Going in with a BAM

Hello friends, family and fans! As many of you know, the Summation dancers have been rehearsing and working like crazy this season.  And we are preparing for our biggest task we have taken on as a company thus far.

Drum roll please…

We are performing at BAM this year, and for the first time ever, we are doing a FOUR night run. We are now less than a month away!  For those of you unfamiliar with BAM, it is a Brooklyn based venue that has been the home to adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas for over 150 years!  Now, that’s some serious artist loving.  Seven days a week you can find film, theater, dance, music, and live art on display for art supporters and enthusiasts. Summation Dance is honored, humbled, and beyond thrilled to present our work at such an amazing institution.

So, come join us!  It is a 4-night event running from April 2 through April 5, all shows starting at 8pm.  We promise to give you one spectacular evening of dance.

Hey, you can even make it easy on yourself and purchase pre-sale tickets here!
See you all there!

A shot from our new dance, Hunt!

A shot from our new dance, Hunt!


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New Intern!

Summation Dance is growing fast! In order to keep up with the growing demands of the company, we have taken on two interns, Elise Pacicco and Mary Wolff. We are so lucky to have these two wonderful and talented people who are passionate about dance and the arts and interested in gaining experience in the non-profit, arts administration world. Read more about our newest additions to our tightly-knit group below.


Mary Wolff comes straight out of the Midwest being born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska.  She proudly attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she graduated with her BFA in Dance and BS in Psychology.  She had to pleasure of studying with several dance companies and artists such as Paul Taylor, David Dorfman, AXIS Dance, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Heidi Latsky and several others while studying there.  Mary has also been with National Dance Alliance as an instructor and head instructor for dance teams across America since 2008.  She has been living in New York for two and a half years and has fallen in love with all of the wonderful things the city has to offer.  Some of her favorite classes to take in the city include Christina Robson, Megan Bascom, Kendra Portier, and Chris Masters. Currently she is collaborating with a couple dancers working toward a show to be put on this coming April! She is thrilled to be a part of Summation Dance and to help continue with all of their success and future goals!

Keep up with Mary on her blog!


Posted in Get to know the company | Leave a comment

Sumi and Dylan reunite on stage!


Dylan Crossman and I were both offered our first New York City gig together seven years ago, and have remained the closest of friends throughout our very different journeys in the dance world. So, when he invited me to be a part of his newest choreographic venture, I was excited to be able to dance alongside each other once again, and to be given the opportunity to do another artist’s work other than my own.

Dylan comes out of the Cunningham lineage, having been a part of the final company before closing, so our aesthetics are not what one would necessarily call similar. However, Dylan and I have always connected on a level that transcends form, so the collaboration seemed both natural and interesting. It is special for me to get to step out of the choreographer’s role and be given the challenge of contributing my voice without dominating, while also processing material not originally generated from my own body. I miss this challenge. I also miss being told what to do. Sometimes there is nothing better.

The rehearsal process was spotty at first, and then very condensed, but what emerged was both exciting to see and thrilling to perform! Working with Dylan and Jason (the other super awesome dancer involved) was a pure treat….and it doesn’t hurt to get a great review in the New York Times!

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Farewell and Welcome!


Kelsey Berry and Kristin Schwab in Deep End, 2012.

Our 4th season has been very exciting thus far, but a year of transition as well. Two dancers that had been with us since our first season sadly left the company. Kelsey Berry went off to Harvard to pursue her PhD in Bio-ethics, and Kristin Schwab was promoted to Associate Editor at Dance Magazine – watch out world, Summation women are fierce on and off the stage! We are a tightly-knit group, so we of course miss these two ladies like crazy, but we are happy that they are where they need to be and cultivating their other talents.

The wonderful part about change is that it opens doors for new opportunities! We had an audition last week and saw so many beautiful, talented, and dynamic dancers. Thank you to all who came out and auditioned with us! From this group, we selected two new dancers and an apprentice. It is our great honor to welcome dancers Dani McIntosh, Devin Oshiro, and Allie Harris to Summation.

Danielle McIntosh (dancer) has roots in both Dallas,Texas and the Twin Cities of Minnesota. She graduated with a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Danielle also studied at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance in Austria and Springboard Danse Montreal in Canada. She has performed works by choreographers such as Jessica Lang, Kanji Segawa, Renee Redding-Jones, Gerald Casel, Kyle Abraham, Doug Varone, Jaclyn K. Walsh, Katie Rose McLaughlin and Nathalie Matychak. She was a member of the Brian Brooks Moving Company from 2010 to 2013. Off the stage, Danielle dabbles in other art forms working for a jewelry designer in Brooklyn and a flower shop in the Lower East Side. She is thrilled to be joining Summation Dance.

DevinDevin Oshiro (dancer) was born and raised in the Los Angeles, CA region. She graduated with a B.A. in Dance from California State University of Fullerton. While attending school, she performed the works of Mike Esperanza and Jiří Kylián and also had the privilege of performing at the Kennedy Center for ACDFA Nationals. Devin was a member of Entity Ultra Contemporary Company and Mosaic’s Urban Poets, which has given her the opportunity to choreograph and perform around the world in Scotland, Germany, Japan and Singapore. Since moving to NYC, Devin is a company member of Bare Dance Company and Delirious Dances. She has performed with CorbinDances, Oui Danse/Brice Mousset, and alex|xan: the median movement. Devin is very excited to join Summation Dance in its fourth season.

AllieAllie Harris (apprentice) hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan where she received her BFA in Dance and BA in Communications from the University of Michigan. At UofM Allie rehearsed and performed in works by Bill T. Jones, Dianne McIntyre, Paul Taylor, Amy Chavasse, Carolyn Dorfman, and faculty. In New York, she has performed in works by Kendra Portier through Dance New Amsterdam’s Summer Intensive and Pilar Castro Kiltz/Dance Ensemble through The Field’s Emerging Artists’ Residency. Allie is stoked to work with Summation Dance.

Posted in Allie Harris, Auditions, Dani McIntosh, Devin Oshiro, Fun, Kelsey Berry, Kristin Schwab | Leave a comment

That One High Shoulder

Julie also has these bruises from scoliosis. Just kidding! We are just stepping on her thigh repeatedly.

Julie also has these bruises from scoliosis. Just kidding! We are just stepping on her thigh repeatedly.

By Julie McMillan

As a dancer, I sometimes get the question:  “have you had many injuries?”  All dancers have had them – and some continue to plague them well after they’ve happened.  I’ve been fairly lucky.  A foot injury in college left me on crutches for a couple of weeks, but I was up and dancing full a couple months later.  Anyone who knows me well, however, knows that my big “injury” doesn’t really qualify as an injury at all.  I was diagnosed with moderate scoliosis in the 8th grade and have been working with it ever since.

Scoliosis is a generally harmless sideways curvature of the spine.  Doctors have debated the causes of it for years – no one can quite agree on whether it’s genetic or idiopathic (no one in my family has it!).  Much to my dismay, screenings are mandated for scoliosis in California public schools.  I distinctly remember being one of three pulled aside and told to have a doctor check it out.  That piece of news at the age of twelve…clearly, I thought my life was over.

Luckily, parents always know what’s best.  The first doctor we saw was ready to put me on the operating table to stick metal rods in my back.  No thanks.  We visited three or four separate doctors (and took several rounds of full spine X-rays displaying a 45 degree curvature) until we heard a solution that could keep me from having surgery.  The answer:  I would be braced for an undisclosed amount of time and referred to a physical therapist twice a week.  Not really what I, personally, wanted to hear – but certainly better than the metal rod approach.

So there you have it – braced for about three years.  Kids in high school were baffled by my rock hard abs – it was plastic.  Summers were unbelievably uncomfortable – 100-degree heat with a plastic skin-tight thing.  Ugh.  I was pegged as the girl with good posture – but that’s only because it was impossible to slouch.

Years later, there’s no brace and my curvature is just as extreme as it was then.  But this is good!  It means that it hasn’t gotten any worse.  I have learned how to manage scoliosis from a dancer’s viewpoint and I wouldn’t ever wish to take it back.  So when you see Summation pictures where my one shoulder is higher than the other – yup, that’s the scoliosis for ya.

Posted in Get to know the company, Injuries, Julie McMillan, Performances, Rehearsal, Summation's 3rd Season, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too late for Resolutions?

164485_10101070867909188_852983142_nA few Saturdays ago I ventured out to Brooklyn Boulders with Sumi and Taryn to climb some rocks. We had an experienced climber and friend with us, John, who graciously belayed us for the afternoon and kept us from falling to our death. That’s a little dramatic, but as a first time climber I must admit I was a little hesitant and intimidated. The place was packed and filled with spider monkeys (what I call experienced climbers).  You basically go in and pick an empty rope and wall area and start climbing. Some walls are harder than others, but they are labeled by a grading system, so you kind of know what you’re getting yourself into. We mostly stuck to the straight up and down walls, but some people were actually climbing upside down. We aren’t ready for that…YET.

551515_10101070867999008_816058413_nOnce we were done standing around admiring all the spider monkeys we got ourselves settled and strapped in, and I was the first one to ascend. I made it about halfway up the wall and that’s when I started to feel it in my hands and forearms. Holy grip strength. My comrades down below encouraged me to continue up to the top, and so I did, but only after stopping several times to shake out my hands and figure out where to put them next. I felt very accomplished after climbing the first wall, but I was also pretty certain I was done for the day. I couldn’t feel my hands or much less use them.

521546_10101070870034928_1551597088_nSumi was not surprisingly pretty good at climbing. I think her weird hips allowed her to get really close to the wall which seemed to help. Taryn couldn’t climb because her broken big toe is still healing, but she provided great moral support! We decided not to pansy out and did end up climbing a few more walls before calling it a day.

As it turns out, rock climbing is really hard! You’d think being a dancer I’d be in shape, but climbing takes a different kind of shape and strength. I could barely click buttons on my phone for the rest of the day because my hands were so tired from gripping the holds. I suppose March is a little late to make a resolution but this year I want to try new things, and specifically new ways to be active. The gym bores me, and yes I do pilates and dance but I want to do new and exciting things! Climbing was the start to that resolution. We all had a blast and I definitely plan to head back to the rocks, but I do think I’ll hold off on pursuing it more intensely until our season at BAM is over.

For you folks out in the interweb: How are you staying active? Do you have any exciting suggestions for new things to do? Do you want to come with us? Let us know!


Posted in Allie Lochary, Cross Training, Staying Fit, Sumi Clements, Summation's 3rd Season, Taryn Vander Hoop | Leave a comment

Meet the Host Committee!

Summation Dance’s Host Committee is a group of people who support our company by attending our performances and bringing a crowd with them. Without these devoted and driven advocates, we could not successfully reach new audiences or sell-out performances. We are beyond grateful for the time and enthusiasm they put into promoting Summation Dance. With that said, we proudly introduce the fine individuals that make up our Host Committee:

Cate Cox, Singer, Actor, Philanthropist 28919_10152554249775094_1242038244_n
Summation Dance is one of those rare companies where you see the intersection of highly curated projects, individuals interested in the education and advancement of their art and a work ethic often unseen in the art world.  I attend Summation Dance performances for the intelligent choreography and excellent talent, but I keep bringing others with me because I hold a flag for the mission of the company.  I could not more whole-heartedly endorse Summation Dance or their philosophy.


62687_10102006214212517_253365572_nDavid Hsia, Partner, Tjong & Hsia LLP
Sumi and Taryn are not just creative artists, but creative entrepreneurs who have been strikingly successful in expanding their vision and doing what many young creative artists have struggled with, finding and growing their own audience!   Sumi and Taryn have struck out on their own, built their own company and artistic vision, and created the infrastructure and audience and non-glamorous back-breaking work on the nonprofit business side to make things happen for them and their team —  Sumi, as a young choreographer, has also created moving pieces that are deeply affecting; my friends and professional colleagues to this day still talk to me about how affecting “Keep Your Feathers Dry” was to them and how relatable it was to their own experiences as women.   They have been equally inspiring in their collaborations with other young and promising choreographers and dancers, including The Anata Project and the award-winning Andrea Miller; how can you not be inspired by Summation Dance?


