"The Round Table 2016”

Presented by
Benjamin Briones Ballet



1)Company name (if applicable)

2)Director/Choreographer/Contact person’s name:

3)Mailing Address:

4)Preferred Phone:

5)Alternate Phone:


7)Website if any:


8)Please list your name as you would like it to appear in all publicity materials:

9)Title of Proposed Work:

10)      Date & place of the Premiere:

11)      Choreographer:

12)      Number of Performers:

13)      Music by:

14)      Length of Piece (10 min. max):

15)      Props if any (We encorage you to use limited props, no scenery permitted):


16)Briefly describe your proposed work for ”The Round Table”:

17)Tell us about your professional accomplishments over the past three years:

18)       Signature:

19)       Print Name:

20)      Date:

Benjamin Briones (Founder and Director) at:
BenjaminBrionesBallet@gmail.com.com for more details.
www.BenjaminBrionesBallet.org to know more about “The Round Table”.

Copy, paste in "Microsoft Word" & Send to: BenjaminBrionesBallet@gmail.com

"The Round Table 2016”

Presented by
Benjamin Briones Ballet
Call for all Choreographers and/or Companies

We are in search of performance ready pieces, original choreography in the style of
Contemporary Ballet, Neoclassical, Modern and Contemporary Dance.
4 performances will take place at the Center Stage Theater in New Brunswick, NJ
4 more performances will take place at the Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center in NYC
Ensemble Pieces should not exceed 10 minutes in duration, some solos will be considered and they should not exceed 6 minutes in duration.

       Application deadline: June 15th 2016
  Selected applicants will be notified by June 30th 2016.

PROGRAM A & B SEPTEMBER 1st, 2nd & 3rd.

Submissions must include:
(Incomplete submissions will not be considered)

1) Copy, paste, fill out and send the Application by Email (Preferred), or regular mail (Please type or print clearly).
2) submit a YouTube link (Preferred), or DVD of the complete unedited piece.
3) Attach Resume and BIO.
4) $30.00US non refundable application fee (you can submit up to 3 pieces for the same fee).

National entries:  Please pay by PayPal at: http://www.benjaminbrionesballet.org/Round-Table.html
Or send check or money order
Payable to: Benjamin Briones and write “The Round Table” onto the memo line.
                      Att: Benjamin Briones – Founder & Director - The Round Table
                  115 Minna St. Brooklyn NY 11218 USA

International entries: Please pay by PayPal at: http://www.benjaminbrionesballet.org/Round-Table.html
To request more information write us at (BenjaminBrionesBallet@gmail.com)
If selected an additional $250.00US production fee will be required
This is a unique opportunity to perform several times (Each company/choreographer will perform 4 shows minimum).

Companies/Choreographers will be provided with:
2 performances at the Center Stage Theater in New Brunswick, NJ
2 more performances at the Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center in NYC
Professional Lights and Sound
Download/DVD of one of the final performance nights
Advertising & PR

For more details: BenjaminBrionesBallet@gmail.com

The Round Table 2016: A Choreographic Event to Remember

by Nadine Lavi

In The Round Table presented by Benjamin Briones, new and favorite choreographic works were presented at the Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center in New York City from September 1-2, 2016. Showcasing dancers from both the Benjamin Briones Ballet company as well as guest dancers, the works presented aspects of dance, theater, and movement, all memorable and intriguing.
This was one of many shows presented by the choreographer Benjamin Briones, and his wife, the choreographer and dancer Ursula Verduzco. In each show, they have tested the boundaries of dance and theater. Costumed for the most part by UB Costumes and Dancewear, designed and operated by the husband and wife team, these choreographic events are a creative endeavor conceived, designed and directed by the pair on nearly every level. The audience is sure to experience dance, theater, and emotions on many levels from the works themselves and the performers.
The Benjamin Briones Ballet itself was established in 2012 in New York City with the aim of providing a supportive forum for choreographers and performers of all cultural and stylistic backgrounds “to explore the endlessly diverse concepts and feelings that symbolic movement can convey.” Envisioning his company as “an engine of creativity,” Briones says that he seeks to engage audiences intellectually and emotionally and to affect social consciousness with powerful, interesting, and creative contemporary ballet, neoclassical, modern, and contemporary dance works which challenge, provoke, shape perspectives, and move the heart and spirit. In creating evenings like The Round Table which showcase his, his wife’s and other choreographer’s works, Benjamin Briones and Ursula Verduzco – also one of the leading dancers in his company – have an opportunity to present some of their more creative and risqué works to new audiences.
The Round Table did not disappoint.
The first program, presented on Thursday night, opened with Divided by Three choreographed by Meagan Phillips of the Benjamin Briones Ballet to music by Phillip Glass and performed by Ursula Verduzco with Eva Janiszewski and Kylie Fox in costumes by UB Costumes and Dancewear. The three women seem to challenge and to feed off each other’s emotions with dramatic expressions on their faces and sudden movements in different directions. This number was shown again the next evening.
In Pregheira choreographed by Carla Vannucchi – who has also created for the differently abled dancer Kitty Lunn and Infinity Dance Theater – danced an inspired solo to the music Stabat Mater by Luigi Boccherini.
In Together (Juntos), which the program notes suggest depicts “the innocent and tender feeling of the first love,” choreographed by Cesar Ortiz of Carousel Dance to music by Astor Piazzola with costumes by Analia Farfan, the dancers Analia Farfan and Frederick Davis were a treat to watch. This pas de deux was affecting; Farfan’s tender line and technique made the romantic aspect of the work come alive.
As for Frederick Davis, here is a dancer of power and presence. With the unerring air of a prince, a confidence that captivates the audience, and a sure command of technique in a uniquely fluid style which sets him apart, Davis is one to watch. An excellent partner in all aspects of the pas de deux, he has a sure, yet delicate touch that makes the pas de deux a seamless blending, along with an emotional tenderness and dramatic urgency. His powerful, energetic presence in solo variations is equally effective. One senses that Davis has many layers of characterization waiting to be revealed underneath that noble mien, and one hopes that he will be given opportunities to explore the many facets of the artist inside. He was recently lauded in the Emmy award winning documentary film “From the Streets to the Stage: The Journey of Frederick Davis.” After a stint with the Dance Theater of Harlem and Indiana Ballet Theater, Davis is currently appearing as principal dancer and principal guest artist with Ballet Tucson and with Ballet Tennessee. Having him appear in The Round Table is a coup for the production, and one hopes to see more of this magnetic and talented dancer in the future.
The next number Letting Go, a tribute to those lost in Superstorm Sandy, choreographed by Erin B. Forrest to music by John Williams was danced by Emma Zoe DeGala Harris. This expressive work depicted the pain, loss and emotions associated with that tragic event. This was followed by Image of the Invisible choreographed by Elizabeth McMillan of Vivid Ballet comprised of nine dancers: Leyna Woods, Kathleen Hennessy, Kaleb Riley, Daniel Sima, Anna Sessions, Emily Apple, Megan Klamert, Lauren Rutledge, and Kaitlyn King. There was a pas de deux, and much crisscrossing of dancers with jumps and runs across the floor to music by Antonio Vivaldi recomposed by Max Richter. This number was danced again the next evening.
In Lights On choreographed by Benjamin Briones to the music Everlast with costumes by UB Costumes and Dancewear, two couples were listed in the casting, and each one appeared on different nights. The first night was danced by Elisabeth Jeffrey and Taylor Kindred. This compelling pas de deux featured interesting choreography, and something notable, sound, when at the end, the partners appeared to quarrel and to shout in frustration. This commentary on relationships - and the mending, un-mending, feelings and frustrations that can be experienced in that context - felt like an experience intended to be felt by the audience in an intimate way, in that the audience was privy to the emotions and private thoughts and feelings which were not necessarily heard or acknowledged by the couple themselves. There was a voyeuristic tone to it. Taylor Kindred made an impression in this role, with his nice line, technique, and flair. On the second night, Ursula Verduzco was paired with Frederick Davis, whose arresting presence gave this work the necessary gravitas.
Five more works followed: Untethering choreographed by Amanda Turner of the Benjamin Briones Ballet to music by Adam Hurst with UB Costumes and Dancewear for dancer Elisabeth Jeffrey. From the Beginning was next, about “Mother Earth watch[ing] in dismay as the world’s environment declines, forcing millennial John Luke to try to learn compassion and understanding from the beautiful Indigo, Claudia,” according to the program notes. This piece, choreographed by Edwin Kinter to music be Edward David Grana from a story/concept by Pamela Brunsvold Rummel, featured Asha Sienkiewicz, the always reliable Taylor Kindred, and Seira Kiyano. An interesting interplay between the two women who seemed to represent different aspects of Mother Earth – decaying vs. healing – and the man, was shown. There was a tender and poignant quality to the work.
Gull’s Beach, “an afternoon observation,” said the program, was choreographed by Nellesa Walthour to Breath by Mercan Dede featuring Shay Bland, Winston Dynamite Brown, Nuria Martin Fandos, Anna Maria Farkas, Kimberly Mhoon, and Anthony Willis, Jr. Runner choreographed by Vera Huff of Veracity Dance Theatre to music by Todd Sickafoose with costumes by Roftr, explored movement in the bodies of three dancers.
The final number of the evening, Bleeding Love choreographed by Ursula Verduzco to music by Vivaldi with costumes by UB Costumes and Dancewear, featured eight women: Elisabeth Jeffrey or Eva Janiszewski with Nina Yoshida, Anistasia Barsukova, Kylie Fox, Kaarin Holmquist, Beatriz Hernandez, and Emma Zoe deGala Harris moving in lines and patterns that suggested resisting boundaries and feeling emotions.
Ursula Verduzco is a choreographer of unusual perspective. Her works often remain etched in the memory because of their startling subject matter and the juxtaposition of beautiful or moving music. One piece that she choreographed some time ago – a take on woman’s oppression – is seen in a Muslim woman garbed in a burkah and hajib who moves cautiously and carefully among a line of “free” women as she seeks her rightful place in a world free of oppression or limitations – and it still registers in this writer’s memory.
Ms. Verduzco is not afraid to tackle serious, uncomfortable, and risqué subjects and themes, and she often uses movement to great effect to capture the essence of the character, so that the audience feels the performer’s emotions deeply. One wonders what future subjects and themes, Ms. Verduzco will explore in her work, but they are sure to intrigue and to stay in the memory.
In the second evening of this choreographic event, there were several new works that had not been seen the previous night. They included Ojala choreographed by Ana Cuellar to music by Silvio Rodriguez with costumes by Cuellar, and featuring Anamarie McGin and Daniel Benavides, a moving piece that was fun, even “cool.” In Morbit Desires by Miguel Angel Palermos to music by Aoki Takamasa with costumes by Frederico Sanchez, Maribel Michel and Fernando Miranda explored the choreographer’s vision of eroticism, chaos and death to a series of sounds and noises. The unusual pairing of a petite female with a very tall partner seemed to add to the discordance of the piece.
In The Four Temperaments depicting “man’s love/hate relationships with the vices of his life…[including] fighting and romancing them as they contribute to and enhance our lives as well as imprison and destroy them,” Ted Thomas and Frances Ortiz of ThomasOrtiz Dance featured good dancers with technique and stage presence to music played by Kronos Quartet. Costumed by A. Christina Gianinni, Rachel McSween, Gaby Gilchrist, Emily Pihlaja, Danielle Shupe, and William Roberson were compelling and entertaining.
In Images choreographed by David Sun of DSundanceX to Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano by Peteris Vasks, the dancers Alexandria Lattimore, Ariel Sweet, Molly McGivern, Melissa Reed, Taryn Scott-Kolbe, and Margaret Wiss moved in interesting patterns across the floor in red leotards. The music was affecting. However, this work contained perhaps an unnecessarily erotic element due to the costume choices.
In Travel with Me by George C. Berry of George C. Berry and Company, George C. Berry and Erika Davis danced to You Made Me Love You (featuring Oren Waters) by Raney Shockne. The number was followed by what was perhaps the most avant garde of all the works that were presented in this production: Swipe choreographed by Dannon O’Brien and Dancers. Danced by Emily Ulrich, Haley Fox, Julia Ferra, Valentina Sytcheva, Richard Mazza, Danny Venini, and Dannon O’Brien in costumes by Mondo Morales and Dannon O’Brien provided by Marymount Manhattan Dance to music by Terry Riley performed by the Kronos Quartet, this work seemed to explore the themes of bondage, perhaps of the soul and mind, as well as the body. Sound was used to great effect here as well: the dancers burst into chatter towards the end as if to suggest a cacophony of emotion and conflict.
The evening ended with another performance of Ursula Verduzco’s Bleeding Love featuring the same cast as the previous evening, and ending the whole production on a high note.