!
Gena Oppenheim - Writer
Mason Beggs - Director
CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER is a member of New York Live Arts' Fiscal Sponsorship Program, making all contributions to the company 100% tax-deductible through New York Live Arts.
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Please make checks payable to ‘NEW YORK LIVE ARTS’ with CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER written in the memo line
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CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER is a fiscally sponsored member of New York Live Arts, Inc., a non-profit tax-exempt organization. Contributions in support of CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER‘s work are greatly appreciated and may be made payable to New York Live Arts, Inc., earmarked for “the New York Live Arts member project of CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER”. A description of the work and current project activities for which such contributions will be used are available from CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER or New York Live Arts, upon request. All contributions are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law. (Note: A copy of New York Live Arts’ latest annual financial report filed with the New York State Department of State may be obtained by writing to the N.Y.S. Dept. of State, Charities Registration, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY, 12231, or to New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, New York, NY, 10011)
GREAT GIRLS CREATE! is a dance and music workshop encouraging personal expression, individuality, self-esteem, and collaboration. Students will spend the afternoon creatively exploring through music and dance and will ultimately create their own short dance theater pieces. GREAT GIRLS CREATE! is an arts education collaboration between Clare Cook Dance Theater and MiCo Arts. It will be led by Clare Cook, Artistic Director of Clare Cook Dance Theater, and Leah Miles, Co-Founder of MiCo Arts.
Stay tuned for upcoming GREAT GIRLS CREATE! workshop dates
Clare Cook is a choreographer and Artistic Director of Clare Cook Dance Theater. Her work has been part of productions at the New York Musical Theater Festival, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, HERE Arts Center, Fringe NYC, Berkshire Fringe Festival, Planet Connections Festival (Best Choreography Award), the Bohemian National Hall and JCC in Manhattan with productions for Opera Slavica, as well as productions at NYU (Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program), Columbia University, The New School for Drama. Clare holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Clare has taught dance for over nine years in various studios, workshops, and school programs in Louisiana and New York City regions. She has worked with children, teens, adults and professional dancers and actors in the areas of modern dance, ballet, jazz dance, dance improvisation, and creative movement idioms. In 2010, Clare joined the Louisiana State University Department of Theater faculty as a guest teacher of modern dance. Clare works as a teaching artist for Dancewave in Brooklyn and is a dance and movement teaching artist with The Metropolitan Opera Guild. Prior to this, she served as the Education Director for the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.
Leah Miles holds a BA in Psychology from Salem State University (1994) and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts (2010). From 1995-2008, she ran a private piano and voice studio for students ages 11-18, taught music and theatre full-time at Collins Middle School in Massachusetts, and founded and co-directed Summer Stars, a performing arts camp for children ages 8-17. During the 2010-2011 school year, Leah served as an Artist In Residence at Salem State University along with business partner and collaborator, Donny Codden. Leah resides in New York City where she is a Teaching Artist for The Metropolitan Opera Guild, Arts Connection, TADA! Youth Theatre, and Arts Interface. She has also worked as accompanist for The Camp Broadway Chorus with Amy Burgess, which performed with “Broadway on Broadway” and also with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall in the fall and winter of 2010. In addition to her teaching career, Leah is a working musical theatre writer (book and lyrics) with composer Donny Codden. Their shows Everyone’s Waiting and Providence: A Musical Comedy, have had several productions and staged readings in New York City, Minnesota, and Massachusetts since April of 2010. In March of 2010 she co-founded with Donny Codden the counseling service, MiCo Arts, which provides college guidance and coaching for high school students pursuing undergraduate programs in the Theatre Arts. Leah is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and ASCAP.