Open Training begins Tuesday plus 'The Lab' at Grace & St. Paul's this Saturday

It's a big week for The Ume Group! We're kicking off our Open Training Series this Tuesday at 7p with a Butoh lesson with Yokko. Participants are then invited to stay and rehearse with The Ume Group as we begin to devise materials for our newest piece. This event is open to the community and by-donation/ pay-what-you-can. 



I'm also looking forward to moderating the talk-back immediately following The Ume Group's Lab @ Grace & St. Paul's Church- a forum for early stage performance experiments. We'll be hosting the following artists as they share their early explorations of these pieces:

-Ren Gyo Soh- Solo Dances (dance)

-Dara Malina- Adaptation of Minna Needs Rehearsal Space (other)

-Tom Nieboer- REINHARDT - The Unsavory Rise and Putrid Fall of An Uncommonly Filthy and Disreputable Youth (literature)

-Camilla Dely- of soft fissures and jagged spine (dance)

This event is free to the public and a reception will follow. Join us! 


Images from The Ume Group's Summer Physical Theatre and Devising Intensive at T Schreiber Studio

Images from the final offering of The Ume Group's Summer Physical Theatre and Devising Intensive at the T Schreiber Studio, co-taught by Keelie and Yokko. Photos by Jorge Luna

Capricho at Dixon Place

Void Theater Company is so grateful to all who came to see our newest incarnation of Capricho on June 30th at Dixon Place.

Capricho challenges performers to wrestle with their weakest links- their biggest challenges as artists. Individual struggles become group examinations as the women of Void attempt to very publicly do what they don't do best. Capricho is a dance of vulnerability and insecurity and unflattering beauty. 

Directed by Leni Mendez
Lights by Robin Dill
Including sound by Emilio Cordero Checa

Performed by:
Julia Cavagna
Clarissa Hoffmann
Rebecca Lloyd Jones
Lauren Sky
Keelie A. Sheridan

St. Padraig's Day Times Sq. Subway Ceili

I grew up in an Irish dancing family, which meant St. Padraig's day was huge in my house. My sisters and I were excused from school each year to tour New York's Capital Region with our dance school, The Wild Irish Acres School of Irish Dance, performing at assemblies, in pubs, in parks and of course at the local Ancient Order of Hibernians. We'd stop between gigs for ice cream from Stewarts (free cones if you wore green!) and corned beef & cabbage and stay out way too late for school aged kids, generally having an absolute blast. My favorite part of every performance was the ceili- a social dance where everyone's a participant. 

It's been years since I've been able to celebrate with my first dance school, but the joy of ceili has stayed very present in my mind and in my creative practice. I'm currently directing The Ceili Ensemble with The Ume Group- we're working on contemporizing the form while revering the tradition and embracing it's interactive, participatory roots- and we had a rehearsal scheduled for the 17th! It, of course, made perfect sense to bring our work to the people of NYC spending the night out celebrating Irish culture!

A simple sign explained our antics and we paused frequently to welcome onlookers and newcomers. Some stood and watched. Some filmed. Some danced. What an honor. 

It was, to be brief, a smashing success. Like magic, friends and strangers emerged from the crowd and jumped in to share the Bonfire Dance, the Bridge of Athlone and the Siege of Ennis. It was a privilege and an honor to witness the beauty of strangers coming together to enjoy music, movement and each other's presence. 

Save the date- on Friday, April 10th at 8p, The Ceili Ensemble will host a ceili at 123 W 71st St. Free to all!

And a very special thanks to Jorge Luna for the photos and video.

Chez Bushwick 24 Hour Dance Project

What a beautifully-exhaustingly-glorious weekend participating in Chez Bushwick's 24 Hour Project was. My dance partner Dominique Robinson, choreographer Kyle Marshall and I explored themes of territory and change and gentrification and Puerto Rican/ Irish ritual and tradition in a gravel lot on Harrison Pl in Bushwick in our piece, Isle of Rocks. 


We had two days of 12 hour rehearsals to conceptualize, choreograph, rehearse and perform. This format was challenging but also liberating- the time and space constraints pressure-cooked our ideas into something we probably wouldn't have discovered if we were moving at a more leisurely pace. Many thanks to the fine folk at Chez Bushwick for organizing this project and to the inspiring dancers and choreographers in the other three groups.

A Reading of 'Botte di Ferro' by Ben Gassman

Ocean becomes pizza becomes candy becomes war as a sometimes couple tries to make sense of desire and each other across a decade, new kinds of telephony, and a night in Naples where it all seems right.


A Reading of Botte di Ferro

by Ben Gassman 

directed by Mark Sitko

Cast Includes: Noel Joseph Allain, Keelie A. Sheridan, Eliza Bent, Sam Soghor and Sarah Mollo-Christensen

Thursday, May 15 @ 3PM

The New Ohio Theater

154 Christopher St. (inside the Archive Building)

A Mass for Isis- Butoh Performance

I'll be appearing as a guest artist in this upcoming performance!


The Ume Group presents

A site-specific dance ritual, drawing on butoh, yoga, gymnastics and healing movements to celebrate the animating power of the Egyptian mother goddess, Isis.

6:45pm A Moving Meditation led by Marie Putko
7:30pm Tea Reception
8:00pm Mass for Isis
featuring performances by The Ume Group Ensemble and special guests!

$25 - $30 at
Get $15 & $20 tix with Discount Code: "ISIS15"

Choreography by Jordan Rosin
The Ume Group Ensemble: Yokko, Dave Herigstad, Marie Putko, Jordan Rosin
Also featuring Rachel Kodweis, Ilanna Saltzman, Leslie Erin Roth and Keelie A. Sheridan

Grace & St. Paul's Church
123 West 71st Street, New York, NY 10023
(72nd Street on the 1, 2, 3, C, & B trains)

Since 2011, The Ume Group has been producing live events, marked by "commanding, physically impressive performances" (The Village Voice) and a "risky physical vulnerability" ( They have been seen at The New York International Fringe Festival, The Hollywood Fringe Festival, The CoolNY Dance Festival, and The Irondale Center (NY). Their major works include BUTOH ELECTRA, FACET, THE ISIS VARIATIONS along with countless short dance works and theatrical collaborations. The Group's core members come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but are all highly trained teachers and physical theatre artists, with years of experience in disciplines as far ranging as butoh and gymnastics to yoga and martial arts. 

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