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“Before the Demolition” is a duet choreographed by Kellie Harmon and performed by Harmon and Helen Hansen French.
This evocative duet was made in response to visual artist Cassia Kite’s “sound stitching” work, titled “Pot Luck Dinner at Longboat Key Center for the Arts”.
Artist Kite translates color into a series of notes. New Renaissance Artist Elizabeth A. Baker used these notes as inspiration to create an original musical composition for the dance piece.
“Before the Demolition” premiered at St. Pete Opera as part of a program featuring new works in dance and music. It was later performed at the Museum of Fine Arts in conjunction with the Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration exhibit, where “Pot Luck Dinner at Longboat Key Center for the Arts” was on view.
Photographed at St. Pete Opera during a rehearsal.
photos by Tom Kramer
Kellie Harmon is a powerhouse of athleticism paired with the artistic sensibility for nuanced isolations. Her choreography has a unique ability to bring the audience on a emotional, educational and spiritual journey that causes them to question the boundaries of expression through the body.
Kellie has choreographed and taught master classes for Santa Fe College, St Petersburg College and The University of South Florida St Petersburg campus. Kellie is the founder of the St. Petersburg company, Rogue Dance. She’s also a founding member of the St Petersburg Dance Alliance, which seeks to curate professional dance in the Southeast.
Kellie has studied in Paris and holds a BFA in Modern Dance from University of South Florida. She has performed works from Jacqulyn Buglisi, Doug Varone, Marina Mascarell Martinez, Paul Selwyn Norton, Rosie Herrera, Stephanie Batten-Bland and Doug Gillespie.
Helen Hansen French, a native of St. Petersburg, Florida received her BFA from The Juilliard School. Upon graduation she was invited to join Buglisi Dance Theatre, where is she rose to principal dancer and served as rehearsal director.
In addition to BDT’s annual New York City seasons she has toured nationally and internationally performing in such venues as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Chautauqua Dance Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, Rishon LeZion International Festival in Israel and the Oriente Occidente Festival in Rovereto, Italy. Mrs. French has been instrumental in staging BDT’s works at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pieve International School in Italy, North Carolina Dance Theater, and numerous colleges and universities through out the United States.
As a choreographer and movement maker, Mrs. French focuses on collaborations and exploring the relationship between dance and other art forms. In support of these endeavors she has been awarded a 2015, 2016 and 2017 Individual Artist Grant from the City of St. Petersburg and she was a 2016 Creative Pinellas Artist Fellow.
Helen is deeply committed to arts education and developing the next generation of artists as well as contributing to the community in which she lives. She is a founding member of the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance, co-producer of Beacon: A Performance series for St. Pete (January 12, 2018 at The Palladium), and Interim Executive Director of Rogue Dance.
In addition to teaching dance to all ages Mrs. French is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher. She has served on the dance faculties at George Mason University, The Juilliard School, Flint Hill School (VA), the Neighborhood Playhouse (NYC), John Hopkins Middle School and St. Petersburg College.