Fertile Ground Portland

A Festival of New Works Blog

Meet the Artists: SubRosa Dance Collective January 24, 2013


SubRosa Dance Collective

LevitationThe SubRosa Dance Collective is comprised of six lovely dancers: Cerrin Lathrop, Lena Traenkenschuh, Carlyn Hudson, Jessica Evans, Zahra Banzi and Kailee McMurran. They formed their company in 2011 and came together under what they like to call “the nurturing, fervent, and palpable Portland energy that spurs on expression and entertainment through art and performance.” They all have earned combined degrees in the Arts from SUNY Purchase College, Arizona State University, Western Oregon University, and Western Washington University.


“Living the Room” February 2 at 7:00pm Polaris Dance Theatre 1501 SW Taylor St Portland

In their latest work, “Living the Room,” The SubRosa Dance Collective explores the emotional and physical webs woven throughout the rooms we live in. The inanimate inhabitants within these spaces – the chairs we rest and cry in the arms of, the linens we make love between, the surfaces we make messes of and sluff off layers of ourselves in and onto – have inspired SubRosa to discuss these ubiquitous relationships with these objects in the somatic rhetoric that is so unique to our dance‐voice. The whole show is an hour and half-ish but SubRosa is sharing it with two other dance groups. SubRosa is the second company scheduled to perform: 30 minutes of non-stop dancing. The entire space with be transformed into a room with furniture.



1. Artists in Our Field we Have Giant Artist Crushes On Are . . .

Cerrin: I have a giant crush of hofesh shechter, jiri kylian, lalala human steps.

Jessica: My dance crush is Pina Bausch.

2. A Work That Has Shaped My Artistic Voice Is . .

Cerrin: there are certain pieces that you don’t even breathe during and for me that is generally pieces that are creatively choreographed, but still incredibly human. For example, “In Your Rooms” by Hofesh Shechter transforms the space and energy by having the music played live, but above the dancers. The movement is explosive and stressed. The combination of floating music and stressed movement creates an intensity that is very similar to flustering situations in life.

Lena: Short stories by Jorge Luis Borges and being in reconstruction of a Lar Lubovitch Work. I like how he uses patterns.

3. When not creating the work, you’ll often find us..

Kailee: We are either teaching, massaging, serving tables, or drinking. 🙂

SubRosa Dance Collective

SubRosa Dance Collective

4. Five Songs On My Writing/Painting/Creating Playlist Are . . .

Carlyn: One song on my creative playlist would be Mark Knopfler ‘Ragpicker’s Dream.’

Lena: ‘Beach House Song’…Maybe ‘Other people.’

Kailee: ‘Goodbye’ by Apparat. I can listen to the song on repeat for like 10 hours & at the moment ‘Ain’t No Grave’ by Johnny Cash

Jessica: Miguel’s ‘Adorn’

5. A Portland Artist/Creative/Arts Organization I’d Love To Work With Is . . .

Kailee: I really want to work with individuals who are trying to be apart of the PDX artist world just like we are. Maybe hang 2D art at our shows, invite other dancers/choreographers, use local costume designers ect…..the art in this town is amazing. I want to be involved and expose ALL of it.

Cerrin: Teeth for dance, but I would love to establish a partnership with Portland Art Museum to start an on going residency for dance performances in their exhibits.

SubRosa Dance Collective

SubRosa Dance Collective

6. I am terrified Of and we are terrified of….

Cerrin: We are terrified of not being able to show our work and talent and artistry.

Kailee: I’m terrified of needles….

Carlyn: I hate worms.

7. We are Obsessed With . . .

Cerrin: We are obsessed with fashion… and goodwill.

Kailee: Yes, Goodwill!

8. The Books Currently On My Nightstand are . .

Kailee: ‘Wildwood.’ It’s a book based out of Portland. It’s pretty fun.

Cerrin: I have a kindle, so many books are on my nightstand, but reading ‘Game of Thrones.’ I generally alternate between a fiction then a non-fiction.

Lena: I’m reading ‘Satan in Goray’ by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Jessica: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Carlyn: I’m reading Game of Thrones too.

9. Three Adjectives That Describe This Work Are . . .

Cerrin: Economical. Adaptive. Relatable.

10. In the Indie Art-House Biographical Film Of My Life, I Should Be Played By

Cerrin [speaking for all the dancers]: um. Carlyn [Aubrey Plaza] Jessica [Jessica Chastain/Nicole Kidman] Cerrin [Christina Ricci] Lena [Rashida Jones/Miranda July] Kailee [Natalie Portman] Zahra [Michelle Williams]

Kailee: hahahaha that’s perfect.


1) Tell us about your Fertile Ground Festival work.

This go around we are doing an excerpt of “Living the Room.” We will have transformed the stage into a living room. Couch, lamp, chair, RUG! It will be there! You will be entertained by solo’s, a trio, several group pieces all using our surrounding props. Each piece of furniture is a metaphor for a story, a person, a thing. These everyday items have been given deeper meaning and as the dancers we have explored what emotions we can pull from them. For the past year we have been building our repertoire for the feature length show ‘Living the Room.’ Each venue we do a different set of pieces so (cross your fingers) by May we have a complete show that we can produce ourselves!

2) How did this work come about? What inspired it?

Money, time and space. The cheapest, most easily accessible place to rent is your own home. And what fills your home? Furniture.

Beyond that the individual pieces generally come from a problem within one of our lives. Dance is a way of solving problems.

3) Talk about your creative process. (How do you work? When do you work? What gets you inspired?)

I think all 6 of us work in pretty different ways individually. Carlyn is a music magician. She masterfully accentuates hidden musical notes with our bodies. Lena and Jessica, both use music as to inspire an emotion. They create phrases that are emotionally connected to the music but end up applying the music or getting rid of the music towards the end of completion of the piece. Zahra and Cerrin are somewhere in between all of that. Both interweaving musical accents and letting the music be it’s own emotional entity. Cerrin and Carlyn have everything written down in a notebook, EVERY last count. I (Kailee) like to wait til the last minute to throw everything together. As a whole to create a cohesive show, we talk a lot. We get excited. We try and write things down. We get side tracked (usually there are a couple drinks involved,) but in the end we have a multitude of great ideas to select from and we make it happen!


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