x – TUNE – Donor Page


Thank you so much for your contribution; your support truly helped this show come alive! The performing arts truly do make a difference in people’s lives; just one viewing experience can shift an attitude, open an ideology or simply infuse much-needed joy into a person’s life. You help these kinds of things happen!


Tune (2015): Visit this link to access video of the full show. Quality is minimal for upload purposes; I’d be happy to set up a way for you to access a better quality video upon request. I can be reached at ekliebs@gmail.com.


The below information was posted on a page on this website and used as the show program. Feel free to peruse this before, during and/ or after you watch the show for more context on the work!

Tune, an MFA thesis dance concert, explores the ways we tune into ourselves and one another through rhythmic movement and familiar beats.

When: January 30-31 at 7pm (doors at 6:45pm, bar open throughout show)
Where: The Absinthe House in downtown Boulder (all ages welcomed)
Tickets: Suggested donation of $10 at the door

Learn more about the show:
Read the Press Release
Visit the CU Theatre and Dance Site
Join the Facebook Event
Read the Program (Below)

Tune, an MFA thesis dance concert by Erinn Liebhard
January 30-31 at the Absinthe House in Boulder, CO

Please feel free to enjoy a drink, good company and this digital program while you watch the show. We encourage an active experience: you are welcomed to move throughout the space, vocalize when you see something you like, and to join us on the dance floor at the end of the production! If you wish to share thoughts on the show, please submit a comment in the ‘Comment Box’ at the bottom of this page.

The Show:
Play that tune, tune in, tune out, become attune to . . . 

The concept of “tune” provides both musical and social inspiration for this production, which explores the ways that dancing to familiar music asks people to connect to themselves, one another and their world at large. Play that tune, tune in, tune out, become attune to; these meanings of “tune” are all investigated during the course of the show through relationship to a jacket, improvisation and set choreography. Given the personal nature of identity exploration, much of the show material was developed in collaboration with the project’s dancers and musicians.

Tune moves throughout the entirety of the Absinthe House space, sparking both the performers and audience to become more attune to their surroundings, each other and the experience. After creating work in traditional theater settings for many years, choreographer Erinn Liebhard brings concert dance inspired by social practices back into its rightful home place; the bar. Tune is a unique performance experience that encourages people to both watch and do, fusing the enjoyment of having a drink, dancing to live music and the good company of friends and family with the experience of viewing live dance.

Improvised musical compositions inspired by the above themes, dancer interaction and the tunes “Good Feeling,” “Ain’t Nobodies Business,” “That’s The Way I Like It,” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Choreographer/ Producer: Erinn Liebhard
Lead Musician/ Composer: Jesse Manno
Dancers: Amanda Benzin, Michelle Bernier, Olivia Dwyer, Brea Graber, Jamie Holzman, Erinn Liebhard, Kara Turner, Gabrielle Whitcomb
Musician/ Composers: James Lowery, Jesse Manno, Dave Willey
Lighting Designer: Ian Knodel
Stage Manager: Sarah Salisbury
Production Staff: Jessica Page

Thesis Committee:
Gesel Mason, Donna Mejia, Dr. Joshua Quinlan

Special Thanks:
The Absinthe House, Jason Banks, Kerry Cripe, Shelby Rae Fuentes, Mandy Greenlee, Connie Lane, Moors Blackmon, Mark O’Maley, Jake Seikman, Brandon Smart, Ted Stark and Sadie Vermillion. Thank you to all the friends and family who have supported us along the way to this show. Special thanks to all the music artists who inspired and buoyed the journey, especially Etta James, Pretty Lights, Flo Rida, Bessie Smith, Otis Spann, Nina Simone, B.B. King, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Eric Clapton, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, HEATBOX, The Rolling Stones, Blunt Instrument and Moors Blackmon; your creation or rendition of these songs has deeply informed the work and created opportunity for shared experience. Finally, thank you to the dancers, who have generously stretched their bodies, expanded their minds and put forth their gleaming individualities to shift, open and infuse lives through art!


Amanda Benzin is a rhythmically and emotionally driven educator, performer and choreographer originally from Buffalo, NY. She graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Buffalo with a BFA in Dance. She was a member of the renowned Chicago-based rhythm jazz dance company Jump Rhythm Jazz Project for 6 years and received an Emmy Award for her work in the multiple-Emmy-Award-winning documentary Jump Rhythm Jazz Project: Getting There. She is currently an MFA candidate in Dance at CU Boulder where her focus and research includes somatics, pedagogy, and women and gender studies, with a focus on issues around representation and identity.

Michelle Bernier is originally from Maine, where graduated suma cum laude in Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine in 2009. Since relocating to Boulder in 2011, Michelle has become an MFA candidate in dance at CU Boulder, a Graduate Part-Time Instructor, Tour Ensemble Director at Airborne Dance in Longmont, a company/board member with Life/Art Dance Ensemble, and a volunteer for Sans Souci Int’l Festival of Dance Cinema. Michelle’s dance and research interests include somatics-based pedagogy, transcendental phenomenology, dance film, and dance as a means of manipulating space-time.

