Auditions for Kanopy 2 Pre-Professional Company and Training Program

How Dancers Become Dancers: Kanopy Dance Company Develops New Dancers  with its  Rigorous Training program, Kanopy 2

Admission is by Audition. 
Auditions for new Kanopy 2 dancers to be held  Saturday, July 24,  2021 from 2:00-3:30PM, at the new Kanopy Center for Modern and Contemporary Dance, 329 West Mifflin Street, Madison WI

Kanopy will hold auditions for its 2021-22 Pre-Professional Company and Training Program, Kanopy 2, on Saturday, July 24, 2021 from 2:00-3:30 PM, at the Kanopy Center for Modern and Contemporary Dance, 329 West Mifflin Street, just around the corner from the Overture Center for the Arts.
Serious dancers, (age 14-23), admitted by audition, are introduced to an intense vocabulary of classic and modern forms and study with national luminaries shaping the future of modern contemporary dance. Each year, Kanopy 2 performs and presents original choreography in Kanopy’s season ending Academy showcase at the Overture Center.  Students may also occasionally be cast in Kanopy’s mainstage season. In addition, Kanopy 2 members dance in outreach performances and workshops throughout the year. Numerous Kanopy 2 alumni have forged professional dance careers or earned success in other careers of their choosing.
Selected dancers will enroll into the Kanopy2 program which begins Sept 7, 2021, committing to approximately 14 hours per week of classes and rehearsals from Sept 2021-May 2022, and the Kanopy Summer Intensive 2022 (5 weeks).  Classes and rehearsals are Monday-Thursday evenings, Saturday daytime/early eve, with option to train with the  Kanopy Dance Company Tuesday-Thursday mornings. Most students, once accepted, study and perform as members of  Kanopy2 for 1-4 years. Auditioning dancers should have a background in modern dance with experience in other forms such as post-modern, ballet, and contemporary.
To Audition:
Email your request to audition: 
[email protected]
Include your full name, contact information (email, address, and phone), age, three references, head shot, dance photo, dance reel (if available), and short bio of your dance training and dance performance background.
If accepted to audition, you will receive a confirmation email.
Once accepted:
Plan to attend a modern dance class, learn repertory, and have a 1–2 minute solo prepared to perform. (modern/contemporary).
Saturday July 24,  2021, from 2:00-3:30PM
Kanopy Center for Modern and Contemporary Dance
329 West Mifflin Street, Madison WI 53703



Contact: Susanne Voeltz for Kanopy Dance [email protected]  608.284.0848

After 16  inspired years, Kanopy will vacate its iconic

State Street Studios to make way

for a $100 million mixed use development

Kanopy Dance Academy to Remain Downtown

near the Overture Center for the Arts

A Dynamic Era for Kanopy’s Studios on State Street  Ends

Madison, WI—March 11, 2021— A dynamic era for Kanopy Dance Company  (Kanopy) is coming to a virtual close. By June 1, 2021, Kanopy must vacate its iconic State Street studios (home to the Kanopy Dance Academy) as nearly a full city block will face demolition, making way for a $100 million + mixed -use development by Core Spaces, a Chicago-based firm specializing in student housing.

Since moving to the State Street studios in 2005, Kanopy Dance Academy has staged some 16,000 dance classes there, taught by some of the premiere talents and shapers of modern dance. Other businesses in the complex at 341 State Street, which was sold to Core Spaces for the  ambitious redevelopment  by Urban Land Interests, include Room of One’s Own Bookstore, Community Pharmacy and Casa de Lara.

After a nine-month long search, Kanopy has leased a ground floor space that will be converted into the Academy’s studios in Metropolitan Place, 329 West Mifflin Street, around the corner from the Overture Center for the Arts (where Kanopy is a resident company) and next to the Madison Opera.

Susanne Voeltz, Kanopy’s spokesperson, remarked that Kanopy looks forward to remaining downtown both in contributing to and benefiting from its cultural energy:

“We are excited that Kanopy is continuing its commitment to the vitality of the downtown and has found a wonderful new home that strengthens the synergy of the Cultural District, and, most importantly,  provides a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty and visitors with accessible, inviting and high-tech studios where our highly regarded dance training program can continue to  flourish and grow and where we can  even stage  small pop-up dance ‘happenings’ with our guest artists.”

Kanopy has tapped architect James McFadden -whose projects include the award-winning historic rehabilitation of the landmark Machinery Row on Williamson Street, as well as the creative offices for Planet Propaganda and a tri-level yoga /fitness space for The Studio, both tenants there—-for the renovation. Robert Cleary, Kanopy’s co-artistic director, is serving as the project manager.

Plans  for the new studios include the installation of an extensive Needle Point -Bi-Polar Ionization system to ensure high quality air flow  for the safety of Kanopy’s students, instructors and guests. In addition, Kanopy is investing in state -of -the art audio/visual equipment to prepare for a future that will incorporate live streaming to support Kanopy’s  in-person teaching, collaborations with artists around the country, as well as expanded arts outreach initiatives.

About Kanopy Dance and Kanopy Dance Academy: A Resident Company  of the Overture Center for the Arts.

(Please note -Kanopy Academy’s classes are currently all virtual, as soon as it is deemed safe, Kanopy will cautiously move into a hybrid of virtual and in person instruction with appropriate safety protocols in place. We also hope to light up the stage again at the Overture Center late next fall, all depending on the trajectory of the Covid impact).

Kanopy Dance is a quintessential modern dance company. While the company “informs” its works through its roots in the Martha Graham tradition, Kanopy has cultivated its own brand, working to forward a new dimension and visual language to advance American dance. Kanopy’s artistic directors, Robert E. Cleary, (former principal dancer for Ballet Minnesota and Minnesota Dance Theater) and Lisa Thurrell, (former dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, NYC), not only strive to preserve the best of Graham; but also, to cultivate the dynamic growth of American dance by training professional dancers, choreographing new works and collaborating with artists to establish new creative benchmarks.

Kanopy Dance Company has a strong regional and national presence working collaboratively with cutting edge dance and dance theater companies throughout the country. Each season, Kanopy attracts dancers and choreographers who are shaping the modern dance scene. In 2013, Kanopy also formed an ongoing partnership with Martha Graham Dance Company that continues to flourish and grow.

In addition to performing original works at our home, the Overture Center, and presenting at arts venues including Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City, Kanopy annually engages in numerous outreach programs presenting educational workshops, master classes, lecture demonstrations and performances. Kanopy also provides free tickets to those who might otherwise not have access to the performing arts with the Community Tickets program in collaboration with Overture Center. 

Kanopy is comprised of Kanopy Dance Company, Kanopy 2, (Kanopy’s  second company and pre-professional training program), Kanopy Academy, and Kanopy Studio. Kanopy Dance Company is a resident company of Overture Center for the Arts.


Contact: Susanne Voeltz for Kanopy Dance [email protected]  608.284.0848


This Weekend

A Valentine’s Gift for You

From Kanopy Dance Company

A Video Production by photographer Mats Rudels

of Kanopy’s Critically Acclaimed

2020 premiere of

Love is Love

Celebrating (all) Love Relationships

And the Dance Genius of the late Juilliard-trained NYC Choreographer Stanley Love

With Special Guests: A. Apostol, Andrew Jordan, David Quinn and Ede Thurrell and featured guest dancers: Solomon Bowser, Aaron Davies and Brad Orego


Performance Screenings for the 45-minute segment available here anytime from 6PM CST, Friday, February 12, 2021 through  6PM CST, Sunday, February 14, 2021.



Madison, WI—February 11, 2021—A year ago, Kanopy Dance premiered its hit show, “Love is Love”, praised by dance critic Katie Reiser as an “exuberant celebration” and “a look at love and loss and all the heartbreak, hilarity and messiness of the human condition”—(little did we know  it would be the last time we would gather with our Kanopy “family” at Overture for an entire season+ to come).


Fast forward, and an intermission with a new “normal”,  Love is Love, featuring the catalytic work of the late, Juilliard-trained, New York City choreographer Stanley Love (Love),who helped shape New York’s downtown performance scene, resonates more than ever.


Thanks to the creative work of photographer/video artist Mats Rudels, Kanopy Dance will screen selections from Love is Love, FREE throughout Valentine’s weekend. Rudels’ 45-minute-long production includes Love’s “Love Number”, “Bonewash” and “Adam & Steve”, as well as interviews with the late Stanley Love and A. Apostol- the guest director for “Adam & Steve” and currently the senior development officer at the Martha Graham Dance Company, NYC.


The centerpiece of Love is Love is Love’s poignant and joyous “Adam & Steve”(that had not performed since Love’s Juilliard days in 1992)–a dance with a  timeless and universal message about the struggle of love and acceptance—danced  to nine of Donna Summer’s pop hits that acted almost like a libretto– and resplendently staged with fabulous disco glam costuming. David Quinn, an accomplished New York City based costume designer was so moved by the 1992 performance of “Adam & Steve”, that he donated the design of seventeen, studio 54 -inspired costumes for last February’s Love is Love premiere.


“Stanley  was all about giving humanity the ritual we need, the magic of dance-as he famously said  ‘All you gotta do is dance. Period’. Kanopy’s production Love is Love is a confluence of talent, poignancy and joy and a celebration of Stanley’s legendary  and enduring place in dance.” – Lisa Thurrell, co-artistic director, Kanopy Dance Company


If You Love this Show, the Power of Dance and Are Able…

Please Donate to Keep Kanopy Dancing




Contact: Susanne Voeltz for Kanopy Dance  

[email protected]  608.284.0848

Register Now for Kanopy Dance Academy’s Third Quarter, February 2-March 28, 2021.

New Class Selections. More Performance Opportunities! Please visit

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Last February, little did we know that Kanopy’s hit show, “Love is Love”, fittingly appraised by dance critic Katie Reiser as an “exuberant celebration” and “a look at love and loss and all the heartbreak, hilarity and messiness of the human condition”– would be the last time we would gather with our Kanopy “family” at Overture for an entire season to come.

Fast forward, an intermission with a new “normal” for Kanopy, our arts colleagues, and communities throughout the world. We are all choreographing our life as a dance in time and space – a counter-intuitive six feet+ away from neighbors and friends.

Thanks to your help, Kanopy has been able to creatively and resourcefully reset. We have pivoted our highly regarded Kanopy Dance Academy to a virtual platform offering over 25 classes led by exceptional talents in modern and contemporary dance who are teaching from studios in New York, Chicago and Madison.

Our advanced students, company and alum have had singular opportunities to collaborate with collegiate dancers from Ailey/Fordham, CSU-Fullerton, Loyola University-Chicago and Williams College studying modern dance pioneer Anna Sokolow’s signature work, “Rooms”, in a program created by the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble that will culminate in a series of virtual performances and a film production. Here is a link to “A Virtual Symposium – Celebrating 65 years of Sokolow’s Rooms held on 12/5/20 in which our students participated with their colleagues throughout the country:

Moderated by Dance Enthusiast founder and Editor-in-Chief, Christine Jowers, featured speakers included Neil Baldwin, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Dance & Theatre, Montclair State University; Library of Congress dance curator Libby Smigel, MFA, PhD; and Library of Congress senior musicologist Loras John Schissel. Dr. Baldwin commented that Kanopy students were “utterly amazing – forthright – brave revelatory  – during our all too brief danceaturgy conversation.”

And, on December 19, 2020, over 50 families and households gathered virtually to see Kanopy students enrolled in the Charles Weidman Repertory taught by Chicagoan Anne Marie Loesch, perform selections from Weidman’s joyful masterwork “Christmas Oratorio” .

While our stage at the Overture Center will likely remain dark until next fall, we are carefully planning for our return to the stage– developing exciting, thought provoking and uplifting dance in partnership with local, regional and nationally recognized choreographers and dancers. Expect several performances this summer at outdoor venues for a sneak peak of the dance treats that lie ahead when we all gather at the Overture Center once again.


Kanopy Dance Academy Third Quarter
Dancing with Kanopy at Home Starts LIVE via ZOOM February 2-March 28, 2021
Special Performance Opportunities for Kanopy Academy Students
Register Now

Kanopy Dance Academy continues online LIVE via ZOOM for the Winter Quarter 3, starting February 2-March 28,2021. (Decisions about resuming in-studio or a hybrid of virtual and in studio classes for the Spring Quarter will be subject to strict guidelines recommended by public health officials).

As Kanopy Dance Company’s official dance school, Kanopy Dance Academy provides rare opportunities for students to learn a repertoire of master works by iconic shapers of dance from nationally acclaimed guest artists, choreographers and an exceptional faculty team. Kanopy Academy’s third quarter offers over 25 weekly classes including creative modern dance, ballet, repertory, choreography & improvisation and dance history, as well as “intensives” in principal modern dance techniques including those of Lester Horton, Anna Sokolow, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Erick Hawkins and Martha Graham. The curriculum will also be enriched with written creative projects, to be completed independently.

New Classes and Performance Opportunities

New Times! Creative Modern/Ballet (Level 1) — Joy of Dance for the young dancer beginning dance skills, dance games, exploration, costume fun, and creation of students very own dances. Activities continue “away from the screen “with projects for the family. Dream. Imagine. Learn.

New Class Time! Ballet (Level 4) Created during the Italian Renaissance, focus is on the Russian and Cecchetti school of training.

Added Class Times! Martha Graham Modern Dance Technique (Levels 4,5/6 and Kanopy2, adults) Movement stemming from the breath including contraction, release, spiral, shift of weight. A vocabulary of movement that will “increase the emotional activity of the dancer’s body” and create foundation for the highest technical and expressive artistry.


Stay Tuned for Upcoming Academy Performances
Georgia Corner’s Erick Hawkins Repertory class will usher in spring with an online performance of selections from Hawkins’ “Classic Kite Tails”, a delightful and challenging masterwork that plays on the floating, darting qualities of flying kites. on Saturday, March 20, from 1-1:45 PM CST.

And don’t miss From Kanopy with Love: Dance Choreography Projects from Summer Intensive 2020 on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feb 14 at 4pm CST. Last summer, sixteen students from levels 3,4, 5/6 and Kanopy2 created videos of their dances as part of an optional assignment during Kanopy’s 2020 Summer Intensives .The compilation of video shorts and online presentation is being produced by videographer Mats Rudels with artistic direction from Kanopy’s Robert E. Cleary and Lisa Thurrell.

Thank you for your support! Please Take Care and Stay Well.

Sokolow “Rooms” Symposium 12/5/20

“Christmas Oratorio” informal showing 12/19/20