FARMINGTON — Sonia Plumb Dance Company announces the world premiere of “The Dance of da Vinci 2.0,” to be held on the grounds of the historic Hill-Stead Museum, according to an email from organizers. There will be four live performances presented from July 31 through August 2. “The Dance of Da Vinci 2.0” explores the passions and obsessions of Leonardo da Vinci, the preeminent inventor, artist, and philosopher.
To ensure the safety of the audience and the performers, audience size will be limited with viewers socially distanced from each other and the performers. Guests are asked to wear masks whenever not seated.
The long-awaited premiere of “Dance of da Vinci 2.0” arrives after the pandemic shut down its previously scheduled run. With choreography by the company’s acclaimed artistic director and founder Sonia Plumb, eight dancers will be propelled through space and time in front of moving projections by artist Bryan Swormstedt on an LED wall backdrop. The modern dance program will feature original music by Michael Wall (SoundFORMovement).
The accomplished professional dance corps will include Katie Garcia, Katie Czyr, Joan (JoJo) Rodriguez, Robert Rubama, Olivia Passarelli, Chloe Markewich, Evelyn Ifiegbu, Jessie Levin, Stacey Hazen, and Myles Langston Hunter.
Plumb states, “I love that we will be celebrating the works of Leonardo da Vinci steps away from one of the most singular art collections in the United States. I am also humbled that our female-led company will dance in the shadow of an architectural marvel designed by a woman who was so far ahead of her time. The paintings in the house were cutting edge at the time of their acquisition and I believe that our use of modern dance performed with contemporary music against an LED projection wall for ‘The Dance of Da Vinci 2.0’ honors the Pope’s passion for art that celebrates history while pushing boundaries.”
“The Dance of Da Vinci 2.0” is part of Hill-Stead’s new multicultural performing arts series, “From the Porch,” a diverse and dynamic showcase featuring music, dance, theater, and more. Building on the success of Hill-Stead’s indoor events and nationally acclaimed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the inclusive summer programming will take place around the museum’s 152-acre campus. The experiential events will happen several nights per week and be open to audiences of all ages. Hill-Stead kicks off the inaugural series with a venerable celebration of the Year of the Woman to coincide with the centennial of women’s suffrage.
Guests are invited to arrive early to explore the breathtaking grounds, enjoy the stunning architecture of Theodate Pope Riddle’s country estate, and descend into the house museum’s beloved sunken gardens. The perfectly-preserved home interiors — including one of the finest collections of Impressionist art and period furnishings — is only available to tour on a by-appointment basis. More information on the Hill-Stead Museum can be found at www.hillstead.org. Guests are encouraged to bring blanket or chairs and picnic or order beverages online through The Wise Old Dog .
The schedule of performances is Friday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, August 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, August 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Please note that the projections will not be utilized during the Sunday, August 2 matinee at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets for each performance are $65 with senior tickets available for $50 and student tickets at $25. Tickets can be purchased at www.SoniaPlumbDance.org. Guests must bring blankets or chairs. With limited audience space for each performance, interested parties should purchase tickets as soon as possible. There is ample on-site, free parking.
Hill-Stead Museum is located at 35 Mountain Road in Farmington.
About the Dancers
Katie Garcia was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She graduated with a BFA in dance from Julliard in the Spring of 2017. Since graduation, she has danced under the direction of Young Soon Kim for White Waves and David Parsons for Parsons Dance.
Katie Czyr is from Bethel. She graduated cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College earning a B.F.A. in dance. Katie is a member of Dzul Dance and Edgar Cortes Dance Theater in New York.
Joan (JoJo) Rodriguez is originally from La Habana, Cuba. He has had the privilege of working with renowned artists Mary Fitzgerald, Liz Lerman, and Danielle Agami. JoJo has danced with Parsons Dance Company and is interested in continuing his passion for teaching, choreographing, and collaborating.
Robert Rubama is a New York City-based dancer and choreographer. He graduated from The School of Dance at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Since graduating he has been performing with companies such as Terre Dance Collective, Groundworks Dance Theater, Haus of Bambi, Priore Dance, Agora Dance, and Carolyn Dorfman Dance.
Olivia Passarelli of Fairfield, and received her BFA in Dance from Montclair State University in May 2020. While at Montclair, Olivia has had the privilege of performing works by: Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones, Stacey Tookey, Joshua Manculich, Christian von Howard, Earl Mosely, Nancy Lushington, and Jessica DiMauro.
Chloe Markewich is a NYC-based dancer. She trained at LaGuardia High School and the Ailey School. Chloe graduated from Princeton with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Dance, under Program Director Susan Marshall. She has worked as a freelance dancer on projects spanning concert dance, immersive theater, musical theater, and commercial dance.
Evelyn Ifiegbu is a New York City-based dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She is a graduate from Belhaven University with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Sociology. Evelyn is a company dancer with Cross Move Lab (Artistic Director Guanglei Hui), Apollonia & Dancers (Artistic Director Apollonia Holzer), and an apprentice with the Lori Belilove & Isadora Duncan Dance Company.
Jessie Levin is a New York City-based dancer, performer, choreographer, and certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. She received her BFA in Dance Performance from the University at Buffalo in 2018. Jessie has also travelled the world while performing for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in a variety of shows such as the famous tribute concert, Legends In Concert.
Stacey Hazen is from Stamford. She received her BFA in Dance — Cum Laude, from the University of Amherst in 2019. While there she danced the work of Paul Dennis and Thomas Vicanti. She teaches at St. Saviours School of Dance in Greenwich.
Myles Langston Hunter is a native of Los Angeles, California where he attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He is a 2019 graduate of Julliard. During his time at Julliard he was invited to teach dance and theater to underserved students in Botswana, South Africa. Myles is the creator, founder and seamster of a clothing line called Luxury Langston.
Sonia Plumb attributes her artistic style to a morphing of ideas with dance, constantly seeking to observe, learn, question, and collaborate. Her choreographic studies led her to multiple intensives with Mark Morris, Pilobolus and Susan Marshall. Early on her work was presented in dance festivals such as New Dance/New Haven, A New Generation of Dance/SUNY Purchase, New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas, and Hartford’s Dance Services Network.
In addition to her role with the Company, Sonia Plumb has served as the first Artist-in-Residence at the University of St. Joseph and has an ongoing professional relationship with the award-winning CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School.
Sonia is a three-time recipient of the Connecticut Commission on theArts Fellowship for Artistic Excellence. She received a National Artist Teaching Fellowship (2013), and was one of only nine artists nationwide to receive the Community Legacy Project award for her Arts Integration programs (2015). Born and raised in Vermont, she migrated to Hartford to attend Trinity College in Hartford, where she received a B.A. in Theater and Dance.
For more information visit www.SoniaPlumbDance.org.