Posts Tagged ‘Choreography and Improvisation’



How do we fill the space of a loved one who is no longer there?

What is left behind?  

Is there residue of that person seeping into our lives?  

Or do they bubble up at unexpected moments like flashes in the dark?  

What does it mean to be a “ghost”?

These are the thoughts that dance in my head as Im working on the new creation IN PURSUIT by Anabella Lenzu.  

I began collaborating with Anabella on this new dance piece shortly after her father passed away.  The loss of her father was still fresh, raw, and jarring.  We didnt know where we were heading when we began rehearsals, but we had a starting point:  stories about her father and stories told by her father.  In early rehearsals I started each day by interviewing Anabella.  They were simple and direct questions about what her father was like (working at a printing press and coming home with his hands covered in black ink), what he was fascinated with in life (hypnotism and auras), and funny, quirky anecdotes (ways he would trick Anabella into taking medicine when she was a little girl).  

These interviews created source material that we began to work with.  Eventually we recorded them and played them in the room like a radio.  We wanted a detached or removed quality to these stories.  We wanted the quality of something that you only get a glimpse of every once in a while.  Something that can shut off at any moment.  

Visually for the piece Anabella collected images that focused on objects and locations that revealed dramatic change over time, deterioration, disappearance, and entropy.  These shattered collages were overlaid in the space with a projector to create a dynamic environment. The projections revealed the literal space we were working in while at the same time covering it with an image that dynamically changed how we felt in the space as viewers.  

One element that was discovered in rehearsals was the relationship between Anabella and the dancer, Lauren Ohmer.  Anabella would carry the projector and follow Lauren throughout the space.  As we rehearsed I thought it was fascinating to have Anabella in the space exposed like that.  Literally she was the choreographer observing her dancer close up.  The more we developed the piece, the more it gave the impression of a ghost following a body around a space.  It also created the feeling of someone trying to examine a foggy memory to gain clarity.

As we continue to rehearse it has become clear to me that this piece is about the impossible attempt to capture an essenceof a father who has passed away.  Even though the attempt is impossible, it is that struggle which becomes fascinating.  Anabellas struggle to conjure the image of her father and his dramatic influence on her life as a choreographer and person has become the drama.

What are we left with?  A ghost?  A haunting?  Or perhaps the residue of this journey seeps into the cracks of our fingers like ink, leaving a subtle imprint echoing what was there before.  Now it is gone, but somehow, beneath the skin, it is a part of us forever.  


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Daniel Pettrow has been an associate actor with The Wooster Group since 2006.  He has performed in HAMLET, VIEUX CARRE, and WHO’S YOUR DADA?.  He is also an instructor at The Wooster Group’s “Summer Institute.”  Daniel is a frequent collaborator with Bluemouth inc, and has presented DANCE MARATHON at the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Daniel works closely with French Director Arthur Nauzyciel, having performed the lead roles in Jean Genet’s SPLENDID’S, Bernard Marie Koltes’ BLACK BATTLES WITH DOGS, ROBERTO ZUCCO, and Mark Antony in JULIUS CAESAR.  Daniel directed Marie Darrieussecq’s THE SEA MUSEUM for FIAF’S “Crossing the Line” festival.  The production took place in Brooklyn’s abandoned Atlantic Avenue Tunnel – the oldest subway tunnel in the world.  He directs sketch comedy group “Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting” at The P.I.T.  Film/TV includes:  “In Stereo”, “Red Band Society”, “Good Eats”, “The Cult of Sincerity”, “The Last Adam”, “FightF*ckPray”, “Psychopathia Sexualis”, “Kathy T”, “My Uncle Sidney.” Visit his website.

Pettrow has been collaborating with DanceDrama since 2010 as a director, voice and acting consultant/teacher.



Celebrating its 9th Anniversary, New York based Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama presents :

In Pursuit of Happiness  by Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama


Wednesday, September 30 at 6PM at Argentinean Consulate (12 W 56th St, New York)

20 minute performance followed by Q&A and refreshments.


Friday, October 23 at 8pm, Saturday, October 24 at 8p & Sunday, October 25 at 8pm 

at The Alchemical Theater Lab, NYC (104 W 14th Street, New York, NY 10011).

Limited seating! Tickets online https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/951784

Choreography:  Anabella Lenzu

Direction: Daniel Pettrow

Dancers: Lauren Ohmer & Anabella Lenzu

Music Landscape: Todd Carroll

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Happy Summer Amigos!

Unveiling Motion and Emotion gets another Amazing review at The Life and Lies blog: http://haleymathiot.blogspot.com/2015/06/unveiling-motion-and-emotion.html

As the review says: “I adore this book and will continue to read it for inspiration and encouragement!”

Consider giving the book as a present! Share it with friends! To purchase click HERE

A big hug, Anabella


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Dear Friends,

As 2014 comes to a close I am reaching out to you for your help in producing a new show and writing a second book. For over 24 years, I have been teaching around the world. I deeply appreciate the support you have shown me over the past 8 years of my artistic development in New York City. 2014 has proven to be another remarkable year, and 2015 looks to be even more exciting with your continued support. I can’t wait to share it with you!

In 2013, I published my first book with your continued support. After the success of my first book Unveiling Motion and Emotion, I am looking forward to creating another resource for the dance community. Unveiling has already gathered a strong following

“It is a book that I will return to again and again for inspiration about dance, art, and for general guidance about how to create a genuine, fulfilled, and fully realized life.” Veronica Hackethal

“Anabella Lenzu is a life changing teacher– now we know why” DanceReader


It is imperative that I build quickly on my success and deliver this resource to my readers. Universities such as RAD (School of The Royal Ballet in London), K-State University, Syracuse University, and others have already picked up this resource for their school libraries and it continues to fill a niche for bilingual artists. I self published Unveiling with your support and distributed it through Amazon. I am already in conversation with a number of publishing companies as I move forward with my second book, Meaningful Gestures: Inner Thought and Outward Expression, but this process is expensive and time consuming. While my team is hard at work, I turn again to you, my invaluable friends and supporters, to help us bring our dream to fruition.

 I am writing Meaningful Gestures as a companion to my first book, Unveiling Motion and Emotion. My first book was a memoir that shared my experiences as a dance artist; Meaningful Gestures will be a deeper exploration of training, and artistic realization. My philosophy is that the journey is the destination – one must bring as much focus and energy to training as to performing. My second book explores:

Basic exercises, visualization exercises, active imagination and artistic application, technique as a philosophy and technique as a theory, body as an instrument: alignment isolations, gravity, verticality

Teaching in three languages has had a profound effect; I have found clear explanations, metaphors, and stories that communicate my approach to training.  This text will be accompanied by Todd Carroll’s photographs and drawings to illustrate the excises.  I look forward to your continued support as I move forward in this process and to sharing this resource with you in the new-year.


I am also continuing to work on my newest piece In Pursuit of Happiness… which will be premiering in 2015 at DUO Multicultural Arts Center. I look forward to seeing you there! This show is an ongoing daily memory trip to remember and honor my dad Antonio. He was my guide, my scaffolding and a lot of fun. I miss him terribly!

“I want the happiness that comes from both remembering and from fighting against remembering. A happiness that includes the sadness, pain and injury of experience but also goes forward. Memory works not like an anchor, but like a catapult. Not a memory that you just arrive at, but one that’s a launch pad.” – E. Galeano

 I have been hard at work in the studio with my dancer, Lauren Ohmer, acting and voice coach, Daniel Pettrow, and music landscape designer, Todd Carroll. While we are already deep in our process, we need your continued support to see this work fully realized.

As you know, producing a new show and creating a new book comes along with many costs; I’ve listed below how your donation will directly help us with these projects.

AnabellaLenzu_ToddCarroll_2014-1 Practice makes Perfect I:

$2,500 will cover rehearsal expenses for an entire show

Be our Graphic Designer:

$1,000 pays for the graphic designer for a book

Be our Photography Assistant:

$500 covers photography costs for the new book

Shipping out:

$250 covers shipping, postcards, and postage costs

Be our Wardrobe Assistant:

$100 pays for the fabric of one Costume

Be our Publishing Assistant:

$50 “Unveiling Motion & Emotion” printing & design cost for one book.

Practice makes Perfect II:

$20 pays for one hour of rehearsal

Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, The Field, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. ** If you are unable to contribute financially, we also appreciate donated goods, services and volunteers. All donors are acknowledged on our website and in our newsletters.

Please help us as we move forward with our plans for 2015!

Any donation helps us reach our goals. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our upcoming events.

 As a choreographer, I celebrate, meditate, respond, protest, scream, cry, and laugh about life through dance. When I write, I have a civil, moral responsibility. I need to express ideas clearly and transparently, whereas when I choreograph, I can go into my darkest corners to explore why I dance. Putting these words on paper forces me to be honest with myself.

A Hug, Anabella


What the critics have said about Unveiling Motion and Emotion

  • ” Lenzu has chosen—or been chosen by—dance as her investigative framework because, as her opening essay is titled, “dance underlies all that I am.” This boldly provocative collection of writing should be in every dancer’s personal library.” – 4Dancers.org, USA
  • “Most inspiring is a list of lessons she’s learned from Dance (“To witness small miracles,” To embrace change,” “To celebrate life”) – Dance Magazine, USA
  • “Her writing is visceral and filled with insights that distill from deep intense reflection and research housed in her ‘thinking body'” – Attitude: The Dancer’s Magazine, USA
  • “All in all, Anabella Lenzu’s “Unveiling Motion and Emotion” is a refreshingly vulnerable literary statement, and a great addition to your summer dance reading list.” – Heather Desaulniers, USA
  • “Whether writing, leading a class or staging new choreography, Lenzu’s mission remains the same: to foster a more mindful, more kinetic, more connected dance community — and to keep moving with meaning for years to come.” – Dance Informa, USA/Australia
  • “Ms. Lenzu has a deep and broad background in dance, and a joy in a life of dance, that comes across clearly. ” Exploredance
  • La Nueva Provincia -in Spanish (Argentina)

Televised Interviews:  


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Expand your craft, technique and creativity in a personalized, tailored program.

This is an opportunity for dancers to develop their potential with an emphasis on both dance and theater performance skills. 

Class size is limited to 10 students for the workshop.

Faculty: Anabella Lenzu, Lauren Ohmer & Daniel Pettrow. 



  • The May Lab (May 3, 10, 24 & 28 / Sat. from 9:30am-1:30pm) – covers Voice/Acting and Dance Technique.

This workshop develops alignment technique and an understanding of the dynamic in dance. Students solve technical problems, using fundamentals of ballet and modern dance techniques.

Dancers will develop their natural vocal possibilities, exploring the voice by using breathing techniques and activating body resonators. Understand how an actor’s technique and imagination informs the approach to text through action.


  • The June Lab (June 7, 14, 21 & 28 / Sat. from 9:30am-1:30pm) covers Dance Technique and AL/DD Repertory.

This workshop explores the principle: Motion Creates Emotion/Emotion Creates Motion, and emphasizes the use of imagination, interpretation and body coordination and control. My emphasis is on the journey rather than the destination, on understanding the impulses generated by movements and gestures.


  • The July Lab (July 5, 12, 19 & 26/ Sat. from 9:30am-1:30pm) covers Choreography and Improvisation.
This workshop aims to stimulate students to create their own passionate and original dances, exploring the elements of choreography composition. We look not only at what you dance, but also ask the question “Why do you dance?” Dance is the expressive medium of our heart, mind and soul.
  • The July Lab (July 7, 8, 9 &10/ Mon-Thu 10am-1pm) covers Methodology of Teaching Dance. 

Objectives: To offer methodological tools of analysis about how to teach and how to organize and create a teaching plan. Learn to promote artistic education to enhance the social and cultural community. We will investigate and increase creative ability, as well as working towards solving educational problems within specialized pedagogies.

Why? Because we need a humanistic approach in art and dance education.  Continuing education is vital to improve ourselves and participate creatively in society and in the culture in which we live. I believe that education shouldn’t be a preparation for living, but living itself.  Dance is a profound exploration of life. We must improve how we teach Dance as a theoretical and practical discipline.


TO APPLY: Send resume to info@AnabellaLenzu.com

Please designate which month you are interested in.

The cost of  each workshop is $280 per person. This includes 4 sessions (4 hours each, 16 hours total).


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