Olivia Dwyer is a Junior at CU Boulder and double major in Dance and Sociology. She is originally from Boulder, and has been dancing in the community her entire life. She plans to graduate in Fall 2016 and hopes to stay in the Denver/Boulder area afterwards.

Brea Graber, 19, is a passionate dancer who thrives in growing everyday. Brea is a second year student at The University of Colorado-Boulder, where she is a double major in dance and studio arts. Brea is originally from a small town in Wisconsin where she learned to be optimistic and to follow her dreams! Brea looks forward to dedication that will lead her to a bright future.

Jamie Holzman is a fourth year dance BFA student. With eight years of experience, she finds her focus in modern technique, improvisation and composition.  Her latest work The process the ritual will be performed in February in the Charlotte York Irey Theater. In the past, Jamie has worked with dance artists John Scott of Irish Modern Dance Theater, B-Girl Teena Marie Custer, Hip Hop master Rennie Harris and Jesse Zaritt to name a few. As her college career approaches its end, Jamie hopes to use her production technical skills to support herself as she makes work and performs. In her free time, Jamie enjoys skiing, yoga, listening to music and spending time in nature with friends.

Ian Knodel: As a lighting designer passionate about working in non-traditional spaces, Ian is extremely excited to be working on Tune! Hailing from Minneapolis, Ian has designed for Rhythmically Speaking, Ballet of the Dolls, Elemental Ensemble, The Southern Theatre, Legacy Live Entertainment and many more. He’d like to thank Mark O’Maley, J P Osnes, Sarah Salisbury, Jessica Page, Erinn Liebhard, and all the good folks from CU and the Boulder community for their assistance and support. Now grab a drink and enjoy the ride!

Erinn Liebhard is an MFA candidate in the dance program at the University of Colorado Boulder that makes opportunities for people to experience the embodiment of music. She believes in the combined power of social physicality, simple and complex rhythm, eye and hand contact, keen listening, personal groove and free improvisation to open people up to history, their own bodies, other people and inspired dialogue through movement. Tune is the culmination of her creative and scholarly research at CU, which she plans to carry into the next phase of her professional career teaching, choreographing, performing, producing events and writing for scholarly publications. More information available at this website.

James Lowery: After failing at his first dream to become a male abs model, James began to take up music. As a sophomore in college, James tried to learn every instrument he could. With time, piano gave him the ability to write and compose music; guitar gave him the ability to pick up chicks; saxophone gave him the power to pick up sophisticated women; and fiddle gave him the power of the hoe-down, undoubtedly the greatest power of all time. James came into this project when Erinn saw his super attractive hairline from afar. Erinn was further wooed when James busted out the saxophone, which as described before, gives him the power to pick up sophisticated women. Anyways, Erinn got engaged to some other guy and the rest is history.

Jesse Manno (composer, multi-instrumentalist) is the Music Director of the University of Colorado Boulder Dance Department. He has also been in residency at the Bates Dance Festival for 17 years. He’s done a couple hundred dance, theater, circus art and film projects for a great variety of commissioners and collaborators, most recently with David Dorfman Dance at BAM in NYC. His work has been presented all over the U.S., as well as in several European and Asian countries.

Sarah Salisbury: Sarah is so thrilled to be here and work on such an awesome show. Sarah stage manages, props, and various other theatre and dance related jobs back home in Minneapolis.

Kara Turner is a senior double major in Dance and Sociology. She currently dances professionally for Ascendance Project and soon, for Grassroots Project. Her plan is to move to Denver to dance for Rennie Harris for a year and then move to New York to go to graduate school for Dance Movement Therapy, another of her passions! Her favorite dance forms are African, tribal fusion, house, bgirling, hip hop, aerial and funk. She love to try new things, and the outdoors and her family are very important to her!

Gabrielle Whitcomb is from Columbus, Ohio, where she grew up dancing. She is currently an undergrad at CU-Boulder majoring in dance and broadcast news journalism with a minor in theatre. She hopes to remain a part of the arts as she continues her undergrad career.

Dave Willey is a multi-instrumentalist accompanied his first dance class at 17 at Oregon Sate University. He has worked for CU Theatre and Dance since 1996. He has travelled the world playing as a street busker, and in avant-rock festivals. He has led his own band since 1993, and currently plays locally, re-discovering jazz and Brazilian music.

A warm thank you to those who donated to this production: Jason and Jesse Anschutz, Desiree Bonhorst, Doug and Sheri Brunner, Lisa Conlin, Michele Dunleavy, Eileen and Stan Effertz, Jennifer Glaws, Karla Grotting, Adam and Kristen Hayes, Lindsay and Nic Hodnefield, Marian Hyun, Larry and Lynette Johnson and Family, Jenny and Matt Jungwirth, Joy and Wayne Liebhard, Reilly Liebhard, David and Kathy Olson, Kristoffer Olson, Kelsey Onkka, Carol Ottoson, Phil and Sarah Rickert, Zoe Sealy and all those who wish to remain anonymous.