59238884JJ Kasper, Associate Partner,
McKinsey & Company
Summation Dance makes my body move.






KerryKerry King
Summation’s incredible shows allow viewers the opportunity to lose themselves in the performance at hand. I love the experience of interpreting the choreography, music, and physical movement into a cohesive message.






Meryl HoeftMeryl Hoeft,
Legal Intern, Fersch Petitti, LLC
I have been a fan of Summation since their opening season. I will never forget Julie McMillian’s lengthy, wavering, one-legged squat, which left me wondering if she was trying to throw herself off balance just for the personal challenge of it and if she intended to make the audience uncomfortable.




Alissa SoleAssociate Director of Finance, Morningside Translations

I have watched Summation Dance in action for several years. As someone who was born with two left feet and who was previously never exposed to modern dance, I am continually amazed and impressed by the dedication, artistry, coordination, and creativity displayed at each performance. buyticketsbutton



Michael Sterchak, Associate,
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
I have been continually impressed by Summation’s innovative choreography, which is consistently stunning, sometimes comedic, and always memorable.




JTS Headshot 2 PSDJohn Suhar,
Development Associate,
The Urban Ecology Center
I am fortunate to have been introduced to the art of dance through Summation Dance. Over the last 3 years, Summation Dance has showed me rich and rigorous experiences. Firsthand, I’ve learned that dancers train like athletes and perform with effortless grace. I’ve learned, like painting a portrait or writing a play, choreography is a craft. Summation Dance inspires you to feel. Summation Dance inspires you to question. Summation’s pieces are an invitation for interpretation which require us to take an open-minded leap into the great unknown. In paraphrasing Norman Maclean, to me, all good things come by grace; and grace comes by art; and art does not come easy. Enjoy the show!


Andy cross armsAndy Teirstein, Associate Arts Professor, Dance Department, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
Artistic Producer, Animal Stone Productions
Summation Dance is a fiery group of women who are impassioned about dance and new choreography.  Sumi Clements makes dances that speak to the audience because of their subject matter, their intensity, and the deep commitment and community spirit of the dancers who make up this remarkable, spirited and edgy company.




JackieTopolJackie Topol, Clinical Dietitian, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center
I love going to Summation’s performances because they are innovative, unpredictable, and raw. Using the dance floor as their canvas, this incredible group of dancers fully expose their emotions without inhibition. Taryn and Sumi always have something up their sleeve and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for their BAM performance.





Back CameraCassie Valentin, MBA Candidate 2014,
NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business
I love Summation Dance because you never know what you’re going to get when you go to a show but you always leave happy and inspired. Their shows are surprising, engaging, and impressive and they demonstrate how powerful modern dance can be. Summation’s mission to bring modern dance to those who aren’t normally exposed to it is something we all should get behind.




Kurt Wubbenhorst, Owner, Architekt Music
Summation Dance creates beautiful work that is accessible to everyone by combining great dance, excellent set and lighting design, and a deep musical score.



Host Committee Members not pictured: Jody Gottfried Arnhold, Melissa Coluccio, Sabrina Dax, Paul Evans, Sasha Kipka, Adam Nashban, Kate Nintzel, Joe Parkhill, Jake Pratt, Tim Sebunya, Brigitte Vosse.

Posted in Andy Teirstein, BAM, Cassie Valentin, Cate Cox, David Hsia, Host Committee, Jackie Topol, JJ Kasper, John Suhar, Kurt Wubbenhorst, Meryl Hoeft, Michael Sterchak, Summation's 3rd Season, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome Meg and Tenaya!

602106_501186723256298_984079481_nGet to Know Meg!

Where are you from? I am from Keene, New Hampshire. Although its certainly not an exciting, cosmopolitan place, its dear to my heart because of its natural beauty and the strong New England values it instilled in me. Growing up, I learned the importance of frugality, self-sufficiency and hardiness, things that have served me well in my life.

Do you have any siblings? I have an older brother Sam who is a PhD student at UCLA in cultural anthropology. He is a true gentleman and a dedicated, gifted scholar.

Authors: Roberto Bolaño, David Foster Wallace, Ralph Ellison, Joan Didion, and Milan Kundera.
Movies: I just saw the Godfather and loved it. Too many great movies to name.
Music: James Blake, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Fleetwood Mac, Retro Brazilian stuff like Os Mutantes and Tom Zé too. Beyonce and Rihanna always.
Dessert: probably pie of some variety. Blueberry, apple or pecan. I also like brownies a lot.
Dance Companies/Choreographers: Trisha Brown, Kyle Abraham, Tere O’Connor, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Ohad Naharin, Pina Bausch, Forsythe, Eiko and Koma, Rodrigo Pederneiras of Grupo Corpo are some of my fav choreographers.

Dance Career Highlight so far?
My dance highlight so far was performing at the Park Avenue Armory with Shen Wei Dance Arts in the company’s Tenth Anniversary Season. Performing in a world premiere in front of hundreds of people in a 55,000 sq. foot room where my great uncle had once marched with the Knickerbocker Club in the 1930s was pretty great.

What would you do if you had a whole day off to yourself? I would definitely sleep in. Then I would have a leisurely bagel breakfast with my great roommates. Then maybe a sweaty dance class followed by a nice bath. After that I think I’d like to spend time outdoors walking around New York, go to a museum or a movie in the afternoon, cook dinner for friends in the evening and then go out dancing.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a dancer? If I weren’t a dancer, I’d be in Rio de Janeiro right now, speaking Portuguese, conducting a research project, doing a lot of capoeira, traveling etc.

What’s on your bucket list? Go to Turkey, go to Cuba, learn French well, perform in Europe, have a backyard.

Odd fact about you? My feet are dyed red right now because I’ve been performing in a puddle of fake blood in Parsifal at the Met!

285772_501186713256299_1493289926_nGet to know Tenaya!

Where are you from and what makes that place unique? I’m originally from Ojai, CA. A couple things that make it special: it is completely surrounded by mountains, and covered in orange groves and avocado trees. And you can’t go outside without running into at least 10 people you know.

Do you have any siblings? I have one 16 year old brother. He is an awesome bassist.

What would you do with a whole day off? Grab some coffee and head to the park with my journal and ipod.

Book- The Alchemist
Movie- Garden State
Music- The Beatles
Dessert- Anything chocolate
Dance companies- Batsheva, Hofesh shechter, and obviously Summation!

Best dance experience so far? Spending two summers in Israel studying Gaga.

What would you be doing if you were not a dancer? I would definitely be doing something arts-related and hopefully traveling.

What’s on your bucket list? Travel to every continent, go skydiving, have a family, return to Israel, conquer my fear of fish.

What’s a unique fact about you? As you may have guessed from my bucket list, I’m terrified of fish. All fish.

Posted in Fun, Get to know the company, Meg Weeks, Tenaya Cowsill | Leave a comment

Summation’s New Years Resolutions!

The New Year is a time for reflection and new beginnings… Read some reflections on 2012 and goals for the new year by Summation dancers.

Julie McMillan
I have a few Resolutions (hopefully one will stick).  (1) Run at least four 10k races this year; (2) save money; (3) eat healthy; (4) take more classes!
Some milestones for me in 2012:  (1) promotion at work; (2) moved to a new neighborhood in New York (which included a stressful piano move!); (3) started pseudo long distance running.
What to accomplish in 2013:  simply to live happy and healthy surrounded by loved ones and family.  I trust that everything else will fall into place eventually.


Kelsey Berry
New Years Resolution: Spend less money on yogurt and read amazing books.
2012 Highlights -  I saw Florence and the Machine, Burlesque at the Manhattan Room, the Nutcracker, Sleep No More, and my sister get married: perfect, all of them.
2013 — Determine where my life is going… heavy.


Kristin Schwab
New Years Resolution: I have a few goals in mind, like to start that blog I’ve always thought about doing but never actually did and to eat less carbs. If I resolve to “eat healthy” I’m bound to fail, so I have to concentrate on one aspect for it to be feasible.
In 2012, I moved back to Manhattan for the first time since college and shacked up with my (cue ominous music) boyfriend. Talks about changes! I started taking on new roles at work. And of course, there was lots of dancing with the ladies of Summation.
Yikes, 2013! I’d really like to get published in a magazine outside of the company I work for and maybe start choreographing again—finding something within the realm of all the things I already do and love, but taking those goals a step farther.


Megan Thornburg
My New Years Resolution is to make sure I get to class at least twice a week! Can be a dance, Pilates, yoga, gym etc. In 2012, I got engaged!! Performed with Summation Dance for the first time. Moved into a brand new apartment in Washington Heights. Was privileged enough to dance works of some pretty wonderful people in various NYC spaces. I had a good year! In 2013, I hope to have a fun wedding! ;) Dance a lot all over NYC and the country. Continue being happy with my life!


Cat De Angelis
My resolution is to turn every small idea into a big reality. I want to turn 2013 into the my most successful year to date.
2012 was all about change- I started a new costume job at the Brearley School, moved in with my loving boyfriend of 3+ years, and started making moves toward creating my own line of designer nailart, restructured vintage tees and homemade liquor.
I want to feel at the end of 2013 that I didn’t shy away from anything because I was afraid. I remained motivated and fought through idleness. This is the year I am going to put everything out there and take advantage of all the resources this incredible city has to offer. In the words of Die Antwoord, my favorite band of 2012, I want to ” fully flex.”


Taryn Vander Hoop
My resolution is to meditate and practice yoga daily, even if only for 5 minutes!
2012 was pretty amazing.  I kicked off last year with a trip to New Mexico with my mom, grandma, and boyfriend, where I stayed in an earthship for the first time and now daydream about living in one someday.  Started a new job that I enjoy, tried a lot of new things: Acro Yoga, Slacklining, Longboarding, and Cross Country Skiing to name a few, discovered that I actually do like blue cheese, went to LA for my first National Dance Education Organization conference, and pulled off two Summation performances! Not too shabby!
Big goals for 2013: Learn to cook, complete my 300-Hour yoga certification, take more dance class and teach more yoga and dance, present at NDEO next year in Miami, spend more time with friends, and most importantly, be present and happy! Oh, and with a little luck, pull off our BAM season successfully!
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Repertory vs. Creation


Hello all!

Today, for our untrained dance appreciators (since we seem to have a lot, which is A DREAM), I’m going to talk company structure.

There are generally two different kinds of companies in the world: Rep companies that commission works from multiple choreographers (say, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, ODC, Ailey) and troupes that primarily perform the work of their artistic director (LINES Ballet, The Forsythe Company, Stephen Petronio Dance). Summation is clearly the latter. The advantages of working with one choreographer is you quickly come to understand their nuances, artistic sensibilities and movement style. It’s fantastic to be a part of a continuing vision and find new ways to develop yourself within that. It’s also quite a challenge to constantly ask yourself how you’re going to approach something differently. What is different about this piece of Sumi’s as apposed to the last? And how is she using similar movements in different pieces to convey totally opposite messages?

Once year though, us company members get a chance to pretend we’re a rep company with Dancing Literate Project. For our inaugural DLP performance, we worked with Gallim Dance’s quirky Andrea Miller. This year, Sydney Skybetter of skybetter & associates is on the bill. When you learn rep, it means the piece has already been created and performed by another company. That means you’re usually learning straight choreography really quickly to turn it around and make it as whole as you can. This is, of course, what I expected when we stepped into the studio with Sydney and his Rehearsal Assistant/Dancer Kristen Arnhold. Instead, we were welcomed with a fairly collaborative process–a very unlikely thing when you have one week to learn a piece! Sydney and Kristen really helped us because comfortable in the work. He wasn’t about recreating something he’d already perfected, but shifting a work to mold it into something slightly new, suiting the needs of the dancers. It was great to work with a new style that was unknown to our bodies, yet in a way where we could accommodate our own styles.

Hope you all come to see the performance in December! It’s going to be a great show!


Kristin Schwab

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