Cora Dance Artistic Director, Shannon Hummel, speaks on creating works for the company’s 2015 performance of "STORIES" at BAM Fisher as well the values of Cora and what makes a Cora dancer. (Video by Katie Dean.) For photos, video, info and other media on Cora’s current works, click here.

in the news

Podcast No.34 – SHANNON HUMMEL

movers & shapers: a dance podcast

An interview with Shannon Hummel, Artistic Director of The Cora Studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is home to her professional company Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance and its pay-what-can dance school, Cora Dance.


October 25, 2016


September 17, 2015

On the hoof: Dance show sends audience hunting across Red Hook

brooklyn daily

This show is guaranteed to move you.

A combination scavenger hunt and dance festival will send audiences scattering across Red Hook on Sept. 19 and Sept. 26 in search of world-class dance. High-stepping visitors will have to track down members of the Cora Dance Studio, and in the process will discover side of the neighborhood they may never have seen before, says the show’s organizer.


January 30, 2015

Grab Bag of Wit and Pathos: Cora Dance Presents ‘Stories’ at BAM Fisher

new york times

Shannon Hummel founded Cora Dance in 1997 as a dance company, but in recent years her organization has branched out in its aims and activities. Committed to increasing access to dance, she has opened a pay-what-you-can community-center studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and taken her choreography and workshops to parks and public housing developments. “Stories,” the program that opened at BAM Fisher on Thursday, is designed as a “container,” as she put it, for all that Cora Dance now is.


September 3, 2014

Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project Brings the Arts to Community Gardens

metrofocus (pbs)

“The New York Restoration Project approached BAM about making suggestions for dance, music and movies. We had suggested working with Urban Bush Women and with Cora Dance and with Lemay Dance,” said Amy Cassello, associate producer of the Next Wave Festival.


July 4, 2014

NYRP, BAM present Arts in the Gardens series

Brooklyn Eagle

New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) have partnered to present a season of free arts programming in select NYRP community gardens in Brooklyn. NYRP gardens are available for anyone to volunteer in, grow produce and host their own events. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in an outdoor setting. The event series will feature a mixed line-up of family-friendly events, including a music festival; movement, dance and rhythm workshops; a performance art installation; dance performances and a dance-themed film series. The events will take place in four Bedford-Stuyvesant and Gowanus gardens from June through September.


June 1, 2014

A Summer Guide to Dance, Music, Drama and Art in Red Hook

dna info

Cora Dance, a neighborhood dance school and studio, will premier phase 1 of “Common Dances” this summer, a collection of short works that are performed in common, sometimes unusual, spaces throughout Red Hook like cars, benches, paths and doorways.

Common Dances will be performed at 8 p.m. on the lawn of 14 Coles St. in Red Hook with a picnic potluck. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair to watch the 15 short dances. After the performances, the audience will be asked to share its thoughts and offer suggestions for other “common” places in the neighborhood.


May 14, 2014

Bringing Arts to Brooklyn and Bronx Community Gardens

New york times

Spring is bringing more than new flowers to the community gardens operated by the New York Restoration Project. The nonprofit group, created by Bette Midler in 1995, is collaborating with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Bronx Museum of the Arts on a new series, Arts in the Gardens, that will present music, performance art, poetry, dance and film at four gardens in the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Gowanus neighborhoods of Brooklyn and three gardens in the Tremont, Melrose and Highbridge neighborhoods of the South Bronx.


June 25, 2013










April 3, 2013

Dance on Benches, Cars and Hills Bring Outdoor Performance to Red Hook

dna info

Walk through the neighborhood this summer and you might find seemingly common people seated on a bench or arguing in a car.

Linger for a moment, because if you hear music in the air, ordinary life could turn into a dance performance right before your eyes.

In cars, on paths, hills, swings and doorways, the Cora Dance is bringing their newest work to the streets with “Common Dances,” based on human relationships.


Impressions of Cora Dance in "down here"

dance enthusiast

Shannon Hummel’s newest evening-length duet down here asks questions about existence and identity while exploring a volatile relationship between performers Katie Dean and Calia Marshall. In the intimate space of the Red Hook Studio- Theater, we feel part of the action.
Dean and Marshall, primal beings, standing hunched and withdrawn, move toward each other at an unnervingly sluggish pace. They seem in a perfect position to embrace when, quite suddenly, Marshall charges Dean ,who in response, attempts to hold Marshall back with strongly flailing arms.


March 8, 2013

Thirsty in the Big Sea


After an intermission to dry out and resettle, Calia Marshall and Katie Dean dance out the drama of their relationship, with a brilliant twist, or twists, in down here. Rather than parade onstage the scores of people that come into and through our lives as we try to negotiate a friendship or partnership, Cora Dance choreographer Shannon Hummel uses tinfoil. As Marshall and Dean sit fuming at each other, a leaf of foil falls from the sky and one of them forms a little person with it, to play with or to avoid dealing with the other big person. After a blackout with mysterious shaking and rustling, the lights reveal a sea of foil people.


March 5, 2013

Cora Dance’s Wordless Production Speaks a Universal Language

red hook star review

“What’s the ugliest way you can stuff your pants with the dolls?” Shannon asks.

It’s 1 pm; Katie and Calia are halfway through their rehearsal.  They have spent two hours working through kinks, practicing specific sequences and exploring possible costume malfunctions. The duo is about to embark on their first full run. Opening night is one day shy of two weeks away.

down here is a new evening length work choreographed by Cora Dance’s Shannon Hummel in collaboration with dancers, Katie Dean and Calia Marshall. The show is Shannon’s first evening length work in five years.


March 5, 2013

New Work Reignites a Choreographer’s Creative Spark


After the birth of her first child and the founding of her own dance studio, there was a period of time when Shannon Hummel seriously questioned whether she’d ever choreograph again.

“It was the feeling that opening this space to be a home for my work…consumed all of my time, so I had no time to make work,” says Hummel, who premiered her first new choreography in five years, Down Here, at The Cora Studio on Richards Street last week during her dance company’s 2013 New York season opening.


December 6, 2012


Sandy-Damaged RH Dance Studio Presses on With 2013 Season

dna info

Despite having to start searching for a new home because of damage to its Red Hook studio caused by Hurricane Sandy, Cora Dance pressed on with the opening of its 2013 dance season.

From Feb. 28 to March 2, and March 5 to 9, the studio will stage "Down Here," a 30- to 45-minute work choreographed by artistic director Shannon Hummel and performed by dancer/education manager Katie Dean and dancer Calia Marshall.


Cora Dance 'Pop-Up' Performances Turn Hook Benches, Doorways into Stages

dna info

Park benches, bus stops and doorways will transform into outdoor dance halls in Red Hook on Wednesday.

Cora Dance, a studio and dance company based at 201 Richard St., is performing a pair of "pop-up dances" called "Bench" and "Door" in various locations in Red Hook from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 22 and Aug. 29, and from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7.

August 21, 2012


Dancing on Unconventional Stages

brooklyn based

Red Hook’s historic Visitation Church may soon experience the same revitalization through performance. Shannon Hummel, artistic director of Cora Dance says that when she created Prey, a dance piece that will return to the church in an encore performance on Oct. 27 and 28., the music–Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light–called for an extreme environment. “Almost immediately, I knew the space had to be one where the audience could be right up close to dancers experiencing very intimate moments and at other times, watching them move through enormous amounts of space,” Hummel said.


October 20, 2011


Site Specific Dance In Support of a Church and a Dance School

brooklyn daily eagle

Performance is always a meeting of performers and audience. This is particularly true in site-specific choreography, where, without the constraints of seats and stage, the audience is a visible and audible presence. When stages change during a single performance, it requires additional chorography for the audience, through guides, signs or spoken instructions. These can add to the performance or break into its magic.


August 31, 2011


Keeping the faith: Dance fund-raiser to aid Red Hook church repair

new york daily news

A Brooklyn dance group wants Visitation Church in Red Hook to have a full resurrection.

Cora Dance, a Red Hook-based dance school and performance group, will perform its dance concert, "Prey," at the Richards St. church on Aug. 18.

Half the proceeds will go to the 157-year-old church to help make desperately needed repairs and renovations and pay off debts.

The church basement and the church-owned Lyceum Theatre have been forsaken. A stained-glass window that blew out during a storm needs repair. And the church is $26,000 in debt to the Brooklyn Diocese.

"When we heard the church was in trouble, we decided we'd like to put the show in the church to help build visibility," said Cora Dance artistic director Shannon Hummel. "As an artist, I need to help preserve something that's so culturally and historically important."


August 5, 2011


Eloquent choreographer gives the expression 'tough love' new meaning

village voice

Fear, hostility, loneliness, frustration, despair, numb stoicism, and frenzied hysteria wrack the five women who people Shannon Hummel's new Elsewhere. These conditions leave them little opportunity to offer or accept love. But—and this is the crux of Hummel's theme—they never quit trying, the hand of one reaching out tentatively, time and again, to a sister body likely to rebuff it. Hummel, who credits her dancers with collaboration on the choreography, creates this affecting world by combining instinctive, everyday postures and actions (the body's natural "speech") with "learned" movement (the artistic inventions of classical ballet and the major moderns). The results are enormously sophisticated on several levels, from the nuanced gradations of feeling expressed—the choreography quivers with subtle emotions, like the writing of Virginia Woolf—to stage pictures that remain beautifully calibrated whether the figures are still or running amok. Do I hear anyone suggesting a Bessie nomination?

March 22, 2005


Hummel Probes the Inexplicable Relationships We Can't Do Without

village voice

Stay, choreographed by Shannon Hummel in collaboration with her dancers, is an ambitious extended duet for two women—a small, feisty, dominant figure (Vanessa Adato) and a willowy, gentler one (Donna Costello). Repeatedly, with mounting intensity, they play out an agenda of tentative yet helplessly compelling seduction, awkwardly calibrated connection, and near-violent collapse that's apparently rooted in a terror of intimacy. This situation is central to Hummel's work. Typically, the figures of her imagination relate intensely to one another, while the hows and whys of their liaisons remain enigmatic. Here, as usual, the movement language is gratifyingly plain—strong and visceral in the center of the body, often delicate and naturalistic in the action of the hands and face. As the dance progresses, the two are drawn inextricably deeper into a folie à deux they might have anticipated, but didn't. It's almost like real life.

March 9, 2004


Ecstatic Resolutions Amid Life's Young Journeys

new york times

A young woman turned and walked forward slowly in ''Simple Work,'' the opening dance of a program presented by Shannon Hummel and her company, Cora, on Thursday night. Such was the dancer's calm authority that one assumed she was the choreographer. And the simplicity of those opening moments promised much.

The first assumption was wrong. Each of the eight dancers in Ms. Hummel's all-female company performed with a proprietary commitment that made the pieces glow. But Ms. Hummel is clearly a young choreographer of exceptional promise.

February 6, 2001