Sunday, January 27 • 3 p.m.
700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987
$24 senior citizens and students (18 and over)
$22 youth (under 18)
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ODC/Dance: The Velveteen Rabbit
ODC/Dance brings to life Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. Told through music, dance, and a powerful narrative, The Velveteen Rabbit celebrates the unique relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, and the enduring power of love. A narrated production set to selections by Benjamin Britten, The Velveteen Rabbit is brimming with wit, festive costumes, and madcap characters. This special performance will feature eight local children dancing alongside the professional company.
Running time for The Velveteen Rabbit is approximately 70 minutes plus one intermission. The production is suitable for audience members ages 3 and up.
Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC/Dance was one of the first American companies to incorporate a post-modern sensibility into a virtuosic contemporary dance language and to commit major resources to interdisciplinary collaboration and commissioned scores for the repertory.
ODC/Dance performs for more than 50,000 people annually. In addition to two annual home seasons in San Francisco (Dance Downtown and the much-loved holiday production of The Velveteen Rabbit), past highlights include numerous appearances at the Joyce Theater in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, standing room only engagements in Europe and Russia, and two USIA tours to Asia, most recently as part of the inaugural DanceMotion roster. In 46 years, ODC/Dance has performed for more than a million people in 32 states and 11 countries, with support from the NEA, the U.S. State Department, and many state and city arts agencies.
The company has been widely recognized for its rigorous form, technical clarity and numerous groundbreaking collaborations with, among others, composers Marcelo Zarvos, Bobby McFerrin, Zoë Keating, Zap Mama, Pamela Z, Jay Cloidt, and Paul Dresher; writer/singer Rinde Eckert; actors Bill Irwin, Geoff Hoyle, and Robin Williams; visual artists Andy Goldsworthy, Wayne Thiebaud, Jim Campbell, and Eleanor Coppola; welder/bike designer Max Chen and choreographer Kate Weare. Their creativity based outreach programs have been widely emulated and continue to fuel their deep engagement in communities across the country.
KT Neson, choreographer
KT Nelson joined ODC/Dance in 1976 and partners with Brenda Way in directing the ODC/Dance Company. KT choreographed and directed the Company’s first full-length family ballet in 1986, The Velveteen Rabbit. The production has become a holiday tradition in the Bay Area engaging generations of dance goers, young and less so.
KT has been awarded the Isadora Duncan Dance Award four times: in 1987 for Outstanding Performance, in 1996 and 2012 for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2001 for Sustained Achievement. Her collaborators have included Bobby McFerrin, Geoff Hoyle, Amy Siewert, Na Hoon Park, Brenda Way, Kate Weare, Zap Mama, and Joan Jeanrenaud. In 2008, her work RingRounRozi, in collaboration with French-Canadian composer Linda Bouchard, was selected to be performed at the Tanzmesse International Dance Festival.
In addition to her work as a choreographer, Nelson ran the summer dance department for Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University 2003-2006, and founded the ODC Dance Jam in 1997. Over the last 25 years, KT has played a major role in defining and implementing ODC’s on-going and project-based outreach programs. She has mentored the Margaret Jenkins’ Chime Project and continues to mentor emerging artists in the Bay Area and abroad.
NATASHA ADORLEE JOHNSON is from Overland Park, Kansas and graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English. She has trained with American Ballet Theatre and was an inaugural member of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet training program. She performs with the San Francisco Symphony, is a former member of Robert Moses’ KIN, and was a guest artist with Kate Weare Company (New York). In 2018, Natasha received an Emmy for her work in the TV special Baseballet 2: Into the Game, as a composer and performer. In 2014 she was the recipient of an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for her performance in Two if by Sea, choreographed by Kimi Okada. Natasha is the Founder and Artistic Director of Concept o4. Through Co4, she directed, choreographed, and danced in the film Take Your Time (2017), which became an official selection of the Mill Valley Film Festival and the recipient of six awards including “Best Short” by the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Red Rock Film Festival, and Valley Film Festival. She has been a member of ODC/Dance since 2011.
BRANDON FREEMAN better known as “Private,” is an ODC veteran, having danced with the company for 15 years, but ventured out in 2008 for an artistic “Walkabout.” In the Bay Area, Private has had the privilege of working with many dance artists/companies, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery among them, and he was a principal dancer in the movie The Matrix II: Reloaded. He also was a guest artist with the Colorado Ballet, performing in Glen Tetley’s Le Sacre Du Printemps in 2013. Nominated multiple times, Private received Bay Area Isadora Duncan Awards for Ensemble Performance in 2002 with Brian Fisher, in 2012 with Katie Faulkner, and in 2014 with Katherine Wells. In addition to teaching ballet and modern dance technique (including Dance for Parkinson’s Disease), he is a sailor, a poet, a woodworker, oil painter, and was formerly an Artillery and Military Police Sergeant in the Army National Guard. He gratefully acknowledges all who have influenced his dance career, specifically Brenda, KT, Sonya, Amy, and Randy.
JEREMY BANNON-NECHES was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up in Augusta, GA, where he received his initial training at the Augusta Ballet School. In 2005, he graduated with honors from the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he performed leading roles in The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Lynn Tailor Corbett’s Lost and Found. Jeremy then danced with Nevada Ballet Theater, performing principal roles in George Balanchine’s Rubies and Serenade, Mathew Neenan’s At the Border, along with works by Twyla Tharp, Val Caniparoli, James Canfield, and Frederick Ashton. Since moving to San Francisco in 2012, he has worked with Robert Moses’ KIN, Post:Ballet, Zhukov Dance, DawsonDanceSF, and Hope Mohr Dance. He joined ODC/Dance in 2015.
TEGAN SCHWAB grew up in Miami, FL. She graduated summa cum laude from New World School of the Arts College, and earned a BFA in dance from the University of Florida. In Miami, Tegan began her professional career in 2005 as a dancer/puppeteer, with choreographer Katherine Kramer and the acclaimed marionette/visual artist Pablo Cano. After graduating in 2008, she moved to San Francisco and has had the pleasure of dancing principal roles as a company member with Dance Through Time, Hope Mohr Dance and Garrett+Moulton Productions. Tegan joined ODC/Dance in 2015.
DANIEL SANTOS was born in Manila, Philippines. He began his formal dance training at the age of 16 with State Street Ballet under the tutelage of Rodney Gustafson, and later received a full scholarship from the San Francisco Ballet School. Santos danced with ODC/Dance for 10 years, winning an Isadora Duncan Award for Individual Performance. In 2012, Santos temporarily left dance to explore his outdoor interests, studying at the Mountain Training School and learning to guide in three disciplines: Alpine Mountaineering, Back Country Skiing, and Rock Climbing. But after 4 years in the great outdoors, the stage was calling: Santos rejoined the company in 2016.
RACHEL FURST is from Baltimore, MD, where she trained at the Baltimore School for the Arts. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance and a minor in psychology from Alonzo King LINES Ballet B.F.A Program at Dominican University of California. In 2012, she was nominated for and received the Dizzy Feet Foundation Award. She has been a company member of Amy Seiwert’s Imagery since 2012 where she felt her dancing transformed under the mentorship of Amy Seiwert. She has guested with Dawson Dance SF and performed as a guest artist and company member with Smuin Ballet. Rachel joined ODC/Dance in 2016.
JAMES GILMER of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Pittsburgh School for the Creative & Performing Arts. After graduating in 2011, he joined Cincinnati Ballet’s Second Company and joined the main company the following season. James danced with the Cincinnati Ballet for six seasons being promoted to Soloist in 2015, he has performed works by Septime Webre, Ohad Naharin, Val Caniparoli, George Balanchine, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Edwaard Liang, Jennifer Archibald, Trey McIntyre, Adam Hougland, Amy Seiwert, and Victoria Morgan to name a few. He has also been a member of Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, performing with the company since the summer of 2013. Looking to branch outside of the classical ballet realm, he moved to San Francisco to join ODC/Dance in August 2017.
MIA J. CHONG grew up in San Francisco, California. She received scholarships and training from the Kirov Academy of Ballet, the Ailey School, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Sidra Bell Dance New York, the School at Jacob’s Pillow, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and ODC School, where she trained for over a decade. Mia has danced professionally with Robert Moses’ KIN Dance Company, Post:Ballet and Dance Theatre of San Francisco. She was nominated for Isadora Duncan Dance Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Individual Performance, as well as Company Performance. Mia joined ODC/Dance as an apprentice in 2016 and was promoted to company dancer in 2018.
KENDALL TEAGUE was raised in the mountains of western North Carolina and attended the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC. He started his professional career in the Bay Area in 2008 as a corps de ballet member at San Francisco Ballet. He has since worked with North Carolina Dance Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet under Dwight Rhoden, Ballet San Jose, and most recently with Alonzo King Lines Ballet. Kendall joined ODC in 2018.
ADONIS DAMIAN MARTIN QUIÑONES (seasonal dancer), was born in Contramaestre, a province of Santiago de Cuba. He holds a degree from Jose Maria Heredia Dance Academy of Santiago de Cuba in Modern & Contemporary Dance. Adonis joined Danza Teatro del Caribe in 2008 under the Direction of Eduardo Rivero Walker and became a soloist in 2010. In Santiago de Cuba, he also performed with Locomotion, an audiovisual and interactive dance company. In the Bay Area since 2013, he has danced for Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theater (an aerial arts dance company), Dance Brigade, KAMBARA+DANCERS, SoulSkin, Tandy Beal & Company, Alayo Dance Company, Kim Epifano, Raisa Simpson, and Dance Theater of San Francisco (DTSF). He was nominated for an IZZIE (Isadora Duncan Dance Award), for Outstanding Achievement in Performance-Ensemble in Defection-Deflection-Devotion, featured in Dance Brigade’s 40th-anniversary concert at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
ALLIE PAPAZIAN (seasonal dancer), is from Los Angeles, CA. She trained on scholarship at Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI. and was a member of the inaugural class in the Alonzo King’s LINES ballet BFA program at Dominican University of California where she graduated summa cum laude in 2010. While in college she danced professionally with Mark Foehringer dance project SF, Central California ballet, and performed with Zhukov Dance Theatre for their 2010 and 2011 seasons. Upon graduation she joined the Compañía Nacional de Danza in Madrid, Spain. In her five years with the CND she has had the privilege of performing works by Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Johan Inger, and Alexander Ekman among others. Allie then joined ODC dance for their 2015/2016 season. Currently Allie is freelancing and working with numerous Bay Area companies including Post:Ballet, Kambara+Dancers, Soulskin dance, and Dance Theatre of San Francisco. Allie is thrilled to join ODC dance for The Velveteen Rabbit this season.
Winona Children's Cast
We are so excited to have eight local dancers participating in this production! Thank you to all who auditioned.
Raina Racki, rehearsal director