Debut Showing: Ghost Lines

Coming Soon!
The premiere of a new evening length piece – Ghost Lines – by my friend and collaborator Cori Olinghouse.
Ghost Lines incorporates live performance and film with costume design by me!

Illustration by Lauren Simkin Berke

Illustration by Lauren Simkin Berke


December 12-14, 2013
Thursday-Saturday at 8:00PM
Danspace Project:
131 East 10th Street (at Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Using an archival impulse to channel a lost movement history, Cori Olinghouse’s latest work contains echoes ranging from silent film comedians to Dada, Surrealism, and Oskar Schlemmer, the Bauhaus’ choreographer of unusual visual ballets. A cast of accomplished dancers: Michelle Dorrance, Elizabeth Keen, Mina Nishimura, and Eva Schmidt scramble through multiple personalities and pseudo stories.

As part of the evening, Olinghouse and film artist, Shona Masarin merge creative processes with a 16mm black & white film that uses traditional animation techniques, hand processing, chemical experiments, collage, painting, and drawing. In the film, Olinghouse acts as a medium, conjuring imagery from our collective unconscious, allowing a series of imagined spaces, forms, characters, and personalities to drift through her body, take form, and dissolve again. Drawn to the mechanics of the medium as it relates to perception, kinetics, and optical illusion, they look for rhythms and startling chance compositions that confuse, seduce, and assault the senses.

Costumes by Andrew Jordan
Lighting designer Kathy Kaufmann
Sound design for live choreography by Ryan Ross Smith
Sound design for film by Andrew Hurst


Photograph from the set of Ghost Lines

Photograph from the set of Ghost Lines    photo: Andytoad


The Stealing of the Kine

Last week in Philadelphia, in the Conwell Dance Theater at Temple University, Wolf-in-Skins (a dance-opera I have been designing with co-creators Christopher Williams and Gregory Spears) had it’s avant-premiere showing of act one. My costume designs for the opera’s supernatural characters made their first appearance on stage. Many thanks to an amazingly gifted cast of dancers and singers who transformed and transported us to netherworld realms.

I had my camera with me during the dress rehearsal. Here are some photos of my costume designs for the race of the “Fay.”

Gwrgi, Bleiddwen, Gwyddrud and Gwydden (Matthew Flatley, Kira Blazek, Jordan Isadore and Steven Zarzecki)

Gwrgi, Bleiddwen, Gwyddrud and Gwydden (Matthew Flatley, Kira Blazek, Jordan Isadore and Steven Zarzecki) _  photo: AndyToad

Llaethwen, Llaethenwen and Maiddwen (Chelsea Retzloff, Caitlin Scranton and Andrew Champlin)

Llaethwen, Llaethenwen and Maiddwen (Chelsea Retzloff, Caitlin Scranton and Andrew Champlin) _  photo: AndyToad

A pack of wolves and hounds

A pack of wolves and hounds _ photo: AndyToad

See more photos here.

 As for the future of Wolf-in-Skins, we will continue working on its second act this year, and the complete dance-opera is slated for debut in New York City in 2014. More info as it develops

Watermill Center Residency with Christopher Williams

Watermill Center   _   photo: Gregory Spears

Recently I returned from a week long stay at The Watermill Center where I was in residence with Christopher Williams and Gregory Spears working on our upcoming “dance-opera” Wolf-in-Skins. During our time there we worked to further develop the choreography, music, and designs for Wolf-in-Skins. Watermill provided an enriching experience, an awesome opportunity to be amongst my collaborators for an extended amount of time and to focus on our work. In an amazing space. (Thank you Watermill!)

The Knee at Watermill Center   _   photo: Gregory Spears

In my studio space at Watermill  _   photo: Gregory Spears

The Watermill Center’s large collection of world masks, objects and photographs offered me much inspiration as did exploring the library’s vast book collection. I spent the majority of my time at the center sketching, planning and refining the costume designs for the race of The Fay and The Hounds of The Fay (both played by dancers), and the Ellyllon (played by opera singers).

Friends in my studio  _   photos: AndyToad

The sacrifice totems  _   photos: AndyToad

Some sketches by AndyToad

Ellyllon shapes by AndyToad

In conceptualizing the costume design Christopher and I have set some guidelines for the look of these primordial characters. The Fay come from a time of mystery and elegant magical craft whose history has trickled down to us through myth. The time of the Fay roughly corresponds to our geological time period known as the Stone Age.

The Ellyllon are very ancient elemental entities, older than The Fay. The Ellyllon are the storytellers, the voices guiding the narrative. They are Shapes and shadows in the process of forming and un-forming.

The aforementioned races exist in a time prior to human mastery of fabric and tailoring. The Fay and Ellyllon “garments” are more hide and skin-like – shells, vegetation, skin, bone, teeth, amber… organic and manifested in unknown ways.

Costume Textures   _   photo: AndToad

Hound mask in progress  _   photo: AndyToad

Christopher with dancers Matthew Flatley and Caitlin Scranton  _   photo: AndyToad

Wolf-in-Skins in progress showing  _   photo: Jake Schlichting

Wolf-in-Skins in progress showing  _   photo: Jake Schlichting

Observing a hound in progress  _   photo: Jake Schlichting

Hound in progress  _   photo: Jake Schlichting

We Found Love in a Hopeless Place

One of my favorite pieces in the Brooklyn Museum is the Likishi Dance Costume. I make time to see her whenever I visit.

The Museum’s Likishi dance costume in performance, Zambia, 1935 (Photo: Margaret Carson Hubbard)

Museum Text:

Likishi Dance Costume and Accessories (Mwana Pwevo)

Unidentified Luvale artist, late 19th or early 2oth century
Northwest province, Zambia
Fiber, wood, hide, metal, seedpods, bark, rope, hair, organic materials

This complete dance costume shows how masks are normally one part of a larger ensemble. The mask is sewn directly onto the costume of looped bark and fiber, which fits tightly over the body of the dancer. Seedpod rattles and metal bells added a musical aspect to the performance.

Although they are danced by Luvale men, mwana pwevo masks depict women. In order to own and perform with a mask, a man had to symbolically marry it by paying the carver a copper ring as a bride price. In doing so, the dancer made a commitment to honor and care for the spirit represented in the mask. In return, the dancer was able to earn his livelihood performing at local festivals.

ink and dust

Some exciting images from a new project with Cori Olinghouse, Ghost Lines.
…looking for new ways to rehearse and understand what we’re creating…

click to enlarge

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Directed by Cori Olinghouse
Improvisations by Cori Olinghouse and Eva Schmidt
Costume/ Photography by Andy Jordan


A sneak peek at designs from a work in progress.
Photography courtesy of Phillip Romano

I suppose the official sneak peak was in February at the Harkness Dance Festival where an excerpt from this yet untitled project was shown. Here are some studio photos (thank you Phillip) of an exciting piece that is developing, a collaboration with my friend Christopher Williams.


…… Choreography and Direction by Christopher Williams
…… Music (Bird-Curse Aria) composed by Gregory Spears
…… Costume Design by Andrew Jordan
…… Dancers pictured: Kira Blazek, Burr Johnson

…… More images/info coming soon.