As a freshman hailing from Milwaukee, Spencer McAfee-Gundrum stepped into his role as Company Manager without fear, and we could not be luckier to have him working behind the scenes for LCPD. He spends most of his time finding funds for our performances. Without him, Rise Over Run wouldn’t be possible. 

Spencer hopes to major in Strategic Communications at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His position has allowed him to combine his love of communication with his passion for dance.

“This job has opened my eyes to how the Arts work and what it takes to make a performance possible,” said Spencer. “No other position would have provided me with the skills I’ve gained at LCPD.”

While joining a dance company was nothing new to Spencer due to his love of the Arts, he had never watched a professional contemporary dance performance until now. Rise Over Run has broadened his view of dance, and he is incredibly excited to see it all come together next weekend. He is most excited to watch the performance in such a non-traditional setting.

“I am looking forward to seeing the Discovery Building as a performance space,” said Spencer. “I think it’s great to bridge the fields of science and dance. It shows how two very different spheres of thought and experience can come together and create a cohesive, impressive piece of work.”

Whether it is your first or your twentieth contemporary dance performance, we invite you to join the experience next weekend. It’s never too late to become a fan of the Arts! Come to one of the performances and meet Spencer as he ensures that everything is running smoothly.

BEHIND THE SCENES April 18, 2014

After participating in Chiao-Ping’s Summer Dance workshops last year, Katie Apsey decided she was missing something in her life. Through the support of the workshop instructors, Apsey decided to audition for RISE OVER RUN and return to dance performance.

“As a PhD student working on my preliminary requirements, I’m stuck in a graduate carrel or at a small coffee shop table all day hunched over reading and writing, living mainly in my head,” said Apsey. “Dance is a way for me to get out of my head and into my body. Movement is a different way of thinking and it keeps me balanced.”

Apsey could not have picked a better show for her “return” to dance. She believes the diversity of the dancers provides something that is irreplaceable in RISE.

“It’s amazing to see a creative community formed with people who have such different daily lives: dance professors, young professionals, college freshman, international students, stay-at-home moms, non-profit CEOs, and graduate students,” said Apsey. “There is a mutual respect for everyone’s contributions to the group and a recognition of how each person’s unique bodily experience and dance training feeds into what we are creating.”

The best part of creating RISE OVER RUN is the constant change and remodeling. No dancer has a specific role. Instead, they are asked to work and collaborate with every member of the company.

“The fun aspect of the flowing pieces and having assorted casts for multiple shows per day is that each show is different,” explained Apsey. “Interestingly, each of us gets to dance multiple roles within a single piece since the same piece will be performed many times per day.”

Since each performance is different than the one before, audience members will gain different insights from viewing RISE OVER RUN. Apsey is excited to hear about the various views from audience members.

“Some people will see the dance from angles that the we [the dancers] have never seen,” said Apsey. “My hope is that it starts interesting conversations afterwards between audience members – comparing and contrasting experiences or sharing views that others were not privy to.”

In less than a month you will have your own chance to join the conversation. We can’t wait to see you there!


Hiroki Koba is a student from Japan who is working on his PhD at the University of Toyko. He is living in Madison while conducting a comparative study in the history of dance education between the United States and Japan. It is his first production with Li Chiao-Ping Dance, and he is the only male dancer in RISE. His unique movement style brings a different view to the performance.

“Before I worked in this piece, I danced with others who had similar qualities to myself,” said Hiroki. “In some cases, they trained in the same studio and danced together for a couple years. However, after I came here and worked with dancers who had multiple qualities, I found other dancers’ strong points and discovered how I can create harmony with them.”

Hiroki explained how working with Chiao-Ping has been a different and positive experience. He said Chiao-Ping’s process highlights the strong points of each dancer’s movement style. She never imposes on the dancers’ creative processes, which allows them to have dialogues with each other.

When Hiroki was asked how dance provides an outlet for creativity, he stressed the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication.

“We’re living in the 21st century, and we are so accustomed to communicating with others by words,” said Hiroki. “Dance is an art form of non-verbal communication. So, it may be able helpful to dance in order to bring out our unknown potentials.”

Hiroki and the other dancers have worked together to bring out unknown potentials through their non-verbal communication. The result is a wonderful display of creativity. Don’t miss your chance to see it May 9-11 at WID.

“The final piece has its own unique worldview,” said Hiroki. “It truly is magic!”


Rachel Krinsky has been a member of Li Chiao-Ping Dance since 2007. She trained at the Wisconsin School of Ballet and joined Jazzworks in 1985. RISE OVER RUN will be her first site-specific work.

Krinsky explained that site-specific work changes the process of creative decisions. The style alters how the audience and the dancers experience the performance. The entire method has been unique and rewarding for everyone involved.

“The dancers don’t have specific roles or identities in RISE,” said Krinsky. “We are all performing in a wide variety of pieces that have different sensibilities and bring out our diverse styles and strengths.”

Similar to many of the other dancers in LCPD, Krinsky enjoys dancing as a creative balance to her job as CEO of YWCA Madison.

“I love the opportunity to work with others as a peer, to be ‘in my body’ rather than in my head, and to be fully present in the moment,” said Krinsky. “I enjoy co-creating with Chiao-Ping and the other dancers when we are asked to contribute ideas or movement.”

RISE OVER RUN will feature Chiao-Ping’s vision and creativity along with impressive collaboration by Krinsky and all of the dancers. Don’t miss your chance to see how all the different styles and personalities come together to form a cohesive, incomparable show.




RISE OVER RUN: Off The Wall Dances is only two months away and we could not be more excited! We hope to give you some updates off and on about the behind the scenes work going into the performances, which you can see May 9-11 at the Discovery Building (Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery).

This is the first site-specific production Li Chiao-Ping Dance has put together, and Li Chiao-Ping has loved every minute of the creative process so far. The method of putting it together is just as riveting as the show is unique and captivating. 

“There are several sites throughout the Discovery Building that I’m designing dances for,” Li Chiao-Ping said. “It’s like a giant playground.”

The dancers have to respond to their environment and work with the space around them. Li explained that the dancers will be doing improvisational work to collaborate, respond, and create.

The Discovery Building provides a unique space for inter-disciplinary work between movement and the sciences. Li Chiao-Ping is a fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, located in the building.

“I like taking on new challenges,” Li said. “RISE offered the opportunity for me to merge my interest in science with art.” 

Li Chiao-Ping and the dancers are starting to ramp up the speed in order to get everything ready. In just two short months, you will be able to see how all the hard work pays off. We hope to see you there!