Periapsis Music and Dance believes in the artists of today and in the body of work that they are creating. The extraordinary choreographers and composers of our time have the vision, voice, and skill to create collaborative works of intrinsic artistic value worthy of performance, study, and preservation. Our mission is to cultivate this new concert repertoire at the intersection of dance and music by actively contributing to it with our ensemble and by facilitating and encouraging such collaborations in the community.


Periapsis Music and Dance was founded in the fall of 2012 by composer/pianist Jonathan Howard Katz and dancer/choreographer Leigh Schanfein in response to the growing gap between dance performance and live musical performance in the NYC arts scene. Inspired by our own experiences creating art together, we wanted to give others in the dance and music communities opportunities to collaborate on new performance pieces. Jonathan and Leigh created several new repertoire works together as composer and choreographer, including two that they had first developed pre-Periapsis, as well as some pieces with other collaborators.

As we began our third season, we welcomed choreographers Erin Dillon and Hannah Weber to our company. Erin had been a guest choreographer during our first season, and Hannah started with us as a featured dancer in season two’s Laid upon the children. While serving as resident choreographers, both also participated in the ensemble as dancers, and the contrast between their unique artistic styles enriched our growing repertoire. Leigh departed from the ensemble in the winter of 2015, and our core company coalesced into an ensemble of roughly six dancers and six musicians.

Commissioned guest choreographers and composers became an important feature of our work beginning with The Portrait Project in season four. From this point on, we grew our repertoire through a balance of resident artists and guests, giving our dancers a breadth of experience unusual among small companies. It also offered our audiences a surprising variety of work at our shows, and we became a recognized leader in interdisciplinary artistic collaboration. See below for a full list of choreographers and composers who contributed to our repertoire.

The fourth season (2015-16) was also the year we formalized and expanded various programs that served the larger dance and music communities outside of our company—the Periapsis Open Series, the Emerging Artist Residencies, our online resources, and more. These programs continued to varying degrees through our history, some reaching hundreds of artists worldwide. Learn more about them on our services page.

Further company shifts took place in 2020-21, as Hannah relocated to the southeast, and Erin left to pursue other genres of performance. Rohan Bhargava and Evita Zacharioglou, both company dancers since 2019, became resident choreographers, and Annie Nikunen joined the ensemble, making her debut in 2021 as choreographer, composer, dancer, and flutist, all at the same time.

The post-COVID landscape brought new challenges into an already difficult arena, and our final full season show turned out to be 2022’s UNBEKNOWNST. A fitting farewell, it featured all of our current choreographers and composers, an impressive roster of guest choreographers and musicians, plus new dancers from our most recent auditions as well as dancers who had been with us for years. We continued to work into 2023 and developed some new repertoire, signing off with a retrospective event in June.

For a look at our company and repertoire over the years, visit our video libraries. You can also check out our retrospective video, with clips from nearly every repertoire piece and performer in our history.

Mike Hodge and Leigh Schanfein in Tra:verse Re:verse, the first piece on our first program. Photo by Lucas Chilczuk.

Elisabeth Jeffrey, Erin Dillon, and Hannah Weber in conjuring MAEJHH. Photo by Rachel Neville.

Evita Zacharioglou and Rohan Bhargava in Unbeknownst, the last piece on our last full program. Photo by Steven Pisano.


Our repertoire contained work by the following choreographers (resident choreographers in italics):

Joshua Beamish, Rohan Bhargava, Janis Brenner, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Seán Curran, Norbert De La Cruz III, Erin Dillon, Da’ Von Doane, Wendell Gray II, Alia Kache, Gabrielle Lamb, Zara Lawler, Miro Magloire, Annie Nikunen, Leigh Schanfein, Helen Simoneau, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Annalee Traylor, Manuel Vignoulle, Hannah Weber, Hee Ra Yoo, and Evita Zacharioglou

and the following composers (again, residents in italics):

Kati Agócs, Leah Asher, Bach-Busoni, Richard Carrick, Elliott Carter, James Holt, Shawn Jaeger, Jonathan Howard Katz, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Leilehua Lanzilotti, Annie Nikunen, Hilary Purrington, Spencer Robelen, Asha Srinivasan, and Harry Stafylakis

We performed at the following venues:

Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Symphony Space, Mark Morris Dance Center, GK ArtsCenter, Roulette, Kumble Theater at LIU Brooklyn, Ballet Hispanico, Arts On Site, Spectrum, Peridance Capezio Center, Soapbox Gallery, ShapeShifter Lab, Steps on Broadway, Dixon Place, Elebash Hall, the Actors Fund Arts Center, the Secret Theatre, LeFrak Concert Hall (Queens College), Opperman Music Hall (Florida State University)

For a rundown of the artists we’ve presented through our service programs, visit our services page.