Plays Well With Others

The mighty headdresses and exquisite costumes were mesmerizing, enlivened by the dancers’ unflinching grace and fortitude. Gender was kept ambiguous, the dancers animating various archetypes—the coquette, the firebrand, the imp, etc.—with levity and spark.
— Charity Coleman, BOMB Magazine

Paulina olowska: slavic goddesses - a wreath of ceremonies

Having often addressed questions of feminism and cultural convention, Paulina Olowska here revisits the work of Zofia Stryjeńska—exploring the visionary Polish artist’s notion of ballet as a “wreath of ceremonies,” and designing costumes after her 1918 painting series Bożki słowiańskie (Slavic Deities) that was based on Slavic folklore and mythology. Katy Pyle, Artistic Director of the Ballez, will be working with Jules SklootLindsay ReuterMei YamanakaDeborah LohseMadison Krekel, and Charles Gowin to personify Stryjeńska’s goddesses in solos that reactivate classic folk steps. An original score by Sergei Tcherepnin will mix cosmic sounds together with traditional Mazurkas, Polkas, and Oberkas, as well as spiritual disco. Lighting design by Madeline Best with inspirational quotes of Zofia Stryjeńska and Paulina Olowska.

Curated by Katy Dammers and Tim Griffin.

Photos by Paula Court

Like a sorceress, (Katy Pyle) stirs together two beloved fairy tales — Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast — and adds a dash of ballet mythology in the form of Anna Pavlova’s The Dying Swan to forge a dance that is timely and timeless.
— Erin Bomboy, Dance Enthusiast

ballez : sleeping beauty and the beast (2016)

Following their critically-acclaimed debut in 2013 with The Firebird (Danspace Project), the Ballez returns to radically, queerly re-imagine another tale from the ballet canon. Celebrating the lives of lesbian, queer, and transgender people in the L.E.S., Sleeping Beauty & the Beast is a two-act, two-theater Ballez spanning two theaters at La Mama, and 100 years of L.E.S. activist herstory: the striking Garment Workers of 1893 and the AIDS activist dykes of 1993. 

Conceived, Directed and Produced by: Katy Pyle
Choreographed by: Katy Pyle with Jules Skloot and the Company
World Premiere Cast-
Beast: Jules Skloot
Aurora: Madison Krekel
Carabosse: Deborah Lohse
Violet Faerie: Chris De Vita
Scarlet Faerie: Charles Gowin
Azure Faerie: Chris Braz
Bluebird: Ashley Yergens
Bluebird: Lindsay Reuter
Grey Wolf: iele Paloumpis
Little Red: Janet Werther
Cinderella: Khadija Griffith
Puss in Boots: Mei Yamanaka
White Cat: Kirstin Dahmer
Firebird: Erica Ricketts
Lesbian Princess: Eliana Dell'Anna
Dying Swans Include: Ahmaud Culver, Hans Rasch, Michael DiPietro, Helen Fourness, Max Steele, Stephen Plante, Tanya Marquardt, Salvatore Cataldo and Jordan Morley

18 musicians of the Queer Urban Orchestra playing excerpts of Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty," conductor Julie Desbordes
Harpist Stepahnie Babirak and Cellist Bjorn Berkhout playing Camille Saint-Saens "Le Cygne," 
and House Music DJ set by JD Samson

Costumes: Karen Boyer
Lighting Design: Chloe Brown
Production Manager: Brendan Regimbal
Stage Manager: Alex Symes
Production Consultants: Aaron Rosenblum and Caleb Hammons
Dramaturgs: Clarinda Mac Low and Sam Greenleaf Miller

Doug Elkins: Hapless Bizarre (2013-Current)

(Elkins) brought in people from clowning workshops like the lovely Deborah Lohse, who is a dance-comic genius.
— Philip Sandstrom, New York Theatre Wire

A company of dancers, actors and clowns come together to explore the sharp intersections between physical comedy, choreography, flirtation and romance.

Originally conceived by Doug Elkins , Barbara Karger, and Michael Preston
Choreographed by Doug Elkins in collaboration with the dancers
Musical Supervision and Original Music by Justin Levine and Matt Stine
Dramaturgy by Anne Davison
Lighting Design by Amanda K. Ringger
Costume Design by Oana Botez
Hat Design and Construction by Adam Kuchler
Production Stage Managers: Amanda K. Ringger and Randi Rivera
Cast: Mark Gindick, Deborah Lohse, Cori Marquis, Kyle Marshall, Aaron Mattocks, Donnell Oakley, John Sorensen-Jolink
Rehearsal Director: Carolyn Cryer
Creative Consultant: David Neumann
Photos: Jamie Kraus and Christopher Duggan

The Bang Group: Nut/Cracked (2013-Current)

Not only immensely entertaining but also intensely musical and witty, melding tap, disco, ballet, and contemporary dance. . . . Combines fantasy and silliness to marvelous effect.
— New York Times

The Bang Group’s beloved, witty response to The Nutcracker—has delighted audiences for more than a decade. Nut/Cracked takes its inspiration from all corners of the dance canon, from tap riffs to en pointe ballet, by way of bubble wrap, disco, and Chinese take-out noodles.

Doug Elkins: Fräulein Maria (2008-2012)

And there’s Deborah Lohse who strutted on her tiptoes to connote the high heels her stridently bitchy Baroness might wear but suggesting in elegant slapstick the way Carol Burnett might have played the role had she been cast in the movie instead of Eleanor Parker.
— Alicia Anstead, ARTicles

Conceived and choreographed by Doug Elkins
Directed by Barbara Karger and Michael Preston
Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II*
Presented in cooperation with Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company.
Cast: Hilary Brown, Daniel Charon, Alexander Dones, Doug Elkins, Krista Jansen, Deborah Lohse, Kellie Ann Lynch, Cori Marquis, Meghan Merrill, Donnell Oakley, Joshua Palmer, Michael Preston, John Sorensen-Jolink
Lighting Designer: James Latzel
Lighting Supervisor/PSM: Heather Smaha
Costume Designers: Barbara Karger, Robin Staff
Rehearsal Director: Carolyn Cryer
Dramaturg: Anne Davisons
General Manager: Amy Cassello

Fräulein Maria premiered at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater on December 8, 2006, as part of the Dancemopolitan series produced by Robin Staff, Tamara Greenfield, and Sydney Skybetter of DanceNOW[NYC].