ABOUT XAN + ALEX
Xan burley + alex springer...
As creative and life partners, our work is inherently and essentially collaborative. Since 2008, our cohesive efforts have taken shape as dance performance for the stage and camera, interdisciplinary work, site-specific performance, durational exhibition, and community engagement. Currently, we are Teaching Fellows at Smith College while pursuing M.F.A. degrees in Dance and Choreography with a 2020 anticipated graduation.
Our work has been presented in NYC and elsewhere by the American Dance Festival (NC), Movement Research at the Judson Church, Danspace Project’s DraftWork series, NDA’s Performance Mix Festival, Trinity College (CT), Rhode Island College (RI), the Dance Complex (MA), Boondock Film Society (NY), the Joe’s Pub Festival, the 92Y, the TANK, Triskelion Arts, MATA Interval at the Museum of the Moving Image, and Gowanus Art & Production, among others. In August 2017, as Research Fellows at Jacob’s Pillow, we were commissioned to make a new site-specific work for the Inside/Out stage. We developed for North, an evening-length interdisciplinary project, as recipients of Center for Performance Research’s inaugural Technical and Production residency in May 2016. With support from CPR’s Mertz Gilmore Late Stage Production grant, the project premiered in their theater that December. Our yearlong 2013-14 Artist Residency at University Settlement culminated in sold-out performances of JACK Rally featuring 26 performers, some of whom participated in our accompanying community engagement project. We were invited as resident artists to Cultivate New Hampshire in the summer of 2014 where we held workshops and developed and shared work in collaboration with sound/visual artist Will Owen. In 2011, we received BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s Fall Space Grant, premiering a new piece after three months in residence there.
September 2017 found us in residence for a month at the Marble House Project in Dorset, VT developing current and new work and creating a site-specific film on location. Shortly after this recuperative and productive residency, we co-presented our work in Boston at the Dance Complex with Amy Chavasse, Sarah Konner, and Austin Selden.
In addition to work for the stage, we create dances for the camera, including daylighting (2009), which won the Silver Award in DFA’s 24-Hour Challenge. An Ostrich Proudly (2011) was featured on Hulu in TenduTV’s Essential Dance Film and was the subject of a scholarly article by Priscilla Guy titled Where Is the Choreography? Who Is the Choreographer? Alternate Approaches to Choreography through Editing, included in the Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies 2016 edition. Our choreography also appears in the feature-length film Frances Ha (2013).
We have been commissioned guest artists for Smith College (MA), the University of Maryland, Zenon Dance Company (MN), the University of Michigan, Skidmore College (NY), Bates and Colby Colleges (ME), Goucher College (MD), James Madison University (VA), Ball State University (IN), Ohio University, Oakland University (MI), the Harkness Repertory Ensemble (NY), Harrison High School (MI), Cora Youth Company (NY), and The Collective (MD).
We have had the great fortune to be on faculty at the Bates Dance Festival, USDAN Summer Camp for the Arts, Purchase College, and the University of Maryland. We have offered master classes in technique, partnering, composition and improvisation at Hunter College, Muhlenberg College, DeSales University, the University of Maryland, Grand Valley State University, Albion College, and Ballet Western Reserve, among others. We have enjoyed teaching technique, partnering, and composition classes in NYC at Gibney, Mark Morris, and the Playground. In Spring of 2018, we were Teaching Artists-in-Residence at the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies where we taught Advanced Contemporary Technique, Fundamentals of Dance, and Repertory in which we collaboratively created work with a student cast. As Teaching Fellows at Smith College, we have taught Advanced Beginning and Intermediate Contemporary Technique, Advanced Beginning Ballet, and Repertory.
As performing members of Doug Varone and Dancers until 2017, we taught and performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including Korea, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, and Hungary. In addition, we have collectively and separately staged Varone’s work at SUNY Purchase, University of the Arts, West Virginia Dance Company, Grand Valley State University, the University of Richmond, George Mason University, and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
We graduated from the University of Michigan, Burley with degrees in Dance and English and Springer with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Movement Science. We were honored to receive the 2015 Emerging Artist Alumni Award from our alma mater.