dancers feet in the water

Ironworks on the Edge

 Artistic Director and Choreographer: Amy Yopp Sullivan

"As Iron Sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17


Still from "The Table Where We Met" (2012)Photography by Roberto Perez and Jason Walsh


Ironworks on the Edge is a professional media/performance company in residence at Stony Brook University's Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning, through the research and creative work of Artistic Director and Choreographer Amy Yopp Sullivan. The company is dedicated to exploring movement, dance and physical performance in collaboration with film, media, technology, health, music, theatre, science, medicine and visual art. University students have opportunities to work in collaboration with professional artists as performers, interns, research assistants, understudies, stage managers and numerous other roles in supporting and developing creative and imaginative performance that cross disciplines and examine new multimodal ways of making art and entering into transdisciplinary collaborations.

The mission of IronWorks on the Edge is to work in conjunction with Sullivan's Body Mind Lab to create a transdisciplinary incubator for education, research and performance. The goal is to uncover new territories that can shape human interface, physical intelligence and body narratives, as they spring from the fields of movement and dance; collaborate with numerous partners in performance, media, science and the arts; and contribute to the needs of humanity in the 21st century. IronWorks values the "leader as educator" (Selznick), "expertise and empathy" (Pagonis),  "mobility in crisis" (Collingwood and Kirby) and "the language of sensation" (Starks Smith)  with an unflinching commitment to vision and mission.

Recent Works by Sullivan: 

The Table Where We Met (2012)

Contemporary Dance Artist, Lacina Coulibaly, is the featured soloist in a new work about unexpected encounters around a table of significance. Professional collaborators include:Composer in Residence Max Duykers and Violinist Esther Noh performing live, with Set and Lighting Design by David Ullman.

 The ensemble work, performed by members of the Fall Undergraduate Performance Techniques Class (DAN 353) at Stony Brook University: Felicia Cruz, Carlye Denice, Christopher Estevez, Gabrille Lopez, Juliann Navarra, Jeremy Ng, James No, Carol Paula, Scott Petersen, Melony Rhoden, Noelani Rodriquez, and Shizuka Tokuma. Rehearsals focus on performance skills gleaned from "Critical Movement and the Babel Technique", developed by Sullivan.

When the Hedges Fall (extended and edited, 2012)

An experiment featuring undergraduate performers Scott Petersen and TayLa Littles, in an allegory about unfolding relationships and the curious molting process of a Birdman and a Chickenwoman. The work is set to three sections of Brahm's Requiem and includes a musical prelude by Composer in residence, Max Duykers, with Lighting Design by David Ullman. The first version and section of "When the Hedges Fall" was created with SBU Alumnus and Professional Dancer, Todd Van Slambrouck in 2009. The original version was set to Brahms Requiem; and performed at The Ohio State University as part of VanSlambrouck's MFA Thesis Concert.

Remnant: 2nd Section of Hedges

Remnant (2012), Second Section of When the Hedges Fall,

Performed by TayLa Littles, Photo: I.T. McFarland



 Alone Together (2013)

Concept/Direction/Choreography: Amy Yopp Sullivan 

Music: Kurt Weill

Vocals: Teresa Stratas

Performers: TayLa Littles and Scott Petersen


When the Hedges Fall (2011) 

Concept/Direction/Choreography: Amy Yopp Sullivan

with Dancer: Todd VanSlambrouck

Music: Brahm's Requiem


Sea Bourne (2009)

section from film, made in collaboration with Long Island Seaport and Eco Center

Produced and Directed by Amy Yopp Sullivan

Filmed and Edited by Vivian Piccone Jung

Original Score by Max Giteck Duykers

Vocalist and Songwriter: Luz A. Munoz-Rivas

Dancer: Lisa Malone

Funded in part by New York State Council for the Arts, in Suffolk County the Decentralization Program is administered by the Huntington Arts Council, Inc. in partnership with the Suffolk Consortium of Arts Councils

Special Thanks to Kathleen O'Sullivan


Previous Works by Sullivan in Collaboration with Performers, Designers, Filmmakers, Media Artists, Composers, Dramaturgs, Poets, Installation Artists, Playwrights, Visual Artists

This Place of Ours (December 2001): Concept/Director/Choreographer: Amy Yopp Sullivan, with Performers: Erin Dudley and Margarita Espada; with Lighting Design by Elizabeth Silver and Set Design by David Ullman

SISU for Dances by the Harbor (1998), part of the Maritime Festival, Port Jefferson, NY

Concept/Direction/Choreography: Amy Yopp Sullivan

with Music: Johannes Sebastian Bach; Music Design: Jason Durham; Pianist: Gabe Shuford; Voices: Deborah Mayo, Christina Vaccaro; Text: Amy Yopp Sullivan; Dramaturgical support: Adrienne Lamb

with Performers: Chris Giuffre, Megumi Nezu, Mariko Shibata


 when the sea dies  giants  sea

When the Sea Dies (2007)       Giants in Small, Shallow Pools (2003)      When the Sea Dies (2007)

immigrant fabrics   

Emigrant/Immigrant (2006)                                  Fabrics: The Aroma of Life (2006)

fabrics with media slip slide

Fabrics: The Aroma of Life (2006)                      Slip, Slide and a Couple of Kicks (1984)

sisu lean stages levels seasons

 SISU (1998)                                                         Stages, Levels and Seasons (1979)

jackie emigrant fence emigrant 

Emigrant/Immigrant (2006)                                         Emigrant/Immigrant (2006)

SISU 3 sisu faces

SISU (1998)                                                                               SISU (1998)

variation on Godot giants film still

Variations on Godot (1996)                              Giants in Small, Shallow Pools (2003) 

fabric vanessa and christine  photo by Vivian Jung  

Fabrics: The Aroma of Life (2004)                                SeaBourne (2009) 

photo by Vivian Jung   giants, todd and flour

Seabourne (2009)                                                          Giants in Small, Shallow Pools (2003)                                                                                

Seabourne photos by Vivian Jung and Dali Jung


shirtwaist fabrics of fire   Shirtwaist breath

Shirtwaist: Legacies Woven to Wear (2010), at the 10th Annual Re-Invisioning Immigration, at the Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University

Concept/Choreography/Direction: Amy Yopp Sullivan

with Performers: Brittany Harvey, Sasha Khan, Nicole Krakoff, Lisa Malone, Stephanie Pisano, Sarah Shumate, Nicolle Troyano


 lighter version    lisa sensorium lisa erasing borders james at erasing borders 


 Sensorium (at the opening of Erasing Borders 2011 , an exhibition of the Indian diaspora in painting, prints, installations, video and sculpture at the Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University) 

Performers/Choreographers: Nicolle Troyano, Lisa Malone, Hendryx Silva, James No          

Concept/Direction: Amy Yopp Sullivan

 Photos by Hui Liu, Video and Photos by I.T. McFarland

 Reviews and Press:  

  •  “...four provocative and engaging explorations of the human experience that will leave you at once stunned by their power and moved by the inherent hopefulness...” (PortFolio)
  •  “...presenting new work in a way I find entertaining and exciting and intellectually stimulating - and beautiful.” (Henry Korn, interviewed in Times-Beacon Record)
  •  “Invigorating the dance world with meaning” (The New York Times)
  •  "Such a unique performance. Very enjoyable. Such plasticity. Wonderful dance.” (Channel 011, Mexico City, Teatro de la Danza)
  •  “Movement not only beautiful to watch - but also provocative to ponder - it’s powerful and engaging.” (Dan’s Papers, East Hampton)
  •  “SISU... is the one piece that had the audience talking afterwards...” (The Statesman)
  •  “...a remarkable job of conveying how it must feel to be an immigrant...the dancers took on form and coherence...perfectly complemented by the music...” (The New York Times)
  • “This show was minimal but not in the least bit lacking. Simple props were gracefully moved by the cast on and off and were just as significant to the show as the performers…The movement was natural and beautiful, and the piece was flawless to my eyes.” (The Statesman, Vol 27, Issue 10, 2006)
  • “...The event began with a dance Shirtwaist Legacies: Woven to Wear choreographed by Amy Yopp Sullivan, commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, the worst workplace disaster in New York City until September 11, 2001. The Stony Brook students resurrected the stories of the Tillies and Nans and Elizabeths, who were allowed to burn or jump as company men raced in to save dresses from the flames-- in movement, perfectly spare costume and a backdrop of windows revealing every promise of spring and youth to remind us to honor—to remember—to give voice to those who came here to pursue their American dream.” (Sunrise, Vol 29, No. 2, 2010) 
  •  “Ingeniously crafted, Ms. Sullivan’s choreography weaves a complex tapestry of a very physical dance technique with theatrical elements.” (PortFolio)
  •  “SISU... was probably my favorite....The seven obviously thirsty dancers, struggled with their attraction and their fear to reach the bowl of water, picking a perilous footing as the piano notes tumbled about like water flowing around stepping stones.” (The Port Times Record)
  •  “Origins and Destinies - leaders of dance and dialogue” (The Three Village Herald)
  •  “One figure resembles a positive force, the other negative. While one attracts, the other repulses. The conversation is violent, brutal and merciless, yet skilled, adroit and defined. While these forces coalesce and create one energy, they begin to infiltrate on the peace of mind, strength and resilience of the remaining figure. Their juxtaposition reminds us of the struggle we each endure as human beings.” (The Three Village Herald)
  • "Origins and Destinies, a dance/theatre company directed by Professor Amy Yopp Sullivan, performing an original work, "Immigration and Transmigration." This provocative performance examines the complexities of immigration, recalls the past memories of those who have traveled before us, and reflects upon the issues of today. The performance promises to engage both the heart and mind as one witnesses the tender, yet powerful, human experiences of leaving and arriving." (Staller Center for the Arts, 2006
  • “A story of immigration given entirely through dance left an audience moved and entertained. True unity and imagination took place on Feb 23rd …. Origins and Destinies: was the story of immigrants leaving their homelands and arriving in new countries. It showed the struggle, abuse and excitement of this life-changing move. It showed physical abuse and rape, it used fabrics as almost another character, and it showed discovery of new foods (bananas in this case).” (The Statesman, Vol 27, Issue 10, 2006)
  •  “Creativity and imagination are prerequisites for attendance. The performances are abstract, yet invigorating and inviting....both original masterpieces...” (The Three Village Herald)
Stony Brook University,  115-C Nassau Hall, Stony Brook, NY 11794-6240,  Phone: 631-632-7392
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