anna O.

Anna O.

Kathryn Wilson and I created an excerpt of this piece five years ago, and had the pleasure of resurrecting and elaborating on it for this year's Nasty Women Unite Festival. Mathias Goldstein's voice gives life to Sigmund Freud's case study writings on his time treating a young woman he calls "Anna O." 

Concept and Direction: Kelsey Burns, Kathryn Wilson

Choreography: Kelsey Burns

Voice work: Mathias Goldstein

Performed by Kelsey Burns and Kathryn Wilson at Nasty Women Unite Festival 2018



Choreography: Kelsey Burns

Performed by Kelsey Burns, Kelsey Greenway, Maddy Sher, Rina Espiritu, and Kendra Prat

Premiered at Union Square's NYC Dance Week Kick Off 2018

Blue Magic

Kelsey & Co. presents "Blue Magic," a new piece choreographed by Kelsey Burns for the Union Square kickoff of NYC Dance Week 2018. Featuring music by Loscil, Robyn, and Waikiki.

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Choreography: Katiti King, Kelsey Burns

Music: Maya, Azam Ali and Loga R. Torkian

Lighting Design: Barrett Hall

Presented at Gibney Dance Theatre. 



Three Years

This solo piece has been an ongoing collaboration with NY-based choreographer Katiti King. We began working on this shortly after my grandfather's death in 2015 and have been developing it ever since. Though still rooted in the original spark -- meeting death -- we are using simultaneously grounded and fluid movement to communicate continued movement through uncertainty, feeling lost and found and lost again.  


Choreography and Performance: Kelsey Burns, Abdiel Jacobsen

Original Composition: Giovanni Spinelli

Premiered at NYC's Dixon Place Theatre in collaboration with Dance Week, March 2017.

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In my last work with dancer Abdiel Jacobsen, we combined modern dance and ballroom partnering to explore the possibilities of embodying rhythm with a messier arrangement of leading and following than we had ever worked with before. Clothed in the traditional Vietnamese tunic áo dài, we pushed up against our usual comfortable boundaries in partnered dancing, which meant new-- or no-- footwear was required.


A Walk In Our Heels

A contemporary ballroom dance piece performed in the round, featuring two ballroom dancers, a singer, and a percussionist. Born out of a celebration of the latin/rhythm ballroom tradition, this piece also poses a direct challenge to ballroom’s traditional aesthetic. Since the footwear of ballroom is split along gender lines, the blurring of this duality became the primary theme of this piece, which opened the door into questions of sexuality—how do the high heels affect the dynamic between male and female bodies within different styles (cha cha, rumba and bolero) —and explorations of stylized presentation? Our collaboration with singer Greg Osei and percussionist Meredith Butterworth helped us to explore the language we use to talk about gender, bodies, and the rhythm which latin dance relies on.  

Choreography: Kelsey Burns, Abdiel Jacobsen

Performance: Kelsey Burns, Abdiel Jacobsen, Greg Osei, Meredith Butterworth

Arrangement and Original Composition: Greg Osei, featuring songs by Prince and Kate Bush

Premiered at Common Roots Festival 2016, at the Martha Graham Studio Theatre in New York City

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Spring Awakening

A production of Duncan Sheik's musical revisioning of the original play by Frank Wedekind, created for CAS Theatre of NYU. We went for a raw, intimate staging of this show in the round, with minimal tech and design. Even with just 13 chairs and 4 clip lights, the cast brought this story of repressed desires and conflicting lessons to life. 

Direction: Stephen Morrash

Choreography: Kelsey Burns

Book: Duncan Sheik

Presented at Kimmel Center NYU in Spring 2015


Concept, Direction, Performance:

Kelsey Burns, Ashley Renee Thaxton, Kathryn Wilson, Annie Higgins, Kasey Connolly, Rachel Francavillo, Katherine Romans

Design: Raphael Mishler

Costume: Whitney Locher

Consulting Direction: Jessie Austrian, Ben Steinfeld, Fiasco Theatre

Premiered at the Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre in Fall 2014 before touring to LA in Spring 2015.

Show Us Womanish

An all-female production of William Shakespeare's historical tragedy "Julius Caesar." This show was collaboratively conceived and directed by seven women studying various applications of theatre and movement at Gallatin NYU. We prioritized experience over gender, power dynamics over sex politics, and put together a version of this tale with a ton of heart, sweat, and tears, and even more blood.