Traverse City Dance Project is Back in Michigan for its Third Season

Eleven dancers from across the country create and perform seven new works in a limited time engagement

Traverse City, Mich., July 28, 2014 – The Traverse City Dance Project is back for its third season, bringing amazing dance to the Millken Auditorium, at the Dennos Museum Center, August 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. Artistic directors Brent Whitney and Jennifer McQuiston Lott have brought together 11 artists from across the United States to create and stage seven ballets in just three weeks.

“Traverse City is the cultural hub of northern Michigan and we are thrilled to bring this caliber of dance back to the community,” said Whitney. “Evidenced by thriving performing arts organizations such as Interlochen, Traverse City Orchestra, Parallel 45 and Traverse City Film Festival, it is clear this community loves the arts, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

The company will arrive to Traverse City on July 31st to prepare seven brilliant works including three long and four short pieces created by Traverse City dancers and guest artists. The first is “Delicate Balance” by internationally renowned choreographer, Jodie Gates. This is the first time this piece has been performed since it debuted with BalletX back in 2011. The beautiful piece is grounded in contemporary dance, but also celebrates balletic classicism – the perfect combination for all audiences.

Lott embraces her passion to act as a catalyst for the creation of new music for dance. She will choreograph a world premiere entitled “REM”, with new music by her longtime collaborator Ryan Lott, the front‐man of indie‐band Son Lux. “REM” will be performed live by critically‐acclaimed Madison, WI‐based percussion ensemble Clocks‐in‐Motion.

Whitney will also choreograph a world premiere entitled “Cloudless Goodness.” This will be played live with two pianists to music by Dvorak and make audiences think and connect with dance on a whole new level.

Finally, four short pieces will be created by the Traverse City dancers in a series called “Dance with me! The Art of the Duet” including Jeremy Zapanta, Michael Spencer Phillips, Justin Koertgen and Nicola Conraths. These pieces will be no longer than five minutes in length, are duet‐based, and are part of the Traverse City Dance Project’s initiative to develop new choreographic voices in dance.

“We’ve been impressed by the work of Jeremy, Michael, Justin and Niki, not just as dancers, but as emerging dance makers,” said Lott. “We offer them a chance to choreograph on professional dancers, in the incredibly inspiring environment of Traverse City. This is the dream of the Traverse City Dance Project, to foster a rich community of creative voices in dance, right here in Northern Michigan.”

Tickets to the show can be purchased for $20 by visiting the following website at

Dancers in the 2015 company include Jennifer McQuiston Lott, Brent Whitney, Susan Gartell, Marcia Hetrick, Dylan Keane, Seyong Kim, Cristian Laverde Koenig, Rachael Malehorn and Jeremy Zapanta. Apprentices are Marleigh Bristol & Derek Brockington.

Continued from previous seasons is the company’s apprentice program, a course to mentor talented local dance students in the Traverse City area. Throughout the three‐week period, young dancers from three local dance schools including the Interlochen Arts Academy, Dance Arts Academy and Ballet Etc. will be given the opportunity to dance among a professional company, learn and perform advanced repertory and have the chance to perform in the August production.

About Traverse City Dance Project Co‐founded in 2012 by artistic directors Brent Whitney and Jennifer McQuiston Lott, the Traverse City Dance Project’s mission is to build and stage a bold mixture of new and existing dance works, inspire and educate audiences, collaborate within the local community and to provide a creative laboratory for dancers and choreographers in beautiful northern Michigan. For more information regarding the dance project, please visit or join the discussion on Facebook (‐City‐ Dance‐Project). ###

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