P.O. Box 8055
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
karl_schaffer “at”

Release Immediate: Apr. 15, 2007
Contact: Karl Schaffer
831-335-1861 / karl_schaffer “at”

Fallout FlyerFallout: Dances of War and Peace

Choreography by Karl Schaffer, with guest works by Deana Ross and Kerstin Stuart, and guest performance by Kathryn Petak and Joe Pikalek.

Fri/Sat/Sun May 11,12,13, 8PM at the 418 Project in Santa Cruz


Karl Schaffer is producing a concert of new work at the 418 Project in Santa Cruz, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 11-13, at 8 PM. Entitled Fallout: Dances of War and Peace, the concert features several new works which deal with the tragedy of war, as well as dances in a more peaceful and humorous vein. The concert includes guest choreography by two dancers based in Monterey, Deanna Ross and Kerstin Stuart, who are also performing in new work by Karl Schaffer. Also appearing as guest artists are Kathryn Petak, formerly of Smuin Ballet, who will perform two solos by Schaffer, and Joe Pikalek, who appears in Deanna Ross’s choreography.

Premieres by Karl Schaffer include the following:

Fragments, a series of vignettes in response to current wars and occupations, in which the dancers wield large geometric shapes to suggest battlefield scenes. The cast includes the four local dancers and Kerstin Stuart.

Requiem, a solo for Kathryn Petak, to a Bach score, in which a woman mourns a lost child.

The Atom Bomb Game, a grimly humorous danced and spoken duet about nuclear war, performed by Deanna Ross and Schaffer, to Mozart, Bach, and tango scores.

Grasp Bird’s Tail, a trio, with flourishes of tai chi, to music by Bach and Debussy, performed by Ross, Viezee and Schaffer.

Gumball, a humorous solo for Kathryn Petak, set to a Benjamin Britten score, in which the dancer chews gum and dances at the same time!

Schaffer will also perform his 1985 dance,

FAD, a non-stop solo sendup of postmodern dance.

Guest choreography:

The Crimson Bride, a solo by Kerstin Stuart, which depicts a woman’s journey of self-discovery, triggered by her loss of her mate.

Michael in the Garden, a solo for dancer Joseph Pikalek exploring the reality of being different in a society that expects conformity.


Price: $12 and $10 (students/seniors)
Dates: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 11, 12, and 13
Time: 8 PM
Location: 418 Project, at 418 Front St. in Santa Cruz
Funded by: the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County

Background: Karl Schaffer

Karl Schaffer has co-directed the Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble for the past 19 years.  He and co-director Erik Stern have toured throughout North America performing at such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, and the Mondavi Center in Davis. During 2006 and 2007 they have done performance residencies in Hawaii, Phoenix, and Maine, and taught workshops throughout the country. In 2005 they were named to the artist roster of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education, which sponsors arts workshops at many of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. Schaffer and Stern have received five National Endowment for the Arts Access to the Arts awards for their cross-disciplinary performance work linking dance and mathematics. The latest grant will fund an extended choreographic residency by Schaffer and Stern in Puerto Rico.

Schaffer also directs several Santa Cruz based touring shows about dance and mathematics; the group completed a two-week residency in Santa Barbara in February of this year, and is part of the Spectra Arts in the Schools program. Schaffer was an artist-in-residence at the Mello Center in Watsonville for 2004-2005. He taught at the American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Dance Intensive in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in July of 2004, has been keynote presenter on integrating dance and mathematics at numerous conferences on math education throughout North America. He teaches Mathematics at De Anza College, and teaches dance as an independent artist.

Additional information about guest artists:

Deanna Ross is a Monterey dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She is dance faculty at Monterey Peninsula College, and has performed with Opera San Jose, Cabrillo Music Festival, and Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra.

Joe Pikalek, Ross’s husband, is a marriage and family therapist intern, as well as a dancer who has appeared with numerous companies.

Kathryn Petak has danced with Smuin Ballet, San Francisco Opera, and State Street Ballet, and been guest artist throughout the Bay Area. She has performed in musicals staged by Cabrillo Stage, American Musical Theatre, and Sierra Repertory Theatre. She is a ballet, yoga, and Pilates teacher in Los Gatos.

Kerstin Stuart directs her own company, Nagpa, in Monterey, and works as a dance teacher, Pilates instructor and cook.


Santa Cruz dancers:

Rivera Cooke, graduate of Bennington College, was the 418 Project’s Artist In Residence in 2006. She directs Cook ‘n Company, a local dance/theater troupe which recently produced “We’re Toast” at The 418 Project.

Kat Weeks, studies and performs numerous forms of dance, including modern, West African, and Brazilian, and teaches through the Spectra program.

Leslie Viezee, longtime modern and ballet dancer, who has performed with Lisa Burnett in Palo Alto.

Noel Wetzel, a dance graduate of Univ. of Utah, who has danced with Tandy Beal and Karl Schaffer, and teaches with Pisces Moon.

Emanuel Valera a local dancer with numerous groups, including Cabrillo College and Rivera Cooke, who also teaches with Pisces Moon.


This project has received funding from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.