DANCE ON | ENSEMBLE - STORY - BIOGRAPHIES
MERCE CUNNINGHAM, STORY'S CHOREOGRAPHER
Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) is widely considered to be one of the most important choreographers of all time. His approach to performance was groundbreaking in its ideological simplicity and physical complexity: he applied the idea that “a thing is just that thing” to choreography, embracing the notion that “if the dancer dances, everything is there.”
Cunningham was born in Centralia, Washington, and attended the Cornish School in Seattle. There, he was introduced to the work of Martha Graham (he would later have a six-year tenure as a soloist with her company) and met John Cage, who would become the greatest influence on his practice, his closest collaborator, and his life partner until Cage’s death in 1992. In 1948, Cunningham and Cage began a relationship with the famed experimental institution Black Mountain College, where Cunningham first formed a dance company to explore his convention-breaking ideas. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company (originally called Merce Cunningham and Dance Company) would remain in continuous operation until 2011, with Cunningham as Artistic Director until his death in 2009. Over the course of his career, Cunningham choreographed 180 dances and over 700 Events.
Across his 70-year career, Cunningham proposed a number of radical innovations to how movement and choreography are understood, and sought to find new ways to integrate technology and dance. With long-term collaborations with artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Charles Atlas, and Elliot Caplan, Cunningham’s sphere of influence also extended deep into the visual arts world.
Cunningham earned some of the highest honors bestowed in the arts, and his dances have been performed by groups including the Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, White Oak Dance Project, the Lyon Opera Ballet, Ballett am Rhein, and Londons Rambert Dance Company.
Through the Merce Cunningham Trust, his vision lives on, regenerated time and time again through new bodies and minds.
DANIEL SQUIRE, STORY'S STAGER
Daniel Squire was born in Halifax, UK. He studied dance at White Lodge and at the Rambert School. In his early career, he worked as a dancer with Michael Clark and Matthew Hawkins, as well as appearing as Tadzio in Britten’s Death In Venice at Glyndebourne.
After moving to the New York, aged 20, Daniel worked for many years with Merce Cunningham, performing around the world in theatres including Palais Garnier and Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Schiller Theater (Berlin), the Roundhouse, the Barbican, Tate Modern (London), Festival Theatre (Edinburgh), Kennedy Center (DC), New York State Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Rose Theater and City Center (NYC); with musicians including Radiohead, John Paul Jones, Sigur Rós, Takehisa Kosugi and Sonic Youth.
He was a core member (actor, videographer, musician) of Marisela La Grave's inter-media group Magnetic Laboratorium for many years, and has worked with, among others, Philippe Parreno, John Kelly, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Paulina Olowska.
In 2013/14 he was Curator for the Dance Program for the exhibit “Dancing Around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Daniel has been on faculty at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance since 2015. He also teaches internationally to various colleges and companies.
His 2019 staging projects for the Merce Cunningham Trust include “Night of 100 Solos”: A Centennial Event — for the occasion of Merce Cunningham’s 100th birthday — at London’s Barbican, as well as staging Merce’s work on the Royal Ballet and Dance On Ensemble.
TY BOOMERSHINE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & DANCER IN STORY
Ty Boomershine, born 1968, studied dance at the Fort Hayes School for the Performing Arts in Columbus, Ohio, completing his studies with a B.F.A. magna cum laude in dance from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. In addition to working with Lucinda Childs Dance, Emio Greco | PC, LeineRoebana, Dan Wagoner, Gus Solomons Jr., Bill T. Jones, Ton Simons and the Merce Cunningham Repertory Ensemble, he has also performed in various works by DANCENOISE and in Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach. He has presented his own work at Movement Research, and Danspace Project at St. Marks Church in New York, as well as at OT301, and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.
Boomershine has been rehearsal director at the International Choreographic Arts Center Amsterdam and he continues to arrange and develop workshops and creative/educational residencies for and with Lucinda Childs. As a teacher, Boomershine has taught for professional companies, festivals, universities and open professional studios throughout Europe, the United States, Asia, and South America. He has taught workshops and master classes for Lucinda Childs and Emio Greco, and he assists Childs in the setting of her works.
Ty Boomershine has been a member of the Dance On Ensemble since 2015 and is responsible for its artistic direction since 2019.
MATTEF KUHLMEY, SOUND DESIGN / MUSICIAN IN STORY
Mattef Kuhlmey is a musician, sound designer and music teacher. With his band ALP he creates silent movie soundtracks. His label FORTSCHRITT MUSIK is a platform for companioned bands. Mattef teaches for fifteen years Polish, Czech and German youth in the project LANTERNA FUTURI. For several years he worked as a theater musician, mainly in the field of dance theater and performance, with a substantial interest in the exploration and balance of technical possibilities and musical traditions. He collaborated with, among others, Hyoung Min Kim, Gabriele Reuter, Jo Parkes, Angela Schubot and Nico and the Navigators. For the Dance On Ensemble he worked as a composer in “Man Made” (2017) by Jan Martens, “Tenacity of space” (2017) by Deborah Hay and “Elephant” (2018) by Rabih Mroué.
EMMA LEWIS, DANCER IN STORY
Emma Lewis, born in 1968, trained at the Royal Ballet School in London and began her career in classical ballet working in Spain and Italy. Rediscovering contemporary dance at the age of 23 she trained at London Contemporary Dance School before joining Cullberg Ballet in Sweden for eight years. After the birth of her second daughter she moved to France where she has continued to work and collaborate with choreographers in France and Sweden. Emma Lewis is certified as a teacher in the classical and contemporary dance techniques and the Pilates method.
GESINE MOOG, DANCER IN STORY
Gesine Moog was born in Germany in 1976 and received her Bachelor of Arts at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in 1997. After graduating she danced for several German companies and was named as a “dancer to watch” by the leading European magazine tanz in 2004. She performed Ohad Naharin’s Kamuyot in Sweden, for which she received the Riksteaterns award “Dancer of the year 2007”. From 2008 until 2020, Gesine Moog is a member of Cullberg Ballet, touring in Sweden and internationally. Several choreographers have created works for her, and since 2001 she has also been making her own choreographic and creative works.
MIKI ORIHARA, DANCER IN STORY
Miki Orihara, born in 1960, is best known for her Bessie Award winning career as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has performed on Broadway, with Elisa Monte, SITI Company, PierGroupDance, Lotuslotus and in productions by Twyla Tharp and Robert Wilson. Miki Orihara has presented her choreography internationally and is a revered teacher and coach working with the Kirov Ballet, Japan’s New National Theater, Ailey School, NYU, Hartt School, and L’Etés de la Danse. She is a Dance Director for Mishmash*Miki Orihara and has produced a Martha Graham Dance Technique DVD.
TIM PERSENT, DANCER IN STORY
Tim Persent, born in 1964, has been a dancer and artistic collaborator with the dance company LeineRoebana since 1994. He trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and danced with the Rotterdamse Dansgroup, as well as working with Ton Simons and the Brenda Daniels Dance Company in New York and with Krisztina de Châtel, Paul Selwyn Norton, Michael Schumacher and Roland Shankula in the Netherlands. Tim Persent received two important Dutch arts awards for his dancing, the Silver Dance Prize in 1993 and the Golden Swan in 2004. Parallel to his dance career, he was Artistic Director of the International Theaterschool Festival (IST) in Amsterdam from 2005 to 2016.
MARCO VOLTA, DANCER IN STORY
Marco Volta, born in Turin in Italy in 1969, studied dance at “Lo Studio” Dance School Bussoleno. He has been working as a dancer for theatres and independent dance companies in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland since 1994. He has always been fascinated by the fusion of different dance styles that have led him to collaborate with flamenco and urban dance artists. Aside from his dancing, he teaches at several academies, theatres and training institutions for professional dancers. He is currently Lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts for Contemporary Dance.