Decatur’s CORE Performance Company celebrates 30-year anniversary

Posted by Dena Mellick September 9, 2015
Photo provided to Decaturish by CORE.

Photo of CORE Performance dancers provided to Decaturish by CORE.

This story has been updated.

CORE Performance Company, a dance organization based on Decatur’s Square, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

It’s kicking off its popular “Lunchtime in the Studio” series, Thursday, September 10 at noon.

“They open the doors of the studio for free at noon,” spokeswoman Julie Herron Carson explained. Lunch is provided to the first 40 guests, according to a press release from the studio.

CORE is also partnering with Atlanta’s High Museum of Art this year to commemorate the 30th anniversary. Performances begin on October 23 with a dance based on a High exhibit. It’s called “Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collection.”

Sue Schroeder founded CORE in Houston 35 years ago. She set up a second home base in Decatur five years later.

Carson said ever since then, the artistic director and her company have traveled back and forth between Houston and Decatur.

CORE founder and artistic director Sue Schroeder. Photo provided to Decaturish.

CORE founder and artistic director Sue Schroeder. Photo provided to Decaturish.

Schroeder told Decaturish the town was a lot different when she first set up shop in Decatur compared to what it is now.

“In the early days it was very seedy and it didn’t feel particularly safe coming and going,” Schroeder said. “The city has grown into itself, which has just been beautiful to see.”

She described Decatur as “kind of sleepy” back then. “The feeling now is very vibrant and thriving,” Schroeder said.

These days, CORE Performance Company does much more than perform.

“They also do a lot of outreach, they do programs in schools, summer camps, dance teacher training. They have a very active and artistic life. Lots of collaborations; Sue likes to work with other artists,” Carson said.

Nneka Kelly who does communications for CORE told Decaturish, “I see CORE as the hub for dance in the community. This includes dance artists, activists, and enthusiasts. We present, we perform, and we connect.”


“To say I’m proud of what our artists, staff, supporters and collaborators have achieved together in the past 30-plus years would be a gross understatement,” Schroeder said in a press release. “I believe our organization is unique in our longevity, consistent development, community involvement and depth of our programming.”

You can see the schedule for CORE’s High Museum performances and “Lunchtime in the Studio” in the full press release below:

ATLANTA — Innovative.  Inspirational.  Energizing.  Thought-provoking.  Risk-taking.  These are just a few of the words that have been used over the past three decades to describe CORE, the award-winning contemporary dance organization based in Atlanta and Houston (  Now, as CORE begins its 30th Anniversary Season in Atlanta and its 35th Anniversary Season in Houston, dance lovers can add “enduring” to the list of well-deserved accolades.

To commemorate this milestone year, CORE is partnering with Atlanta’s High Museum of Art to present a series of site-specific dance works inspired by two of the High’s exhibits – Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collection and Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion.  CORE Performance Company, CORE’s professional contemporary dance ensemble, will showcase new works both inside the museum and on the grounds.  The season also will include the commission of new work by guest choreographers, Museum as Space, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the High Museum’s building addition.

Performances are scheduled for:

  • Oct. 23, 2015: Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collection, at the High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA, 30309.  7-10 p.m., with performances at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.  Free, with Museum Admission ($10).  The High Museum of Art has commissioned CORE to create a new work in conjunction with the Habsburg Splendor exhibit.  Joshua Rackliffe, a member of Core Performance Company (CPC), is the featured artist and choreographer for this World Premier.  This is the first time a current CPC member has choreographed a work for the professional ensemble.
  • February 26, 2016 – Edge in Unexpected Spaces, 6:30 p.m.  This performance is in partnership with the Rialto Center for the Arts and Off the Edge Contemporary Dance Festival.
  • May 6 and 13, 2016 Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, 7:30 p.m.

This fall in Houston, CORE Performance Company will present the World Premiere of Life Interrupted: Honor the Innocent, which will be performed in Atlanta in the fall of 2016 under the name Gaman.  This richly layered evening-length performance of contemporary dance, art and music has been created to honor and remember the U.S. citizens of Japanese descent who were interned on American soil during World War II.  The creation and touring of Life Interrupted was funded in part by a major grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.  Additional support has been received from Alternate ROOTS, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta.

“To say I’m proud of what our artists, staff, supporters and collaborators have achieved together in the past 30-plus years would be a gross understatement,” said Sue Schroeder, CORE founder and artistic director.  “I believe our organization is unique in our longevity, consistent development, community involvement and depth of our programming.  We grow and innovate by collaborating with artists of all types, and use a process-driven approach to create engaging and relevant dance works.  Community outreach is at the heart of all we do, since we believe interaction makes us better artists and builds a strong emotional connection with our audiences.”

In addition to the 30th Anniversary Season performances, CORE will offer its popular Lunchtime in the Studio series throughout the year.  The public is invited to visit CORE’s Decatur studios (139 Sycamore St., Decatur, GA 30030) at noon to watch the dancers at work and to learn about the organization.  Each session is free, and lunch is provided to the first 40 guests.  Upcoming Lunchtime in the Studio dates include:

  • Sept. 10, 2015 — Meet the Members of CORE Performance Company
  • Nov. 19, 2015 — Dance-Making as a Catalyst for Social Change
  • Feb. 25, 2016 — Dance the Unexpected
  • April 14, 2016 — CORE in the Community

In Atlanta, the organization also offers classes, workshops, summer camps, teacher training and Dynamic X-Change, a program that provides safe, creative outlets for people in need of building self-awareness, communication skills, healthy body awareness and movement appreciation.  CORE’s 30th season in Atlanta is supported in part by the Pattillo Foundation, the O Fund for New Work, Cameron and Roberts Insurance Agency, Primary Care Chiropractic, Studio Lotus, Decatur Atlanta Printing and Still Hot Yoga.


Celebrating its 30th season in Atlanta beginning fall 2015, CORE, an award-winning contemporary dance organization, creates, performs and presents compelling and distinctive original dance works that ignite the creative spirit and foster cultural conversations.  For over three decades, CORE has initiated and supported innovation, collaboration, artistic risk-taking and sustainable art-making in dance.  CORE was founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas by dancer and choreographer Sue Schroeder.  Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Ga. as a second home base, and now cultivates dance awareness and education in both cities, as well as throughout the country and around the world.  CORE is organized around three initiatives:  CORE Performs, CORE Presents and CORE Connects.  CORE Performance Company, the professional contemporary dance company of CORE, is internationally acclaimed for the technique, athleticism and emotional range of the dancers, as well as its innovative and accessible work.  CORE’s Decatur, Ga. studios host classes and events for teachers and dance students of all experience levels.

About Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of

View all posts by Dena Mellick

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