Program Escape from the House of Mercy Catherine Gallant/DANCE
still from video by Erica Lessner
Catherine Gallant/DANCE Escape from the House of Mercy
December 18 and 19, 2021 at 7pm St. Michael’s Church 225 W. 99th St. Choreography developed by Catherine Gallant in collaboration with the performers. Kelli Chapman, Abra Cohen, Halley Gerstel Charlotte Hendrickson, Jessie King Erica Lessner, Megan Minturn, Cecly Placenti Costumes: Ivana Drazic Lighting: Paige Seber Video design: Erica Lessner Escape from the House of Mercy runs approx. 50 minutes and will be performed without an intermission.
Music, audio and text referenced for this production: Trio: II. March (John Cage), Synopsis #5 He Figures Out What Clouds Mean (Lisa Bielawa), Cape Clear-Irish Airs for solo cello (Ilse de Ziah), Bodhran Solo (Rolf Wagels), Reis Glorios-Erutan-The Court of Leaves, Just a Closer Walk with Thee (Treme Brass Band), Concerto Fantasy for 2 Timpanists and Orchestra-excerpt (Philip Glass), Footprints-African Welcome Piece (excerpt)- Frank Epstein, The Proust Screenplay-Harold Pinter (excerpts), Ash (from Wade in the Water, Graywolf Press) by Tracy K. Smith, Untitled for voice and electronics, did u tell, and Interview (Alina Jacobs) MiLaLu -traditional Turkish, Siuil a Run-traditional Irish
Background resources included: Lost Inwood by Cole Thompson, Damnation Island by Stacy Horn, Ten days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly, Justice for Magdalenes Oral History Project, Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries A Campaign for Justice by McGettrick, O’Donnell, O’Rourke, Smith and Steed. Alison Lowry: (A)Dressing Our Hidden Truths-Exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, 2019
Thank you to our 2020-21 individual donors: Ann Biddle, Marilyn Cochran, Alan and Roberta Cohen, Dr. and Mrs. Fabius Fox, Jeanne and Ken Pasch, Joan Sax, Randall Switz, Amanda and David Weinraub, Paul Balsamo, Loretta Thomas/Moving Visions Dance, Simone Coonrod, Stuart Gannes, Ann Feldman, Philip Gardner, Marian Hyun, Marilyn Klaus, Donald J. Rose, M.D., Leslie Wexler, Muriel Timmins
Supporters The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Jody and John Arnhold, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Partnerships for Parks/City Parks Foundation. Catherine Gallant/DANCE is supported in part with funds from LMCC Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Special thanks to Alina Jacobs, Corinne Shearer, Amelia Sanders, Loretta Thomas, Cole Thompson and Michael Hammett and the staff of St. Michael’s Church.
Thank you dancers-This wonderful group of dancer/humans has remained intact through the pandemic including moving through births, deaths, illness, injury, marriage, and job changes. Each of them has generously shared their artistry and commitment to this project since 2017. A huge THANK YOU!
Amelia Sanders……………………………....sound operation/stage manager Audrey Ross Publicity…………………….publicity Nadia Lesy, Henry Fernberger……….video documentation Julie Lemberger…………………………….....photography
Dances by Isadora is a 501c3 non-profit company and serves as the fiscal sponsor for Catherine Gallant/DANCE. Your tax-deductible donations are the life-blood of our organization and are greatly appreciated. Visit for full information. www.dancesbyisadora.comphoto: Melanie Futorian
Catherine Gallant, (choreographer) has been creating work in NYC over the past 30 years. Catherine Gallant/DANCE brings dance to new audiences through direct interaction with the public. Ms. Gallant's work has been performed in Times Square, a pedestrian block of E. 91st Street in Manhattan, Green-Wood Cemetery, and Inwood Hill Park. She has also presented work at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center, City Center Studios, WestFest, Danspace St. Mark’s (Dance Access), American Dance Guild and Jacob's Pillow's Inside/Out Series. Ms. Gallant’s work has been supported by Jody and John Arnhold, LMCC, Chashama, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Partnerships for Parks/City Parks Foundation. Catherine is also the director of Dances by Isadora which, since 1989, performs, teaches and collaborates with dancers throughout the world. Catherine is the US performer of Jerome Bel’s recent work, Isadora Duncan. She began her study of the technique of Isadora Duncan in 1982 with Julia Levien and is a founding member of the Duncan Archive duncanarchive.org. Catherine has been the full-time NYCDOE dance educator at PS 89 in Manhattan since 1998. She and her students were featured in the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, PS DANCE! Catherine is on the faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL). Ms. Gallant is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory and holds an MFA in Dance from Temple University.www.dancesbyisadora.comwww.catherinegallantdance.com
Abra Cohen is a New York City based dancer. She has trained at The Ailey School, Boston Ballet School, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and holds a BA in Art History/BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan. At U of M, she performed in the re-staging of Paul Taylor’s “Le Sacre du Printemps” under the direction of Ruth Andrien, and in works by Amy Chavasse, Jessica Fogel, and Carolyn Dorfman. Abra has danced with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Lori Belilove and the Isadora Duncan Dance Company, and Moving Visions Dance, directed by Loretta Thomas. She joined Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora in 2017. Abra also works as an Archivist in the Archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
Charlotte Hendrickson is a Brooklyn based dancer, choreographer, and healer. She received her B.A. in dance from Bard College. Charlotte has been featured in works by Aileen Passloff, Toby Armour, Sondra Loring, Noemie LaFrance, Susan Osberg, Emma Grace Skove-Epes, and Zahava Griss. Charlotte began dancing with Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora in 2015. You can contact her at Charlotte.Hendrickson@gmail.com
Jessie King is a native New Yorker and has trained at The Ailey School, Dance Theater of Harlem and The School of American Ballet. She graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School as a dance major and she continued to pursue modern dance making at Bennington College. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform with Catherine Gallant/DANCE and Dances by Isadora this year and to have been able to hone her Duncan training with Loretta Thomas and Moving Visions Dance.
Halley Gerstel is continuing to spread her passion for dance, art and inspiring youth in her fifth year as a full-time dance educator for the NYC Department of Education. She is an Arnhold Scholar and graduate from Hunter College Graduate Education Program with a MA in Dance Education and holds a BFA in Dance and Education from Long Island University in Brooklyn. Formerly a member of Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance, she has been honored to be dancing with Catherine Gallant and the EHOM ladies since 2019. Halley has previously danced for Doug Elkins and Dancers, Larry Keigwin and Company as well as performed works by Pedro Ruiz and Nathan Trice. She is a proud native of Brooklyn, NY.
Megan J. Minturn has studied dance in Omaha, New York, Senegal, and Cuba. Her company MJM Dance has performed at Dance New Amsterdam and Ailey Citigroup Theatre among others. She dances with Joya Powell's Movement of the People Dance Company. Megan is a full-time dance educator at The Brooklyn International High School and holds an MA in Dance Education from NYU. Megan began working with Catherine Gallant/DANCE in 2012.
Cecly Placenti is a dancer, choreographer, writer, and producer. She received her MA in Dance Education from NYU and her BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. She is Artistic Director of Six Degrees Dance and has performed with Chris Ferris and Dancers and with Catherine Gallant/Dance since 2012. Her dance criticisms have been published in Critical Dance and The Dance Enthusiast where she is a senior contributor. Cecly is the Dance Teacher at The School at Columbia University.
Kelli Chapman, originally from Detroit, is a New York based dancer and dance educator teaching at P231K, a District 75 elementary school. She holds a BA from Albion College in Psychology, Political Science, and Dance and a MA from New York University in Dance Education. Kelli dances with MJM Dance and is excited to be dancing in the EHOM project with Catherine Gallant/DANCE.
Erica Lessner is a Brooklyn based dancer, educator, and choreographer. She holds an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Florida State University and a BFA from the University of South Florida. In Tampa, Erica danced for Moving Current Dance Collective, All Out Repertory Theatre, and co-founded Shoes at the Door Dance, a 501c3 organization dedicated to bringing dance to the forefront. Since relocating to New York, her choreography has been presented at the DUMBO Dance Festival, Dance Entropy/GreenSpace, Triskelion Arts, and 92 Street Y. Currently, Erica dances for Catherine Gallant/DANCE, Dances by Isadora and MJM Dance. She is also a public school dance educator in Brooklyn.
Paige Seber has worked as a freelance lighting designer based out of New York City since 2015. Specializing in live events, she has designed plays, musicals, music concerts, operas and dance concerts. With a strong understanding of the fundamentals of light, she has adapted her skills to many different events and venues. Seberlighting.com Ivana Drazic (costume design and construction) is a freelance designer from Belgrade, Serbia. She has been living in NYC since 1998 and has designed costumes for Dances by Isadora, Catherine Gallant/DANCE, and Sokolow Theater Dance Ensemble.