Past Performances

Anatomy of Happiness

March 31-April 2, 2017

6th Street Playhouse, 52 6th St. Santa RosaESY_2515959_508205589

A cheeky, visceral performance traversing what inspires our happiness – from head to toe. A confection of choreography sprinkled with mind-bending presentations from local artists, filmmakers, architects, culinary connoisseurs, and musicians.



UPside Dance Company, in collaboration with local Poets, Singers, Chefs and Scientists will premier “Anatomy of Happiness” at 6th St Playhouse in Santa Rosa’s historic railroad district.  

In this colorful ‘Tour de Corpe’, UPside’s charismatic dancers will step into motion, emBODYing the concept of “happiness” with a balanced sprinkling of outstanding local poets, scientists, musicians, culinary connoisseurs, comedians and artists to share their songs, poetry, films, and lessons on levity through the anatomy.

Each piece illuminates a different part of the body and how we use it to express, feel, or hope for “happiness”:  Whether it is laughter through ourESY_2517183_1558445746 THROAT, reaching our HANDS to someone we love, conditioning our BRAIN to think about our lives differently, or even the EYEing of food that makes us happy.  Watch as the abstract emotion of Happiness is transformed into a palpable, enlightening, cutting-edge dance.

How do we truly get to the heart of ‘Happiness’ and ‘Anatomy’ you may ask?  By using our back bone, wish bone, and funny bone…EQUALLY” -K. Vazzoler & T. Tolmasoff, UPside co-directors.

‘Anatomy of Happiness’ continues UPside’s strong emphasis on collaboration with local and international guest artists. Food scientist, Dr. Ali Bouzari author of “Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential untitled-copy-6Elements of Food”, takes the taste buds on a trip through the science of food and happiness.  Studio Artist, Jessica Martin, premiers her short film ‘I Wish I Could Fly’.  Actress Rae Quintana from the Imaginist Theatre Group performs an original heart-full work called ‘Make Room’. Songstress and UPside Dancer, Leilana Peuliu, debuts a soulful song about finding happiness within. Architects Shunya & Keith Anding lead a meditation in creating a happy home. Inspirational Speaker, Xerxes Whitney, blesses our stage with his own colorful and positive outlook on life. Guest
choreographer, Lisa Deyo (Deyo Dances of SLO, Hubbard St. Dance Chicago, Twyla Tharp) shares her award-winning dance piece set to Inga Swearingen’s gorgeous acapella version of ‘Ode to Joy’.untitled-8

Since its inception in 2012, UPside Dance Company, co-directed by Kate Vazzoler and Tanya Tolmasoff, has become known for the interactive element of their work, and for bringing dance to unconventional spaces in Sonoma County. In their original concept of ‘Anatomy of Happiness’, Vazzoler and Tolmasoff continue to turn-up-the-volume with dynamic choreographic pieces: sleepy and aofh-kate-hand-untitled-copy-5Mesmerizing ‘Pelvis’, the interlinking ‘Spine’ piece, UPside’s quirky crowd-favorite, ‘Skin’, and the quartet ‘Heart’ that pulls at all the heart strings. The 6th St. Playhouse Theatre’s seating is arranged to give audience members surprising proximity to dancers as they parade through the aisles.     

Whether you’ve ALWAYS wanted to know how it feels to romp through the MIND, experience a dance set to the musicality of children’s LAUGHTER, how you can feel comfortable in your own SKIN, or how the folds of the frontal lobe inspire choreography. Perhaps you have NO IDEA what that might even look like- Great! ESY_2518553_1255226112Aren’t you curious?  UPside Dance Company’s premier of ‘Anatomy of Happiness’  is a cheeky, knee-slapping, and heartfelt evening of dance…not to be missed!

After this show, you will never see your ANATOMY the same way 

We thank you in advance for supporting the arts and intend to use the funds raised during this campaign to pay for our venue, rehearsal space, craft materials, technical & backstage crew, dancers and future mind bending collaborations.

A Fine Line

Wildlands Art Residency, August 1-21 2016

img_1382UPside was selected to be an artist in residency for the pilot year of ‘Wildlands’ Residency in Sonoma County. Our proposal for this residency orbits around the exploration of ‘limits’ in a new site-specific project titled ‘A Fine Line’.    Inviting 6-10 committed UPside company dancers during this residency, dynamic bodies will step into motion through 55 wild and majestic acres.  ‘Fine Line’ examines how we push ourselves to discover our personal ‘limits’.  UPside will tiptoe the inner tight-rope and discover those edges.  Dancers will explore what pulls us off our course, and how we navigate shaping our path again. This will also include a collaboration with filmmaker Albert Casselhoff and Nick Ahumada, and studio artist Gianna Davies.img_0358

‘A Fine Line’ will be created out in the Wildlands and then resurrected to live elsewhere during our season on a stage, a back alley, a church, or another outside exploration, film projection/showing… you never knowimg_1192 what UPside img_1159will do!

 More about the Art Residency:

More about Albert Cassselhoff:

‘Along the River’

Russian River Rose Company, Healdsburg May 21 & 22 2016

_DSC1922 (1)_DSC2036 (1)UPside Dance lifts your spirits with a cheeky, boot stomping, and heartfelt Dance romp with their original dance piece called ‘Along the River’- a delightful and stirring piece, a tribute to the friends you might meet along the river of life… with a little dance twist.

This is the fourth year UPside has performed in the Rose garden at Russian River Rose.  What a way to celebrate the garden, as you glimpse the UPside dancers frolic through the glorious roses….Tip your hat and shine _DSC1859 (1)your spurs with UPside Dance during this last _DSC2074lingering, fragrant bloom of spring, at Russian River Rose Company.

‘Projected Forest’ Film

CylanDance2Petaluma Film Festival, May 4-7th 2016
Four UPside dancers made the big screen at the Petaluma Film Festival, Saturday May 7th.  Directed by filmmaker, Cylan William, we had the honor of resetting our piece ‘Projected Forest’ for the camera at the Jack London State Park.  We will be able to share the short film soon- stay tuned.  Right now it is in the process of being submitted to other Film Festivals across the country!

All. Things. PAPER

Carston Cabaret, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, March 2015

A saucy, thought-provoking exploration of just how deeply paper impacts our everyday lives…    _MG_1946

‘all. things. PAPER’ UPside Dance Company’s daringly delightful performance featured 18
charismatic contemporary dancers
 in this collage of dance.  Each piece illuminated a _MG_1985different type of paper and how it impacts our lives: whether it be love letters, childhood paper planes, intricate origami, the endless paperwork we all face, or the yellow post-its that keep it all together.  Audiences watched as this ubiquitous, 2-dimensional presence in our lives is transformed into a multi-dimensional cutting edge dance… the irresistible premiere of ‘all. things. PAPER’ redefined how you see paper.  IMG_5238

 In their unique concept of ‘all.things.PAPER’, Vazzoler and Tolmasoff continue to turned-up-the-volume with dynamic choreographic pieces:  the devilish, sepia-toned ‘Paper Route’, or UPside’s quirky crowd-favorite ‘Post-it… an Ode to the Sticky-Note’, or the alluring digital commentary of ‘Paperless World’.

_MG_1922This was the first time UPside performed in a ‘traditional’ venue.  They redesigned the space to evoke a giant library,  The stage set featured UPside’s ‘paper chandeliers’, a dazzling and inventive installation by local studio artist, Jessica Martin.

IMG_5232-2This premiere continued UPside’s strong emphasis on collaboration with national and international choreographers.  Amanda Kreglow (Martha Graham school, Ted Talks October 2015), presents a stirring trio called ‘Invitation’.  Guest Artist, Diana Stanton (Variable Velocity, Cal Poly Dance Department), resets her award-winning dynamic and playfully combative piece, ‘Rock Paper Scissors’, set to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata. Watta Ribas (SoCo Dance), choreographs a piece embracing paper memories in ‘Paper Odyssey’.  Jordan Hayes, an UPside soloist dancer, makes her choreographic debut with the company, in a stunningly soaring piece called ‘Paper Plane’.  

One of the more far-reaching collaborations in ‘all. things. PAPER.’, is with Tim Casson of London, UK static1.squarespace(Dance We Made, Sadlers’ Wells).  UPside’s premier is part of a larger project in the UK called ‘CorresponDANCE’.  _MG_1793UPside’s new piece, ‘Projected Forest’, is a haunting duet with the two UPside directors created from the written choreography of 25 international letters received in a mailbox._MG_1712

Whether you’ve ALWAYS wanted to know how Post-it notes fly, or paper planes dance, ororigami folds inspire choreography…. Or perhaps you have NO IDEA what that might even look like- Great! Aren’t you curious?  

Brave New Music

Collaborative Performance, November 11th, 2015 Healdsburg SHED

IMG_0059 EJ The Co-Directors interlace the early american music of Charles Griffies with their original choreography called ‘Embroidery’. A Beautiful collaborative performance with Brave New Music’s ‘Glendeven String Quartet’ And to this rich mix of art forms will be added film art created especially for this performance by Sonoma County filmmaker Albert Casselhoff.

Guest Speakers at Creative Sonoma

Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, June 18, 2015

Creative Sonoma 1Creativity Forum, as told through the voices of members of our creative community, in a TEDTalk format.  We performed a duet ‘Needlepoint’ and wove in and out of the audience.  We represented modern dance and artful dance in Sonoma County saying that there are more opportunities for the performing arts…. the potential is vast.


‘Romp in the Roses’

Perfume fields of Russian River Rose Co, May 30 & 31, 2015

DSC02492sepiaFor the third year in a row, UPside Dance lifted spirits with a cheeky, boot stomping, and belly-chuckling dance piece called ‘Romp in the Roses’ in the perfume fields of Russian River Rose Company!  Set in the pastoral beauty of the wild west, the ‘Romp’ a tribute to the pioneers, the women and men who helped forge the western states… with a little rosey dance twist.  19 za1_DSC7036_1 This two part performance included the lively revamp of ‘GiddyUP’ a new duet called ‘Patchwork’ inspired by quilting circles and danced to a song by 1910’s American composer Charles Griffes.

Tip your hat and shine your spurs with the 8 lively UPside Dancers galloping through the last lingering, fragrant bloom of spring, at Russian River Rose Company.

‘Giddy UP’

Guest Choreographers- SRJC Production ‘Storylines’ May 8-10, 2015 , Santa Rosa

114H9388‘GiddyUP’ is a boot stompin’ tribute to the pioneers of the wild west, the women and men who helped forge the western states.  Traveling back before the turn of the century, the community of characters gathered: the Sheriff & Deputy, the gold miners, the mountain folk, the fiery matriarchs, and…who could forget the town loon.

12 Dancers filled the stage with the progression of a day in their sleepy western town.  Clad in boots, bonnets, and bloomers, they rallied for a rowdy adventure……

GiddyUP was created on the heels of their sold-out spring premier of ‘Chrysalis’.  Craving a 180 degree gallop in the opposite direction, GiddyUP was born.

“Chrysalis” :  A contemporary story of transformation

Premier first day of spring March 21 & 22, 2015, Healdsburg SHED

Chrysalis poster 2.jpegThe provocative Sold-out premier of ‘Chrysalis’, a contemporary story of transformation was performed on the first weekend of Spring, March 21st & 22nd in Healdsburg SHED’s expansive Grange space.  Set to the masterful music of Israeli Composer, Ran Bagno, UPside’s ‘Chrysalis’ weaved a spell of other-worldly, and heart pumping dance exploring the turmoil and beauty of ‘change’.

Through inventive multi-media choreography, IMG_0251a magnified look at ‘metamorphosis’ was unveiled and featured performances that defied convention. IMG_0422

The program included a duet examining the fragile balance of relationships, an ensemble of dancers who reinvent the term ‘beauty’, an unexpected larger-than-life fabric cocoon, and an evolution of movement that seems to expand the performance space.   IMG_0315Also infused in this performance was a soaring piece called ‘Flocking’, a new collaboration with choreographer Amanda Kreglow.IMG_0164

Co-Directors Kate and Tanya drew inspiration from all aspects of nature, “from a sprout unfurling from the cracking seed, to a butterfly unfolding fresh wings from the cocoon… and how this translates to our human experience”.IMG_0539

The set featured the dazzling work of local studio artist, Sandra Novia.   Novia’s creation of an illuminated branching orb suspended from the 30 foot ceiling brought ‘Chrysalis’ to electric life.  UPside, famous for an interactive element to their work, arranged the audience seating so each guest was practically woven into the performance as the dancers fly through the aisles.

Chrysalis was an other-worldly, heart pumpingIMG_0614 dance exploring the turmoil and beauty of ‘change’.

Act 1- (12 company dancers): Emergence (Duet/Trio), Exoskeleton (full company), Arrow Warrior (full Company), Intertwine (duet), Silk Pull (6 dancers and fabric), Weaving within (solo with pregnant dancer)

Act 2: Falling (interactive), Unfurling (full company), Flocking (5 dancers, by Amanda Kreglow), Two quills (duet), Wingspan (full company finale)

“Operation Nurse” & Thriller Flash Mob

October 31st, 2014

dt.common.streams.StreamServerWelcome to Halloween with UPside.  We performed ‘OperationNurses‘ and the crowd favorite ‘Triller’ at Bergamot Alley and a Flashmob at Healdsburg Plaza.   ‘Operation Nurses‘ an 80’s inspired undulating surgery of sexiness set to Queen’s ‘Body Language’. We nurse palmerstole and operated on audience members and gave them lolly pops!
Our Flash Mob in Healdsburg Plaza was attended by over 400 trick-o-treaters in the town square… as the place was engulfed by zombies.  Featured on the front page of the Press Democrat


“Post It… and ode to the sticky note”  

July 15-August 2, 2014,   Boulder Colorado

10412033_10203940404086360_2431930758869270956_nWe were thrilled to choreograph for Interweave Dance Theatre and Boulder Jazz Workshop in Colorado.  We created an interactive piece with 7 company dancers that slapped the audience into our exploration of the spontaneous, colorful, and sticky method of Post-Its.   How do these little notes help us keep it all together?

Read what the critics said:



Premier April 5 & 6, 2014, Healdsburg SHED

ESY_1286963_1370853506A vibrant and collaborative dance performance celebrating the commonality between musical instruments and dancers.

With three sold-out performances,  ‘Strum’ was a collaborative creation with the innovative SHED, 12  contemporary dancers,  and musical composers Mark Growden with live musicians.  SHED’s expansive upper-story was filled with beauty, purity, and the joy of both music and dance.998323_10151684833340977_375012121_n

There were 2 acts: The first act centered around the structure and purity of music and dance  with an architectural element of hanging fabric columns and an original score by Mark Growden.

IMG_0093The second act broke ‘4th Wall’ Barriers and unfurled into the colorful, textured world of the traveling gypsy culture. Performed to Growden’s award-winning album ‘St. Judas’ with our finale featuring ‘Calling All Choir’ surrounding the audience with a harmony of wayward
If you were an instrument, what would you be?  We Explored this intriguing question with ‘Strum’.  

IMG_0206 - CopyIMG_0074

Pillar- Violin (7 dancers), Flute (3 dancers), Cello (jordan’s Solo), Metronome (duet), Symphony (7 dancers)

Caravan- Washerwomen/Procession (14 dancers, 3 soloists), Gestures (14 dancers with human gestures), Two wings (duet), Sirens (4 dancers, 4 musicians), Wayward Finale (14 dancers, choir)

Musicians: Mark Growden (composer, vocals, accordion), Dr. Alex Kelly (cello), Chris Grady (trumpet), Oscar Westesson (Stand-up Bass), Calling All Choir

“Strum in the Rose Garden”

In the perfume fields of Russian River Rose Co., May 3rd & 4th, 2014 ,
IMG_0551For the second year in a row, we  lifted spirits with the a performance of ‘Strum’ (now in the Garden) – a vibrant dance romp through the roses.   Bringing the vibrancy of ‘Caravan’ to the perfume fields, our gypsy clan sprung to life with an interactive and raucous performance with Mark Growden’s award winning album ‘St. Judas’.


Warriors at Home

Guest Artists- SRJC Ensemble Show, December 15th, 2013

We were honored to performed two pieces- ‘Tangled’ from (un)tied and ‘Warriors at Home’ our newest recreation! ‘Warriors at Home’ was a Riveting dedication to the brave women at home defending their country while their soldiers are abroad fighting in war zones.



Supernatural Soiree

Bergamot Alley Costume Ball in Healdsburg, November 2cd, 2013

nafarious Faeiry dustAn evening of Cirque de UPside! We created the entertainment during the annual spooky celebration.  Creating choreography and performances that Defy Gravity, throw sequins, interweave the audience, seduce zombies, and show our skills as a 80′s Mongolian-esque Circus

Our Pieces:  ‘Nefarious mongol ring leaderFaeiry Dust’ (Quartet), ‘Double Dutch’ (Full Mongol Circus- interactive), ‘Kabuki Phoenix’ (6 dancers, lifting dancers vertically- Brand new piece rising phoenix), ‘Radioactive Spider (3 dancers, interactive Web), ‘Thriller’ (full Company & audience), ‘Carousel’ (full Finale Warrior Company, 2 riggers lifting dancers), Furry Conga line (interactive)



World Premier September 28th, 2013

Arlene Francis Center, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, International Festival

ESY_1057856_1745459092Upside’s bold new dance performance,  ‘(un)tied’,  an exploration of  life’s  attachments  to objects, people, and relationships.  Particularly unique to this project,  the audience traveled from room to room experiencing each part of the performance in an intimate way.

UPside’s expressive choreography coupled with 1233556_518614441558621_370090828_nmulti-media Design  transformed the venue and weaved the audience into 970533_10201585103743528_2058693526_nthe fabric of (un)tied.  Interactive, impulsive, introspective – each piece

touched on different aspects of attachments, how to let go, how we begin to create attachments in life.

Pieces: Cats Cradle (quartet), Ear Buds (duet), Playroom (interactive), Tangled (Duet), Love Letters (solo-interactive), Spool (12 dancers).




Russian River Rose Company, Healdsburg  May 4-5, 2013

CSC_0980Frolicking Dancers at the PEAK of Bloom! For the first time, we created a stage in the Glorious Gardens of RUSSIAN RIVER ROSE COMPANY in Healdsburg. With May-pole festivities and Performances , the dancers lifted spirits with the debut of ‘Frolic’ as you weaved the colorful ribbons around a lovely spring May-pole at the PEAK of bloom.

Inspired by the garden and the rose perfume fields, Kate and Tanya choreographed their newest piece, ‘Frolic’, in order to enhance the experience of the garden as well as introduce the dance company to theDSC_0861 community. The sassy, three-tiered tale of ‘Frolic’ reminded us of the necessity to “stop and smell the roses”. Dance became the human expression of the beauty of the blooming garden and the enchanting fragrance that wafts from the perfume fields!

Pieces: Trellis (8 dancers), Buds (duet) and Bloom (10 Dancers)


UPside Dance Debut! at Bergamot Alley, Healdsburg- November 2, 2012

Dias Performance Nov 2, 2012Inspired by the tradition of ‘Dia de Los Muertos’ we created our first choreographic piece with dedication to loved ones who are no longer with us.  But although these persons are far away, they still influence us daily.  Using ‘their’ gestures to influence our choreography, Dias was performed on a 5 foot spiral that created a haunting feeling of love & Loss. TriangleReach Performed at Bergamot Alley during the Costume Ball in Healdsburg. Duet with Kate Ahumada & Tanya Tolmasoff

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