And at the Top of a Hill… Inspiration.

Any artist is not required or expected to give an information on the inspiration, meaning, or story behind a piece of art.  But sometimes, the story is just too great to stay behind closed doors…

And so, here we have it.  A peak behind the inspiration to Summation’s latest and evening length work, At the Hour.  From the creator herself…

Last August I received an email from my dad with one word in the subject box, a link to a video, and a sentence that read: “stuff here for both the skeptical and the devout.”

Some would call my dad…. unconventional. I’d say that’s putting it mildly, but he never fails to entertain, so I figured I’d give it the good ol’ 20 minute viewing, Tom Clements style. (A mandate that he imparted in our youth when my sisters and I balked at his movie picks—give it 20 minutes, if you hate it, we’ll change it.) I ended up becoming so engrossed in the strange story that unfolded, that I watched the documentary in its entirety. And the inspiration for At the Hour was born.


In the simplest version I could relay here, the story tells of four young children living in a small village in Spain called Garabandal, nestled deep in the Cantabrian Mountains of the north. Over the course of two years in the early 60s, the Virgin Mary appeared to these children and delivered prophetic messages about times to come. She foretold events of warning, miracle and punishment of apocalyptic measure if humanity does not correct its conscience. The full narrative weaves a much more complex tale, but the footage of the children during the apparitions is both fascinating and undeniably supernatural. This prophecy is said to play out within the lifetime of one of the young girls, Conchita (currently 66 years old and living in Long Island!), as she was designated the Virgin’s messenger and will alert the world eight days before this series of events is put in motion.


The message at Garabandal resonated with me as I watched our sociopolitical climate grow more and more turbulent, and I dove into further research. By some miracle (pun intended), Taryn and I had the opportunity to travel to Spain, and after a four-hour drive climbing steadily into the mountains, we came upon this curious town stuck in time with its stone houses still devoid of running water and electricity. There was no clap of thunder or other divine show from above (except for an odd confrontation with an anthropomorphic goat, and a few spectral faces in our pictures), but the electric charge in the air was palpable and satisfied my spiritual curiosity in the most visceral of ways.

The process of making At the Hour was extraordinary on many levels, but the deep integration of textual research, visual footage, spiritual ponderings and a visit to the historic site itself gave this experience a richness I could not have anticipated. Thank you to everyone who supported us along the way, saw our interpretation at BAM, asked questions….and to all who have made it to the end of this blog.


For those whose curiosity is peaked, a link to the video here! Would love to hear any thoughts!

Until next time….be well!

- Sumi

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So Rad.

Colorado got some major Summation fever this month as Sumi traveled west to participate in Boulders Jazz Dance Workshop!  This annual workshop is a pre-professional intensive comprised of professional dancers and choreographers active in dance communities from cities all around the country! And this intensive was jam PACKED full of dance activities!
In just 2-5 weeks Sumi spent her time teaching the Modern III-IV level technique, taking the other advanced dance classes offered, setting a repertory piece on the students, choreographing a piece on the IDT dancers, and learning five other pieces that she eventually performed in too.  Sweet Dance Jesus. A dance intensive indeed!  All this adding up to a very full AND fullfilling several weeks though!
“Between the superstar faculty and performers, my time at Boulder expands my choreographic and performative approaches, and I always come back to NY refreshed and inspired. It’s also like being at summer camp because you are surrounded by people that you love and miss during the year, who also love being immersed in this environment, who support you, inspire you…and most of all, get ridiculous with you….from life-sized Jenga tournaments to being asked to stop “dancing on the ceiling”, the laughs I have during these weeks add years onto my life. And feed my dancing soul…”


Well Sumi, we can’t wait to see what inspirational things come out of all of your experiences and collaborations.
In fact, you can see it put into action this September when Summation debuts their new piece, At the Hour, for their 5th year Anniversary Celebration at BAM!  Pre-sale tickets are already on sale and can be purchased here!
See you all in one month!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To JP and Beyond!

Well, our debut at Jacob’s Pillow was damn near magical.  It was short, sweet and compleeeetely uplifting.  Summation was selected to perform in Jacob’s Pillows Inside/Out Festival, a 10-week long event featuring free performances from dance companies of all varieties and backgrounds.  And Summation was BEYOND honored to kick the summer off!

vGFmxF_wEmIbCpfYhTTS2_YiVm6s6j-YT_WsBVI31H0The back drop wasn’t half bad either…

The setting is one of the things that makes this show so special.  The performances are held on the historical outdoor stage overlooking the beautiful mountains in Becket, Massachusetts.  The beauty and energy simply cannot be matched by any other venue.


“When there was this moment of stillness in ‘Shift’ we were standing upstage looking back seeing the view beyond the stage, and it was all trees, with the breeze and the birds chirping… it was just perfect.”


This performance also came with some reflection.  Having the opportunity to perform on the Jacob’s Pillow stage is something that, arguably, every dance company would revel in the chance to be a part of.  It has been a mecca for so many artists that have made an impact in dance over the years and we are so grateful to be a part of all that history.


” The first time seeing and being on the Inside/Out stage, is amazing because you’ve read all about it and seen pictures of it your whole life. It really was like a dream…”

Still radiating from the performance, we are taking all of this positive energy with us as we prepare for our biggest performance yet in September at BAM!  Be on the look out for some sneak peeks from our new piece we will be premiereing on our Facebook page! It’s full speed ahead from here!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Behind the Camera…

Our dancers are the face and heart of Summation Dance.  There is no doubt about that.  They pump passion, energy, and breath into every movement.  It is this very thing that moves us, captivates us, and keeps us coming back to experience this power again and again. But of course, with every good working heart, there must be a strong foundation.  And we would like to introduce a small piece of that backbone…

Meet Team Wolff & Wu!

Mary Wolff has been with Summation for a little over a year and a half.  She started out as an intern, because Taryn and Sumi were finding that they needed a little more outside help (and because Summation was BLOWIN’ UP the scene!) This year she proudly accepted the role as Director of Development!  She’s Sumi & Taryn right hand mama, prepping emails, sending applications, doing social media, and helping write grants.  Oh, and writing blogs too ;)

10530829_10103954039060907_5690122989543787709_nOur newest member to the Summation family is Melissa Wu!  She is a rock star media aficionado and is here to do Summations social media and kick it up a notch! She’ll be videoing and capturing Summation as we continue to celebrate our 5th Anniversary year and prepare for our biggest performance yet at BAM in September!!


But together, this power team will join forces to get the word out for all that is awesome about Summation (and well, there’s a lot of that).  So next time you’re at a Summation event make sure to say a little hello to the ones behind the scenes too!

And speaking of… The dancers of Summation are prepping, primping, movin’, groovin’, and sweating as they prepare for their debut at Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Festival this weekend!  Jacob’s Pillow is one of the most well-known dance performance spaces in the world and we are so honored to have been asked to perform opening week of their summer season! Stay tuned for full details on how it went in next weeks blog and follow live action with #summationJP! 

Go get ‘em ladies.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free. Dance. #nofilterneeded

You read that right.  I said FREE DANCE.  And since the best things in life are free, come catch two free classes with Sumi and the entire Summation Dance company for two weeks in a row!

If you’ve never experienced Sumi’s choreography, you’re in for a heart-pumping sweat session.  Class will include a non-stop follow along chorepgraphy based warm-up, followed by 30 minutes of phrase work.  It will have you leaving feeling inspired, energized, and quite sweaty.

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll experience…

And here are the offical details:
June 12: Gina Gibney- 280 Broadway (Downtown) @ 12pm. 
June 19: Gina Gibney- 890 Broadway (USQ) @ 2pm. 

See you there with ALL of the sweet moves!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s check in.

Memorial weekend is such a great transition into fresher, warmer, and more energetic times.  It seems like we all reset after the long weekend, whether we went away or simply just rested.  I feel like memorial weekend is always a great time to check back in with our resolutions.  It’s 5 months into the new year and more than likely, we just got caught up shifted gears (or away) from the goals we set at the beginning of the year.

That being said, we know 2 Summation members accomplished what they had their mind and heart set on…

SO, congrats Julie and Taryn on your first half marathon!  Running 13.1 miles isn’t just something we can do all of the time.  But you guys came, saw, and conquered and we are so proud of you.

Do you remember what yours were?  It may be a good time to check back in and see where you are with your goals and resolutions. Maybe they have changed since then.  Maybe new ones have emerged.  Regardless, make sure you keep your head on straight and eye on the prize.  Because

“…good things come to those who hustle.”

11147222_10104257329015407_1208540740772796663_nMindfully yours,

Summation Dance

<– Three limbs up for dancers who run!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hola, Adios!

Summation dance goes abroad… CHECK!

Sumi and Taryn teamed up and took Summation oversees participating in the BIDE Festival 2015 in Spain this May! Travel to beautiful Barcelona and dance all day with other inspiring artists and dancers? Yeah, we’re jealous too.


BIDE or Barcelona International Dance Exchange, is a horizontal platform for artists for learning and exchanging ideas.  Everyday, there were 3-6 “labs” presented by the participating artists which served as a time for creating and exploring new ideas with your peers.  Instead of it being a teacher/student experience though, these labs were completely interactive and collaborative! Each lab become inspiration for every participating artist, whether it was your idea or not!

3So often in NYC and around the world in the dance field, we sign up to study with the masters of the field, which is of course amazing, but there is also so much to learn from your fellow peers and an open platform to collaborate and explore is really freeing.”  - Taryn 



Each participant signed up for 1 full day of labs or 2 half days. But beyond play time in the labs there was, of course, some time for play in Spain. Our world travelers did some sight seeing, hit up the beaches, and drank allll the food and wine.

8“We took long hike down to one of the most stunning beaches in Mallorca. Not a lot of people make it because you have to hike down over some pretty gnarly rocks to arrive at the beach (my camera was a casualty), so it’s really secluded and untouched.”   – Taryn



We are so excited for you to see what inspiring ideas Taryn and Sumi brought back from Spain.  Maybe you’ll even see some pop up in our new piece At The Hour

Until then,
Cheers to new experiences & warm weather!

Adios Mis Amores,


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Looking back in February.

This past month couples, families and dearest friends celebrated the holiday made for celebrating love.   Summation Dance members, on the other hand, celebrated theirs through the love of dance…

Valentines Day weekend this year marked the first time ever Summation Dance was presented by an outside organization.  It’s been on the “to-do” list for awhile now and so thrilled to finally have the opportunity with the 92StY!  The 92StY, is an organization where many artists call home.  The performances were held in an intimate and open space so inviting, you almost felt like you were a part of the show.


A moment in At the Hour.

The first half of the show we performed Shift, a piece that premiered in 2013.  It’s safe to say that Shift is one of Summation’s strongest pieces.  The energy and focus was incredible the audience was extremely responsive!  This weekend also marked the premiere of the new piece, At the Hour.  “At the Hour is a work-in-progress that will eventually be expanded to full-length for BAM in the fall and we loved all of the feedback we received from a live audience!” Says Sumi.  The new piece features a smaller cast this time around, but no less just as fierce. “At the Hour is strong and full of subtle nuance that lets each dancer shine,” say Taryn.  Taryn wasn’t in the new work-in-progress for this show, but loved being on the other side too, admiring how amazing all of her fellow dancers looked! (And boy did they look ahhhmazing).

AND THIS JUST IN: Taryn WILL be added to At the Hour for BAM!

BAM performance is going to kickass.

