Nikki Manx Dance Project

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Dying of the Light
Premiered 2015

This comedic, quirky, quintet discusses climate change through the personification of our beloved sprout. The dance supports the ideology of transitioning to a renewable energy economy. The earth's shift in temperature, due to industrialization, calls on a passionate community looking to explore sustainable resource alternatives such as wind, solar, and hydro energy. It is important that human progression through industrialization does not damage our climate with dirty energy sources that threaten our environment and public health. Something as simple as caring for the sprout, leaves a resonating way to reduce the negative impact of our human footprint.

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Premiered 2015

This trio illustrates the connection between the Sun's energy in our ever-expanding universe and its direct effect on the planet Earth. As dancers hug the Sun's light, while blocking out the harmful effects of ultra violet rays, they embody a constant flow of energy. The women slowly open their hearts to the Sun's power with classical spiraling patterns and rippling movement. STATiC's score includes text by revolutionary cosmologists, Steven Hawking and Carl Sagan. NASA footage of solar flares turns dismal, suggesting untapped resources.

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Then, Wasser.Ura.Amanzi
Premiered 2015

This piece amplifies how overconsumption of fresh water effects climate change. Explore the problematic aspects of water consumption due to lack of resources and lack of distribution, until the last drop of water is taken fpr granted. This all female cast uses illumined shell bowls; the only way for the dancers to collect the precious resource of fresh water. Actual water is used onstage which is sourced from a ritualistic basin. STATiC's entire score was created by sampling different water sources.

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Of Which We Breathe
Premiered 2015

In our story of air pollution, follow the dancers as their world becomes overtaken with smog. They are forced to navigate a dark, dingy world, created by their own peers, who have not yet realized the consequences of their actions. A quirky track by Blockhead leads off as we open the scene on our two protagonists. A trio of almost comical polluters, personifying destructive habits, traverses the space as they add smog to the air. Dancers in the trio exhibit behaviors of overconsumption, and embody dirty energy caused by industry. As the piece progresses, our duo struggles to breathe amidst the pollution. A new, ambient track by Clogs, accompanies the duo's journey as they gasp for pure air. Just as all hope begins to fade, our trio returns to offer a temporary solution. We are left with the question, "What steps can we take toward a future with clean air?" This piece can also be performed with a live artist, who incorporates painted images of air pollution's effects on humanity.

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Same Love
Premiered 2013

This dance premiered in celebration of New Jersey legally recognizing same-sex marriage on October 21, 2013. The performance was made possible in part by a large contribution from an LGBT constituent. Although the piece was in the making before this generous donation, it certainly served as a thank you to our all-inclusive NMDP family. The dance premiered as part of an evening length work, "We the People."

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We the People
Premiered 2013

This duet celebrates civil rights, and it's protection from discrimination of race, gender, national origin, political affiliations, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and/or disability. This piece also reflected the name of our 2013 evening length production.

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Wear Your Own Skin
Premiered 2013

The title on this dance says it all. Check out this Fur-Free Action Guide.

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Premiered 2013

This dance now commemorates the life and revolutionary work of Nelson Mandela. A couple months into the development of this dance, Mandela became ill. Two weeks after the debut of "Mandela," in NMDP's production of "We the People" Nelson Mandela passed. The former South African political prisoner turned president's election victory speech is highlighted here: "It is you, THE PEOPLE, who are our true heroes." Mandela's philanthropic contributions were many, yet his most notable accomplishment of ending apartheid is celebrated through costumes the dancers made of the South African flag.

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...and the Brainchild was Born
Premiered 2013

This duet explores commercialism, and the desire for a brand-name mentality. The piece encourages the audience to embrace the unique, and to empower themselves with individualism. The dance is set in front of a projection, which portrays brand names, quotes, and ultimately ends with the message of "Be generous. Practice love," something that many American corporations should embrace. In support of small businesses, the sound score by Wunmi is titled, "Commercialism."

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Silver Lining of the Cloud
Premiered 2012

Silver Lining of the Cloud explores the concept of hope in times of struggle, in particularly dealing with addiction, illness, and trauma. The trio is meant to inspire both those suffering, and those supporting the suffering as well. The dancers illuminate hope with the use of candles. A song in our sound score, K'naan's "In the Beginning," acknowledges taking a stand in every one of life's battles. The lyrics state, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the dark." With this, dancers start walking toward the audience while gesturing. When a dancer falls, it symbolizes a dark moment. Each dancer lights a candle to symbolize hope. The dancers crawl forward with the candle, only to let hope empower them to stand up once again. The dance ends with a powerful interconnected trust circle with dancers intertwined. As they break away to symbolize their self-empowerment, dancers finish by improvising in the audience, and symbolically give their candle to an audience member they feel needs it most.

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No One Should Go Hungry
Premiered 2011

No One Should Go Hungry headlined the 2011 production of "Call to Action." A mass food drive ran in conjunction to the purpose of the piece. The dance calls the audience to take an active stand against ending hunger in America. At the time, Bergen County proposed a 10-year plan to end homelessness in NJ, and the company got friendly with a homeless couple that lived near the CVS in Hoboken where we were rehearsing. The piece highlighted Minnesota's audio documentary, "Land of 10,000 Homeless." In alignment with the company's mission to support socially conscious dance, the growing numbers of homeless Americans cannot be ignored. Text in the dance includes, "There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry." This dance is meant to inspire individuals to take a stand against hunger with contributions of any kind.

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Rock On
Premiered July 2010

Rock On is a fun-loving tribute to Rock and Roll. It explores 5 decades of rock starting with the rise of social activism in the 1960s with John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance." As the audience continues on their journey from the 1960s through the 2000s, the audience will enjoy fun songs explored in a way never seen before by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Talking Heads, Nirvana, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The background of the dance also includes a video projection of the dancers improving in fabric, creating a surreal and psychedelic experience.

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Controlled Frenzy
Premiered April 2010

Controlled Frenzy was created during a company residency at Silo in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In this dance, everyone embodies a certain aspect of the paranormal, or a "super power", through the qualities of composition. Controlled Frenzy also plays with the juxtaposition of the peaceful state that comes from insanity, as well as the fine line between frantic mania and calm tranquility.

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Rediscoverd Elegance
Premiered October 2009

Rediscoverd Elegance (9/3) is site-specific to Carlos Dorrien's sculpture, The Nine Muses. The piece was performed amidst one of the Grounds for Sculpture's signature pieces in Hamilton, NJ. The choreography reflects the timeless feminine quality of the muses and also plays with the element of numerology. The muses have been assigned numbers by their sculptor, as opposed to names, which gave the inspiration for numeric play. The piece uses Egyptian, Indian, and Italian music to explore the unidentified pre-Columbian origins of the stone muses. The site-specific nature of the dance made it dependent upon the The Nine Muses, instead of using them as mere background. Instead, the sculpture encompassed the body and purpose of the entire piece. Many thanks to The Outlet Dance Project for making the vision and support for this project possible.

Motion-Induced Blindness
Premiered July 2009

This piece plays with themes of deception and illusionism to create a surreal and magical sense of dreamlike contemplation on one of life's deepest mysteries, perception. Perception is very interesting in regard to the human condition since we may often find our brains playing tricks on us. The dancers explore perception through optical illusions, or visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. Similarly, many times we may feel so emotionally attached to something that reality becomes misconstrued and we see a self-induced interpretation of reality instead of the objective fact. The piece also simulates the difficulty that individual perception can add to life's struggles. From bound rope, to alluring fabric, this piece reveals what can and cannot be seen by one's interpretation of reality.

Positive Manifestation
Premiered March 2009

This piece was inspired by the exciting change in our country with President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. Although times may seem uncertain with the economy in recession and continued occupation in Iraq, the most important thing to stay focused on is the positive light the President brings his citizens. The catch phrase "Yes We Can" manifests positive energy to those who believe in a stronger nation. The energy that we manifest everyday produces change. When we see things that cannot be expressed in words, or through moving bodies in dance, we are taken to a new and inspiring place for change. Positive Manifestation is a celebration for all those excited to make a real change in our country in years to come so we can continue to be proud Americans.

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The Grass is Always Greener
Premiered January 2009

A duet co-choreographed with Heather Favretto that explores the boundaries of gender and the simple idiom of "can't live with them, can't live without them." This piece is a dance short that brings comedic slapstick to movement. The dancers embody a couple's last thoughts before they walk down the aisle. The bride and groom consider all the things that drive them crazy about each other, only to find out that this is worth it in the end.

Progressive Transformation
Premiered January 2009

A quartet that explores the need for change and reform within our nation's social, economic, and political infrastructure. The "peace" examines the social disconnect between big business and the small man. Performed to the politically charged music of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, the movement brings to life a reality that has hurt our culture both economically and socially. The BIG MAN may call the shots, yet the small man reflects the laborious tasks of the workforce. Although he is taken advantage of time and time again, the small man is so humble that all he can say is "Thank You" for an opportunity. In times as economically challenging as this, the thoughts and dreams of the small man are held more valuable than the deep pockets of the BIG MAN.

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  Untitled Document
Check Us Out

AIE is excited to share this professional development opportunity presented by the New Jersey Arts Education Collective! The Collective will present a day of workshops, panels, and discussions to interested teaching artists, arts administrators, and school teams for a deeper understanding of arts integration. Come experience the innovative work being done across the state and learn to create opportunities for arts integration in your practice!

Wed, March 7th @ 9am-4pm
(Breakfast & Registration @ 8:30-9am)

NJPAC Center for Arts Education
24 Rector Street, Newark, NJ 07102

Who should attend? Teaching Artists, Arts Administrators, Teachers, School Administrators, Community Partners interested in Arts Integration

Registration Fee: $20 (includes lunch)

Registration Now Open!



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© 2017 nikki manx dance project

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.