Audition Notice

Sunday, December 19, 2015


FLOCK (8371 N Interstate Avenue, Studio 4, Portland, OR 97217)

Seeking 5-7 advanced dancers for a new full-evening length work to premiere mid-2016. 

The audition will consist of a warmup followed by phrase work, improvisation, and partnering exercises.  Dancers should have strong technique in a post-modern dance form and be comfortable with improvisation as a creative tool.  Experience with partnering or contact improvisation a plus.  Dancers should be interested in being part of a collaborative process that involves movement investigation and physical research.  Please bring a resume.  Long pants and a shirt with sleeves are recommended.  

Rehearsals will begin in January and are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings. Stipend for performances.

For more information, please contact Eliza directly.

Ongoing Events

Open Class

FRIDAYS  9-10:30AM

Int/Adv Open Class - $12

FLOCK Dance Center, 8371 N Interstate Ave, Studio 4, Portland, OR

This highly physical, open company class is a container for advanced and intermediate dancers to explore and expand their movement understanding and possibility. We begin on the floor, finding new ways of using the ground both as support and catalyst. Through somatically curious movement, we will investigate new ways of moving through the space, tapping into potential for support from the floor, other bodies, and ourselves. With an emphasis on connectivity and flow, we will slip through space and challenge traditional ways of orienting to the world, increasing potential for physical articulation. 

 Kneepads, long pants, and a shirt with sleeves are recommended. 

Past Events 

Small sample of past events and classes.  Further details on past events coming soon...


JULY 8-11, 2015

7PM & 9PM

Conduit's DANCE+ Performance Festival, Reed College Performance Lab, Portland, Oregon

Presenting Solo/Solo: Bright Abyss, the latest collaboration of Mountain Empire Performance Collective.  This performance will feature a virtual duet between Eliza Larson (live) and Barbara Tait (video).  More information here.



2-4 PM  

Conduit Dance+ Festival, Reed College, Performance Lab, Portland, Oregon

Dance Minus Place/No Limit: Mountain Empire will be co-teaching a workshop on distance creation methods, via long-distance. Since 2013, the Mountain Empire Performance Collective (MEPC) has explored ways of making live dance-based performance work beyond geographical limitations, creating anywhere and everywhere including coffee shops, an airplane, the Megabus, in bed, and occasionally even in a dance studio. In this workshop, we will explore long-distance collaborative processes, using both traditional and new technologies to create original movement material, trade phrases, experiment with performance scores, and explore practical logistics.  Participants will engage in actual long-distance collaboration, possibly including directive text messages, secret letters, and google hangouts complete with funny hats (which do, in fact, have immense influence on the process). Broader ideas about long-distance collaboration will also be discussed. By responding to the impulse to make art with collaborators near and far, we will work with tools for creating and connecting that both embrace and break down geographic barriers while fostering questions about what performance means in the 21st century. Through the lens of distance and proximity, we will explore creative process from a new perspective. With funny hats. 


May 2-4, 2014

8pm, May 2 and 3

2pm, May 4

Lewisburg, West Virginia

Mountain Empire will be performing as part of the Trillium Concert in May.  For tickets or more information, please call (304) 645-3003 or visit:


APRIL 14, 2014

Seattle, WA

Mountain Empire will be performing the west coast premier of their new work, Everybody Knows This Is Now Here, in Seattle this coming April.  Details are forthcoming, but Seattleites, we're coming home for you!


APRIL 5, 2014



Black Mountain College, North Carolina

The Telephone Dance Project has been invited to perform as part of Re-Happening, a one-day art spectacular housed at the historic Black Mountain College, where Merce Cunningham and John Cage initiated a new era of art making and improvisations.  


APRIL 4, 2014

Blacksburg, VA

Both Mountain Empire and The Telephone Dance Project will be performing as part of an evening showcase of dance in Blacksburg, VA.  More details coming soon.


MARCH 28 AND 29, 2014

Washington, DC

March 28th - 29th, 2014, TDP will travel to Washington D.C. for an Improvisation Workshop at Dance Place on Friday from 6:30-8:30pm, a Site-specific Dance Experience at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 3-4pm, and a Salon-style show at the Brookland Artspace Loft on Saturday night from 7-9pm.  

Register or buy tickets here:


Photo by Jaroslav Mastny

Eliza teaches both dance and yoga classes.  As a yoga instructor, Eliza primarily teaches Vinyasa classes, with a special focus on anatomical organization and connecting breath to movement.  Her classes are fun, challenging, and positive, creating a safe place on the mat to deepen and explore.  From the foundations of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, each class begins with a warm up, move into peak poses, and end with a cool down.  Emphasis is placed on alignment, strength, flexibility, balance, and body awareness.  Special focus is given to finding ease and flow within and between each pose, using core support, and building upper body strength.

Eliza is passionate about helping students be more in touch with their bodies, and experiencing their anatomy through movement.  Both her dance and yoga classes have a strong somatics base.  Eliza is especially interested in working with students to deepen their yoga practices, taking their physicality and knowledge to the next level. 

Eliza received her 200 hr yoga teacher certification under the direction of Jennifer Yarro at Frog Lotus Yoga in North Adams, MA.  

For questions, more information, or to schedule a private lesson, please contact Eliza directly.  

Eliza is a writer and independent scholar, and her writing has appeared in Contact Quarterly, Kinebago, DanceUSAand other publications.  Her most recent scholarly work investigates gender imbalance among choreographers and artistic directors, and will be published in a forthcoming book from the University of Florida press in late-2015.   

In 2013, she was an invited presenter at Decentering Dance Studies: Moving In New Global Orders, A Joint Conference of the Congress on Research in Dance & the Society of Dance History Scholars at the University of California at Riverside.  Her paper, “A Struggle For All: Exploring Gender Equity in Dance Off the Stage”, explores the glass ceiling experienced by female choreographers and artistic directors in dance by examining gender representation in the 2012 performance season of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.  She was also an invited participant in the National Dance Education Organizations 2013 conference at SUNY Brockport, NY, and her research was presented at Smith College.  

Eliza, as part of the Mountain Empire Performance Collective, recently presented on long-distance dance-making methods at the National Dance Education Organization annual conference in Phoenix, AZ, in October, 2015.  Additionally, Terpsichore's Deck, a deck of choreographic principles, has been used worldwide for dance making inspiration and choreographic education.  


Behind the Curtain: Gender (In)Equity in Dance Among Choreographers and Artistic Directors  It is common knowledge that women dominate the field of dance numerically, yet men receive grants and choreographic opportunities at a rate disproportionate to their numeric minority in the field.  Paralleling the systemic imbalances embedded in US culture, these choreographic opportunities represent positions of leadership and power in the field of dance.  My paper focuses on gender representation in dance production through choreographers and artistic directors around the country.  I ask whether men and women are represented in numbers that reflect their respective populations in the field of dance, and how the production of dance illuminates or undermines gender disparity among dance creators.  I investigate the ways in which women experience a glass ceiling as choreographers and artistic directors in receiving funding as well as national attention and acclaim.  

Specifically, my existing research offers a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the representation of female and male choreographers presented on the three stages of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival during the 2012 performance season.  The stratified programming of Jacob’s Pillow allows a case study of how well female choreographers fare within the various levels of public recognition in the dance field.  Forthcoming research will analyze the 2013 and 2014 performance seasons of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, as well as the 2012-2014 performance seasons of the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, and the 2012-2014 dance programming for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in Brooklyn, NY.  

I identify national trends and establish a framework for understanding the data collected by crosschecking statistics for dance funding in New York City using Dance/NYC’s 2007 Census of New York City Dancemakers.  Additionally, I use further data on not-for-profit dance (Dance/NYC’s State of NYC Dance, based on the New York State Cultural Data Project (CDP); Dance/NYC Junior Committee’s Dance Workforce Census: Earnings Among Individuals, Ages 21–35; and Discovering Fiscally Sponsored NYC Dancemakers), to offer context for understanding the connection between venue programming and financial success in dance.  Though these latter surveys provide information on the financial implications of the dance work force in New York City, the data gathered reveals additional information about the gender of dancers and choreographers and how their work is presented.  My research aims to decenter gender hierarchies among choreographers in the United States and globally.  I offer a feminist perspective on the breakdown of gender in dance off the stage, and I seek to explore the current realities affecting those creating dance today.  


Eliza is the author and illustrator of Terpsichore’s Deck, a set of 52 choreographic cards to use in dancemaking and composition.  Each card contains poetic text and watercolor painting on the opposite side.  The cards illustrates different compositional principles and ideas and are a creative tool for artists of all disciples.  Terpsichore’s Deck is available through Contact Quarterly and at