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Periapsis Music and Dance

Brooklyn, NY            

Periapsis Music and Dance believes in the artists of today and the body of work that they are creating.  The extraordinary choreographers and composers of our time have the vision, voice, and skill to create collaborative works of intrinsic artistic value worthy of performance, study, and preservation.  Our mission is to cultivate this new concert repertoire at the intersection of dance and music by actively contributing to it with our ensemble and by facilitating and encouraging such collaborations in the community.

This is an exciting time for music/dance collaborations! Individuals throughout the arts world are discovering the invigorating creative energy that comes when choreographers and composers collaborate, and when dancers can perform with live music. And artists and audiences alike are reveling in the new visual, musical, and theatrical possibilities that come with such combinations. But beyond discrete performance projects, a handful of grantmakers, and the mission of some individual artists, no organization has stepped forward to treat this burgeoning genre in a comprehensive way, both as a laboratory for artistic exploration and as a community resource. This is the role we envision for ourselves as Periapsis grows and develops.

Periapsis Music and Dance was founded in the fall of 2012 by composer/pianist Jonathan Howard Katz and dancer/choreographer Leigh Schanfein in response to the growing gap between dance performance and live musical performance in the NYC arts scene. Inspired by our own experiences creating art together, we wanted to give others in the dance and music communities opportunities to collaborate on new performance pieces. Jonathan and Leigh created several new repertoire works together, including two that they had first developed pre-Periapsis, as well as some pieces with other collaborators.

As we began our third season, we welcomed choreographers Erin Dillon and Hannah Weber to our company. Erin had been a guest choreographer in our first season, and Hannah started with us as a featured dancer in Laid upon the children. Both participate in the ensemble as dancers, too, and the contrast between their unique artistic styles have enriched our repertoire. Leigh departed from the ensemble in the winter of 2015, and our core company coalesced into an ensemble of roughly six dancers and six musicians.

From our fourth season on, we’ve focused on two equally important areas. First, we’ve been building our own artistic voice and our own repertoire, creating a wide variety of work with our resident artists and commissioned guests and becoming recognized as a leader in interdisciplinary artistic creation. And second, we’ve formalized and expanded programs that serve the larger dance and music communities—the Periapsis Open Series, the Emerging Artist Residencies, and our online resources—and are making a positive impact in New York City and beyond.

Please explore our website to learn more, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter and connect on social media to stay informed!

Periapsis Music and Dance 5-Year Retrospective

An in-depth look at the artistic and service work we’re doing at the intersection of music and dance.

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The Portrait Project, by Periapsis Music and Dance

This is a reel our February 2016 performances at GK ArtsCenter in Brooklyn. The project consists of six works each for one dancer and one musician, each created by a different guest choreographer in collaboration with a commissioned composer. Choreographers were Joshua Beamish, Seán Curran, Miro Magloire, Helen Simoneau, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, and Manuel Vignoulle. Composers were artistic director Jonathan Howard Katz (for three works) and guests Richard Carrick, Shawn Jaeger, and Mary Kouyoumdjian.

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Epoch (excerpts)

Periapsis Music and Dance presents “Epoch,” by choreographer Erin Dillon and composer Jonathan Howard Katz. Premiered May 10/12, 2018, at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts at LIU Brooklyn.

Dancers: Demetria “D’vass” Charles, Elisabeth Jeffrey, Christopher LaFleche, Marissa Brielle Wiley Mumford, Hannah Weber
Musicians: Adrián Sandí, clarinet; Celia Hatton, viola; Jonathan Howard Katz, piano

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