Commonplace (1996) – Susan Hadley

Commonplace is an expression of the choreographer’s feelings about the power of community with a group of women and their compassion for each other. The idea of the piece was actually stimulated by the choreographer’s concern about the women of Cambodia, Bosnia, and places in Latin America where the political situations were unstable. Hadley had a very strong feeling about the women who gathered in the military square to protest the disappearance of their loved ones by simply walking day after day, month after month. To Hadley, the walking symbolized a simple ritualistic, communal act and the power of the human spirit.


Performed in 2013 as part of RDT’s Women of Valor season concert.

Choreography: Susan Hadley

Music: Veljo Tormis, selections from the CD “Forgotten Peoples”: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.

Costumes executed by BalletMet Costume Shop

Lighting Design: David Covey, Recreated by James K. Larsen

Rehearsal Assistant: Lynne Larson

Dancers:  Nicholas Cendese, Sarah Donohue, Rosy Goodman, Toni Lugo, Tyler Orcutt,  Katherine Winder, Aaron Wood with guest performers Jaclyn Burgess & Traci Jamison from UVU’s Department of dance.

Communities are often strongest in times of sorrow. They wrap their collective arms around us in times of need. Caretaking and standing witness to one another are the rituals of our compassion.

About Susan Hadley:

RDT has enjoyed a  long artistic association with choreographer Susan Hadley which includes two original commissions, Honor Guard and Fin Amours, plus Commonplace, Solitaire, and Blue Grass, as well as guest residencies in the 2002 and 2012 RDT Summer Dance Workshops.

Hadley’s choreography has also been performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, BalletMet, American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Ballet Pacifica, OSU Dance, OSU Theatre, Contemporary American Theatre Company and Drums Downtown. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Choo San Goh Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council, OSU College of the Arts, and Wexner Center for the Arts.

Hadley was a principal dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Group, performing internationally and on DANCE IN AMERICA. She was a member of Senta Driver’s company HARRY and she performed with Meredith Monk. As rehearsal director for Mark Morris she worked with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, with Zivili’s premiere of The Office, and with the Royal Opera’s production of Platee.  

Recipient of the 2002 Colleges of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2006 OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, Hadley is a Professor in the renowned Department of Dance at The Ohio State University.

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