Soles-Stice – Isthmus | Madison, Wis.

press release: Isthmus Dance Collective presents Soles-Stice

June 2, 2022 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Olin Park Pavilion Madison, Wisconsin

$15 tax deductible donation

Isthmus Dance Collective made its public debut last summer as organizers of the Shifting Gears Bike Path Dance Festival, welcoming dozens of other local professional dance artists and around 800 spectators along the Madison bike path.

The Collective is now delighted to share Soles-stice as an intimate introduction to the work of the members of the collective. The show’s title is a pun connecting the upcoming summer solstice to one of a dancer’s instruments, the sole of the foot. Soles-stice is an invitation to celebrate longer days of light, warmth, community and bright minds through dance.

Works by IDC members and dance artists Jacob Brooks, Aubry Dalley, Erica Pinigis, Liz Sexe, Marlene Skog, Amy Slater and Juan Carlos Díaz Vélez include themes of rhythm, childlike exuberance in nature, friendship and passage of time. Elements such as skateboards, interactive lighting, live music and references to famous visual artworks are creatively intertwined in the performance.

Isthmus Dance Collective distinguishes itself from other dance organizations as a non-hierarchical, democratic and cooperatively organized non-profit society. Watch a performance by the Isthmus Dance Collective to see what’s possible when dancers abandon competition and bypass the limits of capitalism in favor of collective action and collaboration.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Places are not assigned. Funded in part by the Evjue Foundation through Dane Arts in partnership with Dane Arts Dance Arts.


Aubry Dalley

Aubry Dalley is a freelance choreographer and dance teaching artist with a BA in Dance Education from Brigham Young University (Magna Cum Laude). She is currently a member of the Isthmus Dance Collective in Madison, Wisconsin. Her teaching experience spans public and higher education, including Brigham Young University where she served as Associate Director of Contemporary Dance Theatre. While working in K-12 education, Aubry led the dance program and chaired the performing arts department at a public high school. Aubry was Associate Director of the Oquirrh West Project and has been honored to choreograph for the Utah Metropolitan Ballet, Repertory Dance Theater’s Regalia, Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company, BYU’s Contemporary Dance Theater and danceEnsemble, the ON SITE mobile dance series, UVU Summer Concert, Young DanceMakers, ACDA Gala, Li Chiao-Ping SEED Festival, Oquirrh West Project and Shifting Gears Dance Festival. Her work has won awards at the Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival, Utah’s Shakespearean Festival, Provo’s Take Two Choreography Competition, Utah Regional Ballet’s Choreography Design Competition, and the Alfred Lambourne Prize. Grants awarded include a 2020 Li Chiao-Ping SEED Festival Grant and an Art for Uncertain Times Grant through the Center for LDS Arts. Aubry’s freelance performance work includes Scratch Dance and interactive, site-specific shows such as Dance Engine and the ONSITE mobile dance series. Aubry was a presenter at the National Dance Education Organization’s 2021 National Conference.

Jacob BrooksEl

Originally from Chicago, he began his dance training in 2002 at the Chicago Academy for the Arts under the guidance of Randy Duncan, Guillermo Leyva, Sandra Kaufmann and the late Anna Paskevska. In 2006, he completed the modern dance program at Columbia College Chicago under the guidance of Margi Cole, Jeff Hancock, Carrie Hanson and Emily Stein. Later, he apprenticed for Gus Giordano Dance and Luna Negra Dance Theater. He also attended Ballet Chicago under the intense training of Daniel Duel and Patricia Blair. Jacob has been guest artist for companies such as West Indian Folk Dance Company, Momenta, Ballet Chicago, Chicago Festival Ballet, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Les Ballet Grandiva, Madison Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. , and the San Diego Opera. He is currently director of the school of Madison Ballet.

Erica Pinigis

Erica Pinigis started dancing as a teenager, then earned her bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Minnesota. After graduating, she produced and choreographed “Ooh La Lounge: An Evening of Dance and Jazz” at the Suburban World Theater and the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. It was curated by Red Eye Theater for its collaboration with Erinn Liebhard: Lulladreams and Insomnimares, and was artist-in-residence at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts. Erica has performed in Madison and Minneapolis with Kanopy Dance Company, Peel and Core Dance Company, University Dance Theatre, Zenon Block E Performance Group, Eclectic Edge Ensemble and Marylee Hardenbergh’s Global Site Performance. Erica emigrated to the Bay Area where she was a member of Facing East Dance & Music Company, Paco Gomes & Dancers, the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble, Slick Babble Dance Project, H2O Dance and Bianca Cabrera’s Blind Tiger Society. Erica completed her Masters in Performance and Choreography at Mills College and received the EL Wiegand Award for Excellence in Performance and Choreography. Since returning to Madison, Erica and several colleagues have founded the Isthmus Dance Collective, a non-profit cooperative organization that supports dance artists.

Liz Sex

Liz Sexe is the choreographer/artistic director of the Liz Sexe Dance Company founded in 2014. She is described as a “clean and efficient mover” and having “tenacity beneath her grace”. In its processes, tasks inspire poetic movement, game theory finds logical, yet often unexpected phrasing, and athletic dance is associated with deep intentionality. Her choreographic work has been presented at the World Dance Alliance Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Danceworks in Milwaukee, WI, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Spring Green, WI. She was artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Bubbler at the Central Library in Madison. More recently, Liz has become interested in conservation and creating more opportunities for dance in the greater Madison area. She has collaborated with Dane Arts, LunArts and various local dance companies and organizations in Madison to ensure artists on the move have more opportunities to showcase their work.

Marlene Skog

Marlene Skog’s career as an award-winning performer and choreographer spans over thirty years at home and abroad. She is the Artistic Director of Marlene Skog Dance, a passionate educator and advocate for the arts. As a choreographer, Marlene’s work is recognized for its emotional range, brilliant technique and intentional fluidity between classical ballet and contemporary dance. His work unravels the lingering question of what it means to be human and is resolved in its strong synthesis of movement, music and message.

Originally from New York, Marlene’s experience as a performing artist, teacher and choreographer is extensive. Connecting to the energy and pulse of her time, she continued her work in Sweden for fourteen years, where she founded her international company, Marlene Skog & Dancers, as well as Uppsala Dansakedemi, an establishment for the dance arts. During his tenure, Skog developed a professional dance program which was approved by the Professional Dance Council of Sweden and supported by the state. Marlene’s unique vision sparked a remarkable collaboration with renowned Swedish choreographer Birgit Cullberg. Skog has been commissioned to choreograph for several cultural events in Sweden, including the Norwegian International Arts Festival, the Scandinavian Cultural Conference and the International Women’s Convention. She has received several unique accolades, including the prestigious Folkuniversitet Cultural Award, Gotsa Knutsson and the NordBanken Cultural Awards. Marlene received her MFA from the University of Arizona, where her tenure was recognized with the Creative Achievement Award and the Green Valley Concert Association Fellowship Award in Choreography. His work has been performed nationally across the Midwest and in New York, Hawaii, Florida and North Carolina and internationally at the King’s Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland and the World Dance Alliance in Vancouver BC.

Currently, Marlene is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an assistant professor of dance and a recipient of the Wisconsin Dance Council Distinction Award.

Amy Slater

Amy Slater has lived in the Madison area since 2011. Originally from Iowa, she received her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Between her degrees, she spent 8 years in Minneapolis acting, choreographing and teaching dance. She performed with the Christopher Watson Dance Company for seven seasons as well as several freelance choreographers in the Twin Cities. Her work has been presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the American College Dance Association National Conference. Amy has been a guest artist at the University of Texas at El Paso, New Mexico State University, and St. Olaf College. She has also presented work at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and Dances at the Lakes Festival in Minneapolis, MN, and with DanceWorks and Dane Arts Dance Arts in Wisconsin. Amy has been a dance educator since 2006 and currently teaches dance technique and composition at UW-Whitewater in the Theatre/Dance department.

Juan Carlos Diaz Velez

Juan Carlos Díaz Vélez began his dance training in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied with several teachers including Carmen Sandoval, Lucila Arce, Helen Hoth and Alex Zybin. He then studied at the schools of San Francisco and Pacific Northwest Ballet and was offered an apprenticeship at American Festival Ballet at age 17. He then returned to Guadalajara where he danced with the Ballet de Cámara de Jalisco before joining Spokane Ballet as a soloist. In 1989 he joined the Eugene Ballet Company as a soloist and rose through the ranks to become a principal dancer. He has also performed as a principal dancer with Charleston Ballet Theater and Ballet Idaho. He has toured internationally through Mexico, the United States, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Taiwan. Juan Carlos has worked with renowned artists such as Christopher Aponte, Toni Pimble, Jill Eathorne Bahr, Lisa de Ribere, Elisa Monte, Beth Corning, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, David Berkey, Pascal Riult and Martin Løfsnes.

In 1997 Juan Carlos returned to college to study physics and computer science at Boise State University while performing with the Idaho Dance Theater. He then obtained a doctorate. in Physics from the University of Guadalajara and currently works for the Wisconsin IceCube Particle and Astrophysics Center at UW-Madison.

In 2007, Juan Carlos returned to the stage, exploring modern dance, including works by Martha Graham with Kanopy Dance, and flamenco with Tania Tandias Flamenco & Spanish Dance. Juan Carlos has danced in several Madison Opera productions, including their most recent staging of La Traviata.

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