Archive for the ‘Nichole Canuso’ Category

Pandæmonium’s Desert Recollections

Posted September 13th, 2016

Earlier this summer the devisers of Pandæmonium ventured out into the Mojave desert to build a drive-in movie screen, stage a version of the choreography, and collect footage for the live performance. They’ve kindly shared some photos from this endeavor with us as well as some brief recollections of the experience. Consider it a sneak peek of some of the breathtaking imagery this exciting cinematic dance-theater concert has to offer. More info and tickets can be found here.

“The first thing I did in the desert was watch a copperhead rattlesnake get killed. The man who killed it then made us a drive-in movie screen.” Lars Jan (Director, Creator)


(photo by Nichole Canuso)


(photo by Nichole Canuso)


(photo by Xander Duell)



“The role of the mannequins was born out there in the desert. We found them on craigslist outside of LA and got to know them for the first time through the filming process. They quickly became an important anchor in the project.” Nichole Canuso (Performer, Creator)

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Fringe at 20 Profile: Nichole Canuso

Posted September 9th, 2016
Above photo:  Nichole Canuso and Dito Van Reigersberg in TAKES (photo by Lars Jan)



Nichole Canuso and Scott McPheeters in The Garden (photo by Peggy Woolsey)

Name: Nichole Canuso

Type of Artist: Choreographer/Performer

Companies: Headlong, Moxie, Pig Iron, Nichole Canuso Dance Company

List of Fringe shows I’ve participated in:

As Choreographer/Performer:
1997 – Bored on a Sunday
1998 – Enter Night
1999 – Nichole Canuso’s Dance Shorts
2000 – InnerState Thirteen
2005 – We Spar Down the Lane
2006 – Fail Better
2007 – Wandering Alice (in progress)
2008 – Wandering Alice
2010 – TAKES
2011 – As the Eyes of the Seahorse
2012 – Return Return Departure
2013 – The Garden
2016 – Pandæmonium

As co-artistic director of Moxie Dance Collective (with Christy Lee, Heather Murphy, Leah Yeager, Peter D’Orsaneo):
2001, 2002, 2003 – We created group shows of short works. We thought of them as albums, a curated set of overlapping ideas.

As a co-host of The Rockies, Philadelphia’s dance awards:
2004 – with co-hosts Emmanuel Delpech and Lee Etzold we performed as our characters in Pig Iron’s FLOP (Snow, Millie and Fleur Savage)


Nichole Canuso and Michael Kiley in As the Eyes of the Seahorse (photo by Matt Saunders)

As a performer/company member of Headlong:
1997 – Pop Songs
1998 – St*r W*rs and other stories
2000 – Pusher
2002 – Britany’s Inferno
2006 – Cell
2007 – Explanatorium
2009 – more

Additional performances:
1997 and 1998 – performer/company member with Karen Bamonte Dance works
1999 – David Gammon’s No More Masterpieces.
1997 – 2003 – the cabarets!!! Deb Block would curate those and I would always agree to perform short numbers in the late night cabaret series. Super fun.

Fringe show I’m participating in for 2016Pandæmonium – Choreographer/Performer, Working in collaboration with Lars Jan and Geoff Sobelle

First Fringe I attended: 1997 – The highlight was biking around from venue to venue to perform and see shows. I had the feeling that the entire Philadelphia performance community was activated simultaneously in some way or another by the festival.  I was fresh out of college and it was incredibly exciting.  (I also performed that year in a couple shows, including a solo I’d made for myself)

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Nichole Canuso Dance Company takes TAKES to New York City in January

Posted December 23rd, 2011

TAKES came into being during a residency at our Live Arts Brewery (LAB) and premiered at the 2010 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. Next, Nichole Canuso Dance Company will present the piece in New York from January 5th – 8th at 3LD Art and Technology Center.


photo by Lars Jan

Conceived by choreographer Nichole Canuso and multimedia director Lars Jan, TAKES immerses you in a shimmering world where live action and lost moments intersect. Barely separated from the audience by the thin membrane of a room-sized projection box, this haunting duet flickers between memories and an intimate, visceral present. A sensual melding of live bodies and film, TAKES manifests, reframes, refracts and spatially unfolds the forgotten moments of a relationship in real-time. Throughout the performance the audience is free to wander and shift perspective around the installation. Canuso performs alongside Dito Van Reigersberg (Pig Iron Theatre Company) in this panoramic marriage of choreography and film.

Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/882895
Trailer: http://www.nicholecanusodance.org/takes/media/

Click here to view the promotional flyer

Cabaret for Nicole Canuso Dance Company

Posted May 6th, 2011

This year, spend your Friday the 13th at a mystical, funhouse-themed cabaret with some Philadelphia’s most delightful and ridiculous performers. Nichole Canuso Dance Company (NCDC) will hold its Third Annual Benefit Cabaret on Friday, May 13th, at Underground Arts at The Wolf Building in Center City.

The evening will be hosted by Rainey Lacey (Wandering Alice, 2008), and feature performances by Nichole Canuso (Wandering Alice, 2008; TAKES, 2010), Geoff Sobelle (all wear bowlers, 2003; Amnesia Curiosa, 2006; Elephant Room, 2011), Miss Martha Graham Cracker (seen monthly with her band at L’Etage), Headlong Dance Theater (more., 2009), Charlotte Ford (Chicken, 2010), puppeteer Beth Nixon (Cankerblossom, 2010), The Rabble Rousers (2nd place winners at this year’s Mummer’s parade) and other local favorites.

Featured events include a Magic Photo Booth with Philadelphia’s photographer of choice, JJ Tiziou (back by popular demand!), Tarot Card Readings from Reader Hilary Dick, Horary Astrological Readings from Max Brown, a Whack-a-Mole competition, face and body painting, drink specials, and more.

Guests can take home such auction items as a package from Magic Hat Brewery; a martini package from Blue Coat Gin; other liquor packages; acupuncture, massage, and spa treatments; and gift certificates to Philly’s best boutiques and restaurants. In addition to an auction, there is a raffle prize of a trip to NYC with two nights in a W Hotel.

Guests can also dance throughout the evening to a soundtrack by renowned local sound designers Michael Kiley and James Sugg.

Proceeds directly benefit Nichole Canuso Dance Company, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and will allow Nichole Canuso Dance Company to continue its mission to create dance projects that exist at the crossroads of movement, visual art, and theater. The money raised will support the general operations of the company, as well as go towards funding the presentation of TAKES in New York City at 3-Legged Dog from January 5 – 8, 2012. The company is self-producing the work and needs to raise funds to support that endeavor. Additionally, NCDC is beginning the campaign to raise money to support the creation, development, and production of The Garden over the next two years – the company’s next large scale interactive production.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Underground Arts at The Wolf Building
1200 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, PA 19108

6:30pm: Pre-Party Reception with Artists

7:30pm: Doors open for general admission

Ticket Information:
$60: 6:30pm Pre-Party Reception includes a pre-party with the artists plus a bounty of food, drinks, and conversation. Come early to get your Buttercream Cupcake!

$20: General Admission, at the door.

$13: General Admission, advance purchase.

For latest information: CLICK HERE

Tickets can be purchased in advance online HERE or at the door the evening of the event.

Musicians and dancers cross paths at this collaborative indie rock concert

Posted November 30th, 2010

For several years now Nichole Canuso Dance Company (TAKES, 2010 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival) has been creating short dances to coincide with the live concerts of Philadelphia-based band The Mural and The Mint. This year they are taking their work with the group a step further, creating an evening-length collaboration where movement and music truly collide.

As the Eyes of the Seahorse is a live indie-rock concert fused with immersive choreography. Dancers and musicians continuously trade places as movement and music – from guitars to bike wheels to mason jars – collide. A surprising and intimate journey awaits you.

As the Eyes of the Seahorse
Premieres at HERE Arts Center in SoHo (145 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10013)
Thurs – Sat, December 9 – 11

Tickets on sale now!
For more information or to purchase tickets, Click Here.

UPDATE: Click here to read South Philly Review’s profile on Nichole Canuso and story about the collaborative work!

Takes on “TAKES”

Posted September 2nd, 2010

When Dito Van Reigersberg first entered the cube, as the set for the 2010 Live Arts Festival show TAKES has come to be called, he had just stepped off a plane to an early rehearsal in Los Angeles.

“I come into this space, watching my image fly around, and I almost ralphed,” Dito says.

“We called it the blender,” says Nichole Canuso, who, along with Lars Jan, conceived and will direct TAKES.

“And I had to be the sacrificial daiquiri,” says Dito, who will perform alongside Nichole in the dance duet.

Lucky for me, when I stepped into the cube—a four-walled space where the echoes of a room are set up, and where the walls are 10-foot by 20-foot scrims—I had just strolled down the street from the office to the Festival Hub. Nichole and Lars Jan, creators and directors of TAKES, invited me into the space, where, thankfully, I did not ralph. I did, however, experience the strange sensation of moving in reaction to slightly delayed video of my movement.

“I’m interested in having the audience step inside of the work,” says Nichole. “In a gallery [setting], you pay attention to how you move through the space.”

During the Festival, audience members have the opportunity to experience the box for themselves. (Reservations here—it’s free.) In its installation mode, Lars says that visitors will wear an iPod with a track that tells them what to do, creating a dance with two people at a time.

“It’s a mix of formal instruction of where to be and a playful interaction between you and the other person.”

But the box isn’t just for playtime, it’s for showtime too. After the jump: filmic, theatrical, and dance performance overlap—and get edited.

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PW Picks Your Shows, and SHAMELESS PLUG for “Boat Hole”

Posted September 1st, 2010

J. Cooper Robb is on Live Arts and Philly Fringe Festival beat for Philadelphia Weekly, picking 10 don’t-miss shows, including, among others, CHICKEN, TAKES, and Festival editor emeritus Josh McIlvain’s show Boat Hole. On Josh, Robb writes:

“When Josh McIlvain isn’t editing the official Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe guide (a Herculean task), he’s a frequently produced playwright; and 15 of his funniest short plays (each runs between one and 10 minutes) are rounded up in Boat Hole (Sept. 15-18). The briefly met characters involve a pair of ordinary guys who see a career opportunity in terrorism and orcas who bicker over performing tricks for tourists.”

Yay, go Josh! We miss you, buddy!

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Image by Lisa Modica

Live Arts Festival TV: “TAKES”

Posted August 31st, 2010

TAKES, the much-anticipated new dance from Nichole Canuso Dance Company, opens on Friday. The dance takes place in a four-walled space where the echoes of a room are set up. The the walls are 10-foot by 20-foot scrims projecting a live feed, variably delayed, of the characters danced by Dito Van Reigersberg and Nichole Canuso.

Very cool, right? The cube is gorgeous in person. And if you want to play in the cube yourself, you can. Reservations here—it’s free. The show, though? You gotta pay. Sorry!

TAKES runs throughout the festival, Theater West at The Hub, 626 North 5th Street, Northern Liberties. Dates and times vary, $25 to $30. For details and tickets, click here.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Decadere dancer Bethany Formica on culture clash and why dancers are not normal human beings

Posted June 29th, 2010

“I’m more interested in performing than choreographing,” says Bethany Formica, who will be dancing in Marianela Boán’s new piece for the Live Arts Festival, Decadere. “I ended up choreographing because otherwise you have no ownership over your work. It’s a struggle of wanting to be known for that, but I have to force myself to choreograph.”

Bethany is not unknown for her choreography; after all, she received a Pennsylvania Council for the Arts choreography fellowship in 2008. But she is better known for her performances in some of the region’s best-received dance performances of recent years, such as Nichole Canuso’s Wandering Alice and Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw’s Faktor T (to which she also contributed choreography).

For her work in Faktor T, she and the Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw went back and forth from Poland over the course of a year while they rehearsed.

“It was a difficult process,” Bethany says. “It was a small company with huge egos, and we’d be sitting in dark theaters for twelve hours smoking cigarettes and doing nothing.”

Still, Bethany says the international opportunities she’s had in Philadelphia have been remarkable, citing Dance Advance in particular as an organization that promotes international exchanges.

Only recently did she return from the Dominican Republic and Colombia, where she performed with Marianela Boán. In Decadere, Bethany says the cultural interactions between Marianela and the dancers create challenges, but rewarding ones.

“There are so many things Marianela doesn’t explain. It’s a mix of cultures, two languages in the rehearsal room all the time. The Colombians and Scott [McPheeters] and I had worked together as pairs before, and as a quartet, we have to figure out how to mix. Marianela pokes fun at the culture she’s living in. Now that she’s in the U.S., she’s focusing on what we’re doing wrong.”

Bethany looks forward to seeing the cultural mix in action in the United States.

“We only performed Decadere in the Dominican Republic in front of Spanish-speaking audiences. There were jokes [in Spanish] that I didn’t get. We’re definitely exploited as the gringos in the piece. Whether that’s amusing here, I don’t know.”

After the jump: dark humor, collaboration, and “the best most horrible thing that ever happened to me.”

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How to Manage a Benefit or Someone Get Sarah Chandler an iPhone

Posted June 14th, 2010

“I think me and Nichole were at a bar or something, and she asked me if I would manage this event for her. I was like, ‘Yeah, sounds great! Let’s plan a party!’ Lo and behold, it’s a lot more work than getting hot dogs and buns.”

Little did Sarah Chandler know, she would now be working on her second benefit with Nichole Canuso Dance Company (NCDC), the
2nd Annual NCDC Benefit Cabaret which will be put on at Triumph Brewing Co. at 6:30 PM on next Thursday, June 17th.

Sarah forged her relationship with Nichole through her work with Pig Iron Theater Company, who persuaded her to move from NYC where she was working with The Public Theater to manage their international tour of Hell Meets Henry Halfway. She stayed, and now lives in South Philly.

“Lists, lists, lists,” Sarah says of how she stays organized. She writes lists of goals for the company on notebooks and Google Calendar, and even has one to-do inked on her wrist: “The exponent of breath,” an Emily Dickinson quote “that reminds me to love other people.”

Sarah originally followed in the footsteps of her two parents, who work for non-profits that help physically and mentally challenged people live independently, by studying sociology at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, where she grew up. Following the encouragement of a high school English teacher to follow her heart and pursue theater, she then went on to get an MFA in Theater from Virginia Tech, where she discovered her knack for production.

“I don’t have enough confidence for acting; right before a show I get really stressed out,” insists Sarah. “Even as a manager I feel that level of stress, but I’m not in the spotlight. It’s easier to sneak around in black clothes.”

Who will win the benefit raffle’s grand prize? Click more

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Flashpoint Theatre Wants Your Money, But Only $20!

Posted June 4th, 2010

Flashpoint Theatre Company‘s fundraiser is Saturday night. We thought we’d catch up with Brett Mapp, Flashpoint board member, to find out how people (like you!) can get involved in Philly arts.

As the community relations manager at Whole Foods Market on South Street, Brett supported many organizations with donations, led Whole Foods to be one of the first advertisers in GRID, and has since moved on to be the director of operations for the Old City District. He’s also the founder of PhillyMAPP, a micro-grants organization designed to support individuals and organizations who can leverage a small amount of money into progressive change for their neighborhoods.

First, why should we give Flashpoint our hard-earned twenty bucks?
Open Bar! Free food! Plus, we have a new artistic and managing director [whom you can meet] and ticket prices do not come close to covering the cost of theater companies’ expenses.

Nice! Give me six Schlitzes! How did you get involved with Flashpoint?
At my old job at Whole Foods Market, I was asked to donate some food. I went to a few of their shows and became friends with them.

