Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Jersey Dance Companies Launch The Disruption Project in Jersey City

disruption photo
Dance is soon destined to disrupt Jersey City with original choreography deliberately designed to do just that.

On May 5 & May 6, Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents The Disruption Project at Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City.

The Disruption Project is an evening of performances by two leading New Jersey-based based dance companies: Robert Mark Dance and Connolly & Co. Developed for JCTC’s Disruption series, The Disruption Project features QUAKE, choreographed by Robert Mark Burke, Artistic Director of Robert Mark Dance and An Endless Pause, choreographed by Lauren Connolly, Artistic Director of Connolly & Co.

Through visual arts, theatre, readings, performances and music, JCTC explores topics global in scope yet relevant to the community. Disruption – the current thematic series by JCTC, which runs through June— looks at the personal, social and political impact of our present era of disorienting change.
Inspired by the Disruption theme, Burke and Connolly developed The Disruption Project to explore our current reality of constant change: The two full-length pieces in the project – QUAKE and An Endless Pause – are drastically different, yet incredibly physical and exhilarating new dance works. Using movement and dance, The Disruption Project addresses the pertinent questions we all ask about tumultuous change: What is being lost? What is being gained? How do we survive the upheaval?

“These are two up-and-coming professional dance companies and choreographers who are producing work that achieves a high level of artistic excellence,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “We’re glad that Robert and Lauren have joined the many artists and companies who have developed work for JCTC. Long after our series concludes, these artists take our topics to other places and often that work becomes part of their repertoire. They make the conversation around that topic last longer.”
In addition to exploring the theme of disruption, The Disruption Project also looks at collaboration itself. In that spirit, Burke and Connolly issued a joint statement: “The Disruption Project is a celebration of collaboration. We both have desires to give back and see art as a way of reaching different communities. Everyone can relate to disruption; we see our work as conversation starters and hope to create a deeper understanding of those around us.”

QUAKE –featuring an original score by Ben Frost – sends four dancers spiraling through space, racing to fill the growing void as the world collapses around them. “QUAKE explores loss, emptiness, and a want for more,” said Burke. “When we have nothing in our control, what can we control?” QUAKE was made possible, in part, from the Eryc Taylor Dance/ New Choreography Grant.

An Endless Pause looks at the suddenness of change – as dancers navigate a once familiar space, they experience the repercussions and lasting affects of abrupt actions and events. According to Connolly, her new piece “explores the obstacles that are faced when the idea of order is being challenged and the need for wholeness is possibly lost.”

Although both choreographers and their companies are now based in Jersey City, Burke was born and raised in Elmwood Park and Connolly is from Emerson. Dancers featured in The Disruption Project are: Nikki Albert; Madelyn Eltringham; Maurice Ivy; Tracy Dunbar; Sharie Taluba; Derek Crescenti; Monica Gonzalez; Jared McAboy and Meagan Woods.

Robert Mark Burke is a dancer, choreographer, director and teaching artist. Robert has shown his work throughout the United States including: Dixon Place, Paramount Theater (Boston), Hofstra University, Rutgers University, Rider University, and Dance New Amsterdam. Robert Mark Dance has performed at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Dance on The Lawn, Crossroads Theater as a CoLab Arts Space Grant Recipient, Anita’s Way, The Salvatore Capezio Theater, and the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival.

Lauren Connolly, a choreographer and dance educator, is a recipient of both the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship Award and the Dance on the Lawn 2017 Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer. Her work has been shown throughout the New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and New Jersey area including: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Koresh Come Together Dance Festival, New York Live Arts, Reverbdance, Rutgers University, Dixon Place, Salvatore Capezio Theatre, Grounds for Sculpture and George Street Playhouse.

The Disruption Project
$20 General Admission ($15 Students & Senior Citizens, with valid ID)
For more information or to purchase tickets visit:>

May 5/8:00pm-10:00pm / Merseles Studios
May 6/8:00pm-10:00pm / Merseles Studios

(Doors open at 7:30/May 5th performances includes Talk-Back with choreographers.)
Jersey City Theater Center
Merseles Studios
339 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-5386

$20 General Admission ($15 Students & Senior Citizens, with valid ID)
For more information or to purchase tickets visit:>
Funding for Disruption and The Disruption Project was made possible by generous support from the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Disruption and The Disruption Project was also made possible through the generosity of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group, JCTC’s Board of Directors, private donors and local Jersey City businesses.

Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) manages programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall, JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that embrace the diversity of Jersey City, bringing its community closer together and enhancing its quality of life. >

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