Percussive Dance Preservation Project

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The Percussive Dance Preservation Project is dedicated to the support, development, and preservation of percussive dance in the United States. 

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In Concert: Cleek Schrey and Nic Gareiss

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Hosted by Allyworld, Takoma Park


Cleek Schrey and Nic Gareiss present an evening of traditional music, percussive dance, improvisation, and original composition. 

The Percussive Dance Preservation Project welcomes fiddler Cleek Schrey and percussive dancer Nic Gareiss to Washington DC for a performance at AllyWorld, the performance space at Airshow Mastering on March 18, 2016.

Schrey and Gareiss come together as members of a new generation begging new questions through traditional music and dance. Together they create seamless and simpatico duet performances engaging with fiddling and percussive dance practices from Ireland and Appalachia. Using the elements of traditional repertoire, improvisation, and experimental composition, their work foregrounds melody, sonic texture, and explores the performative possibility of traditional music and dance. 

Described by the Irish Times as “a musician utterly at one with his instrument and his music,” Cleek Schrey (hardanger d’amore) is a fiddler and composer from Virginia. An active member of traditional music communities in America and Ireland, he plays in the Ghost Trio (with Ivan Goff and Iarla Ó Lionáird) and the old-time string band Bigfoot. His work has been presented at Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Brooklyn, Storm King Art Center, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Lumen Performance Art Festival, and the Bridge Progressive Art Center. Cleek frequently makes music for dance, having worked with choreographers Douglas Dunn and Bill T. Jones and percussive dancer Sandy Silva. He has studied composition with David Behrman, Paul Caputo, Bunita Marcus, and Walter Zimmermann. The journal Sound Post has noted that Cleek “possesses a rare combination of traits: deep respect for traditional music and the people who make it, and an unbounded curiosity about new directions for sound.”  He is currently pursuing a Masters in Music Composition at Wesleyan University.

Michigan-born dancer Nic Gareiss has been hailed by the Irish Times as “the human epitome of the unbearable lightness of being,” and "the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald. His choreographic work re-imagines movement as a musical activity, recasting dance as medium that appeals to both eyes and ears. Gareiss draws from many percussive dance traditions, weaving together a dance technique facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional dance footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration. He has concertized internationally for over ten years with many of the luminaries of traditional music, including Frankie Gavin, Dervish, Bill Frisell, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Phil Wiggins, Buille, Solas, Liz Carroll, Martin Hayes, The Gloaming and The Chieftains. Nic holds a degree in Anthropology from Central Michigan University and a MA in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick.

“Nic Gareiss was joined by Virginia violinist Cleek Schrey, whose radiant sounding Hardanger fiddle gave his limber cohort a lot to work with. Gareiss combined roots in barn dances and minstrel shows with a more modern inventive style that came to the fore in an impressionistic piece starting with a whisper of a shuffle. Gradually, Schrey accelerated the tempo, practically directing the dancer’s feet with his bow while Gareiss moved like electricity was radiating out of every part of his body.” 
– Stephen Cooke, The Chronicle Herald


Allyworld at Airshow Mastering
7014-C Westmoreland Ave Takoma Park MD 20913

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