Subcircle’s mission is to bolster the availability and diversity of performing arts in Southern Maine: Presenting our own creative work, supporting the development of other performing artists’ work, offering public programming that reflects the needs of the community, and collaborating with local organizations that share our values.
Founded in 1999, by Niki and Jorge Cousineau, Subcircle’s work transforms theatrical and site-specific spaces, merging dance, sound, set design, lighting and film. Whether site-specific or performance for the stage, the work aims to convey to audience and performer alike – an inseparability of performance from environment. Subcircle is interested in ways of taking things out of their normal context – placing them differently, slightly skewed or distorted. It is through this process that the goal remains – to test people’s ideas of where they see dance and theater, how and most importantly, why; and while doing so challenging them to be more than a passive audience member. In 2014 choreographer and performer Scott McPheeters joined the Cousineaus as a co-director. Along with their artistic work in Philadelphia, together they purchased a farm in Biddeford Maine which they have developed into an artists’ residency and retreat center which opened in 2019.With collaboration at its core, the company has worked with choreographer/director Carol Brown (London/New Zealand), composer Toby Twining, actor Geoff Sobelle, choreographers Darla Stanley and Gin MacCallum among others. Some of their works include Just Between Me (2001), Crevice (2003), Somewhere Close to Now (2005), Only Sleeping (2010) and SEED (2011). Subcircle’s work has been performed throughout Germany in Potsdam, Berlin, Dresden and Broellin. In Philadelphia- DanceBoom, the nEW Festival, FringeArts, the Annenberg’s By Local series and thirdbird’s Blindspot; In Maine at Mechanic’s Hall in Portland, Engine and Pepperell Mills in Biddeford; at Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC, and at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA. Subcircle’s dance films have been presented by the Michener Museum, WHYY, PDP’s Motion Pictures, Dances made to Order and the Oscillation Transia Film Festival.
Niki Cousineau is a Maine based dancer/choreographer, having relocated after 30 years from Philadelphia where she co-founded Subcircle, with Jorge Cousineau in 1999. As a performer she has worked with Headlong Dance Theater, Nichole Canuso Dance Company and Group Motion Company among others. Niki is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship and was a Choreographic Fellow at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. Her theater credits include choreography for productions at the Arden Theater, Theatre Horizon and Villanova University. Niki has been a visiting lecturer at University of the Arts both in Philadelphia and for their international program in Tuscany, Italy as well as currently at Montserrat College of Art.
Jorge Cousineau was born in Dresden, Germany. In 1997 he moved to Philadelphia to work as a theater designer and has since created sets, lights, sound and video, most notably with Denver Center Theatre, Humana Festival, Arden Theatre Company, Wilma Theater, 1812 Productions and New Paradise Laboratories. He is a recipient of two Independence Foundation Fellowship grants and was awarded the F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Theater Artist. He has received several Barrymore Awards as well as a Lortel Award for his sound design on the production of Opus in NYC. Jorge was awarded the Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2011.
Scott McPheeters is a Biddeford, ME based performer, choreographer, and educator. He creates interdisciplinary performance work that encourages moments of collective intimacy and is committed to an artistic practice that is constantly evolving to reflect and comment on site, situation, and collaborative influences. McPheeters began working with Subcircle as a performer in 2008 and became a company co-director in 2014 after purchasing the residency property in Maine with Niki and Jorge. In his career as a dance artist he has collaborated significantly with choreographers and companies including Nichole Canuso, Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Enchantment Theatre Company, Kun-Yang Lin, Gina Hoch-Stall, and Marianela Boan, and currently performs with Ali Kenner Brodsky & Co. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Sierra Nevada University.