Looking at Contemporary Dance: A guide for the internet Age


by Marc Raymond Strauss with Myron Howard Nadel

AscenDance Project

Another intriguing contemporary dance presenter, AscenDance Project (www.ascendanceproject.com), a Berkeley, California-based company has its performers moving vertically on climbing walls to choreographed rhythms in music and silence, was founded in 2006. Artistic Director and founder Isabel von Rittberg (b. September 4, 1980, Haan, Germany) was driving through Utah’s Virgin River Gorge during sunset and was stunned by the red sandstone cliffs surrounding [her and] enjoying imaginary bodies dancing on the immense vertical terrain…When rock climbing, it was the continuous flow of vertical movements that generated a strong mental focus and a powerfully physical strength that allowed [her’ to gracefully overcome [her] body weight. [Her] vision of climbers executing technical and powerful movements to music was clear and strong.

As with Elizabeth Streb, Cirque du Soleil, and Momix before her, von Rittberg discovered a new and unique venue for “dance” performance.

Chapter Eleven: 2000 and Beyond: A New Century, P. 165

Gordon Graham