About the Dances
Artistic Director Jennifer Bassage Bonfil’s debut piece for The Wooden Floor celebrates individuality and uniqueness through dynamic shifts, circular motifs, and the juxtaposition of structure and disorder. The dancers showcase their distinct strengths as they confidently perform both in unison and independently, highlighting each dancer’s extraordinary influence on the ensemble. With much of the original movement generated by the dancers themselves, the work is fueled by a youthful physicality and athleticism. This energetic piece is set to an original score composed by Patrick Vargas and Brian Wood.
Choreographer John Heginbotham’s new work focuses on distance and perspective. It is about the relatively large, like the Milky Way galaxy – our home – and the relatively small, like the planet Earth, North America, California, Orange County, 1810 North Main Street, ourselves, our cells – also our home. Drawing inspiration from NASA’s 1977 Voyager Program, which launched two unmanned spacecraft to explore our solar system (and beyond), this project considers the idea of the pale blue dot on which we live, where everything happens – including dance. Accompaniment by members of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Choreographer Keely Garfield’s piece, Spoondrift, is the spray of seawater swept from the canopy of waves that is propelled by strong winds. Similarly, the dance surges forth in an oceanic flow of perpetual motion, boosting streams of related activity into the atmosphere. Wave upon wave of inventive movement erupts and wanes, capsizes and rolls, drifts and darts, seeking the path of least resistance. In this sense, the dancers harness the power of working collectively to create harmony and counter the undertow. As it takes myriad drops of individual water to create the ocean, Spoondrift celebrates unity while lifting each dancer’s uniqueness. Original music by Jeff Berman underscores the dance with percussive soundscapes and lyrical twists.
About the Choreographers
Jennifer Bassage Bonfil is a respected Southern California-based modern dancer, dance maker, and dance educator and serves as The Wooden Floor’s Artistic Director. Jennifer earned her BFA from Chapman University in Dance Performance and a MA in Dance Education through the University of Northern Colorado. Jennifer was as a founding company member of Orange County’s critically acclaimed Backhausdance from 2003 to 2016 and performed in over 15 original works, touring nationally and internationally. Jennifer is an adjunct professor and lecturer who has taught at Chapman University, California State University Long Beach, Santa Ana Community College, and West Coast Conservatory of Ballet. Chapman University awarded Jennifer the Distinguished Alumni Award, and California State University, Fullerton recognized Jennifer at their annual Honor an Educator event, both in 2022.
John Heginbotham is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer, and teacher. John graduated from The Juilliard School with a BFA in Dance, and was awarded the Martha Hill Prize for Sustained Achievement in Dance. John was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1998 to 2012, performing lead roles in several productions, and has toured across the United States and abroad alongside artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yo-Yo Ma, Zakir Hussain, and many others. John received a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. In addition to his work with his dance company Dance Heginbotham, John is active as a freelance choreographer including for Netflix’s hit series Umbrella Academy, The Washington Ballet, and Daniel Fish’s highly-acclaimed production of Oklahoma!, which won a 2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. John’s growing list of opera commissions include work for San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, Dutch National Opera and many others.
Keely Garfield, a native of London, England, is based in New York City. Her company, Keely Garfield Dance (KGD) has been widely commissioned and presented at theaters and festivals nationally and internationally, garnering several Bessie awards and nominations. A spirit of philosophical investigation and compassionate concern continues to shape Keely’s path as an artist and is central in her creative endeavor. She has also made work for other modern dance companies, theater, musicals, ballet, film, MTV, site-specific projects, schools and universities. Her most recent work, The Invisible Project, premiered at NYU Skirball in March 2023. Keely is a Guggenheim Fellow, holds an MFA from UWM, and teaches at The New School. Alongside her artistic career, Keely is currently a hospital chaplain working in end-life, and trauma. Spoondrift is Keely’s second project with The Wooden Floor.