Performance Lab supports dance artists through its SEED Program

Megan Buchanan of Guilford will use the Seedling Award to remount "Regenerations," an interdisciplinary and collaborative dance, live music, installation, and poetry performance project.

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GUILFORD — Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) created the SEED Program in 2015 to help strengthen our regional dance ecology by supporting local choreographers in the creation of new work. The program invests in Vermont artists by connecting them with tools and resources that build their work and capacity. Selection for SEED is a competitive process managed by VPL and each artist chosen is provided an artist fee, a residency at VPL, housing for up to five people for the residency, a travel stipend, and production support.

This year Pauline Jennings of Jericho has been selected as the 2018 SEED Artist. The award and VPL residency will support the development of "Sea Inside our Skin" an audience-immersive, multi-media duet rooted in the Chinese maxim drink the water, remember its source. Jennings is a contemporary choreographer who is compelled to solve critical questions through her body and its relationship to others via responsive systems. Her choreographic method is aimed at providing a journey for both dancers and audience, and Jennings also shares VPL's commitment to engaging local audiences in the artistic process.

"In partnering with VPL, we look forward to not only involving the audience in the work itself through responsive choreography and immersive video, but in the planning stages through research surveys and in conjunction with the presentation through a team artist talk or panel," said Jennings about her upcoming work with the SEED Program.

Jennings' choreography for stage and interactive installations has been performed both nationally and internationally in festivals and showcases, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Merce Cunningham Studio, EMPAC (Emergent Media and Performing Arts Center, RPI), ODC Theater, the Museumsquartier Wien, Institut Intermedii (Prague), ProART International Choreography Platform (Brno), Eastern Bloc (Montreal), Primo Piano LivinGallery (Lecce), Takt Kunstprojektraum (Berlin), and the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art (Dubai).

In addition, VPL is making two Seedling Awards for 2018. Lida Winfield of Middlebury will use the award to support her newest work "Imaginary," which mixes dance, theater and an original audio score to engage community and audience members on how the imagination assists in shaping our potential, our reality and our world. Winfield is an innovative and accomplished dancer, choreographer, spoken word artist and educator. She has taught and performed extensively, including at Roger Williams University, Habla: The Center for Language and Culture in Mexico, National Dance Association Conference, Skidmore College, the Bates Dance Festival and Middlebury College.

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Megan Buchanan of Guilford will use the Seedling Award to remount "Regenerations," an interdisciplinary and collaborative dance, live music, installation, and poetry performance project that seeks to reckon with and respond to the closure of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Generating Station. Buchanan is a dancemaker, poet and performer who often creates larger-scale, collaborative projects inspired by a specific site, concern or concept. Buchanan has performed in major contemporary dance festivals in Dublin, London, and Berlin with Daghdha Dance Theatre, and her work includes lead roles in contemporary projects in Los Angeles with Lineage Dance and Janet Pants Dans (The Selfish Giant).

"The SEED Program was developed in response to the need for more comprehensive support for local emerging professional dance artists. Now in its third year, we are so pleased to see how the program is building a more secure and dynamic future for dance makers by supporting incubation of new work and galvanizing resources and expertise to sustain regional choreographers," said VPL Director Sara Coffey. "We have supported six artists in the first two years of SEED and we are thrilled to bring these three exceptional artists into the program this year."

The 2018 SEED Program is made possible with generous support from the Vermont Community Foundation, the Vermont Arts Council and VPL's Creation Fund Donors.