Bill Young / Colleen Thomas and co.
... reach toward the outermost extremes of physical dance - the movements topple over each other with the intensity and urgency of a white-water rapid - while forging a choreographic world full of emotional range and power. At once abstract and intensely felt, the dancing springs from an investigation of the immediacy of human interactions on stage, and a fascination with the inherent character and expressive power of the purely physical impulse.
Noted for its impact across cultural boundaries, the Company's work has spoken to audiences the world over - from Estonia, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary to Portugal, Taiwan, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela. The impact of the company's overseas exchanges has now become evident in the make-up of this truly international group of dancers - which has included in recent years artists from Greece, Germany, Capo Verde, Venezuela, Albania, and China.
“Daring, eccentric... the sensuality, the tenderness, the sense of adventure seem intrinsic to the moment and anchored to life.” – Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice
"extreme dance theater of the absurd" – Eva Yaa Asantewaa, The Village Voice
(winner of Guggenheim and NY Foundation for Arts Awards) discovered dance through contact improvisation while studying music at Oberlin College. He showed early work in San Francisco while dancing with Margaret Jenkins, and later moved to New York City where he danced with Douglas Dunn, Randy Warshaw, and Merce Cunningham (on video).
In 1988 he established Bill Young and Dancers, which has been presented in New York City at the Joyce Theater, DTW, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, PS 122, Movement Research, Symphony Space and the 92nd St. Y (among others), and on repeated international tours, including performances in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Canada, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela.
Now an international group of artists (with recent and current dancers hailing from the US, Greece, Germany, Africa, China, Albania and Venezuela), the company has received support from the Guggenheim Foundation, NYSCA, the NEA, New York Foundation for the Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the Mary Duke Biddle, Joyce Mertz-Gilmore, Harkness and Greenwall Foundations, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Artslink, the Suitcase Fund, the State Dept., the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Bill has created over 70 works; his commissions include new works for the Estonian National Opera Ballet, the Zenon Dance Company, Bratislava Dance Theater, the Madach Theater (Budapest), DanceArt Hong Kong, the Core Performance Group (Atlanta), the Wildspace Dance Company (Milwaukee), Compagnie de Danse L'Astragale (Montréal), Teória de Gravedad (Mexico), and Pennsylvania Dance Theater. He has taught in Universities and Festivals in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and has served as a panelist for Artslink, DTW, ACDFA and NYFA.
is a New York based choreographer and performing artist. She began her professional career with the Miami Ballet and went on to work with renowned contemporary choreographers such as Nina Wiener Dance Company, Donald Byrd/The Group, Bebe Miller Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and The Kevin Wynn Collection among others. In 1997 a creative collaboration with Bill Young evolved into an intimate company focused on rigorous physicality and dynamic partnering. Their work has been seen throughout the U.S, Europe, Asia, and South America. Now interested in focusing on illuminating her vision of contemporary work, Thomas has formed ColleenThomasDance. Thomas has presented her work in Hong Kong, Estonia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, and Russia and in New York at Joyce Soho, Danspace Project, Dance New Amsterdam, The Miller Theater, Danny K. Playhouse, and The Kumble Arts Center, as well as at Cal State Long Beach, East Carolina University, and Minneapolis at the Ritz Theater, Southern Theater, and The New Guthrie.
Thomas received her BA in psychology from SUNY Empire State College and her MFA in Dance from University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus, The New School, Barnard College, Skidmore College, and Bates College. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College of Columbia University.