For how long have you been a board member?
Four years, going on five.

What does being a board member entail?
The number one job is trying to raise money for the company, and to create awareness of the company.

How do theaters find board members, and if somebody wanted to get involved on that level with a theater, what should they do?
Most board members come from fellow board members: “Hey I know this person who would love our company,” et cetera.

You’re quite the man-about-Philly-arts. Who are some of the other organizations with whom you’ve worked, and where do you think Philadelphians who want to get involved should start? (Besides volunteering with us, that is!)
Mural Arts, Theater Alliance, The Brothers Network, Dance USA/Philly, Nichole Canuso Dance Company. The first step is to usher. You get to see the show for free and it’s the easiest way to help out a company.

Tell me about PhillyMAPP and your plans for the organization.
We give money to people with a purpose. We give out grants of $1,000 or less to individuals or organizations that seek to positively change their neighborhoods. The long term is 100 grants a year spread throughout the city.

The Cabaret of Delights: Flashpoint’s Gala 2010 will be held on Saturday, June 5, 8:00 pm. Second Stage at the Adrienne Theatre, 2030 Sansom Street. $20 ticket includes beer, wine, food, a 9:30 pm cabaret show, and a post-show dance party.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Tonight: Bodies Everywhere

Posted June 15th, 2009

Don’t forget! The Mural and The Mint play with music and with bodies, and kate watson-wallace/anonymous bodies (STORE) too, at the Piazza tonight, 7:00 pm. Until then, check out the Kate WaWa-choreographed video for Animal Collective’s “Summertime Clothes,” below:

Tonight, free, at 7:00 pm, at the Piazza, N. 2nd St. between Poplar and Girard, across the street from Liberties Walk.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Save the Date(s)

Posted June 12th, 2009

What are you doing next week? Spending your days on this blog, and then what I tell you to do:

>>>Monday: Double bill at The Piazza at Schmidts (N. 2nd St., across from Liberties Walk) – kate watson-wallace/anonymous bodies (STORE), and The Mural and The Mint accompanying a mob of Philly’s best dancers. Mike Kiley, who did the sound design for Nichole Canuso’s Wandering Alice at the 2008 Live Arts Festival, helms the listener-supported band (Download their album here, please donate if you like them.) They’re providing the soundtrack for what the Piazza’s website calls “Nichole Canuso’s roaming dance installation.” Nearly every dancer is involved with this year’s Live Arts lineup. You should go, but in case you miss it, catch our report and pics in this space next week. It’s free, at 7:00 pm, at the Piazza, N. 2nd St. between Poplar and Girard, across the street from Liberties Walk.

>>>Tuesday: Where else is there to be except at the Welcome to Yuba City Pit Stop at the Arts Bank (Broad & South Streets)? Get personal with Pig Iron’s Quinn Bauriedel, Charlotte Ford, Geoff Sobelle, and Dito Van Reigersberg, who will discuss the process of creating Welcome to Yuba City. Expect talk of clowns, cowboys, and American myth, followed by a reception with the artists. It’s free, at 7:00 pm, at the Arts Bank at Broad & South streets. RSVP to robin@livearts-fringe.org.

>>>Friday: Finalize your Artists U application. For the first time, Artists U is offering an open nomination process. Founded by Andrew Simonet of Headlong Dance Theater (more.), the project is, according to its site, “…a cooperative platform for helping performing artists with planning, long-term thinking, and problem-solving.” We, in fact, proudly host Artists U, and attest that it’s helped a lot of artists you know and respect get an administrative leg up. Letters of intent are due by email on June 20.

>>>Saturday: Twofer! Come by the Popped!/2nd Street Festival(s) in our new hood, and stop by our table to say hello. Bands and food and drinks all day, oh my. But keep your game face on, because that night is the previously plugged kate watson-wallace/anonymous bodies benefit party in Old City. Can you handle the 15-hour odyssey? More details on these next week.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photo courtesy Pig Iron.