Dayna Hanson

Dayna Hanson is a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in choreography, 2010 United States Artists Oliver Fellow in Dance, 2012 recipient of Artist Trust’s Arts Innovator Award and 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow. Based in Seattle, Dayna has been creating dance, performance and film for more than 30 years. From 1994–2006, Dayna was co-artistic director of internationally touring dance theater company 33 Fainting Spells. Her films have screened worldwide, including at New York Film Festival and South by Southwest. She wrote, choreographed and directed an episode of HBO’s TV series, Room 104, which was acclaimed by The New York Times and Vox as one of the best television episodes of 2017. Dayna is co-founder of Base, a nonprofit art space devoted to elevating experimentation in dance, performance and multidisciplinary art.

Visiting Artist | May 13-25, 2013

The Clay Duke

Seattleite Dayna Hanson came to MANCC to develop The Clay Duke, a hybrid new work loosely based on a 2010 school board shooting in Panama City, Florida.  The Clay Duke is a work of devised dance theater that blends details from the 2010 school board shooting with investigations of Anton Chekhov and the vigilantism of the 1970s Death Wish crime film franchise.  Bringing these various sources together under the creative umbrella of this singular play, Hanson’s use of of dance, music, and theater creates a strange performance logic attempting to discover hope in a grim story.

This was the first major residency for The Clay Duke outside of Seattle and was used to develop the character and choreographic base of the work to inform the overall structure of the piece.  While The Clay Duke is not intended as a literal rendering or documentary performance of the shooting, Hanson’s use of the details of the event—including staging, characters, rhythm, theatrical arc, physicality and dialogue—deeply influence and shape the work.  To that end,  while in residence, Hanson and her collaborators traveled to Panama City to attend a school board meeting.  Here, the group was to be able to draw directly from the location and from individuals who had been involved in the shooting.

Following a rigorous rehearsal schedule, the group shared their working process through an open rehearsal.  The audience was able to witness the slow building process, through text, character development and blocking, that allows details to be refined into a more fully developed picture.  Additionally, during her time in residence, Hanson experimented with music and lyrics along with recording text for the piece.

On The Boards hosted the world premiere of The Clay Duke Dec 5-8, 2013.

  • Performer Sarah Rudinoff rehearses with <i>The Clay Duke</i> collaborators.
  • Dayna Hanson leads collaborators in <i>The Clay Duke</i> rehearsal.
  • <i>The Clay Duke</i>
  • <i>The Clay Duke rehearsal</i>
  • Hanson and collaborators explore concepts related to <i>The Clay Duke</i>
  • Hanson and Thomas Graves discuss <i>The Clay Duke</i>
  • Wade Madsen and Dave Proscia rehearse
  • Wade Madsen and Peggy Piacenza
  • Wade Madsen and Peggy Piacenza
  • <i>The Clay Duke</i> rehearsal
  • Wade Madsen and Thomas Graves rehearse <i>The Clay Duke</i>
  • Rudinoff, Proscia and Peggy Piacenza
  • Hanson leads rehearsal
  • Peggy Piacenza in Open Rehearsal
  • Hanson shares movement material during an Open Rehearsal
  • Wade Madsen and Thomas Graves
  • Wade Madsen and Peggy Piacenza
  • Wade Madsen and Peggy Piacenza
  • <i>The Clay Duke</i>
  • <i>The Clay Duke</i>
  • Hanson talks with School of Dance students at Open Rehearsal
Collaborators in Residence: Thomas Graves, Wade Madsen, Peggy Piacenza, Dave Proscia, Sarah Rudinoff [performers], Andalyn Young [assistant director] Slideshow photos by Chris Cameron

Featured Artist

Faye Driscoll

February 22 - 24
Carolina Performing
Arts, UNC Chapel Hill


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