Nellis + Pennaz

June 28 - July 1, 2012

Double bill: Unrelated + Silver

In Unrelated dancer/choreographer Blake Nellis, one of the Twin Cities' most exciting movement improvisors, collaborates with a stellar ensemble to examine the complicated processes that happen inside of us while trying to better understand who we surround ourselves with on the outside.

Inspired by ways that girls and women have been depicted in film and photography, choreographer Jenny Pennaz has developed a sophisticated media score in this captivating exploration of the spaces between the girl in the haunting snapshots of Jason Hanasik and the woman dancing on both stage and screen.

Plot Summary

Stating that HOW we move is part of WHO we are, creating part of an abstract autobiography, Blake Nellis uses various styles of movement to examine human action and reaction.  In Unrelated, he blends dance, story, humor and conviction in collaboration with musicians Justin Nellis, Rachael Sarto and dancers Leah Gallas, Roxane Wallace-Patterson, Amy Behm, Eve Schulte, Denise Gagner, Sharon Picasso, Timmy Wagner.

A series of fifty-two photographs by Jason Hanasik inspired Jenny Pennaz to begin this project. The captivating gaze of the young girl in the photographs and their timeless quality is what initially attracted her. The more she looked at them, the more layers she uncovered. In the photographs a girl is pictured in her backyard, oftentimes with her brother in the background, at other times surrounded by bird feeders or a border of long grasses. Pennaz is interested in the ways that the girl in the photograph transcends her age and place in this world. In Silver - collaborating with dancer Kari Mosel and musician Kale Baglyos Reed - she explores the spaces between the girl and the woman, the still image and the stage.


Blake Nellis, credit: Jim Smith
Kari Mosel in Silver, credit: Jenny Pennaz

Reviews & Press

Red Eye’s Innovative Annual Series in Full Swing, article in Lavender Magazine, 6/28/12
Dance spotlight: New Works 4 Weeks Festival preview in Star Tribune, 6/24/12



New Works 4 Weeks is supported with project grants from the Jerome Foundation and Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, as well as by general operating support from the Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board with funds appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature, Target and Red Eye's small business and individual donors.