Valda Setterfield | Gina Leishman

Valda Setterfield

Photo by Andrew Eccles

Valda Setterfield, British-born dancer/actor and an American citizen, has worked with JoAnne Akalaitis, Woody Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jonah Bokaer, Boris Charmatz, Caryl Churchill, Merce Cunningham, Graciela Daniele, Richard Foreman, Maria Irene Fornes, Carmen de Lavallade, Brian DePalma, Ain Gordon, David Gordon, Ivo van Hove, Don Mischer, Marie Rambert, Yvonne Rainer, Donald Saddler, Michael Sexton, Gus Solomons Jr., Jeanine Tesori, James Waring, Robert Wilson, and Mark Wing-Davey. She has performed at American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.), the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Danspace, Dance Theater Workshop (DTW), The Joyce Theater and Joyce SoHo, The Kitchen, Mark Taper Forum, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), Performance Space 122 (P.S. 122), The Public, Soho Rep, and Tate Modern (UK).

She was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for 10 years and a founding member of Pick Up Performance Co(s). She received an Obie for The Family Business in 1994. She received New York Dance and Performance Awards (Bessies) in 1984 and 2006, and a third in 2010 for her work with PARADIGM.

In 2013, Setterfield improvised, related, and performed previous solo materials in MoMA’s “20 Dancers for the XX Century”; moderated as guest artist in Flip Book, by Boris Charmatz, at MoMA; and performed for Jonah Bokaer in Occupant in Washington, D.C., and Miami.


Gina Leishman

Photo by Andrew Eccles

Gina Leishman composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist — has written for theater, opera, dance, film, television, and concert stage, garnering numerous awards. Recent theater work includes the score for Septimus & Clarissa, conceived with writer Ellen McLaughlin and director Rachel Dickstein (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Score); an adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s The World Is Round with Karin Coonrod; and various iterations of Uncivil Wars with David Gordon.

Other artists she has worked with include directors Robert Woodruff, Lisa Peterson, Daniel Fish, and Joseph Chaikin; writers Tony Kushner and Naomi Wallace; choreographers Bebe Miller and Deborah Slater; performance artists Rinde Eckert and John Kelly; and composer Doug Wieselman, with whom she co-leads Kamikaze Ground Crew and Mr. Wau-Wa. Founded in 1998 for Bertolt Brecht’s centenary, Mr. Wau-Wa is dedicated to performing the songs of Brecht as set by his collaborators Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Paul Dessau, as well as contemporary settings by David Hidalgo and Ms. Leishman. This is in some ways a continuation of work begun in London in the 1970s, when she co-founded a theater company — in an abandoned taxi-meter factory in Paddington — dedicated to the work of Bertolt Brecht with Hanns Eisler, which recently had been translated for the first time.

Ms. Leishman was composer-in-residence at Montalvo in 2009 and 2010 and Artist in Residence at Colgate in 2012. She has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Meet The Composer, Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Fund, Rockefeller Foundation, Arts International, Chamber Music America, Doris Duke Foundation, American Music Center, and California Arts Council, among others. Recordings of her various ensembles can be found on Koch Jazz, New World, Busmeat, and GCQ Records. She is currently working on her third opera.

For more information, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *