As we face the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, even hugs have been abruptly stolen. And now, even more darkness and human tragedy has plunged us into collective sorrow, and has propelled us into an urgent journey forward for restorative justice, inclusion and to effect meaningful and enduring change. Black, Brown, Trans Lives Matter. Realizing their dreams matters.

Change starts from within and we aspire to continue to listen, learn, reflect, educate and help give flight to transformative solutions.

Kanopy’s presence and artistic activism are on the stage—where we “dance our voice” to inspire, to question, to elevate, to dance for the pure joy, advocate, and endeavor to become what we want the world to be.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,
of things unknown, but longed for still,
and his tune is heard on the distant hill,
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

-Dr. Maya Angelou, from her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings



News From Kanopy Dance Company

Contact: Susanne Voeltz [email protected]  or 608.284.0848

Kanopy Dance hopes this message finds you well and we wish you and yours the best in meeting the challenges we all face with the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Staying Connected
Kanopy Keeps You Dancing!
Kanopy Dance Academy’s Dancing with Kanopy At Home

Announces Summer Virtual Program Eight-Week Session LIVE VIA ZOOM
Summer Intensives and Classes

Modern techniques and Repertory in Horton, Graham, Hawkins, Sokolow, Humphrey, Ballet, Choreography/Improvisation, Dance Discovery/History of Dance and more…

June 15-August 7, 2020

Virtual Learning and the Power of Dance for All Ages

Kanopy Dance Academy Online Live Dance Intensive & Classes
Kanopy Academy’s virtual class program, Dancing with Kanopy at Home, will launch an exciting summer of dance intensives and classes LIVE via ZOOM, June 15-August 7, 2020.  Dance with world acclaimed guest artists along with Kanopy’s outstanding faculty and discover the pure joy of dance, deepen your technique and explore your artistry. Whether you are a creative beginner, on a professional track, or looking for a body-strengthening workout, Kanopy has a dance class just for you.

Offerings during Kanopy’s eight-week long summer session include creative modern dance, ballet, choreography & improvisation and dance history, as well as “intensives” in the premiere modern dance techniques including those of Lester Horton, Anna Sokolow, Doris Humphrey, Erick Hawkins, and Martha Graham. Special repertory classes will supplement the “intensives” -a rare, in depth training opportunity to learn excerpts from masterworks by those iconic shapers of modern and contemporary dance.

A special highlight will be learning Anna Sokolow’s signature work “Rooms”, a powerful dance about loneliness featuring music composed by Kenyon Hopkins for a jazz ensemble. As part of that project, Kanopy students, and those from select companies and colleges nationally, will collaborate through the fall with the Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble NYC creating virtual performances, shared rehearsals and coaching.

Kanopy’s summer curriculum will also be enriched with written creative projects, to be completed independently, and other special surprises. At the end of the session, students will have an opportunity to video and showcase their creative work.

With busy family schedules, we understand its not always easy to find screen time, so for optimal flexibility, we will also offer recorded versions for all of our classes that will available at the conclusion of each week of instruction for a period of seven days, and accessible through a Google Drive link.

Whether you are a creative beginner, on a professional track, looking for a body-strengthening workout or wanting to experience the pure joy of dance, Kanopy has a dance class just for you. We will continue to post news and updates in our e-blasts and other social media platforms.

See bios of guest artists:


Registration and a full schedule of classes will be available online starting June 1. feel free to contact us in the meanwhile for more information or questions at [email protected] or Kanopy Dance 608.255-2211.



 Advanced dancers ages 14-26 audition either online or after the first week of the Summer Intensive for the next school year, or by permission by the directors.

To audition Online: Send resume, photo, dance video, and inquiry to: [email protected]

Kanopy Company 2 dancers train intensively with Kanopy’s Artistic Directors, faculty and world acclaimed guest faculty. Kanopy 2 performs it’s own season at the Overture Center, other venues, virtual performances, and alongside Kanopy Dance Company. Kanopy2 dancers enroll in Kanopy’s full year program, train 5 days per week with approximately 14 classes plus rehearsals. Additional rehearsals may be scheduled. Kanopy2 dancers commit to a minimum of 5 weeks of Summer Intensive. If offering is online virtual learning, all 8 weeks of Intensive required. These artists commit to a season of professional and semi-professional performances and rehearsals.  For more information:





News From Kanopy Dance Company

Contact: Susanne Voeltz [email protected]


Kanopy Dance Company hopes this message finds you well and we wish you and yours the best in meeting the challenges we all face with the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our deepest thanks to you for supporting the local arts and Kanopy Dance!


Kanopy Dance Academy Goes Online Starting Sunday, April 5

While we have gone dark at the Overture Center, we do have great news to share with Kanopy Dance supporters and students. Although in-person classes at the Kanopy Dance Academy are suspended, Kanopy is launching Dancing with Kanopy at Home; a virtual class program orchestrated especially for our fourth quarter, April 5-May 30,2020. Students may select from eight different classes– among them: creative modern dance, balletadvanced modern techniquemodern adult, improvisation and choreography. Each class will be supplemented by written creative projects to be completed independently and other special surprises to enhance the curriculum.

Students enrolled in the program will be able to access classes through a Google Drive link at any time convenient for their schedules. On Sundays, each class will meet Live via Zoom, enabling students to greet classmates, discuss technique, and exchange news and tips. Kanopy’s co-artistic director, Lisa Thurrell, will teach most of the classes, but guest appearances by master instructors are planned.  Ms. Thurrell trained and danced with Martha Graham Dance Company and School 1987-1995. Thurrell holds a postgraduate certificate from Professional Trainee Program, Martha Graham Dance Company, NYC, (a 3yr full time rigorous course of study in technique, repertory, history, composition, pedagogy) and a Master of Fine Arts-Dance & Asian Theater from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987). In addition to teaching at Kanopy Dance, Ms. Thurrell has served on the guest faculty of the Martha Graham School since 2018. Other teaching assignments include chair of dance at Idrætshøjskole, Oure, Denmark (1997), faculty at Academy of Russian Ballet, Denver, CO (2001-2004); Illinois State University, Normal, IL (2005.); Ballet Minnesota, (1998 – to date); Visiting Professor, University of Nebraska Lincoln, NE (1992,1994), and guest teacher University of Wisconsin Madison (2004, 2017, 2019).

For more information and to enroll please scroll below.


Kanopy Cancels Remainder of Season for First Time in History

With the closure of the Overture Center and in the best interest of protecting our patrons, artist and our Kanopy families—we are, for the first time in our history, cancelling the remainder of our season: the April 17-19 run of The Far Out Prophecies of Nostradamus (Nostradamus) and our May 9 &10 production of Martha Graham: The Next Generation.

Our plan is to open Kanopy’s 2020-2021 mainstage season at the Overture Center next fall with Nostradamus) a wildly creative collaboration with Madison’s energetic, pick-up theater company, Are We Delicious? in what will be a true celebration of our extraordinary pool of local dance, theater and musical talent along with timely story-lines.


Kanopy Dance Academy Online Program Virtual Instruction: Spring Term, Sunday, April 5-May 30, 2020

Kanopy Dance Virtual Class Offerings

Lisa Thurrell, co-artistic director of Kanopy Dance, Master Instructor for most sessions.

Creative Modern (Level 1 ages 3-5): Introductory dance skills and creative process – 30 minutes

Creative Modern (Level 2 ages 6-8): Fundamental dance skills and creative process –30 minutes

Modern Adult (beginning/continuing): Beginning Modern technique –45-60 minutes

Ballet (Beginning /and continuing ages 9+/ and adults): Basic Ballet technique –30-45 minutes

Modern (level 3 & 4 ages 8+): Advanced Beginning and Intermediate Modern technique –45-60 minutes

Choreography & Creative Improvisation (level 3 & 4 ages 8+): Advanced Beginning and Intermediate Composition & Improvisation – 30 minutes

Modern (level 4,5,6 & K2 ages 10+/ and adult): Advanced Intermediate and Advanced modern technique  -45-60 minutes

Choreography & Creative Improvisation (level 4,5,6, K2 and adult): Advanced Intermediate and Advanced Composition & Improvisation  – 30 minutes

Written creative learning projects: project activities in dance history, visual art/dance, music/dance, outdoors observations, costume design, and more.

In addition to our core program, we have guest artist classes, other modern techniques, core strength training, yoga, movement snippets from some of our company dancers, hellos, and more. —Each week there will be a surprise!

How it works:

For our enrolled students, you will receive a Zoom link and a Google Drive link on Sunday morning April 5. If you register after the first meet up, contact Lisa at [email protected] with questions. (If you want to enroll after week one,  register and contact Lisa for prorated payment options.)

Each Sunday there will be a live Zoom session to meet up says hi to classmates, share assignments from the week before, and lay out the plans for the week. All you need to do is click on the link and join.

Sundays LIVE via Zoom

(beginning April 5 and each week thereafter through May 30):

4-4:15pm Creative Modern/Ballet Levels 1 and Levels 2

4:20-4:40pm Modern and Choreography Levels 3/4 

4:40-5:00pm Modern and Choreography Levels 4/5/6 and Kanopy2 and Adult Students

Then, during the week, at the time of your choosing, you can click on the Google link for your weekly-prerecorded classes. If you normally dance multiple times per week, you will follow the weekly video and there will be ‘add on’ instructions as you repeat throughout the week. This will apply to most all the classes.

The link will also have additional written creative learning projects, dance history projects and other learning to enjoy.

In addition to our core program, we hope to have guest artist classes, other modern techniques, core strength training, and movement snippets from some of our company dancers, and more.

If you are not already enrolled for the entire school year, and if you have not electronically enrolled and paid tuition for Term 4, you will need to do so to receive the links. We will assume the honor system for the number of classes per week you enroll in (each time to click to take your class is another class per week). Make sure to click the pay now button.

What you will need:

-Access to a computer, phone or laptop.

-A space to work in—yoga mat size or larger. Wood floor, yoga mat, even carpet should be fine.

-Possibly a chair back or edge of a counter.

-A Journal for Journaling and assignments, pen, pencil, colored pencils, markers or paint. (Be creative!)

-Wear your dance clothes or yoga wear, hair secured off of face, bare foot, ballet slippers or socks depending on your floor situation.

How to Enroll: sure to click the pay now button.

If you want to enroll after week one,  register and contact us for prorated payment options.


Please contact [email protected] or Kanopy Dance 608.255-2211

Keep Dancing! Can’t wait to see you all each Sunday!