Presented by Dancehouse with the support of AMERICAN DANCE ABROAD



Inspired by a twelve year struggle to adopt a Nepalese child, Fire Underground, by internationally renowned New York choreographer Donna Uchizono, explores the emotional space that opens up while waiting, interminably, for an uncertain outcome. At the heart of this work is the conflict dozens of families face with the United States adoption process, a process dominated by visas and restrictions, resulting in a logistical limbo. A socially conscious choreographer, Uchizono has described her own experience with the adoption process as "harrowing". Yet, Fire Underground is not about this story, rather it is about creating a space for an audience to feel the impact of the absence that arises when longing endures. Fire Underground is an unsettling work which may leave its mark.

'What is felt and what is withheld become equally important in what develops.' - Philippa Hawker for The Age

'Fire Underground is not about an experience; it is the frightening experience of being a part of something that you cannot stop…The depth of Uchizono's study, although heartbreaking, was palpable. It was a masterful revelation of the density of fear, disquietude, and the ever-present passage of time.' - New York Live Arts

'This dance is a heartbreaker.' Brian Seibert – New York Times

Read Fire Underground Review in New York Times

Read Donna Uchizono Interview in The Age



Hailed by Ms. Magazine's end of the century issue as "a choreographer making great leaps forward into the 21st century," Donna Uchizono, Artistic Director of Donna Uchizono Company, is known for work spiced with wit, rich invention and unexpected beauty. Donna Uchizono Company has been presented throughout the United States, Europe and South America. A Guggenheim Fellow, Uchizono's work has been recognized by many grants and awards, including the Alpert Award in Dance, New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award, Rockefeller MAP, the National Dance Project, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, Arts International, the National Performance Network, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and the Greenwall Foundation and Meet the Composer, among others. Uchizono's work is characterized by its numerous collaborative projects including collaborations with Visual Artist David Hammons and Composers "Butch" Morris, James Lo and Guy Yarden. Uchizono's interest in original and live music for performance is evidenced by her collaborations with composers and her former role as co-director and -curator of "Bread to the Bone", a live music/dance series at The Knitting Factory in New York. In 2004, Uchizono was the choreographer for The Long Christmas Ride Home, a play by the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Paula Vogel, for the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT and has created a work for Mikhail Barysnikov, commissioned by Baryshnikov Dance Foundation. An active member of the dance community, Uchizono is a member of the Artist Advisory Board at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, where she was the founding member and served as the first Chair.

Find out more about the artist

Read the media release here



Dates: AUGUST 14-15
Time: 8pm
Where: Sylvia Staehli Theatre, Dancehouse (wheelchair accessible)
Cost: $25 F / $20 C / $15 DH Member
Bookings: click here

Concept, choreography: Donna Uchizono
Performed by: Donna Uchizono and Rebecca Serrell Cyr (Bessie Award Winner for this role)
Light Design: Joe Levasseur
Music and sound design: David Shively

Duaration: approx. 50 min.

Fire Underground was commissioned by New York Live Arts and made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is given by contributors to the Dance Theater Workshop Commissioning Fund at New York Live Arts. Fire Underground is presented by Dancehouse with the support of American Dance Abroad



Credit image: Michael Grimaldi