Insightful and Irreverent
— Ann Haskins, LA Weekly
Chaplin-Like
— Travis Michael Holder, Backstage West

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Pick of the Week: HECKLE

Pick of the Week: HECKLE

TDE Asks: NYC Movers and Shakers

TDE Asks: NYC Movers and Shakers

Building New Audiences with Jamie

Building New Audiences with Jamie

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Dancers Share the Subway in all its... Charm

Dancers Share the Subway in all its... Charm

When Fun and Performance get a Platform

When Fun and Performance get a Platform

EP 14: Finding Your Intersection

EP 14: Finding Your Intersection

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New Performance Series at the Transit Museum

New Performance Series at the Transit Museum

Dance Collective to Perform in NY Subway System

Dance Collective to Perform in NY Subway System

Make Em Laugh: Triskelion's 5th Annual Comedy Fest

Make Em Laugh: Triskelion's 5th Annual Comedy Fest

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Always Growing, Open to Change

Always Growing, Open to Change

Fix Top 6 Posture Mistakes

Fix Top 6 Posture Mistakes

"United" Review (5 Stars)

"United" Review (5 Stars)

"Wild Art" Features "Bowel Movement"

"Wild Art" Features "Bowel Movement"

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Arts Beat

Arts Beat

Best Moments in Dance 2012

Best Moments in Dance 2012

Dance, Despite All

Dance, Despite All

Whats So Funny

Whats So Funny

Oregon Native Return to Direct

Oregon Native Return to Direct

Dancers Get In Line for "Le Grand Continental"

Dancers Get In Line for "Le Grand Continental"

"Bowel Movement" Plays at Comedy Fest

"Bowel Movement" Plays at Comedy Fest

White Bird Aims for Biggest Dance Event

White Bird Aims for Biggest Dance Event

Dancers Step From Many Walks of Life

Dancers Step From Many Walks of Life

Short List: "Le Grand Continental"

Short List: "Le Grand Continental"

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Dance As It Has Never Been Seen.

Dance As It Has Never Been Seen.

Human  Swiffer Sweeps the Stage

Human  Swiffer Sweeps the Stage

No Wonder It Tastes Like Leather

No Wonder It Tastes Like Leather

Dance Inspired By Riding LA Buses

Dance Inspired By Riding LA Buses

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Masters of Spontaneity at LA Improv Fest

Masters of Spontaneity at LA Improv Fest

Rudy Don't Fail

Rudy Don't Fail

"The Boys in the Band" Review

"The Boys in the Band" Review

Wow! "Boys in the Band"

Wow! "Boys in the Band"

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Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble

Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble

Space, Movement & Rudy Perez

Space, Movement & Rudy Perez

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Mobile Melting Pot

Mobile Melting Pot

Public Transit Dramatized Through  Dance

Public Transit Dramatized Through  Dance

"Go Metro" at  Highways

"Go Metro" at  Highways

"Surrender Dorothy" at Highways

"Surrender Dorothy" at Highways

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Bathroom Follies!

Bathroom Follies!

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Shag With a Twist

Shag With a Twist

Pas De Mort

Pas De Mort

Shag With a Twist

Shag With a Twist

Press Releases

April 28, 2013 PRESS RELEASE
DANCE, ENTERTAINMENT, ART, COMMUNITY

Dance Creates New Community Out of Thin Air, Again 

Images By Bonny Kahane

Non-Dancer Dance Collective Born From Best Performance of 2012

NEW YORK – 55 people of all creeds, shapes & ages have come together to form the Shakedown Dance Collective. Brainchild of professional dancers Deborah Lohse & Jamie Benson, the Shakedown consists of a weekly 2 hour dance class / rehearsal session wherein dance enthusiasts train & prepare for performances throughout New York City. Benson deems it to be, “a relentless dare to the masses to dance, sweat & laugh more.” With just under 2 months since it's inception, the highly inclusive dance group is already slated for 2 performances with the Dance Parade New York.

Many Shakedown dancers first met as part of last year’s Le Grand Continental, an ambitious, 30-minute contemporary line dance by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Emard. A joint presentation of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council & the Joyce Theater, Le Grand Continental, was performed at the South Street Seaport last Summer & was a sensation; being deemed one of the “Best Moments in Dance of 2012” by New Yorker Magazine. Dance Instructors Deborah Lohse & Jamie Benson, who led the teaching of the event, saw a need for a continuing dance happening for the general public & formed the Shakedown to that end.

Deborah Lohse has been creating live performance since 2007. Her work has been presented at The Clark Theater at Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Joyce SoHo, Joe’s Pub, Dixon Place and Dance New Amsterdam. Born and raised in California, Lohse received degrees in dance and theater from the University of California, San Diego. She performed in the work of the Sacramento Ballet, the San Diego Ballet, and Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and currently performs with Doug Elkins. As an educator, Lohse has worked closely with the Lincoln Center Institute, Dance New Amsterdam and Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech and has been a guest artist at universities and schools including North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Purdue University, Milwaukee Ballet and Tahoe Youth Ballet.

Jamie Benson, proclaimed as “one of the strongest, hottest contemporary dancers of his generation" by L.A. Times dance critic Lewis Segal, is a dancer, choreographer & Alumnus of Cornish College of Art. Heralded as "Chaplin-like” by Back Stage West, Benson first garnered critical attention originating the role of “Eldon” in LATC’s Ovation award winning production of Shag with a Twist. Benson has performed in the film Rent, McDonald's Mario Art commercial, Rei Aoo's Dance Planet, on the T.V. series Dance360 & as a member of the Rudy Perez Ensemble. In L.A., Jamie Benson instructed at Gold's Gym, Fancy Feet Studio, the Pasadena Academy & an after-school program at Los Feliz Elementary. Benson recently led over 300 dancers in both NYC & Portland, Oregon in the international line dance event Le Grand Continental.

For more information, photos & interviews, please contact Jamie Benson at 323-704-5287 or info@jamiebenson.com

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August 13, 2012 PRESS RELEASE
DANCE, ENTERTAINMENT, ART, COMMUNITY

First Male to Receive Oregon Dance Scholarship Returns Home to Direct West Coast Premiere of Le Grand Continental

Portland, OR – New York-based professional dancer & Oregon native, Jamie Benson, has accepted the position of Rehearsal Director for Le Grand Continental, an ambitious, 30-minute contemporary line dance by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Emard. Jamie Benson, the first male ever to receive a dance scholarship from the Dance Drill Coaches Association of Oregon, has since moved on to direct, produce, choreograph & dance for dozens of theatre events, commercials & films in New York, Los Angeles & Seattle. As Rehearsal Director, Benson is responsible for casting & teaching a diverse group of 150 Oregonians a wildly creative line dance. Benson says, “I have the privilege of ushering Oregon into the international community of Le Grand Continental. To share this global, dance glory with my family & home state is a real thrill.” Benson's mother & twin brother will also be dancing with him. Local dance presenter White Bird is producing this special event as a way to thank the people of Portland for supporting them for 15 years. Le Grand Continental is slated for 2pm & 4pm performances on September 30th, 2012 at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Jamie Benson, proclaimed as “one of the strongest, hottest contemporary dancers of his generation" by dance critic Lewis Segal, is a professional dancer, choreographer & Alumnus of Cornish College of the Arts. Heralded as "Chaplin-like” by Back Stage West, Benson first garnered critical attention originating the role of “Eldon” in LATC’s Ovation award winning production of Shag with a Twist in 2005. Jamie Benson has also performed in the Film Rent, McDonald's Mario Art commercial, Rei Aoo's Dance Planet, on the television series Dance360 & as a member of the Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble.

Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Emard first distinguished himself as a dancer working with renowned choreographers such as Jean-Pierre Perreault, Jo Lechay & Louise Bédard before forming Sylvain Émard Danse, in 1990. A proponent of the commingling of genres, Sylvain Émard navigates with ease from one milieu to another – film, theatre, the visual arts & opera, as seen, for example by his collaboration on Lorin Maazel’s opera 1984, directed by Robert Lepage & presented on the celebrated stage of Covent Garden in London in 2005, & again at La Scala in Milan in 2008.

White Bird is committed to bringing the best Portland-based, regional, national, & international dance companies to Portland, Oregon & to fostering the growth of dance in the region. Each year they present 12 companies from around the world & commission new works from Portland-based choreographers.

For more information, photos & interviews, please contact Jamie Benson at 323-704-5287 or info@jamiebenson.com

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March 7, 2012 PRESS RELEASE
DANCE, ENTERTAINMENT, ART, COMMUNITY

Choreographer Presents The Satirical Ballet “Bowel Movement” In an Attempt To Disgust & Delight Every Man, Woman & Child. 

Jamie Benson Brings the Entertainment & Fine Arts Communities Together While Carving Out a New Dance Niche.

NEW YORK, NY – Choreographer Jamie Benson & Fashion Designer Andrae Gonzalo present the satirical ballet Bowel Movement as part of Triskelion Arts’ 3rdAnnual Comedy in Dance Festival. Designed to confront one of the last taboos of man, Bowel Movement depicts a nightmarish dreamscape wherein a very refined lady battles her darkest fear, her own excrement. Frustrated with the Los Angeles dance scene, Benson recently moved to New York to carve out his own dance niche somewhere in between the realms of entertainment, fine art & experimental performance. This curated six-night festival will showcase 29 works by an arsenal of some of the funniest choreographers bringing on an assault of the goofy, daring, & not-so-serious sensibilities we all secretly crave. Detailed festival schedule at www.triskelionarts.org/comedy-in-dance-festival-2012

  • Title: “Bowel Movement” (as part of Triskelion Arts’ 3rd Annual Comedy in Dance Festival)
  • When: 8pm / Thursday, April 12th & Friday, April 13th, 2012
  • Where: Triskelion Arts Aldous Theater, 118 N. 11th St. 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11249
  • Cost: $15
  • Tickets / Reservations: info@triskelionarts.org

Jamie Benson, described as “one of the strongest, hottest contemporary dancers of his generation" by dance critic Lewis Segal, is a professional dancer, choreographer & Alumnus of Cornish College of the Arts. Benson first garnered critical attention originating the role of “Eldon” in LATC’s Ovation award winning production of Shag with a Twist in 2005. Back Stage West heralded Benson as “the most Chaplin-like” of this wordless production. Benson has also performed in the Film Rent, McDonald's Mario Art commercial, Rei Aoo's Dance Planet, on the television series Dance360 & as a member of the Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble. For more visit jamiebenson.com.

Freelance Fashion Designer, Costume Designer & Visual Artist Andrae Gonzalo first drew national attention as one of the memorable cast members from the 2nd season of Bravo's Project Runway. Today, he continues to design privately for individuals, garment manufacturers & theater events in Los Angeles & New York. Gonzalo also attended NYU's Tisch School of Arts for Theater & taught the Creative Design curriculum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. He speaks on that subject at colleges around the country. For more visit andraegonzalo.com.

Shannon Grant has performed throughout the United States & internationally with companies including Ballet de Printemps, City Ballet of San Diego, Ballet New England, Ballet Magique, Media City Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theater & in New York with BalaSole. She danced in the musical Shag With a Twist & music videos for Velvet Revolver & Avenged Sevenfold. Shannon trained with Marat Daukayev, Ruben Tonoyen & Hasmik Amirian. In New York, she continued her training with Kirill Matveev, at Steps & Ballet Arts. Shannon is also pursuing a Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Columbia University.

For more information, photos or interviews, contact Jamie Benson, Choreographer @ 323-704-5287 or info@jamiebenson.com.

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