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Beth Sorensen
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Nationally acclaimed dancer-choreographer creates new site-specific dance at

Heidi Duckler's residency at Reed College will culminate with the creation of a site-specific dance and a public performance through the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art

PORTLAND, OR (March 31, 2005) – Nationally renowned dancer-choreographer Heidi Duckler, a former Reed College student, and founder, artistic director, and choreographer of the Collage Dance Theatre (CDT) of Los Angeles, will begin a short-term residency at Reed College beginning in September 2005.

Her residency will culminate in the creation of a site-specific dance performance created by Ms. Duckler and with the participation of Reed College students. Her performance and residency are made possible by Patricia Wong, a Reed College dance professor, and recent recipient of a, $8,000 National College Choreography Initiative from Dance/USA. In addition, Reed College will work with the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) to make the performance resulting from her residency open to the general public.

Heidi Duckler’s work with site-specific pieces has established her reputation as an innovator in dance in California. A site-specific performance takes place in a location other than a stage theater. Generally, these events are designed to fit a specific location, and respond conceptually to that space, fusing the location of the performance with the movement of the dance. The movement of the piece often takes inspiration from the objects in the space, and the shape of the space itself. Some of Heidi Duckler’s past site-specific performances were staged in the Ambassador Hotel, the Herald Examiner Building, and the Los Angeles’ Historic Subway Terminal Building. Her company’s goal is to public art truly public. They draw heavily on the history, community, and architecture of each performance site.

Tracing her influences from Dada to the Fluxus artists of the 1960s, Ms. Duckler’s past performances have transformed everyday objects and places into art through dance. She writes that, through her unique blend of location, movement, and interpretation, "I choreograph not only dancers, but site, artifact, function and audience as well."

Dance Magazine - "Duckler is a choreographer of site dance at its most original and compelling." Dramalogue - "Duckler paces her vignettes flawlessly, contrasting beautifully patterned surreal abstractions with farcical pantomimed chores."

Los Angeles Times - "Heidi Duckler, the reigning queen of L.A. site-specific dance-performance, is one choreographer who really cooks."

Her residency at Reed College will introduce students to the process involved in creating a performance to fit a non-traditional space. "Reed students will help choose the performance site and then work with Heidi and her company, Collage Dance Theater, learning new strategies for developing movement material and then shaping it to respond to the environment in which it will be performed," explains Patricia Wong. It is a unique opportunity for Reed students to work with a professional choreographer, to learn new methods of movement, and to ascertain how the environment can influence the overall impression of performance. "This promises to be a rich and exciting experience for Reed dancers," addsWong.

Heidi Duckler has been performing site-specific work throughout Southern California since 1987. She received her B.S. in Dance in 1975 from the University of Oregon, and her M.A. in Dance in 1985 from the University of California, Los Angeles. For more information on Heidi Duckler, visit .


Reed College
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit .