Women on the Rise!

Saturday - June 10, 2017 - 8 pm

Zipper Concert Hall, Colburn School
200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
We end our 20th anniversary season with a new beginning!
Featuring Flight, a dynamic new commission by Jocelyn Hagen 
Plus the World Premiere of Fire Within, choreography by Sarah Swenson
with Cheryl Banks-Smith, Tamsin Carlson, and Grace Privett-Mendoza
of VOX Dance Theater
VOX is thrilled to premiere Flight at Women on the Rise 

Flight is a multi-movement choral work by Jocelyn Hagen that was

commissioned by Phil Hettema for Vox Femina’s 20th Anniversary season.

The texts by Janet Windeler Ryan (“Sky Song”) and Julia Klatt Singer

(“Come Spring” and “This Sky Falls”) are varied depictions of the act of

taking flight.


In “Sky Song,” flight is a process of becoming: the restless struggle to break the bonds of gravity and leave everything behind: the rooftops of civilization, the people who held you back. In victory, the music soars as flight is achieved: “this sky song is mine!” “Come Spring” is a longing for renewal. Angular, fragmented motives punctuate the silence like tender shoots poking through the frosty ground, building to a sudden ascent and a call for the return of Spring: returning birds, waking trees, and a restoration of the world’s beauty. “This Sky Falls” is a ballad with the groove of flight achieved, basking in the freedom of a glorious, sustained glide through the sky and the way the magnificent vista alights within our bodies and under our skin. Michelle Roueché takes the traditional Latin text of the Lux Aeterna – let there be eternal light – and sets the text with beautiful, bell-like melodies and harmonies with a touch of haunting dissonance.


This piece features graduates of Vox Femina’s first Choral Scholars Program: Lucy Brooke, Paola Urbina and Hannah Ridge. Lucy  and Paola lead us in an aleatoric chant that Roueché writes to "represent all the saints in heaven”, and Hannah sings a solo with dissonances that “illustrate that light will always overcome the darkness.”


Advance ticket sales have closed. Tickets available starting at 7 pm on June 10 at the Zipper Concert Hall Box Office.





Jocelyn Hagen

​A native of Valley City, North Dakota, Jocelyn Hagen composes music that has been described as “dramatic and deeply moving.” Her first forays into composition were via songwriting, and this is very evident in her work. Her music is melodically driven, boldly beautiful, and has been described as “simply magical” (Fanfare Magazine) and “dramatic and deeply moving” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul).


Her first forays into composition were via songwriting, and this is very evident in her work. The majority of her compositional output is for the voice: solo, chamber and choral. In 2015, Test Pilot, her dance opera collaboration with choreographer Penelope Freeh, received a Sage Award for “Outstanding Design,” and the panel declared the work “a tour de force of originality.” Her melodic music is rhythmically driven, texturally complex, and has recently become more experimental in nature. In 2013 she released an EP entitled MASHUP, in which she performs Debussy’s “Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum” while singing Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team.”


For more information, visit www.jocelynhagen.com.

Sarah Swenson

Sarah Swenson is a is hybrid choreographer whose neo-modern work is a fusion of pioneering modern dance genres, theatre, and improvisation. Her post-modern work has been influenced by American post-modern mavericks Simone Forti and Rudy Perez, with whom she has been working since 2004.


Sarah founded Vox Dance Theatre of Los Angeles, a company of women, in 2004.  Her original choreography is steeped in the feminine experience, yet springs from themes of universal appeal. Her signature work, "Fimmine (Women)," premiered at the Toronto International Dance Festival, and is the centerpiece of Vox Dance Theatre's repertoire.


This first ever dance commission was a gift from Pamela Privett & founding member Helen Mendoza, dedicated to the women whose shoulders we stand on, and for the young women who will make a difference.


For more information, visit www.SarahSwensonDance.com.