Monica Bill Barnes & Company
Saturday, Nov. 2 – 1-2:30 p.m. – Free intermediate-level dance class with internationally recognized choreographer Monica Bill Barnes in the new Springfield College dance studio, 29 Sheffield Street, second floor, followed by a brief discussion of Barnes’ work and a question and answer session.
Sunday, Nov. 3 – 1-2 p.m. – There will also be a sneak peek of the choreographic work Barnes is creating for Springfield College dancers and dance alumni in the Fuller Arts Center.
Monica Bill Barnes & Company is a contemporary American dance company that brings dance where it does not belong. Members create and produce each work entirely from its own rulebook—dancing to radio interviews on the biggest stages in the world, hosting a weekly show in a crowded office party, or leading a choreographed exercise routine in an art museum. Within each of these new contexts and borrowed environments, the dancers constantly find humor in their awkward, everyday triumphs and failures.
The company consists of Monica Bill Barnes (artistic director/choreographer/performer), Robbie Saenz de Viteri (creative producing director/performer), and designers Kelly Hanson (set/costume) and Jane Cox (lighting).
Monica Bill Barnes is a choreographer, performer, and the artistic director of Monica Bill Barnes & Company. Barnes founded the company in 1997 with a collection of solos that could be performed anywhere. In 2013, members gave themselves the challenge to “bring dance where it doesn’t belong” and has been striving to follow this self-imposed motto ever since. The company has performed in venues ranging from Upright Citizen’s Brigade to The Sydney Opera House, and has been presented in more than 100 cities throughout the U.S. and internationally. Barnes has worked in film, theater, and set over 30 different works with college students all over the country. Recent company projects include The Museum Workout, a guided exercise tour of art museums made in collaboration with the author/visual artist Maira Kalman; Happy Hour, an immersive office party dance show; Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, a show that combines radio and dance in collaboration with Ira Glass; and The Running Show, a new touring show inspired by the company’s award-winning off-Broadway production that turns dance into a live sporting event. Within each of these new contexts and borrowed environments, the company members’ work constantly find humor in their awkward, everyday triumphs and failures.
Robert Saenz de Viteri began working in theater as an audio script assistant to Anna Deavere Smith. He has created performances and toured productions throughout the world with the Obie Award-winning Nature Theater of Oklahoma. He has created, produced, and performed in Happy Hour, The Museum Workout, and One Night Only with Monica Bill Barnes & Company. Some of his other favorite projects include producing This American Life Episode 528, “The Radio Drama Episode” live on stage at BAM; directing Rachel Bonds’ Michael & Edie; and creating and performing The Spiritual Life of Modern America, a collaboration in Norway based on the experiences of foreigners traveling in America today.
Flannery Gregg (rehearsal director) first met Monica Bill Barnes as a student at the American Dance Festival in 2011 and began working with the company shortly after. She began as an intern and since has worked as a production assistant and as an assistant choreographer for the company. Flannery assisted Barnes in the choreography for the Atlantic Theater Company productions of FOUND: A New Musical (2014) and Dying For it (2015). In 2015, she traveled to Baldwin Wallace University to set the choreography from FOUND on the graduating class of musical theater students. Last fall, Flannery was the associate choreographer for Greta Gerwig’s upcoming feature film Little Women (2019) in addition to dancing in the film. She is currently the rehearsal director for The Running Show and Performance Series for Arts Brookfield. Her other projects include assisting choreographer Sam Pinkleton on Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway and choreographing the New York University Reality Show performed at the Barlcays Center in Brooklyn. She is originally from San Diego, Calif., and holds a Bachelor of Arts in world arts and cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles. Flannery lives in Hell’s Kitchen with her husband, John.