Mapping the Aether Featuring Stephanie Nugent and Suzanne Lappas

The Toby
$20 Members / $25 Public

Artistic Director Stephanie Nugent/Nugent Dance, with co-creator Suzanne Lappas, presents Mapping the Aether, an evening of innovative dance theater and live music. The program, features performances by Nugent and Lappas and will include three works.

Permeating this evening’s performance is Nugent’s philosophical fascination with relationships between finite structure and ephemeral contents. Each work, expressed through choreographed and improvised movement, live and recorded sound, as well as minimal spoken-word is designed to inspire experiences, which play passionately between intellect and sensation.

Arrive at 7:30PM on Thursday night for a pre-show talk, moderated by IMA’s Scott Stulen with choreographer Selene Carter and visual artist Danielle Riede.

Immediately following Saturday night’s performance, hang out for a question & answer with Mapping the Aether creator/performers and collaborating artists.


Katherinette (2015), by guest choreographer Selene Carter, is a post-modern kinetic portrait of female relationship, set to the live classical accompaniment of Handel’s cantata Delirio Amoroso, performed by Megan Roth (Soprano), Eunji Lee (Harpsichord), and Kyungwook Min (Cello).

Remembering the Reds While Traveling This Sensitive Pink Earth (world premiere), choreographed by guest artist Keith Johnson, and set to a minimalist piano score by composer Robert J. P. Oberg, has soloist Nugent reflecting on the fleshy remnants of a passion-filled life.

Mapping the Aether (world premiere) is the title work of the evening. The performance is a thirty-minute interdisciplinary, sensual exploration into how experience and meaning are shaped by, and translated through, the dancing body. Directed by Nugent, with choreography and performance by Nugent and Lappas, Mapping the Aether also includes an original sound score composed and performed Scott Kellogg, inter-woven video projection, lighting, and scenic design by David Lapham and Jason Hamman, and mixed-media costume design by Amy Beth Burrell.

Program Info

Katherinette (2015)
Choreography: Selene Carter
Performance: Suzanne Lappas and Stephanie Nugent
Music: cantata Delirio Amoroso by George Frideric Handel
Performance: Megan Roth (Soprano), Eunji Lee (Harpsichord), and Kyungwook Min (Cello)
Costumes: Amy Beth Burrell

Remembering the Reds While Traveling This Sensitive Pink Earth (world premiere)
Choreography: Keith Johnson
Performance: Stephanie Nugent
Music: by Robert J. P. Oberg
Costumes: Keith Johnson

Mapping the Aether (world premiere)
Artistic Direction: Stephanie Nugent
Choreography/Performance: Stephanie Nugent and Suzanne Lappas
Dramaturgy: Selene Carter
Music Composition/Performance: Scott Kellog
Costumes: Amy Beth Burrell
Lighting and Scenic Design: David Lapham
Video/Projection Design: Scott Kellog and Jason Hamman
Stephanie Nugent, includes the quote "There is no there there," by Gertrude Stein

Artist Biographies

Stephanie Nugent (Artistic Director, Nugent Dance) - New to Indianapolis, Stephanie grew up in the research triangle area of North Carolina, earned a BFA in modern dance from the The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and spent most of the past twenty four years based in Utah and California, where she earner her MFA in Choreography and Performance at California State University, Long Beach. In addition to directing Nugent Dance since 2001, Stephanie has been a touring member of dance companies including the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, Keith Johnson/Dancers, Victoria Marks, and Malashock Dance and Company, and has collaborated extensively with independent concert dance, improvisation, and theater artists including Shel Wagner Rasch, Stefan Fabry, Carmela Hermann, Kristen Smiarowski, Kim Epifano, and Virginia Grise.

Her creative projects, rooted in social issues surrounding empathy and communication, are realized through contemporary dance, contact improvisation, and interdisciplinary collaboration, and have been commissioned/presented by venues including Dance New Amsterdam (NYS), Theater Aicoli (Padova, Italy), California Institute of the Arts, Sushi Visual and Performance Art, Conder Dance (Phoenix, AZ) and Santa Barbara Dance Theater among others. Stephanie’s honors include The 2002 Santa Barbara Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award for Choreography, a Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Small Ensemble Performance, a 2013 Hothouse residency at the University of California Los Angeles, a 2015 Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Council, and critical praise from publications including The Los Angeles Times, Dance Magazine, and The New York Times. She has held academic posts at CalArts and UC Santa Barbara (Tenured Associate Professor) and, since moving to Indy in 2013, she has served as guest faculty at The Ohio State University, Ball State University, Butler University, and Anderson University. Stephanie currently serves on the faculty in the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance at Indiana University Bloomington, teaching post-modern/contemporary dance technique, contact improvisation, and dance studies. She also continues to practice and teach contact improvisation, leading workshops with the Great Lakes Area Contact Improvisation Enthusiasts Retreat (GLACIER), the Portland Contact Improvisation Jam, and as an independent artist in southern California, Indiana, and Ohio. Since 2009 Stephanie has facilitated twenty-eight Hourglass throughout throughout CA, IN, and NY, with composer/partner Robin Cox. Mapping the Aether, signifies the premiere of Nugent Dance in Indianapolis and the budding partnership of Nugent and fellow performer Suzanne Lappas.

Suzanne Lappas (Performer/Choreographer) is an Indianapolis native who’s dance career has taken her to the San Francisco Bay Area and home again, with some traveling and international touring along the way. Her work is based in release technique, improvisation, contact improvisation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. In San Francisco she was a collaborative member of Avy K Productions, Kunst-Stoff, Limbinal (co-founder), Lisa Townsend Company, MotionLab/La Alternativa, ODC Dance, Project Agora, Scott Wells & Dancers, and Smith-Wymore Disappearing Acts. She has also been a guest performer with David Dorfman Dance, the Joe Goode Performance Group, and Robert Moses' Kin. Last fall Suzanne began a collaborative process with fellow performer Stephanie Nugent in a new work by IUB Assistant Professor Selene Carter, following which she was invited to join Stephanie Nugent in the development of a new duet partnership. Performance accolades include "San Francisco Chronicle's Top Ten Performances" and "Top Bay Area Artist". Suzanne is an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance at Indiana University, Bloomington. Previous collegiate teaching includes engagements at Sonoma State University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Selene Carter (Guest Choreographer/Dramaturge) grew up in Indianapolis and has a deep fondness for the IMA, having spent many summer days as a child in their Arts Integration Camps, seeing films outdoors and visiting the galleries with her family and school. She achieved her MFA in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received the Ruth Page Award, Chicago’s highest honor in dance, as well as funding from city agencies and private foundations for her work in dance. As co-director of Chicago’s Links Hall she created a forum for post-modern and experimental dance by producing workshops and performances in alternative dance and improvisation. She taught improvisation and dance studies at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, the University of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of the Arts. Selene is a certified teacher in the Bill Evans’ Laban Based Modern Dance Technique. Recently her choreography was presented at the Aronoff Center by the Contemporary Dance Theatre of Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater by Wild Space Dance Company, was featured in the Regional Alternative Dance Festival (RADfest) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and in the Breaking Ground Contemporary Dance & Film Festival, Tempe, Arizona. She was one of sixteen choreographers accepted in to the charter year of Doug Varone's Devices Intensive, a choreographic mentorship project that culminated in a 2014 festival of new dances at the Harkness Dance Center/92nd Street Y in New York City. As an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Dance at Indiana University, Bloomington, in the Department of Theatre, Drama & Contemporary Dance she teaches dance improvisation, 20th century concert dance history, movement analysis, dance technique and dance making.

Keith Johnson (Guest Choreographer) is a choreographer, educator, aspiring visual artist and gardener. Artistic Director of Keith Johnson/Dancers and Co-Director of Fistbomb Films, Keith currently serves on the faculty of California State University -Long Beach, as a Full-Professor of Dance. A former dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Ririe/Woodbury Dance company, and Creach/Koester, Keith has also worked with Colleen Thomas Dance, Nancy Bannon, and Victoria Marks. He has been invited to teach internationally in such venues as Strictly Seattle, The American Dance Festival, Tisch School of The Arts Summer Program, Nacional University in Costa Rica, Beijing Arts Festival, and for Doug Varone and Dancers Summer Intensive. Keith is a recipient of The 2012/13 Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Utah Department of Modern Dance where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree, a 2015 Djerassi Artist Residency, and a 2015 Hothouse residency at the University of California Los Angeles.

Scott Kellogg (Composer/Performer Mapping the Aether) is an electric bassist, composer, and improviser. His body of work includes experimental electronic pieces, solo bass compositions, and both live and recorded ensemble music. Scott’s approach to his craft is both spontaneous and studied. His philosophy of improvisation is that one must continually hone one’s craft in order to be able to most gracefully serve the needs of the moment. He especially enjoys working with other improvisers for the purpose of creating new art. He is a frequent collaborator of celebrated choreographer and dancer Selene Carter, having worked with her on such pieces as Take the Call and Tektonika Ondine. When not lurking in his home studio creating strange noises, he may be found touring with legendary punk rock band Zero Boys or running the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG for teens at the Monroe County Public Library. Scott lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his lovely wife, Karen, four birds, and two cats.

Amy Burrell (Costume Design Katherinette and Mapping the Aether) is a multi disciplinary artist interested specifically in the body. She is a movement artist, costumes/textiles, interactive installation art and healing arts. She holds an MFA and a BS in Ballet with an outside field in Psychology, both from Indiana University. She is a massage therapists and Holotropic Breathwork facilitator and is currently working with the IU Wellness Center. She has been a faculty member of Austin Community College, The Federal University in Goias (Brazil), and Indiana University. She grew up in Brazil, where she spent about half her life and was greatly influenced and inspired. She is a traveler, lives in Bloomington with her two sons and lots of family.

Eunji Lee (Harpsichordist, Katherinette) has appeared in early music festivals in various cities, such as Boston and Indianapolis. Lee was invited to give a solo recital at the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and was chosen as recitalist at the Conference of Historical Keyboard Society of North America. In high demand for her expertise in basso continuo improvisation, she was broadcast on WFIU Public Radio in a performance with noted cornettist Bruce Dickey. She performed as soloist with the IU Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Stanley Ritchie, and won an award at the IU Travel Grant competition. Lee worked as an Associate Instructor for five years at IU, and is the recipient of several scholarships and fellowships, including the Ben Bechtel Award and the Artistic Excellence Fellowship. Holding a master’s degree in piano and harpsichord, she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in historical keyboards at Indiana University with Elisabeth Wright.

Kyungwook Min (Cellist, Katherinette) holds a Performer Diploma in cello at Indiana University. Min made his solo debut at the age of 15 at the invitation of the City of Kitakyushu, Japan and he has made frequent appearances in various countries, such as Taiwan, China, and India. The winner of the IU Concerto Competition, he performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with Concert Orchestra. He is an advocate for early music and his performance with Concentus ensemble broadcast by National Public Radio. His successful collaborations with different arts fields, including the visual and literary arts, brought him several awards from prominent arts foundations. His recordings and live performances for modern dance projects have been heard at several dance festivals, including the International Modern Dance Festival and the Seoul Performing Arts Festival. One of his collaborative projects with modern dance received the prestigious Arts Award of the Year nomination by the Arts Council of Korea.

Megan Roth (Soprano, Katherinette) Known for her “rich character portrayals” and “versatile voice,” mezzo-soprano Megan Roth is equally at home in opera, oratorio, and art song. Most recently, Megan appeared as the alto soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass and Gretchaninov’s Passion Week, both with the Bach Chorale Singers of Lafayette, Indiana, soloist in de Falla’s El amor brujo with the New Hampshire Music Festival, alto soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore with the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus, alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, and as Costanza in the rarely performed L’isola Disabitata by Haydn with the Boston Neo-Politan Chamber Orchestra. Megan performs with several renowned national ensembles including Seraphic Fire, Vox Humana, Yale Choral Artists, Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, and recently joined the roster of the Grammy-winning ensemble Conspirare in Austin, Texas. Megan is the Founder and Artistic Director of Calliope’s Call, a professional art song performance group based in Bloomington, IN, which travels the country presenting unique programs of art song. Upcoming performances include Meg in Adamo’s Little Women with MetroWest Opera in Boston, MA and appearances with Calliope’s Call in Bloomington and Cincinnati. For more information, please visit

The IMA's ARTx Series is made possible by a gift from the Efroymson Family Fund

Mapping the Aether is made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Special Thanks to Crowe’s Eye Photography, Kathleen Olges/Windfall Dancers, Liz Shae and the Contemporary Dance program at IU Bloomington, Shel Wagner Rasch, Danielle Riese, Robin and Savannah Cox, and Andrew Schubeck for their artistic, in-kind, and moral support during the development of this project.

Mapping the Aether Featuring Stephanie Nugent and Suzanne Lappas Indianapolis Museum of Art 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN