Digital Program for Mutual Dance Theatre presents Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre (March 8-9, 2024)

Mutual Dance Theatre

and the Jefferson James Contemporary Dance Theater Series present

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre

Digital Program

March 8-9, 2024

Aronoff Center for the Arts

All dance is magical,

but I would say that there’s something extra special about Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre. Some of you already know this from having experienced RHDT via CSO Proof last year, but Ms. Herrera’s creations truly transport us.

For over a decade, I have repeatedly seen Rosie’s name and thought, “She better give quite a show to get all this buzz!,” and I am finally able to personally vouch that indeed, she does.

Rosie’s work is quintessential dance theatre, evocative of the legendary Pina Bausch. It is captivatingly surreal in the very meaning of the term: very real and very magical at the same time. How does one intertwine both relatable life and fantasy? We are honored to witness this tonight.

I hope you enjoy our very first presentation of Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre today and join us again for MODERN MIX in May/June, featuring world premieres including one by an RHDT ensemble member.

If you appreciate what we do, please consider a donation, as the price of admission no where  near covers the costs incurred by presenter nor artist, and we need you to help us continue excellent programs like tonight’s.

Thank you, and enjoy the show!

Jeanne Mam-Luft
Artistic Director, Mutual Dance Theatre

Mutual Dance Theatre in

MODERN MIX

MAY 31 – JUN 1, ‘24

The final installment of our 2023-2024 Season: A celebration of women-led companies and women artists

23-24 SEASON

With world premieres by:

McKINLEY WILLIS |  Dallas Black Dance Theatre

CECILIA BENITEZ  |  Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre

JASMINE SNELLEN  |  Mutual Dance Theatre

HANNAH WILLIAMSON  |  Mutual Dance Theatre

 

TICKETS: MUTUALDANCE.ORG/SEASON

Mutual Dance Theatre and Arts Centers is the result of a 2021 merger between Contemporary Dance Theater (est. 1972 by Jefferson James) and MamLuft&Co. Dance (est. 2007 by Jeanne Mam-Luft). Both organizations began as performing troupes, but in the early 1990s, CDT dissolved its company and focused on presenting national artists and supporting local artists.  Today, in its 52nd season, the name Mutual Dance Theatre and Arts Centers emphasizes collaboration, connectedness, and commonalities across individuality. Mutual Arts has combined priorities of each founding organization: a virtuosic and viable local company and the presentation of Modern and Contemporary Dance from across the States (and sometimes, beyond).

CDT presented over 200 dance productions, and founder Jefferson James is a recipient of the Scripps Corbett Lifetime Achievement Award. Mutual Dance Theatre’s Jefferson James Contemporary Dance Theater Series continues Ms. Jame’s commitment to presenting nationally-significant dance in Cincinnati.

The local, resident company, named “Mutual Dance Theatre,” has received accolades from Cincinnati Magazine, CityBeat, and the League of Cincinnati Theatres. In 2015, the Enquirer’s David Lyman named MDT’s resident company (then, called MamLuft&Co. Dance) amongst only two other, behemoth organizations (Cincinnati Ballet and Alvin Ailey) as having performed the most “exceptional moments in dance” in Cincinnati. CityBeat editorial staff named the Company the “Best Company Pushing the Envelope” locally in 2012.

MDT’s resident Company Members have come from across the country — from Utah to Massachusetts — over the years. Guest choreographers have included Sarah Gamblin (Bebe Miller Dance Company), Amii Legendre (Pat Graney Company), Victor Lewis, Jr. (of PHILADANCO!), Sidra Bell of Sidra Bell Dance New York, and will soon include McKinley Willis (Dallas Black Dance Theatre) and Cecilia Benitez (Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre).

Staff

Artistic and Executive Director
JEANNE MAM-LUFT

Studio Director and Program Manager
CLAIRE DIERINGER

Marketing Manager
ANA HART

Assistant to the Director
ABIGAIL HAGER

Board Members

Robyn Brands,
CHAIR

Audra Rance,
SECRETARY

Michael Moore,
TREASURER

Stephen Englert

Theodore Erasmus

Jefferson James,
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR EMERITUS

Jennifer Kinsley

Quiera Levy-Smith

Jeanne Mam-Luft,
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Laura Stewart

Karen Vanover

Tina Welch

Mutual Dance Theatre

and the Jefferson James Contemporary
Dance Theater Series present

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre

MARCH 8-9, 2024, 7:30PM  /  ARONOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS
JARSON-KAPLAN THEATER  /  CINCINNATI, OHIO

Devotion

COMMISSIONED BY THE AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL 2022
WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM THE MIAMI LIGHT PROJECT

Choreography by ROSIE HERRERA

IN COLLABORATION WITH THE DANCERS

Performers

CECILIA ANDREA BENITEZ

LUCIANO CORTES

VICTORIA MORA

GERARDO PILATTI

KATIE STIRMAN

BRITNEY TOKUMOTO

LEAH VERIER-DUNN

Guest Performers Rehearsal Assistant

CECILIA ANDREA BENITEZ

Guest Performers

EMMARIE BREWER, CLAIRE DIERINGER, JERI DECKARD GATCH, ASHLEY GOOS, ANA HART, LILAH HOFFERT, CAMILLE JONES, CELESTE KENNINGTON, LAURA LANE, TED LAVENDER, CHRISTOPHER RYAN, SARAH SPURLING, CARROLL WALLACE, AND COURTNEY ZIEGELMEYER

Stage Manager TIFFANY SCHREPFERMAN

Lighting Design by DAVID FERRI

Company Manager BRITNEY TOKUMOTO

Original Costume Design by GERARDO PILATTI AND KIKIMORA FASHION

Original Bodysuits by KIKIMORA FASHION

Costume Supervisor GERARDO PILATTI

Sound Editing by ROSS LABRIE AND RUDI GOBLEN

SPECIAL THANKS

George Echevarria, Luisa Buitrago, Beth Boone, Gerardo Pilatti, Olga Saretsky, Emma Pfaeffle, TAME Dance Academy, Young Arts Miami, David Brick, Simon Thomas-Train, Ivonne Batnero, Rayne Raney and the students and staff at the University of Reno who helped in the research of this material as a part of our film collaboration Encanto. They include: Abigail Rosen, Hanna Walkinshaw, Cheyenne Baker, Maria De la Puente, Dwight Jones, Cameron Mauer, Andrew Paiz, Sarah Ziolkowski, Geri Wachtel, Corrine Undercoffer, Forrest Airola, and Kendra Bell.

ABOUT THE WORK

Devotion is the third and final work in a trilogy of dances that use religious iconography as a way to explore themes of love. It aims to delve into cultural attitudes related to intimacy and celebrity worship and, specifically, how we navigate intimacy in relationship to technology. Reimagining technology as an equalizing force that is not yet colonized, Devotion continues the research of the other works within the trilogy, Carne Viva and Make Believe, by deconstructing iconography of the Catholic Church as a way to bridge the gap between these symbols and their contemporary counterparts. This work aims to dissect our contemporary attitudes about faith and cast a more reverent eye on the rituals that we already engage in.

The research for this work first began in 2015 with a creation for American Dance Festival students as a part of the Footprints program. From there, the seeds of many future works were planted, each focused on different aspects of religious iconography and its relationship to love. That initial seed sprouted 3 evening length dance works and 3 short films. This specific work might have sections that seem familiar to ADF audiences because after the ADF premiere of Make Believe in 2018, 15 minutes of material were cut, and that edited material was the beginning inspiration of Devotion. Since then we have continued our research, creating relationships with several scholars and collaborators, most notably Katherine Dubois, a novelist and Duke professor of religion and history.

Devotion is strongly influenced by the pageantry of the Catholic church and a belief in the disarming potential of beauty. Specifically looking at the work of Caravaggio, the balance of violence and glamor is something akin to our contemporary access to information and the disarming potential of triggering imagery and inspiring story. The choral traditions, the massive carillons, and more importantly the role of women in the church are all points of inquiry in this work that utilizes the ritualized traditions of the church as a way to explore themes of devotion and hopefully reveal the beauty, pain and glory of faith, love and doubt.

More with Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre

POST-PERFORMANCE Q&A

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2024 / POST-PERFORMANCE

ARONOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS / FREE WITH CONCERT TICKET

In Mutual Arts’ continued work to bring artists and audiences together, stick around after Friday night’s concert for a quick Q&A with Rosie Herrera.

Intermediate and advanced dancers are invited to a masterclass with Rosie Herrera. Register beforehand to save $5: mutualdance.org/movewithmutual.

MASTERCLASS FOR DANCERS WITH ROSIE HERRERA

SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 2024 / 12:00-1:30PM

MUTUAL ARTS COLLEGE HILL (1804 LARCH) / $15-$20

INTERVIEW WITH THE CHOREOGRAPHERS

SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 2024 / 7:00PM

ARONOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS / FREE WITH CONCERT TICKET

Join Mutual Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director for a fascinating interview with our guest artist, Rosie Herrera.

Artist Biographies

ABOUT ROSIE HERRERA DANCE THEATRE

Since their discovery in 2009 by Charles Reinhart after the premiere of Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre has quickly become a beloved fixture in the contemporary arts scene in Miami. With a whirlwind success that has taken them from sold out performances at the prestigious American Dance Festival (ADF), The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County, and The Baryshnikov Arts Center NYC, the company’s unique aesthetic and commitment to rigorous collaboration has gained them a cult following.

Known for its diverse ensemble that consists of some of Miami’s most brilliant performers and creators ranging in genres from theater, performance art, opera, drag, and contemporary ballet, RHDT has had the privilege of performing several ADF-commissioned pieces and premiering them at the festival, as well enjoying unprecedented success in Miami. Their NYC premiere of Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret was said by Kayt MacMaster of BroadwayWorld.com to be “so innovative, searing and disturbing…” that it warranted “repeat viewings…” and their NYC premiere of Dining Alone was hailed by Deborah Jowitt as “earthy, poetic and beyond dada imaginative.”

Rosie Herrera

Artistic Director

Rosie Herrera is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Rosie Herrera Dance Theater in Miami. She is a graduate from New World School with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has been commissioned by The Miami Light Project, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Hispánico, Jose Limón Dance Company, Moving Ground Dance Theater, Houston Met Dance, New World Symphony, and the American Dance Festival (ADF) in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2018.  Her company, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, has been presented by the Northrop Dance Series, New World Symphony, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami Light Project, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Texas A & M University, Duncan Theater, The Annenberg Center, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Dance Place, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, Alys Stephens Center, Wilson Center at Cape Fear University, The Rialto Center, Gotham Dance at Skirball, and Focus Dance at The Joyce, as well as by The American Dance Festival at the Joyce NYC in 2016 and 2018. Rosie is also a classically trained lyric coloratura soprano and performs with the Performers Music Institute Opera Ensemble, as well as works as an independent director and creative consultant throughout Miami. With over a decade of experience in both dance and cabaret, she has collaborated on productions with Walter Mercado, Pig Iron Theater, The South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, New World School of the Arts, The University of Central Florida, Six Floor Ensemble, Zoetic Stage, and the New World Symphony, as well as with the interdisciplinary performance ensemble/avant-garde cabaret Circ X. She has also collaborated with filmmakers Adam Reign, Lucas Leyva, Jonathon David Kane, George Echevarria, and Clyde Scott to create original short films and music videos. Rosie is a 2016 USArtist Sarah Arison Choreographic Fellow, a 2010 and 2018 MANCC choreographic fellow, a 2014 Bates Dance Festival Artist-In-Residence, a 2016 Bessie Schoenberg Fellow, and a 2011 and 2016 Miami Dance Fellow. She was awarded a Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship for her work with Ballet Hispánico in 2013.

Cecilia Andrea Benitez

Performer

Cecilia was born and raised in Miami, Florida where she attended New World School of the Arts High School and later received her BFA in dance from Point Park University. While living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she frequently performed with The Pillow Project and also served as the lead dancer and rehearsal director for the production of the brand-new musical Milton by Kaylin Horgan. Now a freelance artist based in Miami, she has danced for Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, Pioneer Winter’s Grass Stains, and Miami Movement Collective. Her most recent endeavor includes her choreographic debut as a commissioned artist for Miami Light Project’s Here and Now 2022 program.

Luciano Cortés

Performer

Luciano is an actor who graduated from the Metropolitan School of Dramatic Art (BA, Argentina). He trained in the fields of physical theater, masked theater, commedia dell’arte, and clowning, as well as aerial and contemporary dance. He toured internationally as a part of companies such as Fuerza Bruta, Cuerda, and Urgen. After several years of world tour with Fuerza Bruta, he moved to Miami in 2018 where he created the company “Salvaje Teatro” where he presented numerous theatrical experiences. At the same time, he has performed as an actor on TV, advertising, and various productions in different theaters in the city. In 2020, he opened his own theatrical space also called “Salvaje Teatro,” where he currently develops his work as an actor, director, and theatrical instructor.

David Ferri

Lighting Designer

David has worked with prominent choreographers such as Pina Bausch, Shen Wei, Doug Varone, Yin Mei, Eiko and Koma, Jane Comfort, David Rousseve, Jody Sperling, and Ballet Preljocaj. He has been the Production Manager for the prestigious American Dance Festival since 1996, training upcoming designers in America. Ferri is the recipient of 1987-1988 BESSIE AWARD for his design of Doug Varone’s “Straits”, and 2000-2001 BESSIE AWARD for Sustained Achievement in Lighting Design. Mr Ferri is the resident Lighting Designer – Technical Director for The Vassar College Dance Department. He was also resident lighting designer and technical director at PS 122 from 1985-1991. Mr. Ferri lives in New York between his travels and projects. He has been working with RHDT since 2010. 

Victoria Mora

Performer

Victoria graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BFA in dance, and during her time there, she had the privilege to perform works by Charles O. Anderson, Paul Taylor, Ohad Naharin, and Robert Battle, among others. She first attended American Dance Festival in 2013 as a student where she met Rosie and performed in her work for Footprints. Since then, she has danced with Ad Deum Dance Company, Moving Ethos Dance Company, Ramdance Movement, and Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre. Most recently, she stepped away from dancing to attend Baylor College of Medicine and graduated with a Masters degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2021. She recently moved to Miami to dance with RHDT.

Katie Stirman

Performer

Katie is a Miami Native whose dance career spans two decades. She predominantly works collaboratively with artists, creating tailored experiences for each project. She is creating a series of immersive-meditative performances in nature using textiles. This project launched with video stills published in “100+ Degrees In The Shade: A Survey of South Florida Art.” The first rendition of this piece was shot in the Catskill Mountains of New York and included a performance with Bas Fisher Invitational: Weird Miami Bus Tour 2016 which toured in the Everglades. Gladly diving into the intimate recesses of beauty this planet holds on the horizon, she seeks to deliver simplistic wonder back to those whom may have forgotten its marvels. Katie joined RHDT in 2011.

Tiffany Schrepferman

Stage manager

Tiffany is the Stage Manager for Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre and freelances as a Lighting Designer/Stage Manager for many other companies including Gaspard & Dancers, Kate Weare Company, TALK Dance, Uptown Dance Company, and Dance of Asian America. She is also currently the Production Manager and resident Lighting Designer for Ad Deum Dance Company and Ad Deum II based in Houston, TX. Tiffany graduated magna cum laude from Belhaven University with a BFA in Dance and has worked for the American Dance Festival as Production Stage Manager of the Reynolds Theater for the past eight summers. She is excited to partner with the artists and creative minds of today to bring fresh and inspiring works into the arts community.

Britney Tokumoto

Performer, company manager

Britney is proudly from Honolulu, Hawaii and trained at Mid Pacific School of the Arts in Honolulu. She received her BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in 2012. She has collaborated with Bare Dance Company, Colectivo Dos Zeta, Denisa Musilova, Schoen Movement Company, Steps Ensemble, Roxana Barba, and Tami Stronach. Britney joined Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre in 2019. In addition to her work as a collaborator, she became company manager in 2020. Most recently, Britney has joined Dance/USA as the Operations Specialist and Board Liaison.

Leah Verier-Dunn

Performer

Leah received her BFA in Dance from New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. Subsequently, she launched a professional career in Miami, then New York, and eventually returned to her roots in Sarasota, where she co-founded Moving Ethos Dance in 2007. Having worked with several distinguished companies, Leah found her artistic home with Rosie Herrera Dance Theater in 2011, with whom she continues to collaborate while juggling her two children and the Artistic Direction of Moving Ethos Dance. In 2019, Leah was commissioned as the first Spotlight Florida Resident at The Ringling Museum of Art and since has continued there as an artist-in-residence.  

23/24 Donors

PRESENTERS’ CIRCLE ($10,000+)

ArtsWave

The David C. Herriman Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

Ohio Arts Council

PRODUCERS’ CIRCLE ($5,000 – $9,999)

The Andrew Jergens Foundation

The Crosset Family Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Karen Zaugg

CHOREOGRAPHERS’ CIRCLE ($2,500 – $4,999)

ArtsMidwest GIG Fund

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation Aronoff Center Rental Subsidy

The Bailey Lemson Foundation

BENEFACTOR ($1,000 – $2,499)

Cincinnati Arts Association

Dr. John M. Hall and Dr. Sarah M. Knox

Sophia McAllister

Scott Provancher

Kelly and Guy Vanasse

PATRON ($500 – $999)

Connie Bergstein Dow

Haus of Hughes

Dara Kendall

Jefferson and Martin James

Mark McKillip

Karen Vanover

FRIENDS ($100 – $499)

Anonymous

Susan Adland in honor of Jefferson James

Robyn and Mark Brands

Elizabeth Collins

Lindsay Dunn

Margaret Eberhard

Gerhard Erasmus

Cynthia Jackson-Glenn

Dr. Linda Gold in honor of Jefferson James

Deborah Grayson

Carolyn A. Gutjahr in honor of the JJCDT

Ms. Dale Hodges

Jennifer Kinsley

Renee and Steve McCafferty

Linda Nervis Insurance Agency

Shawn Newman in honor of Donna Rubin

Tina Welch

Debbie Westheimer

Note: this list acknowledges donations for the 2023-2024 season received between June 1, 2023 and February 20, 2024.

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