Club Diamond & Molissa Fenley Dance Company

Golden Bough Theatre, Carmel CA

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This shared evening includes the West Coast premiere of a wonderful new theatre work by festival veterans Saori Tsukada and Nikki Appino (2011) with an original score, performed LIVE by festival favorite Tim Fain.

Following the performance of Club Diamond we set the stage for the second half of the evening of dance!

Molissa Fenley (choreographer and dancer), founded Molissa Fenley and Company in 1977 and has since created over 85 dance works during her continuing career.  She grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria traveling there with her family in 1961, completing all of her early education there in International Schools and her last two years of high school in Spain. She returned to the US in 1971 to study dance at Mills College in Oakland, California. Upon graduation in 1975, she moved to New York.
With her company, Molissa Fenley and Company, and as a soloist working in collaboration with visual artists and composers, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Her work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Dia Art Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, the Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, the New National Theater of Tokyo, The National Institute of Performing Arts in Seoul, and by Dance Theater Workshop/New York Live Arts. Both Cenotaph and State of Darkness were awarded a Bessie for Choreography in 1985 and 1988, respectively.
Molissa has also created many works on ballet and contemporary dance companies, most recently for Barnard College/Columbia University, Oakland Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Robert Moses’ Kin and the Seattle Dance Project. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, has enjoyed residencies at the Baryshnikov Art Center, the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, Italy, Djerassi, TopazArts and Yaddo, is the recipient of two Asian Cultural Council residencies in Japan and a Master Artist of the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Molissa is the Danforth Professor of Dance at Mills College, in residence in the spring semesters, and often teaches choreographic workshops at other universities, most recently at Barnard College/Columbia University, Hunter College, the Experimental Theater Lab of New York University and Bennington College.
Seagull Press, University of Chicago recently published Rhythm Field: The Dance of Molissa Fenley with essays by Molissa and her colleagues including Peter Boal, Rande Brown, Bob Holman, Bill T. Jones, David Moodey, Richard Move, Ann Murphy, Tere O’Connor, Elizabeth Streb and Paz Tanjuaquio,  with foreword by Philip Glass and epilogue by Stephen Greco and including archival photographs.
Frank Cassara (Musician, Percussion)
A proponent of new and classic, western and world percussion music, Frank Cassara, has premiered many works with as many diverse groups.  As percussionist for the Philip Glass Ensemble, he has performed around the globe as well as recording Glass’ music and film scores, most recently the score Orion. He has also performed around the world with Steve Reich and Musicians at major international festivals. As a member of the New Music Consort/PULSE Percussion Ensemble he has appeared at major festivals in the US and abroad, as well as premiering and recording new percussion ensemble works. Frank has toured extensively with Newband/Harry Partch Ensemble, performing and recording on Partch’s original microtonal instruments and Dean Drummond’s Zoomoozophone. He has also performed or recorded with groups as Music From China, Percussia, Manhattan Marimba Quartet, Talujon Percussion Quartet, North/South Consonance and Ethos Percussion Group. Principal percussionist of the Riverside Symphony, he has been principal of the Connecticut Grand Opera and a member of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. He has also performed with many area orchestras such as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and the Long Island Philharmonic. Frank has played for Broadway shows Porgy and Bess, Phantom, Lion King, 42nd Street and Music Man among others, and heads the percussion departments at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, Long Island University and Vassar College.
Christiana Axelsen (dancer), is a Brooklyn based dance artist. Her choreography has been presented in NYC at DanceRoulette, The Invisible Dog, Mabou Mines, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Dixon Place, and the Women in Motion Salon Series; in Pittsburgh at the Space Upstairs; in Seattle at Velocity Dance Center and the Chamber Theater; and in San Francisco at 848 Community Art Space.
Christiana is a performer and current artistic collaborator in projects with Molissa Fenley, Kevin Ho, Courtney Krantz and Christopher Williams. In addition to her role as a performer in Molissa Fenley and Company, she assists Molissa in reconstructing major repertory works and has served as a rehearsal director setting Molissa’s work on the Oakland Ballet, Redwood Park; the Repertory Dance Theater, Salt Lake City, Energizer; and on students at Barnard College/Columbia University, Amdo and New York University. She created original roles in Christopher William’s choreography for Dardanus (2016) at the National Opera de Bordeaux and in Il Giardino d’Amore (2017) at Danspace in New York City.  She has also performed in the work of Pam Tanowitz, Beth Gill, zoe|juniper, Michou Szabo, Raja Kelly, Dai Jian, Anne Zuerner, Mana Kawamura, Dylan Crossman, Jules Skloot and Korhan Basaran among others.
Christiana graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a degree in dance and geology from Mount Holyoke College. She graduated from the Merce Cunningham Professional Training Program in 2012 where she performed alongside the Repertory Understudy Group in the reconstruction of iconic Cunningham repertory works including Summerspace, Fabrications and Cargo X.
David Harding (Musician, Viola) has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Central America and Australia, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Noted for his “eloquent viola playing” (The Scotsman), David has performed at music festivals around the world, including Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and most recently, the Edinburgh International Festival and Philip Glass’ “Days and Nights Festival” in Big Sur, California. His live performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio (Canada), BBC (UK), NPR (USA), ABC (Australia) and Deutschland Radio. With flute, viola, harp ensemble, Trio Verlaine, David has recorded two CDs, Fin de Siècle, the music of Debussy and Ravel and Six Departures featuring works by Bax and Jolivet alongside new commissions by R. Murray Schafer and Jeffery Cotton. Other notable recording projects include Philip Glass’ String Sextet and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht on Orange Mountain Records, Bach’s Goldberg Variations with the string trio Triskelion for CBC records, the music of Aaron Jay Kernis with the Chester Quartet, and Brahms’ Viola Sonatas for Skylark Music.
A devoted teacher, he is currently Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, David was the winner of the Sir John Barbirolli award at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. He performs on violas made by Nicolas Gilles, Montpellier, France and Pietro Antonio della Costa, Treviso, Italy.

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