Lion’s Jaw was built out of a desire to bring artists together. To work in close proximity. For dance-artists to spend time in duration together sweating and performing. To catalyze a small change inside of ourselves, to learn from each other and to swap toolboxes with one another around performance and dance. We also felt Boston was primed and ready to host this experience, as a mid-sized city with art-centric momentum.
The festival is the brainchild of New Movement Collaborative, an organization built to support, cultivate and celebrate a vibrant contemporary dance community in the city of Boston. Founded in the spring of 2015 by Sarah Mae Gibbons and Jared Williams, NMC has been producing dance related programming over the last year that focus around those goals. NMC has utilized various spaces and institutions throughout the city to present performances, residencies and a talk back/discussion series, and also launched a competitive mentoring program for local dance-artists.
Lion’s Jaw grew out of the continued investigation into how to create environments where risk, rigor + rebellion can happen and where the community can come together and make dance-work together.
We are proud to be working in partnership with Green Street Studios in order to build this unique festival.
Please see our staff page for more information on the amazing people helping us with both NMC and the 2017 Festival.
Sarah Mae Gibbons (co-founder/director/lead stage manager) originally from Athens, Ohio earned her BFA in dance and minor in education from The Ohio State University. She continued her training through a Yoga Teaching Certification and Thai Massage Level I Certificate as well as becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist. Sarah Mae is currently enrolled in The New England School of Homeopathy.
As an administrator, Sarah Mae holds experience managing and programing for non-profit organizations such as Green Street Studios and Urban Arts Space as well as running education and mentor programs such as “Green Works”, “Moving Target” and “Balans Workshops”. She also holds experience coordinating/volunteering/managing events through Wexner Center For The Arts, Non Violent Communication, Cambridge Performance Project, Artist in Context, Not Me! Inc, Shambhala Boston and many others. She is currently on the new Artistic Advisory Committee of Green Street Studios.
In 2015 she founded New Movement Collaborative, an organization dedicated to the cultivation of contemporary dance in Boston with fellow artist Jared Williams.
As an artist and educator, Sarah Mae is currently based in Boston, MA, offering massage and yoga sessions at Balans Inc, teaching dance to dancers of all ages at a variety of locations throughout the year locally and nationally. Sarah Mae performs and choreographs her own work, both independently and collaboratively. For her choreography she has received local recognition and continues to strive towards physicality and authenticity in all that she does.
Jared Williams (co-founder/director/James K. Spriggs Scholarship Director) is a visual artist, dance-improvisor and dance-arts curator. In 2014 he founded Electric Fish, a nomadic studio which brings established and emerging teachers to the Boston area for three-day master classes. The curated monthly series is dedicated to providing rigorous education in the fields of improvisation and somatics and bringing awareness to Boston as a city to watch. Acting as both curator, organizer and facilitator, Jared has run over twenty workshops over two seasons, bringing dance-artists to Boston from NYC, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Montreal, Berlin and Israel.
He served on the board of directors at Earthdance and has studied throughout the United States with dance-artists such as Frey Faust, Heidi Henderson, Chris Aiken, Nancy Stark Smith, K.J. Holmes and others. He was selected for CI Ground Research 2015 residency program in Plainfield, MA and has performed in pieces at Earthdance, Emerson College and for the Tabula Rasa series in Somerville, MA.
In 2015 he founded New Movement Collaborative, an organization dedicated to the cultivation of contemporary dance in Boston with fellow artist Sarah Mae Gibbons.
He is a believer in the power of movement and the exploration of the physical self as both an artistic practice and as a tool to support healing, build community and to create political and social change. Jared is a native of Cambridge, MA, a father and a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (BFA Ilustration ’95). He has illustrated over a dozen books and contributed to numerous magazines.
She has made and performed dance in various settings throughout the Pacific Northwest and New England and currently teaches yoga and mindful exercise at Balans Wellness Studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis & Clark College and a yoga teaching certification from The Daya Foundation, both based in Portland, Oregon. She has continued her training in dance choreography and improvisation through the Lane Community College dance program in Eugene, Oregon, and through the wonderful programs brought to Boston by Electric Fish and New Movement Collaborative. She is currently a student of Embodied Anatomy, a somatically based anatomy and kinesiology course taught by Amy Matthews. More than anything else Stephanie enjoys sharing the joys of movement, creativity, and curiosity with her communities. To contact her directly or to learn more about her teaching, please visit her website: www.stephaniembellissimo.com
Cookie Harrist (production/performance director) is a choreographer and performer based in Denmark, Maine. In 2013, she founded Hio Ridge Dance with Delaney McDonough and Caity Richards. Under this platform, the dancers have built and toured two evening length dances throughout New England and beyond. Her previous choreographic work includes Present Present Present, a solo dance chosen by Keith Hennessy, Victoria Marks and Darrell Jones to represent New England at the 2012 National College Dance Festival. At the festival, held biannually at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cookie was one of five undergraduate choreographers among top guest artists and professors presenting there. As a performer, Cookie has over ten years of professional experience. Since a young age, she has starred in theater productions in the Boston area. In 2014, she earned an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Ensemble with the rest of Wheelock Family Theater’s cast of Hairspray. Studying stage presence intensely through both theater and dance, Cookie published her research in the Summer 2013 Issue of Kinebago, a New England community dance publication. Cookie received a B.A. in Dance and Poetry from Marlboro College in 2012.
Molly Hess (registration) is a Cambridge, MA based dance artist, educator and administrator. Her creative work values process, collaboration, curiosity, and transparency. These values carry over into her teaching for Cambridge Performance project, and Arlington Dance Place as well as in her roles as director of Bearnstow Day Camp and curator for Electric Fish Studio. She is a member of Back Pocket Dancers. Molly received her B.A. in dance from St. Olaf College in 2012.
Delaney McDonough (production/performance director) A New Jersey native, Delaney is a dance artist and improvisor based in Denmark, ME. Her choreographic work has included an evening length piece developed as an installation in the first annual Performance Lab Series at Colby College. The piece, Move: The Summer of 1963 (2012), relied on more than twenty student collaborators to create a mixed media dance theater piece. Delaney has also presented choreography, We Grew Up at Midnight, and an abridged version of her Honors thesis, The Aesthetic of Failure: Authenticity, Effort, and Imperfection at the the 2013 American College Dance Festival Association’s New England Regional Conference. In the summer of 2012, after many years at Fernwood Cove, a traditional girls camp in Harrison, Maine, Delaney attended the Bates Dance Festival Professional Training Program where she met fellow collaborator Cookie Harrist. In summer 2013, Delaney was a counselor for the Young Dancers Workshop portion of the Bates Dance Festival in addition to returning to the Professional Training Program for another inspiring summer. Delaney graduated from Colby College with honors in Theater & Dance.