Attack Theatre joins forces with internationally acclaimed choreographers, Helen Simoneau and Norbert De La Cruz III, for an unprecedented performance of new and renewed dance works.
After a year of intensive artist residencies, master classes, and works-in-progress sharings, The Next Stop is the premiere of new works by Norbert De La Cruz III and Helen Simoneau, alongside repertory by Attack Theatre Co-Founders and Artistic Directors, Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza. Through discovery and rediscovery, each choreographer’s creative vision fuses with Attack Theatre’s athleticism in this evening-length performance.
In a new piece choreographed by Norbert De La Cruz III, Under the Rug follows two people on a journey to prolong an intimate connection. Performed by Attack Theatre dancers Dane Toney and Anthony Williams in an immersive, dreamlike world of props, this duet reveals a conversation that evolves through movement to discover what’s been swept under the rug.
Helen Simoneau’s ensemble piece offers a glimpse into the the specificity of each dancer, highlighting a relationship to an enthusiastic and sometimes uncertain process of rediscovery. This work features Attack Theatre company dancers Kaitlin Dann, Ashley Williams, and Sarah Zielinski, with Sonja Gable and Chelsea Neiss.
Attack Theatre rounds out the evening with a repertory piece, Unresolved Truths. In a struggle against snap judgments and tacit compliance the dancers navigate the complexities of conversations between the silent, the silenced, and those trying to find their voice. This work features Attack Theatre dancers Kaitlin Dann, Dane Toney, Anthony Williams, Ashley Williams, and Sarah Zielinski.
A native of Québec, Canada, Helen is the artistic director and founder of Helen Simoneau Danse now in its 7th season. Simoneau has been commissioned by The Juilliard School, the American Dance
Festival, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Attack Theatre, the UNC School of the Arts, the Bessie Schönberg Residency at The Yard, Springboard Danse Montréal, and the Swiss International Coaching Project (SiWiC) in Zurich. In addition to annual performances in Winston-Salem (NC), her company has been presented at notable venues throughout the United States and around the world, including The Guggenheim Museum (NYC), Dance Place (DC), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Tangente (Montréal), The Aoyama Round Theatre (Tokyo), the L.I.G. Art Hall Busan (South Korea), Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out (MA), PACT-Zollverein in Essen (Germany), and Athens International Dance Festival (Greece). Helen was awarded 1st place for Choreography at the 13th Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, and recently received a fellowship from the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts.
Born in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines and raised in East Los Angeles, California, Norbert De La Cruz III began his study of dance at age 13. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Norbert was a Princess Grace Foundation-USA Awardee (2012), a selected artist for Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab (2013), finalist for the Joffrey Academy of Dance’s 2014 Choreographer of Color Awardee, and a recipient for the 2016 New York Choreographic Institute. His choreographic credits include work for the SUNY Purchase Dance Company (2016), James Sewell Ballet (2014), Hubbard Street II (2012), Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (2012), and Tulsa Ballet II, to name a few.
KAITLIN DANN, Senior Company Dancer
Kaitlin moved to Pittsburgh from New Hampshire in 2005 to study Modern Dance at Point Park University. Since receiving her BA, she has performed with such local companies as the Pillow Project, Knot Dance, No Name Players during their annual SWAN Day, and Bricolage during their run of STRATA. She spent two seasons with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet where she both choreographed and danced. Kaitlin has choreographed for No Names Players’ productions of ¡Viva Los Bastarditos! (2013) and Evil Dead: The Musical (2014). In her spare time she is a fitness instructor at Club One Fitness. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at the University of Wisconsin: Milwaukee. Kaitlin has been dancing with Attack Theatre since 2011.
SONJA GABLE, Dancer (2016/2017 Apprentice)
Originally from Johnstown, PA, Sonja received degrees in Dance and Early Childhood Education from Slippery Rock University. In her dance training she has learned from and collaborated with such artists as Jump Rhythm Jazz, Tara Madsen Robbins, Teena Marie Custer, Ursula Payne, and Diavolo Dance Theatre. Sonja has taught at Rock Dance Company for Kids and Butler Dance Center. This season she has been a performer and teaching artist with Attack Theatre, including her work with Pittsburgh Public Schools and productions of Turandot with the Pittsburgh Opera and Atlanta Opera.
CHELSEA NEISS, Dancer
An Arizona native, Chelsea received her dance training at Scottsdale Community College where she performed works by Mike Esperanza, Bill Evans, Chad Michael Hall, Carley Conder, and Christopher Dolder. She received her BA from California State University Fullerton working with Summer Brown, Colin Connor, Alvin Rangel, Nancy Colahan, and Bryn Cohn. Chelsea is currently working with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II. Her recent engagements with Attack Theatre include dancing in the Pittsburgh Opera and the Atlanta Opera productions of Turandot.
DANE TONEY, Senior Company Dancer
Originally from West Virginia, Dane graduated with a BFA in dance from Point Park University. While in school, he had the opportunity to work with numerous faculty members and guest artists, including Dawn Stoppiello of Troika Ranch and Doug Varone of Doug Varone and Dancers. Before college, he trained intensively with Toneta Akers-Toler, founder and artistic director of the West Virginia Dance Company (WVDC). Dane has also spent 14 summers with Theatre West Virginia’s Outdoor Drama Company and has performed as a guest artist with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and the WVDC. Dane began dancing with Attack Theatre in 2008.
ANTHONY WILLIAMS, Company Dancer
A Chicago native, dancer, choreographer, and educator, Anthony has a strong investment in his community. Anthony has performed with Congo Square Theater Company (Chicago), Staycee Pearl dance project, Texture Contemporary Ballet, August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (Chicago). Anthony’s choreography credits include works for Carnegie Mellon University’s Infra Dance Company, Reed Dance, Hope Academy, and Dreams of Hope. Anthony has premiered work at Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival in 2015 and 2013. In 2014, he was selected as a Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency artist for the development of his work, Loving Black. Anthony began working with Attack Theatre in the 2014/15 season.
ASHLEY WILLIAMS, Senior Company Dancer
Before coming to Pittsburgh, Ashley spent 6 seasons dancing and touring with Prometheus Dance, a modern dance-theater company in Boston. Originally from Colorado, Ashley’s training includes 13 summers at the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, a BA in Dance (CU-Boulder), and graduate studies at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie in Holland. Along the way, Ashley also went to school for a “serious career” earning a BS in Aerospace Engineering (CU-Boulder) and an MS in Electrical Engineering (MIT), and to her parents’ chagrin, she has been dancing happily ever since. Ashley spends her free time investigating the biochemical properties of cartilage as a research scientist for Stanford University. Ashley began dancing with Attack Theatre in 2007.
SARAH ZIELINSKI, Company Dancer
A Pittsburgh native, Sarah attended Point Park University and graduated with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Theatre. After graduating she moved to New York City, where she worked with the NYC Metropolitan Opera, Doug Varone, Jessica Taylor—DamageDance, ZviDance, Caleb Teicher & Company, Lorena Egan, and Gibney Dance GRIT. Other credits include: National Tour of The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Starlight Express, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and West Side Story as Anybodys. In addition to extensive theatrical training, Sarah is dedicated to teaching and sharing dance in prisons through Shining Light. This is Sarah’s first season with Attack Theatre.
To support this project, please consider making a contribution to the Commissioning Choreographers Campaign.
This season, Attack Theatre has an opportunity to commission two internationally recognized choreographers, Helen Simoneau and Norbert De La Cruz III, and curate a performance that showcases their work, alongside that of Attack Theatre, at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh on May 19–20. The project will highlight reciprocal creative development of both the choreographers and the Attack Theatre artistic team.
Thanks to a group of generous donors, your contribution to the Commissioning Choreographers Campaign will be matched 1:1, up to $15,000. On Pittsburgh Day of Giving we were able to raise over $3,000 toward the campaign, but we still have important match dollars on the table. Making a profound impact on the future of contemporary dance can be very simple—give today.
Provider: The Movers & Shakers
The Commissioning Choreographers Campaign Match Pool has been provided by The Movers & Shakers:
Anne Billiet and Vince Lackner
Monica and Adam Hertzman
Laura and Kevin Horner
Richard E. Rauh
Nancy Simpronio and Chuck Culbertson
Jamee and Tom Todd
The Next Stop is made possible in part by:
The generosity of "The Movers and Shakers" and numerous individuals.