CLARE COOK

Clare
Cook

Dancer . Choreographer . Teacher . Collaborator

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Dance is my language and the lens through which I see the world. The creative process is what keeps me alive and kicking.

 
 

Current Work:

Founder & Director, Basin Arts
Artistic Director, Basin Dance Collective
Dance Faculty, University of Louisiana Lafayette
 

 

Degrees:

MFA, Dance, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
BA, Mass Communication, LSU

 

Awards & Affiliations:

Member SDC
Member Dance/USA
2017 ABC ICON Rising Star Award
2016 ArtSpark Recipient

Clare Cook is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and community collaborator with a deep commitment to dance and the power of the arts to effect change. After a decade of working in NYC, Cook returned to Lafayette, La in 2016 inspired to invest her time and talent in her hometown's burgeoning arts community. She is the Founder and Director of Basin Arts, a collaborative arts space in Downtown Lafayette as well as the Artistic Director of Basin Dance Collective, the professional dance company in residence at Basin Arts.  

In 2010, she began Clare Cook Dance Theater as a vehicle to create and produce original, collaborative dance theater productions. Through CCDT and as a freelance choreographer she has presented work at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, DanceNOW Festival at Joe’s Pub, HERE Arts Center, Cortland Repertory Theater, Fringe NYC, Triskelion Arts, Opera Slavica, NYU, The New School for Drama and Columbia University.

As a performer, Cook has worked with ChristinaNoel & The Creature, Yin Yue Dance, colectivodoszeta/Carlos A. Cruz Velazquez, Yoo & Dancers, expandance, Christopher Williams, Ivy Baldwin, Kay Cummings, Jim Martin, and Raw Delivery/Carrie J. Brown,  She has performed across NYC at Dance Theater Workshop, St. Mark's Church, Joyce Soho, La Mama, Duo Theater, Webster Hall, Bushwick Starr, John Ryan Theater, and The Tank, among other venues.

She is currently developing a new dance opera, The Road Between the Desert and the Sea, with writer Mkhululi Mabija and composer Paul Castles, with developmental support from NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts. She was the choreographer for the First National Tour of Bullets Over Broadway, re-setting Susan Stroman’s Tony-Nominated choreography and traveled to Bulgaria with the Drama League of NYC to work with the Sofia Puppet Theatre of Bulgaria.

Since late 2017, Clare has put her primary choreographic focus towards Basin Dance Collective aimed at developing a professional dance platform for dancers in Lafayette, La. One year later, BDC maintains a company of seven dancers with a consistent weekly training and rehearsal schedule and a nine-month season. The company’s work is greatly influenced by its creative home at Basin Arts and the influx of artists from all disciplines. Recent projects include SURFACE at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in collaboration with Body Painter, Brittney Pelloquin and Abstract Painter, Dirk Guidry, and PARADE, a dance, video and architectural collaboration commissioned by the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra.

Clare has been on faculty at LSU and NYU Tisch Dance, worked as Education Director for the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, was a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and currently teaches Modern Dance at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.  Since moving to Lafayette in 2016, she has presented work with the Acadiana Center for the Arts, worked with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, collaborated with Runaway Dish, and has been commissioned by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to create multiple new works for State of La Danse, ArTech Fusion, and the Hilliard Art Museum.

Community outreach is a large part of Clare’s creative investment in Louisiana. For over two years she led weekly dance classes at Miles Perret Cancer Services for cancer survivors. She works weekly with the elderly population and those with Alzheimer’s and dementia at The Blake. Through Basin Arts, she has designed and facilitated movement workshops with Acadiana C.A.R.E.S., Big Brothers-Big Sisters, AOC Community Media and GEAR Up through the Acadiana Center for the Arts. She has created interactive dance and visual art field trip experiences for area schools, and developed a curriculum, Movement & Mindfulness, for a year-long teaching residency at Myrtle Place Elementary School. Additionally, her motivation to cultivate a broader dance community in Acadiana inspired the creation and launch of Acadiana Dance Month, a month-long initiative to bring awareness about the diverse dance population in our community and inspire greater audience engagement.

Her early dance training was at DeLarue Dance Centre in Lafayette, then at Louisiana State University under the direction of Molly Buchmann, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and The Ailey School in NYC. Clare holds an MFA in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society professional union.

 

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Choreography Credits

 
 

BASIN DANCE COLLECTIVE
(2017 - present)

SURFACE (full production), Acadiana Center for the Arts
SURFACE
(excerpt), Louisiana Arts Summit hosted by Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
Enchanted Fruit, The Chandelier Room’s White Linen Night
S’Nice, ABC Icon Awards, Acadiana Center for the Arts
Parade, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra at the Heymann Center
Look. See. Do. performance installation, Hilliard Museum
Parade (developmental workshop), University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s State of La Danse
Ripe Figs Won’t Keep, STIR at Acadiana Center for the Arts

 

CLARE COOK DANCE THEATER
(2012 - 2016)

Fragments, University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s State of La Danse
Touching Loss (full production), Acadiana Center for the Arts
Stravinsky’s Firebird, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra at the Heymann Center
Touching Loss (workshop), Triskelion Arts' Split Bill Series
Under My Skin, DanceNow Festival: Joe’s Pub
Show Me Real, The New York Musical Theatre Festival, PTC Performance Space

 

MUSICALS
selected credits
2008 - present

Finding Neverland (Dance Assistant to Mia Michaels), NETworks Productions, Dir. Diane Paulus
Footloose the Musical, Cortland Repertory Theater, Dir. Mark Reynolds
American Musical Showcase, Sofia Puppet Theatre of Bulgaria/Drama League of NYC, Dir. Shelley Butler
Bullets Over Broadway National Tour , NETworks Productions, Dir. Jeff Whiting
Bullets Over Broadway SDC Observer, Lab Presentation, Dir. Susan Stroman
Mother Jones and the Children’s Crusade, NYMF 2014, Dir. Michelle Tattenbaum
Happiness 1.0, Samuel French Festival, Dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Jack Perry is Alive and Dating, NYMF 2011, Dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh
The Money Show, HERE Arts Center, Dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Hatter (workshop), NYU-GMTWP, Dir. Rob Heller
King of Ghosts, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Dir. Josh Sauermann
Graveyard Shift (Assistant Chor.) NYC Fringe, Dir. Ren Casey
Wagon Wheel **Best Choreography Award**, Planet Connections Festival, Dir. Rob Heller
Dizzy (workshop), NYU-GMTWP, Dir. Rob Heller
POP! (workshop) NYU-GMTWP, Dir. Rob Heller
Cheer Wars (workshop) NYU-GMTWP, Dir. Ryan Mekenian

 

PLAYS
selected credits
2008 - present

Dancing with Aurora Borealis, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Dir. Clare Cook
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, LSU Swine Palace Theatre, Dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh
What Happened to Bill Viola?, Ars Nova & Berkshire Fringe Fest, Dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh
A Document in Madness, Theatre Han, Dir. Mason Beggs
Walkabout Yeohla, Columbia Stages, Dir. Kon Yi
4:48 Psychosis, New School for Drama, Dir. Mason Beggs
Rain Machine, KafkaFest – Columbia University, Dir. Kon Yi
Big Love, Columbia Stages, Dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh

 

OPERA
selected credits
2008 - present

The Road Between the Desert and the Sea, Developmental Workshop, NYU Center for Ballet & the Arts
Eugene Onegin, Opera Slavica at the JCC Manhattan, Dir. Kara-Lynn Vaeni
Rusalka, Opera Slavica at the Bohemian National Hall, Dir. Kara-Lynn Vaeni

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