Meet DAP members Aja Randall, Damara Vita Ganely and Patricia West guest performers in LITVAKdance’s Spring 2019 Performance:
“Aja was one of the first dancers I worked with when I moved back to San Diego 18 years ago. I loved her spunk and playfulness. We reconnected about a year ago, and shortly thereafter she introduced me to Patricia who is a longtime member of Joe Goode Dance Group in San Francisco. The two of them were a whirlwind of energy and I invited them to teach a class for me at UCSD. Watching them co-teach I knew they were onto something and I invited them to perform on our spring concert this year with their friend and collaborator Damara.” Artistic Director, LITVAKdance
" DAP was created out of necessity as the collaborators found themsevles struggling what it meant to be a dancer/dancemaker while also taking on roles like mother, wife, provider and caretaker. The group uses movement as a language of solidarity, resistance and self expression while also considering the dynamics of listening, being heard and yielding while creating with others. DAP uses spoken word, organic movement and song as tools.”
*For collaborator bios hover over the images
Photo: Jim Carmody
Kristopher Apple is a violinist, composer, performer, and improviser working at the intersection of music, dance, text, and digital media. His music is a regular feature of the San Diego arts scene where he works closely with choreographers, writers, directors, composers, visual artists, and software developers to integrate music and interdisciplinary performance practices. He also provides music, dance accompaniment, and production support to numerous colleges, universities, dance companies, and theater companies throughout San Diego including University of California San Diego, MiraCosta College, San Diego State University (2007–2016), and Coronado School of the Arts.
Apple’s work is informed by his ongoing investigation and interaction with dance, theater, poetry, and music practices in collaborative performance making and ensemble improvisation. He was a member of LIVE Collaborative Dance Theater from 2008–2014 and a co-founder of the collaborative music and dance ensemble Odd and Even. He has been featured as a composer and performer with several dance and theater companies including IMAGOmoves, Somebodies Dance Theater, Little Known Dance Theater, The PGK Dance Project, San Diego Dance Theater, Wallpaper Performance Company, TranscenDANCE Youth Arts Project, Animal Cracker Conspiracy, PADL West, and the podcast Incoming (incomingradio.org). Apple is a member of the Grey Pony Writer’s Guild and International Guild of Musicians in Dance. He holds a BA and MFA in Music from SDSU where he studied violin and interdisciplinary performance.
Photo: Wren Polansky
Fontaine Laing has an early memory of seeing a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at age five and coming home and playing all the songs from memory on the piano. Subsequently, she began her formal training. At age ten she knew she wanted to be a piano teacher for the rest of her life. She received her BA in Piano from the University of Texas, and MA's in Piano and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan. She taught piano in Detroit and at Oakland University in Rochester until she retired. She has played with many chamber ensembles and as a solo pianist. Now in her 85th year she is the pianist at the Unitarian Church in Solana Beach and produces concert events at the Encinitas Library - her latest, from Broadway to Carnegie Hall.
Photo: Self Portrait
Meredith Yayanos is a violinist, thereminist and vocalist Meredith Yayanos has a lifelong compulsion to explore and unpack some of the creepier, funnier, and more dysfunctional aspects of fairy tales, mythology, and the monstrous feminine. As both a session player and a touring performer, her body of work is informed by lifelong study of classical, folk, electronic, and experimental music. Yayanos has collaborated with a wide variety of acts including Faun Fables, The Dresden Dolls, Angelo Moore, Beats Antique, Halou, Stolen Babies, HUMANWINE, Jill Tracy, Elegi, Sport Murphy, The Living Jarboe, Edison Woods, Raz Mesinai, Pinataland, David Garland, Thomas Truax, Butch Morris, Kim Boekbinder, The Vanity Set, Love Life, and the Walkmen. In recent years Yayanos has also done a fair amount of film-scoring, most notably for The Narrative of Victor Karloch and The Mill at Calder’s End (two Victorian ghost story puppet films directed by Kevin McTurk, partially funded by the Jim Henson Foundation) and for the award-winning, feature-length psychological thriller, Empty Rooms. Her compositions, arrangementsj, and collaborative experiments with other artists often revolve around fusing classical sounds with varied folk traditions and electronic palettes to create a unique “uneasy listening” experience. She received her BA from Bard College. To support this amazing artist at Patreon, click here.
Photo Credit: Doug McMinimy
WREN POLANKSY: For roughly two decades Wren has been practicing and teaching art, yoga and mindfulness meditation. Her formal education includes an MA in Counseling Psychology from the Wright Institute, graduate study in Contemplative Psychology and Art at Naropa University, and a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College. Wren has worked as an artist and educator for various establishments including: the Museum(s) of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, San Diego, La Jolla, and Boulder, Colorado and the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, CA, in addition to many public and private schools throughout California. As an artist, Wren has always worked in a broad range of media. One of her most frequently used tools is the camera. Viewing Litvak Dance company members through the lens on location throughout her homeland, North County San Diego, has been particularly fulfilling. Recently, Wren has had the honor of illustrating several books for Shambhala Publications: "The Awakening Body" by Reginald Ray, "The Fourth Trimester" by Kimberly Ann Johnson, and "Hip-Healthy Asana" by Charlotte Bell. Currently, she is working on a series of new mixed media works inspired by the natural world and the moving body. She is married to a traditional Irish fiddling cheese expert and is a devoted mother of two busy little boys. She loves making custom, meaningful works, and is available for commissions. She can be found at: www.wrenpolansky.com or e-mail email@example.com.