Posts Tagged ‘Nichole Canuso’

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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At Home on Midway Avenue: Interview with Nichole Canuso

Posted April 24th, 2014

photoNichole Canuso is drawn to what people choose to embrace and what they try to erase from their memories, especially as relates to spaces. In her new solo dance performance (at FringeArts May 2 through May 4), Midway Avenue, she explores what happens when “the house you grew up in squeezes into your current home, bending walls, twinning rooms, tilting windows.” In the performance, she constructs and transforms her own memories of growing up in 1980s Philadelphia while through her dance she builds—and takes apart—her current house on stage. We caught up with Nichole to find out some background to the show, as well as what it’s like to create a solo work.

FringeArts: How did you come up with the title Midway Avenue?

Nichole Canuso: Midway Avenue is the name of the street I grew up on. This title came towards the end of the process, once I knew the subject matter of the dance was centering around this house I lived in as a child.

web-3.-Nichole-Canuso_Midway-Avenue_Photo-by-Peggy-WoolseyFringeArts: Can you talk about what Midway Ave is exploring and how it came about?

Nichole Canuso: This dance grew out of a choreographic research project that I instigated a few years ago that focused on the integration and exploration of verbal meaning and physical logic. The main thrust of the project was, and still is, an investigation of the intersections of words and movement in performance. I wanted to give myself the space to use my voice, my writing, and my body in range of ways—to challenge myself to arrange, strip down, and layer meaning in playful and meticulous ways.

As the process evolved my own stories and my own body became the source material and the platform for these formal investigations. Images and stories from my childhood home kept coming up in improvisations and experiments. What began as a formal exploration of language and body eventually became a personal excavation of memory, architecture, and the body. The solo veered in this direction for a few reasons. For one, solos are inherently personal, there is something vulnerable about standing alone. Second is timing: my son is currently the age that I was when a lot of my most potent childhood memories formed.

FringeArts: What’s it like to create a solo work? What appeals to about solo work from an artistic standpoint? And why now was the right time to create it?

Nichole Canuso: When I was a kid I spent a good amount of time alone. And I loved it. As an adult my life is filled with collaboration, discussion, parenting, and negotiation. I love this too.  In recent years I’ve been sculpting large installations with incredible groups of collaborators [Check out Nichole’s work in this area: Wandering Alice, TAKES, The Garden]. I’m also a mother, so for years time alone meant time writing at a computer, or sleeping.

nic on buildingBut some piece of me was ready to work alone for a bit. To return to a solitary place. In the beginning being alone in the studio felt unfamiliar, lonely, sometimes haunting. I realized I hadn’t really been alone in a studio for substantial chunks of time since before I’d become a mother, seven years prior.

But with this project, being alone with my body was the essential starting point. This time alone was not always “pleasant” and not always immediately “productive.” Spending long periods alone in the studio felt odd, like reconnecting with an old friend. Or maybe more like a frustrated grandmother who quips, “Why haven’t you visited?!” And like reconnecting with loved ones or taking a tour of an old house, you see things with a new perspective, while simultaneously experiencing a flood of memories. These sensations seeped into the content.

These sensations became the foundation for this new solo.  A lot of personal material was creeping into the process and although I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to use it as the subject for a work that I would share with the public, from that foundation I found portals into new ways of working. And eventually I found the courage to dig around and to allow myself to use my own stories as a frame for something larger than myself.

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