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Djerassi dancer
Hannah Varga at Djerassi preview 
(Photo by Bari Lee)
The Women Ballet Choreographers Residency at Djerassi

"Where are all the women choreographers?"

...asks Dance Magazine, as well as numerous other news and arts publications, dance companies and schools. Among choreographers in the ballet world, women are a minority group.

Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumière has addressed this, by developing the Women Ballet Choreographers Residency. The inaugural Residency was held at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program on May 15, 2016. The second Residency took place on May 7, 2017. During these successful events women choreographers screened their works and presented ballets in open rehearsal.

The next Residency will take place on Sunday, June 3, 2018, again at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

Kathryn Roszak says, "This residency program highlights contemporary ballets by women. We plan to help women artists to further develop their choreography while giving them greater opportunity and visibility."

Please consider making a donation (links further down this page) to help ensure the continued success of this program.

The May 2017 Residency

Invited participants included Dana Genshaft, formerly of San Francisco Ballet; Dalia Rawson, Executive Director of The New Ballet School and The New Ballet School Studio Company in San Jose; Lissa Resnick, Artistic Director of No Strings Attached Dance Company; Priya Shah from AileyCamp; and Kathryn Roszak of Danse Lumière.

Participating Women in Leadership included Cloey Hewlett, Executive Director of the Cal Alumni Association; Elkhanah Pulitzer, Artistic Curator of the SF Opera Lab; and Larissa Roesch, VP and Portfolio Manager at Dodge & Cox, and a Board member of the SF Ballet Endowment Foundation.

The 2017 honorees were choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Amy Seiwert (Artistic Director of Imagery ballet company).

Collaborating artists joined the choreographers for a panel discussion, including soprano Lisa Delan and pianist/composer Audrey Vardanega.

Working Schedule for the May 7 Residency:

11:30 pm Arrival
12:00 Noon Brunch
1:00-2:30 pm Open rehearsals
2:30-3:00 pm Presentation to Honorees: Amy Seiwert and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
3:00-4:00 pm Panel Discussion: "Women Ballet Choreographers and Other Artists"
4:00-4:30 pm Coffee/tea break
4:30-5:30 pm  Panel Discussion: "Women Ballet Choreographers - Women in Leadership"
5:30 pm Sculpture Walk

Moving Forward - East Coast Residency Event:

Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumière was pleased to take part in Moving Forward: Women Ballet Choreographers East and West at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on April 28, 2017.

The Inaugural Residency, May 2016

Participants included choreographers Julia Adam; Dalia Rawson, Executive Director of The New Ballet School and The New Ballet School Studio Company; Lissa Resnick, from No Strings Attached; Amy Seiwert, Artistic Director of Imagery; and Priya Shah from AileyCamp.

Collaborating artists and designers joined the above choreographers for a panel discussion. Panel participants included Katja Björner, formerly of Royal Swedish Ballet and star of "The Dancer"; Greta Schoenberg, Founder and Director of Programming for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival; film producer Kate Duhamel; visual artist Deborah O'Grady; and choreographer Myles Thatcher. There was also a video by Naomie Kremer.

Two dance companies and directors who present and promote works by women were recognized and honored. Mr. Thatcher, as ally ("I'm a feminist, and everyone should be"), made the presentations to Celia Fushille, Artistic Director of Smuin Ballet; and Lauren Jonas, Artistic Director of Diablo Ballet.

A residency preview took place at Djerassi in September 2015, with choreographers Rawson, Resnick, and Roszak. Following class with Ms. Rawson, dances were created in a beautiful dance studio and in the surrounding landscape at Woodside, CA. There was also a special fundraiser preview held in May, one week before the inaugural event.

Related articles following the inaugural Residency:

Moving Forward: Women Ballet Choreographers - by Kathryn Roszak at Dancers' Group.

Women Choreographers Soar at Djerassi Resident Artists Program - by Kathryn Roszak at Theatre Bay Area.

Who Gets to Have a Voice? - an interview with Kathryn Roszak by Emmaly Wiederholt at Stance on Dance.

Ballet Geek, 15 May 2016 - a review of the inaugural Residency by attendee Carrie Gaiser Casey.

In Ballet, Women Rise by Stepping Out of Line - Story Exchange article includes our Residency honoree Celia Fushille.

Please consider a Donation:

You can help cover the costs of these important events and ensure their success by donating to Danse Lumière.
Donations are tax deductible when made through our fiscal sponsor, Poetry Flash.

Donation options:

Donate any amount by check, payable to "Poetry Flash/Danse Lumière".
Mail to: Kathryn Roszak, 6334 Kensington Avenue, Richmond, CA 94805


Donate securely online with paypal.
(A PayPal account is not required)

  • If you do NOT itemize and/or don't need the tax deductibility, you may easily donate directly to Danse Lumière by clicking one of the following PayPal buttons:
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  • If you DO wish to take advantage of tax deductibility, please make your PayPal online donation
    through our fiscal sponsor, Poetry Flash, at this link:


    We ask that you also please email Poetry Flash at editor@poetryflash.org to inform them that your donation is for Danse Lumière, and provide your name and the amount. Keep in mind that your donation in this instance will appear on your statement as Poetry Flash, but Danse Lumière will receive the funds.

- Thank You -

More images from the Djerassi preview, September 2015:
Djerassi trio
Hannah Varga, Keryn Breiterman-Loader and Shanise Dews at Djerassi preview, September 2015 
(Photo by Bari Lee; "Ouroborus" sculpture by Sebastian Mendes, 2005)
wood sprite
Brennan Wall, The Studio Company (Photo by Bari Lee; "Faeries" sculpture by Derek Jackson, 2002) 
Djerassi studio
Kathryn Roszak observes rehearsal at the Djerassi preview, September 2015 (Photo by Bari Lee) 

sun king

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© 2017 Kathryn Roszak   •   Danse Lumière   •   Dance on Center   •   (510) 233-5550   •   kdance@sonic.net

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