Spaceholder Festival

July 20-26, 2012

A Morgan Thorson Dance Premiere

Red Eye presents the world premiere of Spaceholder Festival, an evening-length dance that investigates the power of patterns in human behavior. It relates the story found in creative process, a tale that’s part human, part artifact, part culture, part trash. Choreographer Morgan Thorson and her stellar cast of performers excavate personal history and collective memory through movement, exposing the lies and convictions that shape the narratives we tell ourselves.

"Few artists can cue into the idiosyncrasies of movement better than Thorson. Expect thought-provoking work from one of our most innovative voices in dance." – Star Tribune

Morgan Thorson has been making evening-length dances since 2000. She experiments with process to make solo and ensemble works that address contemporary culture and the conventions of dance-making. Her works combine movement, light, sound and objects, taking into consideration the site of the work, the presentation of the body and the impulses of her collaborators.

Morgan is currently a 2011 United States Artists Friends Fellow. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010, The McKnight Fellowship in Choreography in 2009 & 2002, The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) Fellowship in 2008-2009; and was awarded grants from The Jerome Foundation from 1998-2007. In March 2012, she was artist-in-residence at Centre Choregraphique National de Franche-Comte in Belfort, France.

Morgan was named “Best Choreographer” of 2010 by the Minneapolis-St. Paul City Pages for her work, Heaven. This work toured nationally in 2009-2010, traveling to DiverseWorks in Houston, On The Boards in Seattle, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, PS 122 in New York and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. In 2007 she created and produced the site-specific work Docudrama, for which she received a 2007 Sage Award for Outstanding Choreography as well as “Best Choreographer” of 2008 by the City Pages. Her work Faker, commissioned by Walker Art Center, received a 2006 Sage Award for Outstanding Choreography. In 2006-2007 Faker toured to The Southern Theater in Minneapolis, PS 122, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Jacobs Pillow’s Inside/Out series in Becket, MA, and Links Hall in Chicago.

Morgan is a certified Skinner Releasing Technique teacher, a faculty member at the University of Minnesota, and an advisor for the SCUBA touring network. She has been a guest professor at Barnard College in 2009 and in 2010-2011 co-taught two interdisciplinary modules in Archeology and Drawing at Wesleyan University. She received formative ballet instruction from Carol Sumner and graduated from Barnard College in 1987. After a hiatus from dance she resumed her studies with Cynthia Novack, Daniel Nagrin, Jennifer Monson and Lisa Nelson.

“Morgan Thorson has a mix-master mind from which postmodern movement and the detritus of everyday life spin out as hilarious vignettes.” - New York Notebook

Reviews & Press

"More and more Thorson is focusing her choreography in challenging new directions, and "Spaceholder Festival" is no exception." – Caroline Palmer, Star Tribune review, 7/23/12

"Morgan Thorson's 'Spaceholder Festival' performs at Red Eye Theater" – Sheila Regan, City Pages, 7/25/12

"Art Hounds: Cig Harvey, Kevin Steinman, and dance as a collection of observed patterns" – choreographer Chris Schlichting talks about Spaceholder Festival, MN Public Radio, 7/19/12

"A new work by choreographer Morgan Thorson is always an occasion to rush the doors in anticipation, because there's no telling what she'll do next." City Pages' A List, 7/17/12

"Dance spotlight: Morgan Thorson shows new work at Red Eye" – Star Tribune, 7/14/12

Spaceholder Festival celebrates the partial view. It is an epic—a real throw down where found objects and actions finally tell all.” – Fuse Box Festival, Austin



Jessica Cressey
Hannah Kramer
Karen Sherman
Kristin Van Loon
Max Wirsing

Sound Design & Composition by Sxip Shirey

Light Design by Lenore Doxsee

A real-life circus composer, Sxip Shirey makes haunting melodies from familiar objects and reconfigured sounds. Sxip Shirey tests the edge of music as he builds "ecstatic melody, unimaginable sounds and deep sexy beats" from mutant instruments and everyday objects. Using his vast imagination and an array of materials (his list includes: Industrial Flutes, Bullhorn Harmonica, Regurgitated Music Box, Triple Extended Pennywhistles, Miniature Hand Bell Choir, Obnoxiophone, Glass Bowls With Red Marbles and a clutch of curious objects), he constructs playful, mischievous acoustic beauty. As a solo artist Sxip has toured the U.S. as support act for the Dresden Dolls and performed at their two days festival at the Round House in London England. Had a hit show at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia. Performs regularly at Joe's Pub in New York City. Has also performed at The Knitting Factory, Tonic, Makor and many underground parties in Brooklyn.

Lenore Doxsee is a lighting designer for dance, opera and theater and the recipient of two Bessie Awards and one Obie Award. She has collaborated with dance artists Miguel Gutierrez, Morgan Thorson, Karen Sherman, Deganit Shemy, and Jennifer Monson. She is the resident lighting designer and associate artistic director of Target Margin Theater in New York City.  She teaches design at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Ms. Doxsee holds a BA from Williams College and an MFA from New York University.



Photo Credits: Karen Sherman, Lenore Doxsee

Spaceholder Festival is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Alverno Presents in partnership with ODC Theater, Legion Arts, Red Eye Theater, CFA Wesleyan and NPN.  The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Fundation, Ford Foundation and the National Ednowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information:

This work has been developed in residencies at Fusebox Festival, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and the Centre Choreographique National de Franche-Comte in Belfort, France. Following its world premiere at the Red Eye, Spaceholder Festival will tour to Alverno Presents in Milwaukee, WI, Legion Arts in Cedar Rapids, IA, and ODC Theater in San Francisco, CA.