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Deborah Hay Dance Company 2023 Winter Workshop

A 10 day workshop conducted by Deborah Hay in East Austin, Texas.

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Deborah Hay Dance Company 2023 Winter Workshop
Deborah Hay Dance Company 2023 Winter Workshop


Nov 10, 2022, 9:00 AM – Dec 20, 2022, 11:59 PM

Austin, E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX, USA

About REST Fest

finding coherence in movement and choreography

for performers interested in both

"My mind is my body in dance. This coherency sustains my practice. It is how I maintain and confirm my interest in movement, performance, and choreography. Tools will be offered to support access to your own experience of coherence while dancing."

I will guide a daily collective movement practice based on finding coherence through the cellular body. In addition to our morning practice we will collaborate on a simple yet challenging group work that will develop each day. Writing is part of material experienced.

- Deborah Hay

December 2022

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February 20-March 3, 2023; 10am-4pm

*Saturday and Sunday, February 25 and 26 off


The Friends Meeting House of Austin

3701 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd #3

Austin, TX 78721




Applications open November 10, 2022 until January 3, 2023, or until filled.

Artists will be notified of acceptance by January 5, 2023.


Participants are responsible for their own travel and housing. The Theorists will provide letters of support to aid in grant applications to help subsidize fees. In addition, we will try to accommodate artists in need with local hosts and suggested sublets. If you are in need of housing or know of housing opportunities, please write Amy Morrow (


Our  hosts will follow CDC protocols. Masking is recommended and updates  will be provided closer to date based on local numbers. We ask that  international travelers provide a negative test upon arrival. We are in a  spacious and private historic house and ballroom. There are multiple  windows and vents for air ventilation. We have access to shaded porch  area outdoors with rocking chairs and ample room to spread out to enjoy  the fresh air overlooking Austin's lady bird lake.


Amy Morrow

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The  Deborah Hay Dance Company's mission is to foster a discerning  appreciation for the human body within the cultural construct of  contemporary society, through dance as experienced by audience, student,  and/or performer. Central to this mission is the role of humor in  recognizing the wildly cogent dancer we are capable of exercising into  action. 


Deborah Hay was born in Brooklyn. Her mother, Shirley Goldensohn, was her  first  dance teacher, directing her training well into Hay’s teenage  years.  Three years of modern dance training with Bill Frank, a former  member of  the Nikolai Company, and years studying with Merce Cunningham  and Mia  Slavenska followed. In 1964, Hay danced with the Cunningham  Dance  Company during a six-month tour through Europe and Asia. Since  1961 she  worked with other dancer/choreographers as part of Judson  Dance Theater,  focusing on large-scale dances involving untrained  dancers.

In 1970 she left New York to live in a community in northern Vermont. She distanced herself from the performing arena, producing Ten Circle  Dances,  performed on 10 consecutive nights within a single community  and no  audience. The work was supported primarily by museums and art  galleries,  beginning a long period of reflection about how dance is  transmitted  and presented. Her first book, Moving through the Universe  in Bare Feet (Swallow Press, 1975), describes these dances.

In 1976 Hay left Vermont and moved to Austin, Texas, where, in 1980, the Deborah Hay Dance Company was established. Including herself, its’ members were Emily Burken, Heloise Gold, and Diana Prechter. While   developing her choreography she instituted a yearly 4-month group   workshop that culminated in large group public performances in Austin   and from these group works she distilled her solo dances. Her book,  Lamb at the Altar: The Story of a Dance (Duke University Press, 1994),  documents this unique process. Several  National Endowment for the Arts  Fellowships in Choreography and a 1981 Guggenheim Fellowship helped  support her work during this period.

Hay then focused almost exclusively on solo work. The Man Who Grew Common  in Wisdom, Voilà, The Other Side of O, Fire, Boom Boom Boom, Music, The  Ridge, Room, and No Time to Fly were performed worldwide and also passed  on to noted performers. My Body, The Buddhist (Wesleyan University  Press), was published in 2000. It is an  introspective series of  reflections on the major life lessons that Hay  learned from her body  while dancing. In 2019 Wesleyan Univ. Press  published Using the Sky. It follows the evolution of her language, distilled through her own practice of performance. The book also includes 5 dance scores.

Hay  conducted 14 annual Solo Performance Commissioning Projects from 1998 through 2012, first on Whidbey Island in Washington state and then at   the Findhorn Foundation Community, Moray, Scotland. A one-hour documentary about this groundbreaking experiment, titled Turn Your  F*^king Head, was made in 2012. It was commissioned by Independent  Dance, based in London, and published by Routledge Books.

In 2002 she applied what she had learned from 30 years of working with   mostly untrained dancers to choreographing dances for experienced dancers and choreographers. In 2004 she received a NYC Bessie Award for her quartet The Match, commissioned by Danspace.

In  2006 she choreographed “O, O” for 5 New York City choreographer/dancers  and later for seven French dancers of comparable experience. The Match  was presented at the Montpellier Dance Festival in 2005. The Festival  d’Automne, in Paris, presented The Match in 2005, “O, O” in 2006, and If  I Sing to You, in 2008. If I Sing to You was commissioned by the  Forsythe Company and toured extensively in  Europe and Australia. In  2009 the Toronto Dance Theatre premiered her  work, Up Until Now, and in  2010 Lightening, a dance for six Finnish dancer/choreographers,  premiered at the Helsinki Festival.

In October 2009 Hay received an honorary doctorate in dance from the   Theater Academy in Helsinki, Finland; 2010 US Artist Friends  Fellowship;  2011 artist’s grant from the Foundation for Contemporary  Arts in New  York. In April 2012, Hay became one of the 21 American  performing  artists to receive the inaugural and groundbreaking 2012  Doris Duke  Artist Award.

Hay’s  first museum installation, Perception Unfolds: Looking at Deborah Hay’s  Dance,  was curated by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi for the Blanton Museum in  Austin, Texas 2014. The installation traveled to Yale Art Museum and  to the Academie der Kunst in Berlin.

In 2015 she collaborated with Laurie Anderson in an evening-length work,  Figure a Sea, for 21 dancers and commissioned by Cullberg in Stockholm, Sweden. The same year France’s Minister of Culture and Communication  awarded Hay the Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Her work was presented at the 2018 MoMA exhibition, Judson Dance Theatre:  The Work Is Never Done. A cast of 10 New York dance ‘stars’ performed  ten,  choreographed by Hay in 1968. The performance was accompanied by  the  band Gang Gang Dance. For the exhibition, Hay also performed A  Lecture on the Performance of Beauty from 2003.

With  7 other presentations of her choreography, Tanz Im August 2019  premiered two new works, Animals on the Beach, with Jeanine Durning, Vera Nevanlinna, Tilman O’Donnell, Christopher Roman, and Ros Warby and  her solo, my choreographed body . . . revisited. A major addition to the  August celebration was the German publisher Hatje Cantz’s publication  RE-Persepective: Deborah Hay, a book scanning her work since 1968. It  includes photos, dance scores, articles by dance scholars and her more  recent texts.

A second retrospective of Hay’s work was presented at Mercat des les Flors in Barcelona, Spain in 2021.

In  2021 Stockholm’s Cullberg Company premiered Horse, the solos, with an  original score by Austin-based composer/musician Graham  Reynolds and  lights and set by Amsterdam-based Finnish artist Minna  Tikkainen. What  was unique about the premiere was from the moment the 7 dancers stepped  onstage in costume, with the programmed lights and  sound, there was  not a living soul in the audience - no photographers,  filmmakers, no  techies, no choreographer, future presenters nor directors.


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