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What a privilege to spend my Summer at CUNY Dance Initiative Residency at Lehman College in the Bronx, training, exploring and creating material for my new choreographic project The night that you stopped acting/ La noche que dejaste de actuar.
As a professor, choreographer and mother of two kids (Lucio 11, and Fiamma 6 years old), many times going to the dance studio feels like a guilty/pleasure, like a luxury, that I can’t always afford. CUNY Dance Initiative is a refuge for mid-career artists like me, who has worked for so long but still can’t quite afford to have my own creative nest.
I am deeply thankful for this opportunity.
Juggling my roles of mother, immigrant,  teacher, choreographer, and dancer is not an easy road, but the journey and deep commitment to the Art of Dance is certainly very rewarding to me, and hopefully to my students and my community.
Having a collaborator in the studio is fundamental. Being alone in the dance studio for 4-5 hours is scary and tiring. Being alone in front of a white canvas, facing your ghosts is intense.
In this first phase of my project, I invited my friend Salvatore Cataldo, an Italian dancer now living in Cairo, Egypt, to join me in this creative adventure and re-discover my power as a performer, and further discover the new speech that my 44-year-old body needs to speak loud and clear.
The night that you stopped acting/ La noche que dejaste de actuar is a journey that has made me rediscover “Anabella the dancer”.
I remember the second day at the studio warming up and after doing a ballet barre to prepare and work on my alignment and musculature. One minute passed and I was in tears.
The muscular drama: In my muscles, I hold and accumulate years of tiredness as well as the emotional rollercoaster of becoming a mom, being an immigrant navigating the American system of life, as well as the non-stop-rhythm of NYC (I moved here 13 years ago).
Each dance meeting started with exercises to listen to my body to deeply understand and embrace where I was. What followed next was stretching and strengthening exercises. Afterwards, we held at least a one hour class in either Ballet or Modern Dance (Humphrey/ Limon technique), followed by at least three hours of improvisation. I was exhausted, thrilled and on fire, feeling like a 20 year-old again.
The improvisation ranged from exploration in breath, voice, music, props, to deeply exploring the elements of Dance: time, space, energy/effort and movement invention).
I brought books on Performance art, Egyptian culture and theater to rehearsal. We dug in and redefined what performance means for us. I reassured myself about the underlying mission as an artist.
The night that you stopped acting/ La noche que dejaste de actuar, reveals a new kind of dance because I am a new person. It’s not the dance that I like or love seeing, it’s the dance that comes from an honest place of who I am in this moment of my life, so it’s different than any other work I’ve ever done.
During the residency, I examined the anatomy of a performance. The show is about the relationship between myself as the artist and the audience, as well as the relationship between myself and the self I am presenting on stage. For example, there is a scene where I ask myself while on stage “Can I take my mask off? How far can I go? How far can I get?” In another scene, I question the audience. I ask them, “What do you think is true? What do you think is false?” I ask them about the things we may have in common, whether or not they have trust in me, and if there is a line that I as the performer cannot cross.
Also during the residency, I decided to call the videographer Angelo Vasta to collaborate, document and create a dance film that provides a testimony of our powerful journey using improvisation.  With Salvatore, we created a personal process of trying to define what performance means for us. I will be working with Angelo in the next couple of months! Stay tuned!
  • Master Class at Lehman College: I was delighted to give a Dance Theater masterclass for dancers and actors at Lehman College on October 7, 2019, and so gratified to spend time with Amy Larimer, head of the Dance Department. (I taught the following courses at Lehman from 2009 – 2014: Ballet, Dance History and World Dance). The students were so generous regarding their full commitment to the different improvisations that I offered.  Their energy was contagious and their creativity was like fireworks in the air. We explored the concepts that I explore in my work of “Motion creates Emotion vs. Emotion creates Motion”.
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  • UPCOMING PERFORMANCES:

    Sunday, October 27th at 3pm: Fundraiser Event and Work-in-Progress of my new solo work “The night that you stopped acting/La noche que dejaste de actuar” at CPR (Center for Performance Research, 361 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11211). Tickets $20/ $15 students https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4306748

The night that you stopped acting/ La noche que dejaste de actuar, is a one-woman show which both questions and affirms the reality of being a creator, an artist, and a spectator. It’s a reexamination of five key pieces of my repertory as well as an investigation of the very nature of the creative process, asking: “If a work of dance is created in the here and now, what happens when the here and now changes? How do the changes in our circumstances, our lives, and our bodies, alter our approach as dancers and choreographers?”These are the questions from which the show was born.

 

Choreographer and Dancer: Anabella Lenzu

Direction: Daniel Pettrow

Technology advisor: Todd Carroll

Dramaturgy: Naoko Maeshiba

Light Designer: Hao Bai

Mentor: Kate Valk

***This piece is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). It was developed at CUNY Dance Initiative at Lehman College 2019-2020 and funded in part by generous grants from Edward Foundation Arts Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, MATERIALS FOR THE ARTS, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs/NYC Department of Sanitation/NYC Department of Education and private donations.
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Part-time Intern Position available for: 
Development and Marketing
Ana Puerta
AL/DD offers stimulating internship opportunities for someone seeking experience in arts administration, development and marketing. The intern will gain experience in operations, marketing, public relations, archiving and production within a small yet very active professional dance company. The intern will directly assist Anabella Lenzu, Artistic Director, with producing events, marketing campaigns, grant research, database management and other pertinent work. Applicants should be available to commit for a minimum of 3 months, hours negotiable (8 hours / week preferred).
Internships can range from 3-12 month commitments, initially unpaid, with the opportunity to grow into a paid position.
The internship will start on September 30, 2019.

Development and Marketing Intern
1. Qualifications: 
The Administration applicant must have excellent oral and written communications skills, be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and able to manage multiple tasks and deadlines. The candidate for the internship position must work well independently, with exceptional attention to detail, outstanding communications and organizational skills, and a passion for the arts.

2. Compensation:  
This is an unpaid internship. AL/DD will provide a diligent and reliable intern with excellent recommendation letters and free performance tickets and the opportunity to attend Anabella Lenzu’s classes (for those with a dance background). This is a great opportunity to gain real life experience working closely with a small professional Arts Organization.

To be considered for the position, please write a cover letter
(no longer than 1 page) explaining:
a) Why you wish to intern at AL/DD
b) Your qualifications and interests
c) Your goals and expectations for the internship and dates and days of the week you are available
Applications due: Sptember 20, 2019. 
For more Info CLICK HERE
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Hola Amigos,
Please save the date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27th at 3pm!
I’m thrilled to invite you to a Fundraiser event and Work-in-Progress of my new solo work  “The night that you stopped acting/La noche que dejaste de actuar”.
So Thankful for your support!
A hug,  Anabella
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Fundraiser Event and Work-in-Progress 
“The night that you stopped acting/
La noche que dejaste de actuar”
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27th 
at 3pm
at Center for Performance Research
(361 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11211)
The night that you stopped acting/ La noche que dejaste de actuar, is a one woman show which both questions and affirms the reality of being a creator, an artist, and a spectator. It’s a reexamination of five key pieces of my repertory as well as an investigation of the very nature of the creative process, asking: “If a work of dance is created in the here and now, what happens when the here and now changes? How do the changes of our circumstances, our lives, and our bodies, alter our approach as dancers and choreographers?” These are the questions from which the show was born.
My work reflects my experience as a Latina/European artist living in New York and comes from a deep examination of my motivations as a woman, mother and immigrant.

Choreographer and Dancer: Anabella Lenzu

Direction: Daniel Pettrow

Technology advisor: Todd Carroll

Dramaturgy: Naoko Maeshiba

Light Designer: Hao Bai

Mentor: Kate Valk

***This piece is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). It was developed at CUNY Dance Initiative at Lehman College 2019-2020 and funded in part by generous grants from Edward Foundation Arts Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, MATERIALS FOR THE ARTS, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs/NYC Department of Sanitation/NYC Department of Education and private donations.

CLASS ALERT!

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Dear Dancers and Students,
Starting on June 1st, my teaching schedule at Peridance (Open Classes) will change.  
Take a look at my NEW Barre a Terre and Dance Theater schedule.
See you soon!
Anabella

BARRE A TERRE (OPEN LEVEL)

at Peridance Capezio Center (126 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Ave)

MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS: 8:30-10am
WEDNESDAYS: 10:00-11:30am

CLASS DESCRIPTION: Find your inner-strength; develop & improve alignment and technique; explore and learn how to efficiently use your body and your energy in a healthy way as instruments of your expression. Through this class, you can increase flexibility and strength, overcome physical difficulties and incorrect posture, and acquire physical awareness to help prevent injuries. Open to all levels of experience.

WHY STUDY BARRE A TERRE? To know more read Anabella’s Article


DANCE THEATER (OPEN LEVEL)

at Peridance Capezio Center (126 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Ave)

FRIDAYS: 10am-11:30am 

CLASS DESCRIPTION: Expand your craft, technique and creativity in an exclusive, personalized, classes. This is an opportunity for dancers, actors and performers to develop their potential on movement, voice and theater performance skills and connect both to become more authentic, expressive performers.

This class explores the principle: Motion Creates Emotion /Emotion Creates Motion, and emphasizes the use of imagination, interpretation and body coordination and control.

DANCE TECHNIQUE Students develop alignment technique and an understanding of the dynamic in dance. Increase flexibility and strength as well as to develop muscular awareness in order to prevent injuries. Using phrases of repertory, students solve technical problems, using fundamentals of ballet and modern dance techniques. Proper technique is the foundation for learning to dance and control the body, showing how to use one’s muscles, achieve balance, and become aware of posture and placement.

REPERTORY Students experience  Anabella Lenzu / DanceDrama repertory. The emphasis is on the journey rather than the destination, on understanding the impulses generated by movements and gestures. The search is for authentic and honest movement. Derived from our most basic impulses, these dance works use this principle to examine relationships between the individual and society, exploring communication, identity, memory, and spirituality, the relationship between people and their environment, the struggle for women’s identity and their role in society, and the nobility of the body as a temple for our mind, soul, and heart.

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Interview by Azeb Martel-Wilson (ALDD Marketing  Intern)

What does it mean to be an artist? Anabella Lenzu’s latest show,  La noche que dejaste de actuar/The night that you stopped acting, which began as a reexamination of her repertory, is now a one woman show which both questions and affirms the reality of being a creator, an artist, and a spectator. I had the pleasure of conversing with Anabella Lenzu about the challenges and triumphs of creating artistic content within a very unique framework. Inspired by exchanges with her close friends around the world and at home, La noche que dejaste de actuar/The night that you stopped acting is where exploration meets experiment, and has implications for the field of dance at large.

AMW: What is La noche que dejaste de actuar/The night that you stopped acting about, and how did it come to be?

AL:  Initially, I identified five key pieces of my repertory to revisit: The Grass is Always Greener (2010), The Corral (2009), In Pursuit of Happiness (2015), Pachamama: Mother World (2013), and Sangre y Arena (Blood and Sand) (2012). As we moved forward, we began to investigating the very nature of the creative process, asking: “If a work of dance is created in the here and now, what happens when the here and now changes? How do the changes of our circumstances, our lives, and our bodies, alter our approach as dancers and choreographers?” These are the questions from which the show was born.  I have drawn inspiration from my repertory by referencing texts, props and projections used in my former works, but La noche que dejaste de actuar/The night that you stopped acting is otherwise completely new. It swings from political to ritual, touching the wide range of topics I have explored in the past.   I hope to answer the questions above, as well as inform the works’ originality.

AMW: I understand that you have collaborated with several artists for this new work.  Can you explain your process so far?

AL: In October 2018, I reached out to friends of mine from around the world. They are dancers who have known me very well, each one at different times in my life.  I had multiple Skype conversations with an Italian artist Salvatore Cataldo, who is currently living in Cairo, Egypt, Satomi Suzuki from Japan who danced for me many years ago, and Soledad Gutierrez in Buenos Aires, Argentina,  who was my very first assistant. None of them had ever seen the pieces that I wanted to revisit. Once the show evolved to become about the creative process rather than the repertory itself, I began setting the new material here in New York City with the help of  Maria Victoria Ric Biraben, an actress, and dancers Daniele Di Felice, an ALDD apprentice, Martina Cariello, Guiliana Bertoya and Angela Caputo, in November 2018. I will be the only one performing in the finished piece for the stage, but working through Skype and in the studio with them really helped shape the show and demanded more exploration of the creative process.

AMW: What is it like to generate material for your show over Skype?

AL: We were frustrated that we could not communicate certain things over Skype. For example, when improvising, we could only see about 50% of what the other is doing. We sometimes could not see all of the details, or each other’s faces, and I definitely could not feel their body in space. I couldn’t feel their vibrations and they couldn’t feel mine. Luckily, these are people that I trust and who know me very well. We’ve collaborated before, so we already know what that person’s energy is like in person, but sometimes we felt this empty gap between what we saw on screen and what our imaginations lead us to believe was there.  Often we would have interruptions, large time differences, connectivity problems…The topic of the show is the creative process, and unexpectedly, these difficulties we were having with technology actually enriched it. We began to ask certain questions because that’s where the technology would take us.

AMW: How has the work that you have been doing with your friends abroad and your dancers in New York translated to your piece as a one-woman show?

AL:  All of the work that I did with them pushed me to explore the anatomy of a performance. When I perform this show I will be examining the relationship between myself as the artist and the audience, as well as the relationship between myself and the self I am presenting on stage. For example, there is a scene where I ask myself while on stage “Can I take my mask off? How far can I go? How far can I get?” In another scene, I question the audience. I ask them, “What do you think is true? What do you think is false?” I ask them about the things we may have in common, whether or not they have trust in me, and if there is a line that I as the performer cannot cross.

AMW: You are going to hold an open rehearsal for La noche que dejaste de actuar/The night that you stopped acting in June. What are the details surrounding this event?

AL:  There will be an open rehearsal for donors and friends on Friday June 28th at Lehman College in the Bronx as part of the CUNY dance initiative from 12:30 – 1:30 pm.

AMW: Finally, how would you define your own creative process?

AL: I’ve been choreographing since I was 16, and now I’m 44. Each piece takes me more or less 2 years to create. What I try to do is have each creative process be a different one, or else I get bored. What ignites the idea for a show can always change, it can be a painting, a piece of music, or in this case it was my long distance friendships. The creative process for me is the reason why I do what I do, so I don’t want to have a formula. What’s important for me is to be open and to create, and really live in the moment. This show is about the craft itself, about the mask falling, which is why it’s called La noche que dejaste de actuar/The night that you stopped acting. I don’t worry about forcing results or having a product in mind when I create…I completely trust that the result is going to be there because the process is so rich.

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“No more beautiful dances” wrestles with the ideas of exploration, introspection and reframing a woman after becoming a mother, and being an inmigrant.

Lenzu’s dance film uses spoken word and drawings to tell a personal vision of femininity, and what it means to be a woman today.

Director, Choreographer and Dancer: Anabella Lenzu
Cinematographer & Editor : Angelo Vasta
Acting Director & Voice Coach: Daniel Pettrow
Technology advisor: Todd Carroll

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DANCE THEATER WORKSHOP
Motion creates Emotion
and Emotion creates Emotion
July 22-26, 2019
(Monday-Friday from 10am-1PM)
at Peridance, NYC

FACULTY: ANABELLA LENZU

Expand your craft, technique and creativity in an exclusive, personalized, tailored program. This is an opportunity for dancers, actors and performers to develop their potential on both movement and theater performance skills and connect both to become more authentic, expressive performers.

This Workshop explores the principle: Motion Creates Emotion /Emotion Creates Motion, and emphasizes the use of imagination, interpretation and body coordination and control.

***To register for the Workshop CLICK HERE

DANCE TECHNIQUE (Monday – Friday, 10:00- 11:30AM)
Students develop alignment technique and an understanding of the dynamic in dance. Increase flexibility and strength as well as to develop muscular awareness in order to prevent injuries. Using phrases of ALDD repertory, students solve technical problems. Proper technique is the foundation for learning to dance and control the body, showing how to use one’s muscles, achieve balance, and become aware of posture and placement.

REPERTORY (Monday – Friday, 11:30AM-1:00PM)
Students experience and study Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (ALDD) repertory. The emphasis is on the journey rather than the destination, on understanding the impulses generated by movements and gestures. The search is for authentic and honest movement. Derived from our most basic impulses, these dance works use this principle to examine relationships between the individual and society, exploring communication, identity, memory, and spirituality, the relationship between people and their environment, the struggle for women’s identity and their role in society, and the nobility of the body as a temple for our mind, soul, and heart.
**There will be a showing on the final day of the workshop (Friday, July 26) from 12:40-1:00PM to showcase repertory developed during the workshop

CONCLUSION:
It is an honor for me to be able to sustain and support dancers in the delicate task of cultivating their awareness of themselves as individual artists. As we become aware of our passions and strengths, we are able to wake the creative impulse in others.  I seek what is essential and want to connect or reconnect people with the joy of dance.
Wherever I go, I teach with a human and comprehensive pedagogy in which creativity, ethics and aesthetics are intertwined. – Anabella