Dance and Film: in your living room and the woods with California-based choreographer Alex Ketley

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Bellows Falls, VT – California-based choreographer Alex Ketley and dancer Sarah Woods will be engaged in a four week research and development residency at Vermont Performance Lab, with additional support from the Rockingham Arts & Museum Project, to explore Vermont and get to know Vermonters and their relationship to dance. On Thursday, September 11 at 7pm at the Bellows Falls Opera House, Alex Ketley will share a sneak peek of "No Hero Vermont" – a film that captures the artists' travels and adventures in dance in Vermont.

alex-ketley-eventFirst initiated in 2012, Ketley's No Hero project started when he and a dancer from his company traveled through rural parts of the West. They met with strangers in RV parks, small restaurants and their homes, videotaping discussions about the role of dance in their lives; in return for these disclosures, Ketley and his colleague danced small impromptu performances. This series of exchanges culminated in a dance film that juxtaposed the interviews with the performances danced for people in living rooms, social halls and outdoors. The San Francisco Guardian called the work "a piece of pure Americana, a tender and amusing tribute to ordinary people and the role that dance may or may not play in their lives."

Formerly a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet (1994-1998), Ketley performed a wide range of classical and contemporary repertory including the work of William Forsythe, James Kudelka, and George Balanchine. Since 1998, Ketley has choreographed an extensive array of performance and video pieces informed by his interest in the fine arts, improvisation and collaborative processes. As an independent artist, he has been commissioned to create original pieces for companies and universities throughout the United States and Europe. In 2011, his AXIS Dance Company commission of the work "To Color Me Different" was presented on the national television series So You Think You Can Dance. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three Isadora Duncan Awards and the very first Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission Award, to name only a few.

"No Hero Vermont" explores another facet of dance in America and embraces our own individual experiences of what dancing is and what it can mean in contexts outside the theater or studio. This Vermont Performance Lab residency is made possible with support from the Vermont Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and VPL's Creation Fund donors.


Vermont Performance Lab hosts Cooking with Alex!
WHEN: Wednesday, August 20 @6pm
WHAT: Join the artists Alex Ketley and dancer Sarah Woods along with 20 other dance lovers for a lively evening of meeting new people, sharing stories and dances over good California-style food and drink!
TICKETS: $25 includes dinner + VIP Ticket to September 11 Film Screening. Advance RSVP Required – Space Limited! Call VPL at 802-257-3361 or visit

Vermont Performance Lab presents No Hero Vermont
WHEN: Thursday, September 11 @7pm
WHERE: Bellows Falls Opera House, 7 The Square, Bellows Falls, VT 05101
WHAT: Join us for this informal film screening that captures surprisingly profound and moving exchanges between choreographer Alex Ketley and Vermonters through discussions and dances performed for people in their living rooms, social halls, and outdoors.
TICKETS: $5. Advance reservations made by visiting or cash only at the door.


Alex Ketley is a freelance choreographer, teacher, and the director of The Foundry, a contemporary dance company based in San Francisco. Formerly a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet (1994-1998), he performed a wide range of classical and contemporary repertory including the work of William Forsythe, James Kudelka, and George Balanchine in San Francisco and on tour throughout the world. In 1998 he left the San Francisco Ballet to co-found The Foundry in order to explore his deepening interests in choreography, improvisation, mixed media work, and collaborative process. The Foundry has produced fifteen full evening-length works that have received extensive support from the public, funders and the press, as well as a number of single-channel video pieces that have screened at international video festivals.


Vermont Performance Lab is a Guilford-based non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting artists in the creation and development of new work and bringing artistic experiences to rural Vermont communities. Since 2006 VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to elementary classrooms in Marlboro and Guilford, to youth in Brattleboro and Bellows Falls through partnerships with Youth Services and the Windham County Regional Career Center Program and various community halls and theaters including the Broad Brook Grange, the Marlboro Town House, the Bellows Falls Opera House, Marlboro College and New England Youth Theater. Last year VPL's community and education programs served more than 1,500 students, families, young professionals and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences.