PRESS RELEASE: Announcing the Recipients of the First EtM Choreographer + Composers Residencies

David Johnston

Four NYC Choreographer/Composer Teams in Three-Month Residencies at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL)

NEW YORK, NY, August 26, 2015 – Exploring the Metropolis (EtM), the only nonprofit organization dedicated to analyzing and resolving the workspace needs of performing artists in New York City, today announced the recipients of the 2015-16 EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies.

EtM’s panel of choreographers and dance professionals picked an eclectic group of four teams of New York City-based choreographers and composers (eight artists total). Each artist will be awarded a three-month residency at Jamaica Center for the Arts & Learning (JCAL) plus a $1,500 stipend. The artist teams will create and develop new work and present one free public program in coordination with Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. This will be the inaugural round of the program.

“We are thrilled to launch the EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies in Partnership with Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning,” said David Johnston, Executive Director of EtM. “This program is the first implementation of our Queens Workspace Initiative, which identified Jamaica as an area of great untapped space resources for artists. Thanks to the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and other funders, EtM is able to offer space-based residencies for choreographers AND composers and we’re offering them in a remarkable historic facility with great dance studios.”

The EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies grew out of their 2014 study, Queens Performing Artists and Workspace: “I Want to Do More than Survive – I Want to Thrive”. Funded by the David Rockefeller Fund, this study analyzed the workspace needs of Queens-based performing and interdisciplinary artists. One significant finding of the study was the identification of Jamaica as an area of great potential growth in arts and cultural activity.

“We’re excited to introduce these amazing artists to Jamaica audiences,” said Johnston. “And we’re equally excited to introduce Jamaica to these artists who may not be familiar with all it has to offer.”

The 2015-16 EtM Choreographer + Composer Resident Artists at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning

SATOSHI HAGA (choreographer) & JEN SHYU (composer)

SATOSHI HAGA grew up in rural Japan where he never thought he would become interested in dance. As a dancer, his works have been presented by venues including Dia, Joyce SoHo, P.S. 122, Movement Research, 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center, Japan Society in New York, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Yard (Choreographer-in-Residency). Since 2010, Satoshi has been collaborating with Rie Fukuzawa as binbinFactory. Their first work “THREAD” won second place at “THE A.W.A.R.D. Show!” presented by Joyce Theater Foundation. They have also been the recipients of Swing Space Residency from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Resident Artists at Union Street Dance, Eva Dean Dance with Mertz Gilmore Creative Grant, Silo Residency at Kirkland Farm, and FABnyc with The Standard High Line Hotel. In 2013, Satoshi was invited by E-Moves 14 to be a part of Harlem Stage’s 30th Anniversary.

JEN SHYU is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and producer and was the recipient of the 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award. Having sung with Steve Coleman and in Anthony Braxton’s operas, she has produced six albums, becoming the first female artist and vocalist as bandleader on Pi Recordings (Synastry, 2015, with co-leader Mark Dresser). A Stanford University graduate known for researching traditional music in Taiwan, Korea, East Timor, etc., Shyu studied Javanese Sindhenan and dance for two years on a Fulbright in Indonesia, culminating in a solo opera, Solo Rites: Seven Breaths, directed by filmmaker Garin Nugroho, which premiered at Roulette, Brooklyn. She has presented her music at Carnegie Hall (2016), Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Bimhuis, Salihara Theater, National Theater of Korea, etc. Shyu is currently touring her latest album, Sounds and Cries of the World (Pi 2015) with her band Jade Tongue as well as with Solo Rites: Seven Breaths.

JENNIFER JANCUSKA (choreographer) & ADAM GWON (composer)

JENNIFER JANCUSKA is a choreographer whose work in musical theater has been seen in collaboration with The Public Theater, City Center, Skirball Center, Dallas Theater Center, The Royal George, Flat Rock Playhouse, New London Barn Playhouse, Trinity Rep, Merrimack Theatre and Madison Square Garden, among others. She has developed new musical theater works with Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk, Matte O’Brien, Matt Vinson, Drew Gasparini, Andy Blankenbuehler, Daniel Aukin, Frank Wildhorn, and Jack Murphy. Jennifer has been a master teacher and guest lecturer at NYU, Syracuse University, PACE, University of the Arts, College of Charleston, and Shanghai Theater Academy. She is the founder and creative director of BC Beat, a bi-annual choreography showcase featuring new work by theatrical artists with its 10th installment in November 2015. She is also the co-founder of Broadway Connection, an international arts education organization heading into its 8th year. Jennifer is a graduate of Cornell University.

ADAM GWON is a composer and lyricist whose musicals Ordinary Days, Cloudlands, and The Boy Detective Fails have been produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Signature Theatre, and in over 100 productions around the world, including in London’s West End. His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and more, by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian d’Arcy James. Adam’s honors include the Kleban Award; the Ebb Award; the Rodgers, Loewe, and Weston Playhouse New Musical Awards (all for the upcoming String); Second Stage Theatre’s Donna Perret Rosen Award; the ASCAP Harold Adamson Award; and the MAC John Wallowitch Award. Recordings include Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home (Nonesuch), and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project. Adam has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Dramatists Guild, and holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

EUN SUNG LEE (choreographer) & KENTO IWASAKI (composer)

EUN SUNG LEE is a New York based seasoned professional dancer, choreographer, and artistic director. Trained in ballet, modern, and Korean traditional dance, Ms. Lee’s unique fusion of styles in her figurative dance expressions allows her to replicate tangible emotions, as on display in her choreography. Ms. Lee brings her experience as the artistic director and choreographer to Noree’s 2nd Annual Performing Arts Festival, ‘Ga-Mu’ (2015). Ms. Lee has appeared in the Field Artist Residency (2013), The 7th Annual Green Space Blooms Festival (2013), Dixon Place (2014), Metropolitan Auditorium of Metropolitan Museum of Arts (2012), and the Open Stage by the Korean Cultural Service NY (2012-2013). Ms. Lee’s movement was featured in an internally screened film, Arirang Blues, the Dance for Camera directed by the filmmaker and visual artist Pyeunghun Baik, and the film has appeared in the theatres, festival, and galleries such as the Dance Conversation 2011 (The Flea Theater), KAFFNY2011 (Chelsea Cinema), SMYBIOSIS 2012(Gallery Space Womb), Festival of International Video Art 2013 (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Santa Fe Museum (2014). Ms. Lee attended the Doctoral Program in Performing Arts at Ochanomizu National Women’s University in Tokyo, Japan, where she also received her Master of Dance. She is a Certified Movement Analyst through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies in NYC. Eun Sung Lee is also a dedicated educator, having taught in Korea, Japan, and New York. She is currently involved in Korean dance and body movements education program for the senior citizens in Queens, and will develop a senior citizens’ dance initiative later this year. Ms. Lee has worked as a dancer and choreographer of NARU KCP ARTS since 2009. Ms. Lee is currently the artistic director and choreographer for the Noree Performing Arts in New York City.

KENTO IWASAKI is a composer and koto performer. Commissioned for his intercultural voice and theatric sensibilities, he creates with theater and music new mythologies that act as a bridge to the lexicon of traditional arts. He studied koto with Satomi Fukami as part of an expenses-paid program by Columbia University and continues his koto studies with Yoko Reikano Kimura. Kento has received training in opera composition from Libby Larsen, John Corigliano and William Bolcom as part of the John Duffy Composers Institute. He also received training in the art of collaboration at the Nautilus Music-Theater New Dramatists Composer Librettist Studio, a two-week intensive, culminating in five music theater scenes with resident playwrights. Kento received his B.A. in Music Composition at Temple University and his M.M. in Classical Composition at Manhattan School of Music. Previous composition teachers include Mark Jurcisin, Matthew Greenbaum and Richard Danielpour. Kento is currently developing portable operas that utilize traditional Asian instruments.

PAM TANOWITZ (choreographer) & DAN SIEGLER (composer) 

PAM TANOWITZ has been making dances since 1992. She founded Pam Tanowitz Dance in 2000, and has received commissions and residencies at The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, The Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process program and Baryshnikov Arts Center. Most recently the company performed at The Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival and the Chicago Dancing Festival. Tanowitz received a 2009 Bessie Award for the dance, Be in the Gray With Me, at Dance Theater Workshop. She was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 and a 2013-2014 Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She has set work on The Juilliard School, New York Theater Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet. Additional awards include two Joyce Theater Residency Grants, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award, New York Foundation for the Arts BUILD Grant and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Tanowitz holds a BFA in Dance from the Ohio State University and an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, where she was mentored by former Merce Cunningham principal dancer Viola Farber-Slayton.

DAN SIEGLER is a composer and producer from NYC. His work combines electronic and orchestral elements, incorporating references to jazz, blues and folk, using found percussion, early analog synthesizers and glitch sound material. His collaborations with Pam Tanowitz include 2013’s The Spectators at New York Live Arts, with music described as “a kind of roaming fanfare, setting a ceremonial, regal atmosphere…frequently haunting.” by the New Yorker and the score for Be in the Gray With Me , at Dance Theater Workshop for which he received a Bessie Award. Siegler is the owner/operator of Saturnfoot Studios and has produced sessions there for HBO’s Bored to Death, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and David LaChapelle/John Byrne’s Transcending Form. Siegler received a 2014 composer’s residency at Wildacres and was the BMI winner of the Abe Olman Scholarship given to emerging artists by the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.




The EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies is funded by Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Endeavor Foundation, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.

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