Learn More About Olio with Kimberley Cooper

By Kimberley Cooper
2 min read | November 30, 2023

For the past few months, we have working on a new show called Olio. Olio has more than one meaning. It can be a stew or a collection of things, it means oil in Italian, oleo was a kind of margarine and the name of a tune by Sonny Rollins. In vaudeville, olio referred to a short number performed in front of an oilcloth curtain while the set was being changed, or an assortment of variety acts, which is the way we are using it.

Olio is a variety show. It is choreographed by 5 choreographers: company dancers – Sabrina Naz Comănescu, Catherine Hayward, Kaja Irwin, company alumnus Deanne Walsh, and me. Sabrina, Catherine, Kaja, and Deanne are each in the process of creating a juicy, 10 minute or so piece. Sabrina is deeply inspired by the jazz spirit and her piece is groovy and spiritual, Catherine’s piece is inspired by water and mermaids, Kaja has been working with ideas around group energy and connectivity, Deanne’s piece focuses on ideas around rituals, instinct and surrender. Me? I’m creating the glue to hold the show together and make it flow. I’ve choreographed a couple shorter pieces and I’m also structuring some improvisations to keep everyone in the moment…

The music for Olio is played by a jazz trio – drums, bass, piano. The music is composed by, and the band is led by, Jonathan McCaslin (drums), who has played in DJD bands for many years, but this is his first time as musical director and composer. He has a tough job as there are many cooks in this kitchen, all with our own ways of thinking, feeling, and communicating. Jon is creating a varied and vast jazz score that takes us on some wild journeys. Joining us for the first time are Jon Wielebnowski on bass, and Chris Tauchner on piano, both new musicians for DJD.

Olio will be an exciting adventure filled with dynamic dancing, sharp turns and plenty of variety… It is delightful to watch the work unfold and there is no doubt in my mind that it will be a highly entertaining evening.

See you at the show!

Kimberley Cooper
Artistic Director


February 18–28