Tender Hearts Program

ANIMAL Dance presents:
Tender Hearts

June 2023 Program

Performance Run

June 2, 3, 4: Main Street Landing Black Box Theater, Burlington VT
August 26th: Phantom Theater, Warren VT
September 15th: Dibden Theater, Johnson VT
September 29th: McCarthy Theater, Colchester VT

Artistic team

Artistic Director and Producer: Hanna Satterlee
Collaborative Performers: Nicole Dagesse, Mireya Guerra, Marisa Hall, Jessie Owens
Lighting Design: Dan Gallagher
Host Sponsor: The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center
Live Steam and Video Production: PhotoGraphic TV Inc
Promotion Photos: Owen Leavey Photography
Film and Photography Project Collaborations with: Andreas John


“Heartbeat” Jeremy Frederick
“Entretanto” by Aukai
“Buka” and “F Major” by Hania Rani
"Sala" by Briars of North America
“Recovery” by Rival Consoles
“Coro del Amanecer” by El Búho, Verónica Valerio
Poetry by Mary Oliver and Nicole Dagesse
Recorded field sounds by Hanna Satterlee

Director's note

Dear Audience,

Thank you for joining us for “Tender Hearts.” It has been a long time coming!

The original concept for Tender Hearts was to create a sensory-forward community performance retreat, inviting strangers into connective experiences to expose and examine what is possible with the human heart.

Though the pandemic thwarted this idea, I stayed with the thematic content, and began with online interviews with people from around the world. Conversations formed around health, family, dreams, accidents, hobbies, hardship, pain, and transformation, guided by my curiosity about human relationships: to ourselves, to one another, to the earth. The interview process was so moving, that I asked my long-time collaborator Andreas John to continue with me through a multimedia process to further my desire of sharing the outcome of my learnings. I was lucky to attend two artist residencies to both continue the interview process, as well as digest the audio and develop dance scores, site-based dance film, and photographic projects from it. After two years of gathering and compiling this research, it became clear that the way to translate my discoveries was through my first language: movement.

The four Vermont-based dance artists you will see in this work all share the ability and interest in speaking through movement: each emphasizes the power of the body and values the intensity of our emotional world. This dance piece was created over five months with the intention of making a non-verbal story for you to feel. It is about strength through vulnerability, self-discovery within connection, and the power of care; it is a journey of the heart.

Thank you so much for completing the circle of this creative process, for arriving to support our work and for allowing this piece to affect you in return.

We hope you enjoy the show!

signature of Hanna

Artist Bios

female dancer supported by three other female dancers

Nicole Dagesse holds a BFA in Dance, BS in Environmental Science and a MFA in Dance: Site Work and Somatic Practice. She is the Director of Murmurations - an Aerial Studio and Home for Dance and Somatic Practice in Burlington VT. She teaches dance, embodiment, and somatics to students of all ages. As a choreographer she is known for her skill in Contemporary Dance, Contact Improvisation, and Aerial Dance, offering public viewers a glimpse into 3-dimensionality and embodied relationship. Past works include: Bone Hooks (performed in Burlington VT) and When Women Were Birds (performed at Bread and Butter Farm in Shelburne VT), Birthing Bodies (Durham, NC) and Of Bodies and Branches (Boulder, CO). Nicole lives in Jericho, Vermont with her soulful husband and two inspiring and energetic children.


female dancer supported by three other female dancers

Mireya Guerra is a dancer, movement explorer and yoga practitioner. Her movement vocabulary comes from possibilities and intuition. Perhaps also from geography. She finds gratitude for opportunities such as Tender Hearts to embrace and explore the journey of the post-pandemic body. Quieted perhaps, present regardless. With gratitude to Hanna and the cast of inspiring artists. "The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude." (F. Nietzsche)

female dancer supported by three other female dancers

Marisa Hall is a dancer and choreographer from the Adirondacks who has found her soul’s home here in Montpelier. Marisa’s affinity for dance has guided her since her earliest years, evolving from a traditional jazz-ballet-modern background to the amalgamation of contemporary-house-femme repertoire that inspires her current works and movement vocabulary. Dance is her home, and sharing this sanctuary with you is her highest honor.


female dancer supported by three other female dancers

Jessie Owens is a performing artist, choreographer, and structural integration practitioner. She is the founder of ERGO/movement, a collaborative performance project based in Vermont. She holds a BA in Dance and German Studies from Smith College and an MA in Health Arts and Sciences and Embodiment Studies from Goddard College, where her focus of study was on fascia and embodied adaptability. Jessie teaches embodiment and myofascial release practices, leads retreats, and is the owner/practitioner at Fulcrum Structural Integration and Myofascial Release. From 2002 to 2012, she performed with Burlington’s Spielpalast Cabaret, and was the group’s art director and co-producer from 2005 until 2013. Jessie was a founding board member of the Vermont Dance Alliance and served as Vice President from May 2017 until March 2022. She creates works for stages, studios, nightclubs, streets, forests, apple orchards, and suspended railcars.


Hanna smiling

Hanna Satterlee creates performance experiences and conceptual artworks for stage, site and film. Hanna holds degrees and certifications in dance therapy, psychology, performance, choreography, vinyasa/yin/restorative yoga, non-profit management and arts integration. Hanna shares these passions as an intergenerational educator, interdisciplinary performer + collaborator, experimental curator and event producer. Hanna holds a double BA in Dance/Psychology with a concentration in Dance Therapy from Goucher College, and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Since 2006 Hanna has been a dancer in many US companies and collaborative performance groups, has worked internationally as an independent artist, choreographer, and movement and mindfulness teacher, and has received many grants and awards to support her performance, dance film and curatorial work. From 2010-15 Hanna served as the Director of Professional Programming & Director of Teen Jazz at the Contemporary Dance & Fitness Studio in Montpelier Vermont, and has been a guest lecturer at Johnson State College and Middlebury College, and adjunct faculty at Vermont Law School, the University of Vermont and currently at Northern Vermont University and Saint Michael's College. Hanna just launched ANIMAL Dance, a performance and production company based in Burlington Vermont. In May ’17 Hanna founded the Vermont Dance Alliance, and served as the Executive Director through June 2021. In continuous conversation as a curator, an educator, a choreographer and a performer, Hanna is as passionate for the form of dance as she is in connecting people to it.


Dan Gallagher is a lighting designer and production manager based out of Canton, NY where he teaches design and technical theatre classes at St. Lawrence University. He is excited for his first collaboration with Hanna Satterlee. Dan loves lighting dance and has worked for Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris, and Flamenco Vivo. Dan spent many years in NYC working at Lincoln Center for NYC Opera, NYC Ballet, Live From Lincoln Center, and the Lincoln Center Festival. He worked on large scale lighting and video productions as a designer for RGB Lights, and often designs for Vermont Stage most recently on Airness. When not working in a dark theatre, he loves to spend time outdoors. Dan is a member of United Scenic Artists 829.


Andreas John is an award winning filmmaker and photographer exploring the creation of conscious media that speaks to the beautifully complex web of connection between self, other, and the more than human world around us. His current explorations include black and white photographic work with medium and large format analog film cameras.



Special Thanks to the places, people and businesses that helped to support the 2 year process of this piece, and who helped to make this performance weekend happen!


Kyla Waldron and Mariah Riggs of The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Mumurations Aerial Dance Studio, Dale Andree, John Gergely, Elizabeth Seyler, Millie Heckler, MJ Cahilly Bretzin, Isadora Snapp, Kenny Richards, Bridget Wheeler, City Market Co-op, Wildhart Distillery, Summit Chiropractic, Northfield Savings Bank, Mascoma Bank, and the Board and Staff of The Vermont Dance Alliance.

“Tender Hearts” has been supported in part by awards from the Vermont Arts Council/National Endowment for the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts as well as residencies at the Mauser Ecohouse Residency and Homeport Arthouse Residency


This project is supported by a fiscal sponsorship with the Vermont Dance Alliance, a non-profit organization working to expand the visibility and accessibility of dance throughout the state of Vermont. Vermont Dance Alliance believes that dance is a transformational art form. By providing a network of resources for dance artists and educational opportunities for movers and audiences, we expand the visibility and accessibility of dance in Vermont and bolster the creative economy of the state. Learn more at vermontdance.org. To make a tax-deductible donation above $250 to support this work, please contact [email protected]