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xyz nyc: chain creation


About the Show

xyz: chain creation is a new twist on xyz nyc, The Tank's successful choreographic laboratory/reality tv show mash-up dance series. Instead of getting one week to create a brand-new dance, two groups of dancers have had three months to collaboratively create longer work. Like xyz nyc, the creators are required to follow certain open-ended choreographic rules, but have free reign beyond that. The series is called "chain creation" because the current participants will create the new rules and nominate the new artists for the following session and next performance.

The Rules for the second chain creation session are:

  • The dance must contain three images that come from a famous dance. 
  • The dance must contain a foreign language.
  • The dance must create an expectation, then break it.

Since the performance is a double bill with two groups who have the same rules to work with, the show offers the unique opportunity to compare and contrast how different groups of artists interpret different open-ended choreographic requirements. 

Group A:
Henry Holmes
Victoria Ianuzzi

Group B:
Katie Cowdery
Sydney Schiff
Robert Olsen
Philip Foster
Kaveh Haghtalab
John Murchison

About Group A Artists

Henry Holmes grew up near Madison, Wisconsin where he earned his BFA and a Computer Science minor from the University thereof. Now living in New York, he’s been featured for an Emerging Choreographer Series at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, LIC and as co-recipient of a Queens SPARC grant he’s an artist-in-residence alongside dancer/choreographer Hillary Ramos at a Ridgewood senior center. His choreography, usually collaborative, has been presented at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin Science Festival, American College Dance Festival, Columbia College Chicago and Lawrence University. He also produced "a Status Book” in 2014 as an experimental choreographic project for the web. A local paper said his work "epitomized UW’s idea of the thinking dancer.” Get in touch with Henry at; he’s always looking for the next best way to shake things up.

Victoria Iannuzzi was born and raised in Marlton, NJ, receiving her early dance training at Triplett Dance Academy. She then went on to receive her BFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin: Madison. As a student, she had the privilege to perform the works of Bill T. Jones, Li Chiao-Ping, Kate Corby, Kun- Yang Lin, Susan Marshall, Pamela Pietro, Bill Young, Marlene Skog, Chris Walker, and Jin-Wen Yu. Victoria is thrilled to be able to now share her passion for dance and yoga with children, while also currently performing with KICKSTANDcollaborative.

About Group B Artists

Robert Olsen is an inventor, designer, custom finish carpenter, and entrepreneur. Mr. Olsen graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1970 with his senior project being the Parsons Cube, which received publicity in a half-page article in the New York Times, was seen on the “What’s My Line” TV show, and was patented in the U.S. within a year. There is a U.S. Information Agency movie that was seen in 83 countries and that can be seen on YouTube. In 1971, Mr. Olsen graduated from the NYU School of Education. As the Design Director on a Signs and Decal project for the New York Transit Authority in the 1980’s, Mr. Olsen worked on the 50 ft. aluminum ring and the large figure 8 signage on the subway concourse at 599 Lexington Avenue, those being the most notable of many lighted sign projects in which Mr. Olsen participated. A mahogany lounge chair with waterfall designed by Mr. Olsen was given the Hammacher Schlemmer Personal Care Invention of the Year award in 1996. In 1997, Mr. Olsen and his partner started Sci-bore, a business that manufactured high-carbon steel tubes for the aerospace industry. Mr. Olsen’s most recent patent is for the Puzzle Cube, a play form that contains over 14 different functional seating possibilities.

Katie Cowdery is originally from Portland, OR and holds a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout the years she has performed works by Jose Limon, Sara Procopio, Brian Sanders, Curt Haworth, and Christopher Huggins. Her additional training has been from the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Northwest Professional Dance Project, and the Batsheva Dance Company intensive. This is Katie's first time presenting work at The Tank. 

Sydney Schiff, originally from Washington, D.C., graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in History of Science and a Certificate in Dance and is now an NYC-based freelance dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director of Sydney Schiff Dance Project. Choreographic highlights include: Eugene Onegin (Guest Artist, Princeton 2012), CHALOM: A Dream Opera (NYFringe 2012) and Dry Bones: Resurrection of the Living (NYC 2013-2015, presenters include: Judson, Ramath Orah, JCC, Dixon Place, ITE, Norte Maar, Green Space). She was a 2012-2013 Arts Fellow at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and in August 2014 she was a resident artist at Dance Omi International Dance Collective. Performance highlights include: Patricia Hoffbauer, Silas Riener, Emily Faulkner, Eva Dean Dance and H.T. Chen. She is currently an apprentice with ZviDance and a member of Drye/Marinaro and Sarah Berges dance companies.

Philip Ellis Foster (percussion) studied piano and gave his first concert about age eight. He renewed his musical interests with David Darling and then participated in a music improv group organized by Don Conreaux and played percussion with Karl Berger’s Improviser’s Orchestra. Foster founded the Open Music Ensemble in 2006 and has organized, led and participated in numerous Ensemble performances since. The Ensemble is happy to present concerts and special programs and to collaborate in dance performances. See

Kaveh Haghtalab is an Iranian kamancheh (Persian spike fiddle) player and drummer. He grew up listening to his parents performing Persian classical music. At the age of 14, he began to perform on the kamancheh with various music ensembles at concerts and festivals in Iran. Subsequently he was selected to become a member of "The Center For Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music". Kaveh has also performed as a drummer, and as such worked with several groups in Iran and US. He plays the kamancheh and percussion with, and is an Associate Member of, the Open Music Ensemble.

John Murchison is a Brooklyn-based bassist. He has a hand in many of the various music scenes of NYC, moving fluidly from jazz and avant-garde, to musical theater, to traditional musics from Africa and the Middle East. As a result, his playing style can draw from a wide variety of influences such as straight ahead jazz, Arabic maqam, Moroccan Gnawa music, and post tonal melodies. John is an Associate Member of the Open Music Ensemble.

Earlier Event: February 21
Later Event: February 27
Seconds Away From Disaster