Dance Theater Workshop
the U.S. Premiere of
APRIL 30 – MAY 2 at 7:30pm
New York, NY, March 19, 2009 – Dance Theater Workshop presents the U.S. premiere of Australian choreographer Ros Warby's award-winning Monumental. Developed in collaboration with her long-standing artistic team, designer Margie Medlin and composer Helen Mountfort, this solo work is a richly layered movement piece that continues to refine Warby's solo dance form with 35mm film projection and solo cello. Monumental draws from the iconic symbols of classical ballet, the swan and the soldier, and brings into focus our own sense of strength and dissolution amidst irreconcilable tragedies and the power of sustaining beauty in the world today. The audience is invited to engage, through the performer onstage, with the innocent bird and the brave and at times tainted soldier found within us all.
"Warby is fearless and uncompromising, venturing into performance strategies that take her and us out of safe and familiar territory… the prevailing impression is of vulnerability, fragility and transience.
- Hilary Crampton, The Age
Monumental features Warby along with lighting projection and set design by Medlin; music by Mountfort; cinematography by Ben Speth; film editing by Martin Fox; and sound design by Tim Cole.
Performances will take place at Dance Theater Workshop in the Bessie Schönberg Theater, April 30 – May 2 (Thursday – Saturday) at 7:30pm. There will also be a Post-show Talk with Wally Cardona on April 30 (Thursday). Tickets are $10 online and $15 through the box office and are available online at dancetheaterworkshop.org, over the phone at 212.924.0077, and in person at the box office. Box office hours are Monday - Friday from 5pm-9pm and Saturday - Sunday from 12pm-8pm. Dance Theater Workshop is located at 219 West 19th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.
About the Artists
Ros Warby is one of Australia's leading dancer/choreographers. She trained in classical ballet in Monte Carlo with
Marika Besobrasova and at London's Central School of Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet School, before pursuing studies in new dance techniques at the European Dance Development Centre in Arnhem, Holland, with Eva Karczag; and in the USA with Lisa Nelson, Dana Reitz and her mentor, Deborah Hay. Her internationally acclaimed solo dance work has been presented in Australia, Europe and the USA. Over the past 18 years she has been recognised for her unique performance work, not only in her solo pieces, but also with the companies Lucy Guerin Inc., the Deborah Hay Company, Dance Works, and Dance Exchange. Since 2001 she has performed the works Solos and Swift extensively overseas, as well as her solo adaptations of works by US choreographer Deborah Hay. Ros Warby's work focuses on the development of improvisation and performance practice, the solo dance form and the choreography between dance, film and sound. Her work has toured to the 2002 Adelaide Festival of Arts; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's TBA Festival (Oregon); Miami Light Project USA; South Bank Centre, London; Nottdance 2004; and Dance Theater Workshop, New York City. Swift, which was nominated for an Australian Dance Award in 2004, will tour again late in 2006 to London's Dance Umbrella, regional UK, and Budapest. A film version of Swift commissioned by ABC television was completed in June 2006 and will screen in 2007. Ros Warby's work has been supported through grants and residencies from the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, the City of Melbourne, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (Oregon), and the New England Foundation for the Arts. She has received Green Room Awards for Best Female Performance and Solo Performance, and was an Australia Council Fellowship recipient between 2002 and 2004. For more information, visit roswarby.com.
Margie Medlin is an internationally recognized artist in the field of dance and the moving image. For 20 years she has produced combinations of film and video works, multi-screen works, lighting, set and projection designs and new media art works. She was artist-in-residence at the ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Germany, from 1999 to 2001. The resulting work, Miss World (2002), was featured in the Future Cinema exhibition at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Finland; the ZKM Centre for Art and Media; the Intercommunication Center (ICC), Japan; and Tanzmedial, Germany. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking and New Art Studies (1988); was a Special Research Fellow (Lighting Design) at Yale School of Drama, USA (1989); studied Scenography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London (1991) and Advanced Computer Applications for Theatre Design at Central School of Speech and Drama, London (1992); and also holds a Master of Arts in Interior Design (1999).
Helen Mountfort is an accomplished cellist and composer. She studied at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and is a member of the band Not Drowning, Waving and a founding member of the band My Friend the Chocolate Cake, with which she has recorded five CDs and toured extensively throughout Australia, Asia, and the UK. She is also a member of Cosmo Cosmolino, and appears with the David Chesworth Ensemble, the string quartet DeFLOCKeD and the Ad Hoc String Collective. As a session musician and composer for film, documentaries, television, dance and theatre, her
credits include the films Proof, What I Have Written, Hammers Over the Anvil, and the IMAX film Australia – Land
Beyond Time; the television production My Brother Jack; and theatre and dance work for companies and artists including
Polyglot Puppet Theatre, Handspan Theatre Company, Back to Back Theatre, Born in a Taxi, Dance Works, and Ros
Warby. She has released a CD of her own music entitled Upside Down at the Bottom of the World and is currently
working on a CD of music for solo cello.
Ben Speth is a filmmaker, cinematographer, writer, director, and designer. A long-time New Yorker now living in Melbourne, he has worked with Paul Morrisey, Yvonne Rainer, Jenny Kemp, Margie Medlin, Ros Warby, Shelley Lasica, Lyndal Jones, Ross Gibson and various artists at P.S.122, Movement Research, and The Dia Foundation. Ben Speth has been director of photography on music videos for The Ramones and Everything But The Girl; the documentaries Paris is Burning, Treyf and Trembling Before G_d; and feature films The Delta and Junk. His first feature film as writer, director, and director of photography, Dresden (1999) screened at the Sundance, Belfort, Mar del Plata, New York Underground, and Brisbane film festivals, among others. In 2002 he was commissioned by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to make a silent work entitled Dummy. His second feature film, Forever, was part of the ACMI/National Gallery of Victoria exhibition A Survey of Recent Australian Visual Culture in 2004. In 2005 he completed Satellite, a feature film that
premiered in the same year at the 53rd Melbourne International Film Festival.
Monumental is funded, in part, by the National Dance Project (NDP) of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with generous support by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation.
Monumental has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and was made possible through funds from: Arts Victoria; City of Melbourne through the Culture Lab.