Umut and Deniz

Fall Lower/Trip Spill (2016-2017)

I began work on this piece while on a creative residency in Istanbul that occurred at the same time as the US Presidential Election. Turkey was, and still is, in the midst of the politically dynamic reign of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This work responds to those political conditions through exploring different ways to embody disorientation and shifts in personal agency.

Fall Lower/Trip Spill exists as the same body of ideas explored in different manifestations with Turkish and American dancers. Three 12-20 minute sections have been created and performed in Turkey and the US.


June 20, 2017 Moda Sahnesi, Istanbul, Turkey - Solo excerpt entitled Trip Spill performed by Christiana Axelsen as part of the Karma Series: Vol 1 curated by Korhan Basaran.

February 4, 2017 The Launchpad, Carbondale, CO - Trio excerpt performed by Meg Medorin, Sumi Clements, & Christiana Axelsen as culmination of a week-long creative residency sponsored by the Dance Initiative.

November 12, 2016 Akbank Sanat Arts Center, Istanbul, Turkey - Duo excerpt performed by Deniz Sancak and Umut Sevgül as culmination of a week-long creative residency sponsored by Akbank Sanat.

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Contemporary Dance Solo #1 with Duet (2016)

This work was inspired by a google search for "contemporary dance" and the resulting videos of competitive and commercial dance. My exploration of these online materials focused on choreographic form in relation to virtuosity - the melange of styles (ballet, jazz, modern, tap) punctuated with acrobatic tricks and emotive gesture. My intent was not to replicate commercial dance, but to take inspiration from the choreographic form, place it inside a sincere ritual of live performance, and allow that dialogue to expand my practice as a contemporary artist.


February 9, 2016 DanceRoulette Festival, Roulette Center Brooklyn, NY - Duet performed by Justin Mock and Christiana Axelsen

January 29, 2016 Space Upstairs Pittsburgh, PA - Solo performed by Christiana Axelsen as culmination of a week-long creative residency.

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Tundra (2013)

Tundra was a dance theater work presented as a series of performance experiments in various venues in New York.

Inspired by mountaineering, early aviation, arctic exploration and Gaston Bachelard, Tundra was an experiment in simultaneous, yet independent, juxtaposition of dance and theater.

Tundra featured performers Andrew Champlin, Quinlan Corbett, Kyle Gerry, Kevin Ho, Kat Heverin, Maya Lawson, Chana Porter, Anna Schon, and Randall Anthony Smith; dramaturg Megan Smith and playwright Chana Porter.

Tundra was supported by 2013 Community Arts Grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council.


June 6-8, 2013 Invisible Dog Arts Center Brooklyn, NY

December 15, 2012 BAX Upstart Festival Brooklyn, NY

November 14, 2012 Irondale Center, Movement Research Open Performance Brooklyn, NY

October 20, 2012 Women in Motion Salon Series Brooklyn, NY

October 15, 2012 Dixon Place Works in Progress Series New York, NY

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Money Thinks I'm Dead (2013)

This work was Conceived by Seth Powers, Choreography by Christiana Axelsen, Developed with Heather Hollingsworth Music direction by Michael Fraioli and Seth Powers. The work was developed and performed as part of a 2012-2013 Artist Residency at Mabou Mines.

A Great American Musical reimagined in silence, rigor, and bare necessity. This choreographic theatre re-situates the commercial classic Carousel on the outskirts of post-war American culture, taking the work of Merce Cunningham, Mary Caroline Richards, Charles Olson, and other Black Mountain artists as a point of departure. The sentiment and corniness of the original production collide with the clinical, denaturing, liberating art forms of the American avant-garde of the same era, sparking a synergy of voice and body in which abstraction and intimacy can no longer be reliably told apart. The fishing outpost of Gloucester, Massachusetts is the ideal site for this secondhand story of America to be told anew, as Broadway finally meets Black Mountain.


January 25-27, 2013 Mabou Mines Theater, New York, NY


Dear Bird (2005)

Back in 2005, I was based in Seattle and made this evening-length dance work with San Francisco-based choreographer Marielle Amrhein. All communication for creation of the work occurred through writing letters. Yes real USPS kind of letters. Text spoken during performance was selected from letters written by audience members and read aloud by actor Quin Corbett.

Dear Bird was made possible by the support of a Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Bardwell Memorial Fellowship.


March 18-19, 2005 The 848 Community Space San Francisco, CA

February 22-25, 2005 The Chamber Theater Seattle, WA