profiles
margaret jenkins

Paul Dresher,
Composer

Paul Dresher is an internationally active composer noted for his ability to integrate diverse musical influences into his own coherent and unique personal style. He is pursuing many forms of musical expression including experimental opera and music theater, chamber and orchestral composition, live instrumental electro-acoustic chamber music performances, musical instrument invention and scores for theater, dance, and film.

He has received commissions from the Library of Congress, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, the Kronos Quartet, the San Francisco Symphony, California EAR Unit, Zeitgeist, Walker Arts Center, University of Iowa, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Theater Festival. He has performed or had his works performed throughout North America, Asia and Europe. Venues have included the Munich State Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Festival d'Automne in Paris, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, the Minnesota Opera, Arts Summit Indonesia '95, Festival Interlink in Japan, and five New Music America Festivals. His evening-length collaboration with choreographer Margaret Jenkins, THE GATES, premiered at Jacob's Pillow and opened the 1994 Serious Fun Festival at Lincoln Center. In addition to his many collaborations with Margaret Jenkins, Dresher has also worked extensively with many choreographers including Brenda Way/ODC San Francisco, Nancy Karp & Dancers, Wendy Rogers Dance Company, and Allyson Green Dance.

In November 2004, his contemporary chamber group, the six-member Paul Dresher Ensemble Electro-Acoustic Band, made its Carnegie Hall debut, performing a concert of Dresher’s chamber works as part of the “In Your Ear Festival” curated by John Adams, in conjunction with the New Albion release of Dresher’s CD Cage Machine. In March of 2005 the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra premiered Dresher’s Still, Rise, Fall, Again, a commission from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. And in May of 2005, The Tyrant, a solo chamber opera for tenor John Duykers and six musicians premiered in Seattle to critical and audience acclaim. And throughout the winter and spring of 2005, 20th anniversary remounting Slow Fire, Dresher’s seminal music theater collaboration with writer/performer Rinde Eckert, toured to multiple venues in the United States.

Born in Los Angeles in 1951, Dresher received his BA in Music from U.C. Berkeley and his M.A. in Composition from U.C. San Diego where he studied with Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, Pauline Oliveros and Bernard Rands. He has had a long time interest in the music of Asia and Africa, studying Ghanaian drumming with C.K. and Kobla Ladzekpo, Hindustani classical music with Nikhil Banerjee as well as Balinese and Javanese music. Recordings of his works are available on the Lovely Music, New World (with Ned Rothenberg), CRI, Music and Arts, O.O. Discs, BMG/Catalyst, MinMax, Starkland and New Albion labels.

Laura Hazlett,
Costume Design

Laura Hazlett designed the costumes for MJDC’s “A Slipping Glimpse,” and enjoys the challenge designing for dance brings. Laura’s work has been seen on the stages of The Magic Theater, Marin Theater Co. (Lady in the Dark, Wonderful Town, Me and My Girl, The Women), Word for Word, and innumerable live corporate shows (Disney, Cisco systems, SBC, Levi Strauss & Co.) over the past twenty years. In her spare time, Laura paints photo surrealism on black velvet.

Bun-Ching Lam,
Composer

Born in the Macao region of China, Bun-Ching Lam began studying piano at the age of seven and gave her first public solo recital at fifteen. In 1976, she received a B.A. degree in piano performance from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She then accepted a scholarship from the University of California at San Diego, where she studied composition with Bernard Rands, Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, Pauline Oliveros, and earned a Ph.D. in 1981. In the same year, she was invited to join the music faculty of the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where she taught until 1986.

A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, she also won the Rome Prize and was awarded first prizes at the Aspen Music Festival, the Northwest Composer's Symposium, and the highest honor at the Shanghai Music Competition, which was the first international composers' contest to take place in China. She has also been a recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, New York Foundation for the Arts, King County Arts Commission and Seattle Arts Commission. She was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center and was awarded a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council for a three-month study trip to Japan. she also received a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Alexander V. Nichols,
Visual Design

Alexander V. Nichols, the Berkeley, California native, joined the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company in 1986 as Technical Director and has since designed scenery and lighting for 14 pieces including Georgia Stone, The Gates, May I N, and DANGER ORANGE. He served as Resident Designer for Pennsylvania Ballet, Hartford Ballet, American Repertory Ballet and as Lighting Director for American Ballet Theatre. Other dance credits include San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hubbard Street, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Axis, Zaccho, ODC/SF, Cincinnati Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. He has collaborated with choreographers Christopher d’Amboise, Ann Carlson, Val Caniparoli, Sonya Delwaide, Marguerite Donlon, Joe Goode, Bill T. Jones, Jean Grand Maitre, Mark Morris, Mikko Nissinen, Kevin O’Day, Kirk Peterson, Stephen Petronio, Dwight Rhoden, Michael Smuin and Brenda Way.

In theater, Mr. Nichols’ credits include designs for American Conservatory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Arena Stage (Washington D.C.), Alley Theater (Houston,Tx.), Center Stage (Baltimore, Md.), Huntington Theater Co. (Boston, Ma.), California Shakespeare Festival, National Theater of Taiwan and The Culture Project (NYC). Recent Bay Area projects include Marga Gomez’s LOS BIG NAMES, Charles Mee’s FETE DE LA NUIT and Culture Clash’s ZORRO IN HELL.

Mr. Nichols experience also reaches to live music where he got his start by assisting Lighting Designer Harri Kouvenen in the garage band days of the heavy metal bands Metallica, Exodus and Laaz Rockit. He has since developed collaborations with: Kronos Quartet, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, performance artist Rinde Eckert and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. He also designed the lighting for “Aid and Comfort II”, an AIDS benefit in collaboration with Eiko Ishioka featuring Laurie Anderson, Herbie Hancock, Phillip Glass, John Adams and the Kronos Quartet. Currently he is participating in the development of a multi media performance piece in collaboration with renown photographer Frans Lanting set to the music of Phillip Glass.

Mr. Nichols created the exterior lighting design for the Sentinel Building, Francis Ford Coppola's historic headquarters in San Francisco and is presently designing the lighting for the courtyard fountain at the Niebaum Coppola Winery in Napa, CA. He is currently structural/lighting designer for “Circle Of Memory”, an installation project created with Eleanor Coppola, Richard Beggs, Jean McMann, Elizabeth Macdonald and Robilee Frederick.

Awards include four Isadora Duncan Awards, a Bay Area Critics Circle Award and four Dean Goodman Awards.

Michael Palmer,
Artistic Associate

Born in Manhattan, poet and translator Michael Palmer has lived in San Francisco since 1969. He has worked with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company for over thirty years and has collaborated with many visual artists and composers. His most recent collections are At Passages (New Directions, 1995), The Lion Bridge (Selected Poems 1972-1995) (New Directions, 1998), The Promises of Glass (New Directions, 2000), Codes Appearing (Poems 1979-1988) (New Directions, 2001) and Company of Moths (New Directions, 2005). A prose work, The Danish Notebook, was published by Avec Books in 1999. Among his awards, Palmer has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Wallace – Reader’s Digest Fund Writer’s Award, two National Endowment for the Arts grants in poetry, and the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America. From 1999 to 2004, he served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He has taught at various universities in the United States and Europe, and his writings have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
dancers

collaborators
--paul dresher
--laura hazlett
--bun-ching lam
--alexander v. nichols
--michael palmer

guest artists
back to top