CounterPointe Shorts: London Edition – Meet the Choreographers

Norte Maar, London, CounterPointe, CounterPointe Shorts, Conway Hall

London, UK – Norte Maar’s co-founder Julia Gleich, together with Briar Adams and the Conway Collective bring CounterPointe Shorts to London, England on Thursday 7 of May 2015 in London’s Conway Hall, Camden. Tickets for sale online or at the door. CounterPointe Shorts will present works by series curator Julia K. Gleich (Gleich Dances), and Briar Adams (Hack Ballet) as well as new works by Sophie Adams and Aisling Cook (Ballet Ensemble London), Genevieve Grady, Deborah Kate Norris from Manchester and Elisabeth Schilling from Germany. There will be a post-performance discussion led by Antonia Franceschi who is well known for her master teaching, choreography and her career as a dancer with New York City Ballet and other companies, as well as her role in the movie Fame.

Inaugurated in 2012 in collaboration with Norte Maar, CounterPointe is rooted in a vested focus on the ballet concert vocabulary, investigating new and historic territory, encouraging discussion and creating a forum for women, young or old, emerging or established, to take artistic risks.

“There are no easy solutions to the glaring imbalance of representation of women as creative leaders in ballet choreography,” recounts Julia Gleich, CounterPointe’s curator. “Annually we celebrate their choreography, those visions and the vibrant energy of women’s work in a program encouraging a range of approaches to pointe. Our dream for the future is to make CounterPointe unnecessary.”

CounterPointe is dedicated to presenting the latest experimental, innovative, risk-taking choreography that shows a depth of investment in ballet by women dance makers working with the pointe shoe. Investigating new and old territory the series highlights new work, opening up discussion, and creating a forum for women, young or old, emerging or established, to take risks. The series made its inaugural presentation in Brooklyn at the Actors Fund Center in 2012. In June 2013, the series made its London premiere at the Broadway in Barking.

About the Choreographers:

Julia K. Gleich / Gleich Dances

Julia K. Gleich, Co-Founder Norte Maar

Julia K. Gleich, Co-Founder Norte Maar, CounterPointe Shorts Choreographer 2015

Julia K. Gleich, MFA, Co-Founder of Norte Maar, producer of CounterPointe, is a critically acclaimed choreographer, teacher, scholar, and mathematics aficionado interested in re-contextualizing ballet: creating new environments for traditional works and illuminating the relationships between the traditional and the contemporary. Her company, Gleich Dances has performed throughout the UK and US with seasons at NYC’s Joyce SoHo (’01, ’03) and Centre for Performance Research (’11, ‘12) receiving critical notice in The New York Times, Village Voice, The New Criterion and Brooklyn Rail. Ms. Gleich is Head of Choreography at London Studio Centre and on faculty at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (London, UK). Her original research on movement theories using Vectors was published in the Dynamic Body in Space. Her conceptual dance films have been exhibited in NYC, and Singapore. She was Resident Choreographer of Brooklyn Ballet in 2014 and External Examiner for Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts 2013-14. Gleich was awarded the Distinguished Alumna medal for 2014-15 by the Ballet Department at the University of Utah. This year Julia Gleich will serve as Guest Curator for You Move, New Jersey’s annual modern dance festival held at DeBaun Performing Arts Center in Hoboken. The concert series is presented by Art House Productions and produced by Morgan Hille Refakis and Meagan Woods. Visit for more information and festival application (available mid-April), or contact to learn more.

Briar Adams / Hack Ballet

Briar Adams, CounterPointe Co-producer, Photo by Aiden O'Hehir

Briar Adams, CounterPointe Shorts Co-producer. Photo by Aiden O’Hehir

British/Australian choreographer Briar Adams has been based in the UK since 2005, working with various companies as a performer, choreographer, and teacher. She founded Hack Ballet in 2012 as a vehicle to create and present her unique choreographic blend of ballet, contemporary dance and physical theatre. The company aims to develop physically based dance work which investigates social issues, and celebrates the diversity and individuality of the performers and collaborative artists who contribute to the company’s work. A graduate of the National Theatre Ballet School (Australia), Briar has worked with the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Crossword Ballet (Symeon Kyriakopoulis), Combination Dance Company (Anne-Marie Smalldon), Tees Valley Dance (Kristine Sommerlade), DansConnect (Merville Jones) and Ballet Soul (Ben Love). Briar has collaborated with including choreographers Catherine Bell, Tanya Sleeman, Katia Lom, Yuyu Rau, Elizabeth Peck and Arlene Phillips. Briar is a Resident Dance Artist at Conway Hall, a Dance Artist at East London Dance, and is currently on the Performing Arts faculty at Hackney Community College and Step Into Dance. She has previously delivered dance education projects for Greenwich Leisure Limited, Bacons College and Hackney 6th Form College, and choreographed for the CYDC and TYDC Youth Dance Companies, as well as choreographed for festivals, fashion events, music videos and short films. Through her choreographic work, Briar is interested in pursuing the interface between classical ballet, contemporary dance and physical theatre, and she is keen to support artistic projects that promote progressive action on social issues. Briar is thrilled to be part of the production team for CounterPointe Shorts 2015.

Elisabeth Schilling

Elisabeth Schilling, CounterPointe Shorts Choreographer 2015

Elisabeth Schilling, CounterPointe Shorts Choreographer 2015

Elisabeth Schilling is a dancer and dance maker. Trained at Dr. Hoch’s Konservatorium Frankfurt, TrinityLaban Conservatoire of Music and Dance as well as London Contemporary Dance School, she went on to perform for dance companies and independent artists in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the UK such as Scottish Dance Theatre (artistic director Fleur Darkin), EDge (artistic director Jeanne Yasko, founding member of NorrDans), Reinhild Hoffmann, Joe Moran (Dance Art Foundation), James Wilton, Tony Adigun, Victor Fung Dance, Matthias Sperling, Julia K Gleich (Norte Maar & Aegis Live Arts), Ula Sickle (Caravan Productions), Rachel Lopez de la Nieta and Dog Kennel Hill Project, Bernard Baumgarten amongst others. She also performed repertoire by Trisha Brown as well as Sasha Waltz. Next to her work as a performer, Elisabeth is curious about the development of dance as an art form, which she researches in her own choreographic work as well as in collaboration with different artists, scholars and scientists. Her work has been performed in various festivals around London, Berlin, Helsinki, Bolzano receiving choreographic commissions by TrinityLaban, Scottish Dance Theatre Creative Learning, TEAK Helsinki and Töne Festival.  She has received awards from Bolzano Danza and Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz.  Elisabeth is excited to be part of CounterPointe Shorts 2015 as she is very curious, being a contemporary dancer, to try ideas around movement quality and composition in time and space on pointe shoes.

Deborah Kate Norris

Deborah Norris

Deborah Norris. CounterPointe Shorts Choreographer 2015

Having graduated from Elmhurst Ballet School, Surrey, Deborah a BA Hons in Communication Arts – Dance, at the University College of Ripon and York St John, and then completed her MA in Dance Studies at Leicester De Montfort University. In 2006 Deborah gained a scholarship to the Jose Limon Institution of Contemporary Dance, in New York where she trained with Risa Steinberg, Alan Daniels, and Carla Maxwell, Artistic Director of the Limon Dance Company. Deborah’s choreography has been performed at a variety of national and international competitions and platforms, including the International Dance Grand Prix, Barcelona, The Cunningham Studios, New York, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Royal Albert Hall, and the World Ballet Championships in Florida, She has also choreographed for Sky 1’s television programme ‘Got To Dance’. Most recently Deborah worked as Assistant Director/ Choreographer on the National Tour of ‘The King and I’ under the expertise of David Needham (Choreographer) and Paul Kerryson (Director). Deborah is a lecturer at Edge Hill University and Centre Pointe Vocational College, and is currently developing her research into a PhD proposal investigating the trends of 21st Contemporary Ballet and its roots in the Classical Ballet tradition. Her work for Counter Pointe 2013, ‘Marian’s Lament’ was warmly received, and her new work ’The Frontier’ celebrates the success of two of her students, their technical ability and artistic partnership.


Sophie Adams & Aisling Cook / Ballet Ensemble London

Ballet Ensemble London

Ballet Ensemble London, CounterPointe Shorts Choreographer 2015

Aisling Cook and Sophie Adams have been choreographing and performing together since they met as students at Central School of Ballet. Both are freelance dancers and choreographers in London, with several years experience in creating works for events and productions both in the UK and internationally. Following the premiere of their piece ‘Discotheque’ at Counterpointe 2013, Aisling and Sophie are excited to present their new work ‘Mirror’. This is a collaboration with dance film director Dan Lowenstein, made in London and Vienna. The piece will involve a live performance alongside a film projection. We would like to look into the differences in how dance is presented and expressed through the mediums of film and live performance, and the effect they can produce when brought together. We would like to convey this through the clean, classic aesthetic of ballet, with a focus on pattern and line.

Geneviève Beth Grady

Genevieve Grady

Genevieve Grady, CounterPointe Shorts Choreographer 2015

Geneviève Beth Grady is an independent dance artist living in London. Since 2003 she has taught Graham-based technique at Trinity Laban. It was there she met Julia Gleich, essentially her first pointe teacher. Toronto-based work includes extensive fusion and traditional roles with Menaka Thakkar and Ritmo Flamenco, aerial and dance with Cirque Sublime, numerous projects with contemporary choreographers including Viv Moore, Seika Boye and Marlee Cargill, and multiple fringe performances of her own work. In the UK she has danced for Chard Gonzalez and Cathy Seago, toured England as a solo dancer with Latin Jazz band Azul, and worked as a magician’s assistant in a vaudeville act. UK choreography includes “You Are Here” (2008, with Deborah Black, NYC/Rotterdam); “(Ophelia Is Not) Dead” (2009, with Seeta Patel). Geneviève continues to perform internationally with her adaptation of three solos commissioned since 2006 from seminal choreographer Deborah Hay. It was during a rehearsal period for NEWS that her new obsession with pointe shoes began to infiltrate the practice of Deborah’s work. Not having come from a ballet background, but having been a competitive gymnast and circus company apprentice, she found herself relating to the shoes as a kind of apparatus. And being short, she enjoyed being tall. Having last performed NEWS en pointe in 2009 and only very recently having come back to the shoes, Counterpointe provides the opportunity to re-engage with this research under the supportive eye of a WIP forum by providing a place to play with the questions without the structure of a piece.










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