The Orphée Project: An evening of Intergenerational Dance and Music
Saturday, August 11, 7:30 p.m.
ABOUT THE EVENT
The Orphee Project is a cross-disciplinary and cross-generational dance project co-choreographed by Jessie Laurita-Spanglet and Christina Soriano. Philip Glass’s Orphee Suite for piano— performed live by Yong Im Lee Federle—will provide the musical fabric from which the project will emerge.
The Orphee Project's primary mission is to provide an opportunity for our intergenerational movement community to come together to create a dance work. Built from Wake Forest students faculty and staff, children from the WF Community Ballet program, older adults living with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners, community members from WFU’s lifelong learning program, and local professional dancers, our intergenerational company brings a myriad of viewpoints and experiences into the room.
This project also upends the commonly held image of dancer as young, able-bodied, and in total control. By bringing different bodies and experiences together to create and perform, we hope to not only enrich each other, but to present to the public an image of a dancer as any body at any time. As we’ve done similar projects over the past two years, we have seen that not only do the performers feel a sense of pride in sharing what they’ve been working on, but it feels imperative for us to put our bodies and movements on a stage—by doing this, we say to the public that these bodies and this type of work is valid and important.
Christina Tsoules Soriano is an associate professor of dance at Wake Forest University and the newly appointed director of the dance program. At Wake, she regularly teaches Improvisation, Dance Composition, Modern Dance technique and a course she co-teaches with chemistry colleague Rebecca Alexander entitled Movement and the Molecular. Christina received her MFA in dance from Smith College and has danced for many inspiring choreographers, including Alexandra Beller and Heidi Henderson. In addition to the new works she creates for the Wake Forest Dance Company each year, Christina’s choreography has been presented throughout New England, North Carolina, New York and in Vienna, Austria. Choreographic or teaching residencies include the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Amherst College, Trinity College (CT), Salve Regina University, Rhode Island College and Providence College. Christina has premiered a new work at the Music Carolina Festival in Winston-Salem since 2013; this past summer her work “The Patsy Project” featured a cast of 25 dancers, ages 4-75, with live music by Martha Bassett and her band singing music by Patsy Cline.
Since 2012, Christina has regularly taught a community dance class in Winston-Salem, NC to people living with Parkinson’s Disease, and has been involved in three scientific studies that look at the ways improvisational dance can help the mobility and balance of people living with neurodegenerative disease. She has received funding from the National Parkinson Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, and most recently the NIH to conduct a randomized clinical trial, testing her improvisational dance method in a community of adults living with Mild Cognitive Impairment and their carepartners. More information about this work can be found at www.improvment.us. Her published work has appeared in the Journal of Dance Education, Research in Dance Education, Dance Magazine, Theatre Journal, the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, The Journal of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics and Frontiers in Neurology.
In 2017 Christina also was appointed to a new administrative role in the Office of the Provost and is working with colleagues across the university to enhance visibility of the arts at and beyond Wake Forest, and help forge interdisciplinary connections across the arts and other Wake Forest schools and departments. She is also very involved in an annual, interdisciplinary symposium:Wake Forest’s Aging Re-Imagined, which brings together the work of artists and scientists around the topic of Healthy Aging.
Jessie Laurita-Spanglet is a dance artist currently serving as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Wake Forest University. In addition to her teaching and creative work at Wake Forest, Jessie teaches IMPROVment, a method of teaching improvisation to movers of all ages that was developed by dancer and Wake Forest Associate Professor Christina Soriano. Under the direction of Soriano and neuroscientist Christina Hugenschmidt, Jessie is currently working as a co-interventionist on a new NIH-funded study that uses the IMPROVment method to test the effects of improvisational movement on people living with mild cognitive impairment.
Jessie has had teaching and creative engagements at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Virginia, Davis and Elkins College, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Dance Exchange, among others. From 2015-2017, Jessie was an organizing artist for On Site/In Sight, a site-situated dance festival that brought artists to Winston-Salem NC, to dance in parks, on rooftops, and in the streets. Jessie’s latest choreographic work, Scale Models, is a site-specific investigation of the landscape and architecture in and around the Scales Fine Arts Center on the Wake Forest campus. During the fall of 2018, Jessie will be creating a new course on site-dance—the first of its kind at Wake Forest.
Since graduating with an MFA in dance from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014, Jessie has had the pleasure of dancing for Alexandra Beller, Maree ReMalia/merrygogo, Dance Exchange, Mansurdance, Heart Stück Bernie, and PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATRE. Jessie is a Stott certified Pilates teacher through Balance Pilates in Richmond VA, and holds a BFA in modern dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Pianist Yong Im Lee Federle has performed numerous solo and chamber recitals throughout South America and the United States, including piano solo recitals at the Piedmont Concert Artists Series in High Point, Chilean National Library, and the United Nations Headquarters in Santiago, Chile. Dr. Federle has also performed in Rio Cuarto (Argentina), Porto Alegre (Brazil), and Ciudad de Treinta y Tres (Uruguay). She has appeared as a soloist with the University Symphony Orchestra at UNC Greensboro, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción, the Orquesta Santa Cecilia de Chillán, and Indiana University South Bend Philharmonic Orchestra. She has won top prizes in several international competitions and has participated in master classes and festivals such as Tel-Hai International Piano Masterclass in Israel and the Music Festival of Frutillar in Chile.
The press has described her performances as “white hot” and “with command and intensity.”
Dr. Federle is the recipient of the Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award for two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, in recognition for her outstanding instruction, leadership in piano training, and commitment to her studio teaching and the greater music community.
In 2010 Dr. Federle was awarded a Regional Artists grant from the United Arts Council of Greensboro and she released a CD containing piano works by the Chilean composer Pedro Humberto Allende. She was also featured in a Documentary Film about the life and music of another Chilean composer, Enrique Soro, entitled “En Busca del Piano Perdido.” Dr. Federle is a frequent adjudicator for piano festivals and competitions and she has given lecture-recitals at numerous conferences and workshops throughout North Carolina.
Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Santiago, Chile, Dr. Federle holds a Bachelor's Degree with High Distinction from Indiana University South Bend, a Performer’s Diploma and a Master's Degree at Longy School of Music, and a Doctoral of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from UNC Greensboro.
Dr. Federle has served on the faculties of Winston Salem State University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, St. Mary’s Music Academy, and UNC School of the Arts. She is currently a piano faculty at Wake Forest University and Salem College, and maintains a large private piano studio in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Melody from "Orpheus" – Gluck
Music from "The Hours" – Philip Glass
Orphee Suite – Philip Glass