Lyra | 2018 - 2020

Post:Ballet’s newest evening-length co-production with The Living Earth Show

A concert dance, contemporary classical music, technologically-driven visual design, culinary art, and fashion performance experience featuring choreographer Vanessa Thiessen, director Robert Dekkers, and acclaimed Bay Area composer Samuel Adams, Lyra uses the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as a jumping point for an introspective exploration of the modern day human condition.

Together with The Living Earth Show, Post: and the collaborating artists are creating an immersive program that will premiere in July 2020 at The Midway. The creative material for Lyra will be built throughout 2019- catch work-in-progress showings at our Post:Workshop Sharing (August 2, 2019 @ Dance Mission Theater), Sneak Peek (July 17, 2019 @ BAMPFA), and P:B Jam (September 26, 2019 @ SOMArts Cultural Center).

Christian Squires, photo by Daniel O’Neill

Christian Squires, photo by Daniel O’Neill

Core Collaborators

Vanessa Thiessen, choreographer

Vanessa Thiessen is Resident Choreographer for Post:Ballet, where she has created works including Junction and Lavender Country, which was recently nominated for Best Dance Performance by SF Classical Voice. Together with Robert Dekkers, she has co-choreographed works for Grand Rapids Ballet and Post:Ballet. She's assisted KT Nelson in the creation of works for Sacramento Ballet, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, RAWdance, Owen/Cox Dance Group, LEVYdance, and Opera Parallèle. She danced with ODC Dance, Smuin Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Post:Ballet, and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery. Vanessa resides in Portland, Oregon, and teaches at Reed College, Northwest Dance Project, BodyVox, and Oregon Performing Arts School.

Robert Dekkers, director

Named “25 To Watch” by DANCE Magazine, Robert Dekkers is founder and artistic director of Post:Ballet. Collaborating with eclectic artists to create choreography that is “anything but risk averse” (SF Chronicle), Robert’s work has been presented at SF International Arts Festival, Tanzsommer Festival (Vienna), Ballet Builders Showcase (NYC), Against the Grain (Seattle), and WestWave Dance Festival (SF). Recent commissions include Kansas City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, sjDANCEco, Smuin Ballet, Quixotic/Fusion, Grand Rapids Ballet (with co-choreographer Vanessa Thiessen), and Diablo Ballet, where he was resident choreographer from 2013-2018. He danced professionally with Ballet Arizona, ODC/Dance, Company C Contemporary Ballet, and Diablo Ballet, where he was nominated for an Isadora Duncan award for “Outstanding Performance- Individual” in 2013. Robert is also Director of Choreography for Art Haus, a Playa performance group whose first production featured a reimagined Rite of Spring with full orchestra and over 40 performers at Burning Man 2017. Last year, Art Haus presented his work We, Human, and this summer, will present his new Firebird on Playa. In 2017, Robert was appointed artistic director of Berkeley Ballet Theater, where he is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of movers and shakers. He also holds a degree in business from Rio Salado College.

The Living Earth Show, co-producers

Called “outstanding” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “transcendent” by the Charleston City Paper, and “a fully distorted perpetual motion of awesome” by I Care If You Listen, The Living Earth Show (guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson) is a megaphone and canvas for some of the world’s most progressive artists. One of the premiere contemporary chamber arts ensembles in the United States, The Living Earth Show received the grand prize in the SAVVY Chamber Arts Competition and runner-up in the open division of the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, has commissioned and premiered over 60 new works by some of the most vital composers in the world, released two critically acclaimed albums, and has performed, lectured, and given masterclasses across the country.

Post:Ballet, co-producers

Post:Ballet was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Robert Dekkers, named “25 to Watch” by DANCE Magazine after the company’s inaugural seasonwith a vision to experiment with eclectic artists, using dance as a means for creative expression that takes chances, pushes boundaries, and challenges social norms. Dekkers’ and Resident Choreographer Vanessa Thiessen’s collaborative approach to dance making gives all of the artists involved the opportunity to share in the investigation and contribute to the development of a new work, resulting in productions that are “decidedly daring and always beautifully performed” (SF Arts Monthly). Integrating the company’s classically trained dancers with diverse artists including composers, animators, architects, cinematographers, fashion designers, and sculptors, Post:Ballet’s collaborations range from intensely intimate to wildly conceptual. Critical Dance exclaimed that Post:Ballet’s “choreography and artistic collaborations are risky and challenging, yet they still cling to traditional technique in a very unique and genuine way.” Post:Ballet’s dancers have been nominated for three Isadora Duncan Awards in “Outstanding Performance,” and the company’s artists have developed a reputation for being “among the finest on the West Coast” (SF Chronicle).

Lyra is supported in part by New Music USA and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation