Rappaccini's Daughter
Photo by Charles Steck


Artist Notes

Dance Projects


Artist Bios






Holly Rae's Art


Contact Us

Laura Schandelmeier
Stephen Clapp
3311 Rhode Island Ave #305
Mount Rainer, MD 20712
(301) 779-6383

Laura Schandelmeier & Stephen Clapp

Rappaccini's Daughter (2004)

Rappaccini's Daughter debuted at Dance Place in December 2004.
Read the
Preview by Lisa Traiger of the Washington Post.
Read the
Review by George Jackson of Dance View Times.

Rappaccini's Daughter is available for booking.
For information or to request a DVD of the evening-length piece (running time 67 minutes) Please
contact us

About Rappaccini's Daughter

In December 2004, Dance Place presented the premiere of Rappaccini’s Daughter, inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s gothic love tale. Created and performed by Laura Schandelmeier in collaboration with Stephen Clapp the work is a trio for two dancers and a life-size sculptured figure by visual artist Eleanor Rufty. The work is performed to Toby Twining’s Chrysalid Requiem, a breakthrough choral work by one of today’s most innovative composers of vocal music, commissioned by Bang on a Can in 2002.

Rappaccini’s Daughter, is a full-length, multi-discipline performance work that brings to light Hawthorn’s contemporary creation myth - pondering life and death, good and evil, and ultimate omnipotence. The performance made its premier at Dance Place on Saturday, December 11 at 8:00pm and Sunday, December 12 at 4:00pm. For more information or to request a DVD of the performance at Dance Place, please contact Stephen Clapp or visit www.dancenow.org

Hawthorn’s short story, Rappaccini’s Daughter, condemns Beatrice, to a Garden of Eden by the hands of her father who “cares more for science than for mankind.” Her suitor, Giovanni, (represented by Rufty’s life-sized sculpture) brings Beatrice to question her own mortality. The dance will be presented as an abstract narrative from Beatrice’s point of view, chronicling her journey from captivity to ultimate freedom. The questions linger: Who is good and who is evil? Which is more powerful: love, freedom or death?

Rappaccini’s Daughter marks the first evening length performance project for this distinctive duo. Keep your eyes open for future collaborations by this radiant and dynamic pair…

Program Information

Dance Place presents Laura Schandelmeier and Stephen Clapp
in the Premier of

Rappaccini’s Daughter

December 11 & 12, 2004

Choreography by: Laura Schandelmeier in collaboration with Stephen Clapp
Performed by: Stephen Clapp and Laura Schandelmeier
Articulated Figure by: Eleanor Rufty
Costumes by: Eleanor Rufty
Music by: Toby Twining, Chrysalid Requiem (music used with permission of the composer)
Lighting Design by: Catherine Eliot
Set Design and Construction by: Tim DeVoe (window and stand for figure) and Christopher Reed (platform)

This 67-minute work will be performed without intermission.


Laura Schandelmeier is a Dance Specialist who works as a choreographer, performer, teacher, and administrator. She creates movement-based solo and company works that draw from physical, thematic, and structural experimentations. She was the Artistic Director of her own dance company in New York City from 1988-1994. During that time she choreographed, produced, staged, and performed over twenty dance and theater works, including four full-evening productions. Her work has been commissioned and produced by Dance Theater Workshop and Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in NYC, and presented at numerous venues throughout New York, and Internationally over the past 15 years. In DC, her work has been produced by The Kennedy Center, Dance Place, The IN Series, and by Washington Performing Arts Society in Martha @ Dance Place, curated by Richard Move. Regionally, festivals such as the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and, Yes, Virginia Dance have presented her work. She has received several awards for her choreography including, four consecutive grants from the Harkness Foundations for Dance, support for international projects in 1990 & 93 from the Suitcase Fund, and an Individual Artist Award in Choreography for FY 2001 & 2003 from Maryland State Arts Council. She was one of ten American choreographers selected to participate in American Dance Festival’s 1989 Franco-American Bilateral Exchange Program and was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in 2000 for the opening event of the Dancing in the Millennium conference. Since then she has presented two full evenings of solo performance work on The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (archived at kennedy-center.org/millennium). She teaches children, teens and adults throughout the region and is a teaching artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.

Stephen Clapp is a writer, composer, arts educator and cultural activist. He is co-artistic director of CatScratch Theatre and was a performer with the ClancyWorks Dance Company from 2000-2004. He was recently nominated for a 2004 Metro DC Dance Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Dance Production for ClancyWorks. Clapp has had works presented by Dance Place (DC), the Goose Route Dance Festival (Shepherdstown, WV), The Other Theatre (Boston, MA) and the DC Improvisation festival. Clapp has performed at the Smithsonian Institute with Kinding Sindaw, and with DC area choreographers Adrienne Clancy, Jessica Hirst, Elizabeth Johnson, Deborah Karp, Krissie Marty, Celeste Miller, Marcy Schlissel, Laura Schandelmeier and Jeremy Zimmerman. Clapp earned a BFA in Performing Arts from Emerson College and was a founding member of the Boston based performance ensemble, The Other Theatre. In New York City, Clapp has performed with Richard Schechner at the Garage and became a member of the Maranao and T'boli (Philippines) Dance Company, Kinding Sindaw. As Co-Artistic Director of CatScratch Theatre, Clapp has been collaborating on site specific guerrilla performances in and around the DC Metropolitan area since 2000. Clapp is a founding member of the DC Community Coalition for Justice and Peace; Vice Chair for the Executive Committee of Alternate ROOTS; and serves the DC dance community as a Grants Manager with Dance Place.

Eleanor Rufty (Costume Designer) is a Richmond-based artist with an extensive exhibition record since 1958. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections. In 2000, one of her drawings was selected for the cover of "Washington Square", the NYU literary review. In 2002, she received the Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts (for Painting). Since 1985, she has designed costumes for dance, collaborating with Laura Schandelmeier in New York and Maryland and with Chris Burnside in Richmond, Va. Credits with Schandelmeier include ; "After Hours" 1993, "Legacy", 1994, "Unraveling", 1996 and"Mademoiselle", 1999.

Catherine Eliot has been creating Lighting Design in the Washington area for the past 13 years. She is delighted to be part of this project.

Tim DeVoe was born in New Milford, CT in 1980. He obtained a B.F.A in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2003, and is currently in his second year of a sculpture M.F.A. at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond.

Christopher Reed graduated with a BFA from Alfred University, Alfred, NY, with a concentration in ceramic sculpture. Since then he has worked at strange things, such as digital cartography, making cigar ashtrays for a company he started with a friend, teaching ceramics, travel-guide writing, and learning to speak to his in-laws in Mandarin Chinese. At present, he is working at the University of Maryland’s National Foreign Language Center as a project coordinator for audio/media and copyrights. He has built a set for Kelly Bartnik’s dance production, All Things Seen, and is currently working on a set for Jane Franklin Dance Company. Christopher would like to thank Laura and Stephen for the opportunity to create work for Rappaccini’s Daughter, as well as his wife, Pinling, for getting him into building sets for dance productions in the first place.

Special thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Richard Carlyon, Roger, Pat, and Susan Clapp, Martha Curtis and the VCU Department of Dance and Choreography, Brook Kidd and the staff of Joe’s Movement Emporium, Holly Rae McClintock, Carla Perlo, Deborah Riley, and the Dance Place staff, Ray and Nancy Schandelmeier

Additional thanks to Nicole DeWald, Jessica Hirst, Clara Gibson Maxwell, Krissie Marty, Liz Smith, and members of The Field/DC for feedback and creative ideas.

For booking information or to request a DVD of the Dance Place performance, please contact Stephen Clapp or Laura Schandelmeier

For information about upcoming performances, workshops or for booking information, please Contact Us

Laura Schandelmeier & Stephen Clapp
3311 Rhode Island Avenue #305
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
(301) 779-6383

Background Photo by R.C. Schandelmeier