ATLAS Dance

ATLAS Dance is a contemporary dance and production company dedicated to the creation and performance of new work at the crossroads of improvisation, choreography, performance and video. Founded in 2005 by Hélène Lesterlin as a vehicle for her creative projects, ATLAS Dance aims to create work reflecting the visual and sensual complexity of the world today, braced in a time of political and social change.

ATLAS Dance is founded on the belief that the creation and performance of art, in a context of open exchange between artists and viewers, is a vital part of any community. To participate in the experience and activity of performance as an artist or a viewer is to participate in an act of faith and renewal.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR BIO

Hélène Lesterlin is a French-American artist whose work encompasses dance, video, sculpture, installation, costume and sound design. She is a director, choreographer, performer, improviser, visual artist and curator.

Hélène founded ATLAS Dance in 2005 for her independent creative and curatorial projects, and premiered the duet The Predator-Prey Equation that year. In 2006, Hélène initiated and co-curated the Gilded Pony Performance Festival, a grass-roots event produced by ATLAS Dance and held at the Arts Center of the Capital Region (Troy, NY) at which over 40 artists performed. Her current ATLAS project is a dance theater performance installation entitled Praxis which premiers in August 2007 at the HERE Arts Center (NYC).

In 2006, Hélène also co-founded ESL - the Emergent Scores Lab - with Margit Galanter and Jack Magai. Dedicated to improvisational forms in sound and movement, the group meets weekly in Troy to hone the craft and practice of improvisation and performance.

In the US, Hélène's choreography has been seen in various venues in New York City, Seattle, and upstate NY. She is the recipient of several scholarships, awards and residencies, including the Summer Stages Choreography Fellowship (Concord, MA), Artward Bound (Sperryville, VA), and L’Abbaye de Royaumont (France). In 1999, she was awarded a Luce Fellowship to pursue her work in performance and choreography for a year in Taipei, Taiwan. She performed with two contemporary dance companies, created dances, studied tai chi, calligraphy and Chinese, and traveled extensively in the region.

Hélène is also the Curator for Dance at EMPAC (the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). At EMPAC, she programs dance and theater performances, screenings and lectures, initiates commissions for new work, and identifies potential partners for movement-based research. In 2005, she initiated the DANCE MOViES series of screenings and, in 2007, the DANCE MOViES Commission, the first major dance film commissioning program open to artists from the Americas. She has participated as a panelist and juror for dance film organizations and has been invited to submit articles to journals.

Hélène holds a BA in Art (sculpture/performance) from Yale College and an MFA in Dance from Bennington College. She grew up in Paris, New York and London, and currently lives and works in Troy, NY.

» back to top