Even under terrible and almost unbearable weather circumstances, all 3 shows packed the house at 92StY.  Summation feels so lucky to have such an wonderful following.  The constant and continued support is beyond appreciated and we are so grateful to have such a wonderful and growing Summation family.

So on the weekend of love, we did absolutely feel the love…

Stay tuned for upcoming events and gatherings with Summation!  Hopefully some without snow and warmer weather included…

Warm Wishes,


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greet. Sparkle. Boogie. Parade.

If you’re lucky enough to know what all of these words have in common, then you must also be a lover of dance education.  If none of this makes sense to you, then let us catch you up to date…

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Dance Education Lab’s (DEL), an organization who provides extended creative training for dance educators and teachers who want to ‘enrich and sharpen’ their skills.  Two weeks ago Taryn and Sumi were lucky enough to have been the facilitators of DEL’s 20th birthday celebration held at the 92nd Street Y!  It was a pretty big deal.  Over the course of the afternoon, 100 movers of all ages, shapes, and backgrounds (including all the beautiful Summation members) used specific words (I’ll give you one guess which ones those were) that guided and inspired everyone to work together and create one massive 25 minute movement series!  Teaming up with our dynamic duo, Taryn and Sumi, were major modern dance gurus, Kendra Portier, Sidra Bell, and Mike Esperanza.  Talk about a star studded cast!!



At the end of the afternoon the 25 minute collaoration or Movement Sentence Choir, as it was named, was streamedonline for friends, family, and fans to watch live.  Pretty crazy that a 25 minute piece was made in just under two and a half hours.  Neat stuff, if you ask me.  And of course it would not be a birthday celebration without cake and champagne!  We danced it off… right?

The day was an awesome reminder of he roots to why, we as dancers, love this art.  The creative process is a beautiful thing.  And whenyou have the opportunity to share it with that many other creative minds, there’s a magical thing that happens and an energy that radiates across the entire room.  What ever your background, it is a wonderful sensation that can be felt and shared by all.  Summation could not be more grateful to be a part of such a well-respected and inspiring organization that does just this.  We all left that day with a little creative pep in our step.



Hats of to you DEL and the happiest of birthdays.  Here’s to 20 more years of sensational artisitc collaborations.

Beautifully inspired,
Summation Dance


If YOU would like a chance to be artisticly inspired, we would love a chance to share the magic at our show THIS WEEKEND!  And how appropriate on the weekend of love itself.
It is coincidentaly located at the 92 Street Y and you have 3 chances to see us!  There will even be free champagne waiting for you after the performance.

Here are the deets: 
What: Summation Dance performance and champagne toast!
Where: 92 Street Y 
When: Friday, Feb 13: 8pm
              Saturday, Feb 14: 8pm
              Sunday, Feb 15: 3pm
Tickets: Here!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

3 Week Check-In

Remember those New Years Resolutions we once upon a Decemeber 31st night swore by?Well, now’s about the time where they start to drift farther and father out of our sight… It’s a fact that 75% of people who set resolutions get a little lenient about 3 weeks into the New Year. Whether or not you are still on top of your game, let us all check back in and get into gear!

New Years Resolution: Get outta New York edition.

Plain and simple, Devin wants to travel more!  In the US and outside of the country! 10685576_982989128385292_5023143802696570112_n


Fiiiine, I guess we’ll let you take some time away from Summation to travel… bring back some souvenirs for the family though!


Dani’s resolution is a bit more specific…  She wants to climb to the top of Vermont’s tallest mountain, Mt. Mansfield!  It’s famous for having the outline of a human face!  She’s made it to the “chin” but wants to make it to the peak, aka, the “nose”!




Umm… That sounds AWESOME.  We might have to join you on this one… I mean, come on, you’re making us look bad.


And, if you haven’t made one yet, we think there’s still plenty of time!  Maaaybe supporting one of your favorite arts organizations..? Ah hem…

Keep those eyes on the prize everyone and let’s make 2015 a great one!

Stay warm and safe all you north easterners!
Much Love,


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment