“Osserman finds cosmic implications in personal experience.”— Gus Solomons Jr., The Village Voice
Growing up in New York City, Wendy Osserman studied many dance forms including modern with Martha Graham, José Limòn, Betty Jones and others, and choreography with Louis Horst, Anna Sokolow, Bessie Schönberg, Robert Ellis Dunn, and Martha Myers. After performing as a soloist with Valerie Bettis, Alice Condodina, Kei Takei, Frances Alenikoff, the Hellenic Chorodrama, S.I.T.U., and in two festivals she created on the island of Paros, Greece, she launched Wendy Osserman Dance Company in 1976.
Osserman has choreographed over 18 full-length pieces as well as many shorter works in collaboration with outstanding dancers. She was featured in Dancing Divas at La MaMa; Women in Dance at 92 Y: History in the Making Anniversary Special; From The Horse’s Mouth, Rebecca Stenn & Company; Theater Within and My Inner Sole, conceived and directed by Zuzka Kurtz.
Taking the political personally, Osserman strives to understand historical and current events with the entirety of her body, at times including text. Humor emerges from the sincerity and intensity of her feeling. During the Iraq war, she confessed that she had intended to perform a peace dance but —wanting to torture the torturers and kill the killers — it morphed into a war on war dance.
Osserman earned a B.A. in theater from Smith College and an M.A. from New York University. Honors include the Lawrence S. Epstein Choreography Award in 1991 and the 2004 Gallatin Arts Festival Award from NYU. She has taught dance at numerous schools and universities and creates original dance theater work in North Carolina, where she spends more than half the year. She is featured in A Life in Dance: A Practical Guide by Rebecca Stenn and Fran Kirmser.
Cori Kresge (Current)
“Ms. Kresge has advanced from highly impressive to extraordinary…she whips across the space with an amazing combination of absolute control and reckless speed. There’s a cheekiness to how poised she is in seemingly impossible balances, how at ease in high-torsion co-ordinations of limbs.”
— The New York Times
Cori Kresge is a NY based dance artist, writer, bodyworker, and teacher. She graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in dance and has been a member of the Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group, José Navas/Compagnie Flak, and Stephen Petronio Company. Kresge collaborates and performs with various artists including Rashaun Mitchell+Silas Riener, Rebecca Lazier, Sally Silvers, Ellen Cornfield, Xavier Cha, Esmé Boyce, Sarah Skaggs, Bill Young, Liz Magic Laser, School for Poetic Computation, and filmmakers Zuzka Kurtz, Alla Kovgan, and Charles Atlas. She won the 2019 No, Dear/Small Anchor Press chapbook contest for her debut poetry collection, isn’t devotion. Her second collection of poems, Combustion Suite, is dedicated to the choreography of Wendy Osserman; published by Bored Wolves, 2023. She teaches dance at various institutions and is a certified Zero Balancing bodyworker and licensed massage therapist. She has danced with Wendy Osserman Dance Company since 2003.
Emily Vetsch (Current)
A dancer, puppeteer, director & choreographer, Emily Vetsch hails from Sun Valley, Idaho. She studied dance at Ballet Idaho, NCSA, and SUNY Purchase (BFA). In addition to WODC, Vetsch has had the pleasure of working with Labrynth Dance Theater, The Hudson Vagabond Puppets, Jeff Davis Dance, The Marcos Duran Performance Group, NYC Children’s Theater, No. 11 Productions, Cori Kresge, Abby Payne, Cuddle Magic, Tai Dang, and Michael Weiner among other talented people and organizations. She directs Glitter Kitty Theater, est. 2011. Her company is routinely presented by Crystal Field of Theater for the New City, for various productions ranging from annual TNC community festivals to GKT’s own three-week festival of Arts, Music & Theater. This is her tenth season with Wendy Osserman Dance Company.
Lauren Ferguson (Current)
Lauren Ferguson earned her BFA at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase and performed as a guest with Merce Cunningham’s Repertory Understudy Group. She has danced in works by David Gordon, Bill Young, Cori Kresge, and Esme Boyce, among others. Ferguson appeared in The Public Theater’s Shakespeare In The Park Production of All’s Well That Ends Well. She is a licensed massage therapist, holistic nutrition graduate, and mom. Lauren is enjoying dancing again with Wendy Osserman Dance Company!
Skip La Plante (Always)
Skip La Plante serves as musical director, composer, and musician for Wendy Osserman Dance Company. He has composed for over 100 modern dance and theater presentations including collaborating with Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard on Tongues/Savage Love. In 1975 he co-founded Music for Homemade Instruments, an ensemble dedicated to creating and composing for new and unusual instruments, often made from trash and other found objects. One of New York City’s leading microtonalists, La Plante has built instruments and composed for alternative tuning systems such as Harry Partch’s 43 pitch per octave tuning. With the ensemble Bash The Trash, La Plante has shown hundreds of thousands of students how and why musical instruments sound as they do. A teaching artist at New York City’s Materials for the Arts, which receives donations of unwanted items from corporations and makes the items available to teachers and artists. He has explored both non-western music — living in Indonesia for two years to study musical performance and gamelan building — and music in the European tradition, working with Milton Babbitt as his college thesis advisor. La Plante spends considerable time backpacking and has mined that experience for compositional ideas. He has collaborated with Wendy Osserman Dance Company for the last ten years.
Vanessa Walters is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, director, filmmaker, and performer. Her multimedia project Ripening has been featured at Lincoln Center, Tribeca Film Festival, Triskelion Arts, NADA Art Fair/Art Basel, Triskelion Arts, and FLICfest Dance Festival, amongst others. Ripening explores our emotional and psychological relationships with Time, and the wonder and cruelty it wreaks. Walters was lead choreographer/dancer for Fischerspooner for 11 years and toured with Gogol Bordello for 2 years. She also collaborates with artist/director Marcel Dzama and is the show choreographer for TruTV’s “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” Walters is a 2020 Harkness Foundation for Dance Grantee for Ripening
Gary Champi is a freelance dancer. He has worked on a project basis with Ian Spencer Bell, Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre, and Bill Young. Champi was a guest artist with the Stephen Petronio Company and Robert Moses’ Kin, and has also performed with Michael Mao Dance, H.T. Chen & Dancers, Ellen Cornfield, and in special projects with the Merce Cunningham Trust. He was an assistant stager in a Cunningham Interscape workshop and also works as the Trust’s administrative assistant. He holds a degree in cognitive science from Stanford University and teaches hip hop and choreography. He joined Wendy Osserman Dance Company in 2017.
Joshua Tuason is a dance artist and teacher originally from San Francisco, where he began his training at the San Francisco Ballet. He earned a BFA from Marymount Manhattan Collage. Tuason was a member of the Martha Graham Ensemble and has participated in various events through the Merce Cunningham Trust including the centennial production Night of 100 Solos at BAM. A member of Stephen Petronio Company from 2009-2017, he currently freelances and has collaborated with various artists including Yvonne Rainer, Mark Morris, Ian Spencer Bell, Ellen Cornfield, Sally Silvers, Pam Tanowitz, and Oliver Herring. He joined Wendy Osserman Dance Company in 2016.