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Tzveta Kassabova and Friends to Transform the Dance Theatre April 8–9

March 21, 2016

Guest Dance Performers Will Include Elena Demyanenko and Jennifer Nugent


“Wonderfully imaginative use of the theater…”—New York Times

“Less human beings and more magical creatures dropped in from a world infinitely gentler and wilder than ours.”—Dance Enthusiast


Middlebury, VT—The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series will present Assistant Professor of Dance Tzveta Kassabova—named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, and a recipient of five Metro DC Dance Awards—as she leads an evening of vibrant new dance works at the Mahaney Center for the Arts April 8–9. The performance will transform the theater using raw dance vocabulary, a fascinating visual landscape, and half a mile of rope. The works have been created in collaboration with renowned performers Paul Matteson ’00 (Five Colleges), Elena Demyanenko (Bennington College), and Jennifer Nugent (Amherst College).

The program will open with Kassabova’s newly crafted group work, “Of this world of ours,” which attempts to make sense of the world we live in and the relationships we experience. Set in a visually stunning, meditative environment constructed of half a mile of rope, the work is inspired by the poem “Songs of Childhood” by Peter Handke.

The second half of the program will feature “Suneaters,” a movement trio for Demyanenko, Kassabova, and Nugent with an original sound score by Nick Brooke. Characterized by a disassemblage of body parts, near misses, and over exposure, this work is an idiosyncratic meeting space for dance artists with distinctive backgrounds, behaviors, languages, and cultures. The work began as a collaboration between three professional artists (Demyanenko, Kassabova, and Matteson) who met in New York City about a decade ago, and are now teaching at small liberal arts colleges in New England. Their work takes pride in being physical and demanding while also to connecting empathetically with the audience. Viewers will find the work athletic, personal, and visually stimulating.

About Tzveta Kassabova

TzvetaKassabova-photoAlanKimaraDixon5.pngKassabova is a Bulgarian born choreographer, costume designer, and installation artist who was named among the “Top 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2012. She has incredibly wide-ranging interests: she holds three masters degrees and has been a gymnast, a physicist, and a meteorologist. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Middlebury College. As a dancer, Tzveta has been part of Ed Tyler, PearsonWidrig DanceTheater, and David Dorfman Dance companies, and has performed in works by Joshua Bisset, Maida Withers, Nancy Bannon, Maurice Fraga, Zoltan Nagy, Netta Yerushalmy, Bill Young, and Colleen Thomas, among others. Her work as a choreographer has been presented both in the US and Europe.

Kassabova is fascinated by the concept of space, and addresses it in both choreography and design. “I view dance as a visual art form and it is this belief that informs my creative process. To me, the clarity and detail of the visual environment serves as an invitation for the audience, emphasizing the images and feelings that the dance evokes. I incorporate costumes, projections, and installations that provoke the audience to re-examine their perception of movement, its context, and emotional qualities.”

About Kassabova’s Collaborators

Russian-born Elena Demyanenko is a choreographer and performer now based in New York City. She has worked with dance luminaries Stephen Petronio, Trisha Brown, and Martha Clarke. Her latest work is built around the intricacies of relationships.

Dancer Jennifer Nugent has performed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company and David Dorfman Dance, receiving a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for her work in the company. She is now a teaching artist at Smith and Amherst Colleges.

Choreographer Paul Matteson was an undergraduate dance major at Middlebury College and received an M.F.A. in Choreography from Bennington College. He has performed with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, David Dorfman Dance, and Race Dance, receiving a New York Dance and Performance award (Bessie) for his “Body of Work” in 2002.

Other collaborators include dancers Joey Loto, Lacey Moore, Emma Geisdorf, and Keanu Brady; projections by Scotty Hardwig, and lighting design by Michael Gianitti.


Tzveta Kassabova and Friends will perform on Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9, 2016, at 8:00 PM each evening in the Dance Theatre of the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts. The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south/S. Main Street. Free parking is available curbside on Rt. 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot, in rows marked faculty/staff/visitors. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $15 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, and emeriti; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to Free parking is available. For tickets or information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to


Photo credits:

(top right and top center) Choreographer and Dancer Tzveta Kassabova, photo Scotty Hardwig

(second from top) Choreographer and Dancer Tzveta Kassabova, photo Alan Kimara Dixon

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax