Frequently powerful...striking display of stormy passions.?The New York Times
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Forceful and dynamic, the Erica Essner Performance Co-Op builds vibrant movement from autobiography, and theme. Essner's work has been described by the San Francisco Examiner as "exceptional...all the drama of story and character while putting movement at center stage." The key to each dance is the cast; their input and personal history, all contribute to the final “story”. The Co-Op’s intricate gestures, high-flying partnering and original music deliver a visceral experience. This collaborative-based company seeks broad audiences, to this end; it offers open rehearsals and forums that provide insight into the company’s creative process.

Dance Intersection NYC
The Dance Intersection is a new model of engaging audiences with the Erica Essner Performance Co-Op in an effort to create dialogue around dance creation as the primary platform for dance presentation. To achieve this, EECOP will move away from a traditional dance creation-presenting model in which the work is created in isolation and then brokered to an audience through a single conduit (the performing arts venue). In the dance intersection, the idea is to build a network of community partners (museums, community spaces, educational institutions, performance venues etc.) in which dance can intersect with other aspects of people’s lives. Through the Dance Intersection, the company will open up its creative process in a series of ongoing forums and formats in an effort to invite new types of engagement with an emphasis on dance making.

The mission of the Dance Intersection is to engage audiences in the creative process both as a way to build community and as means to shape and inform the work. A number of interaction opportunities will be built into the process of creation around each new work, ranging from open rehearsals to issue forums and design inspiration forums. Dance Intersection seeks to create a forum that is an integral point where audiences can impact the artistic work in a constructive and powerful way. The company in turn has the opportunity to actively engage with audiences in a meaningful way, which provides a sense of intimacy as audience and artist become familiar with the structure.

Presenting work rooted in social commentary, this New York City-based company of five has been hailed as "Exceptional...all the drama of story and character while putting movement at center stage. —San Francisco Examiner


Now celebrating its twenty-first year, the Erica Essner Performance Co-Op incorporates a physical narrative into its intense and compelling work. This Brooklyn- based dance company has been described by the New York Times as …”consistently, unself-consciously quirky in the best way.” Erica Essner Performance Co-Op seeks broad audiences who have limited exposure to contemporary dance, to this end, we have recently instituted a new outreach program that offers open rehearsals and forums to provide an introduction to dance composition and the relationship of live music to dance.

The Erica Essner Performance Co-Op was founded in 1990 in San Francisco and enjoyed a decade of performing, teaching and touring in the San Francisco Bay Area. During this period, Essner collaborated with award-winning composer Erik Ian Walker. Together, Essner and Walker enjoyed a highly successful partnership that saw the creation of ten works.

In 2000, Erica Essner moved to New York City and re-established the Company. The Company is still going strong in New York, and is proud to mark its 20thh Anniversary this year with significant recent achievements. These include Performances at Central Park SummerStage, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joyce SoHo, the Rio de Janeiro Choreographic Center, Gooseroute Dance Festival West Virginia, Alaska DanceTheater, Miller Theater Houston TX, The Puffin Room NYC and the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. Erica Essner’ s work has been selected for Dance Theater Workshop’s Freshtracks, she been awarded a Bessie Schonberg Choreographers residency at The Yard in Chilmark MA, and was commissioned by Alaska Dance Theater in 2008.

Previous company highlight performances include:

DanceNow NYC Joe's Pub "Weathered" excerpt September 2012
Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out "Weathered" evening-length July 2012
FlicFest Brooklyn Commission "Weathered" evening length work January 2012
The High Line Project Site-Specific work May 2011
92md Street Y 75th Anniversary March 2010
Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out evening length work August 2009
Central Park SummerStage 5o minute program August 2008
Joyce SoHo NYC 18th Anniverary Season June 13-15, 2008
Alaska Dance Theatre commission/presentation March 2008
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center residency/presentation nov. 2007
Rio de Janiero Choreographic Center March 12-25, 2007 company residency
Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Full Program July 2006
Miller Theater Houston TX full program April 2006
The Yard Martha's Vineyard July 2005
Joyce SoHo NYC Home Season March 2005
Dancers Responding to AIDS Bryant Park NYC August 2003
Joyce SoHo NYC Home Season November 2002
Dance Theater Workshop's Fresh Tracks NYC January 2002
ODC Theater-Artist in residence Home Season SF September 2000
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There is a remarkable fluidity governing Essner's phrasing; her movement sequences connect so organically that one's eyes remain forever married to the seamless choreographic action. —Lisa Jo Sagolla- Backstage Blog


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