One Plus One logoONE PLUS ONE Dance-Music Theater (1976-1992)

One Plus One - Patricia and DavidONE PLUS ONE

In 1976, Modern Dancer Patricia Hruby and Classical Guitarist David Onderdonk together created the Dance-Music Theatre of ONE PLUS ONE.

(from One Plus One flyer:) “Ms. Hruby, an accomplished dancer in a wide range of modes from classical ballet to mime, trained with members of the Martha Graham, Jose Limon, and Alwin Nikolais companies. She danced in London and New York City, before basing One Plus One in Champaign, IL. Her choreography has a sure touch complemented by a great sense of the dramatic impact of movement. [She received choreographic awards from both the National Endowment for the Arts (1980) and the Illinois Arts Council (1988 and 1991)].

One Plus One - David and Patricia

One Plus One - David and Patricia“Mr. Onderdonk possesses a musician’s instinct and a physicist’s grasp of the sound musical instruments could and indeed can produce. Although the classical guitar is his basic instrument, for One Plus One, he comfortably shifts to primitive woodwinds and a variety of percussion instruments. [In high school, David was a state champion gymnast on the high bar, which was his training for dance performance].

“Out of this combination comes a blend…of movement, sound, drama and above all else, feeling.”

The above photos are from Indeterminacy Principle (1978) developed in collaboration with Jim Staley, Mark Ludke, and David Onderdonk and choreographed by Patricia Hruby.

Patricia Hruby Powell

Throughout the United States, Central and South America, and in Europe, ONE PLUS ONE delighted audiences and won critical acclaim. Their innovative and fresh approach captured new audiences and added new dimensions to Dance-Music Theatre [from 1976 to 1992. ONE PLUS ONE performed in many U.S. colleges and cities, toured extensively in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean on U.S. State Department tours (1978 and 1980) and to Ljubjana, Yugoslavia (1978) and Europe (1983).]

Emily (1978)

Emily, choreographed by Corrine Bougaard, now the artistic director of Union Dance in London, was inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem “I started early, took my dog”. Corrine taught Patricia the dance after One Plus One performed in Yugoslavia and, on the return home, visited Corrine in London. Patricia and Corrine had both studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance.

Duet (1979)

Choreographed by Patricia Hruby; music: J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto; performed by Patricia Hruby and David Onderdonk.

My partner in One Plus One, David Onderdonk, is actually an incredible guitarist, but I’d convinced  him to dance because he’d been a state champion gymnast and he was just a naturally beautiful mover.

People And Other Species – Fly (1980)People And Other Species – Fly (1980)

(from L) Patricia Hruby (choreographer); Stephen Katz (composer); David Onderdonk (musician, comedian)

People And Other Species, an evening length work, included sections entitled Bee, performed on roller skates; Fly; Dragonfly and various other species. The work was developed in collaboration with Stephen Katz and David Onderdonk.

Album (1980)Album (1980)

(from L) Stephen Katz, David Onderdonk (composers), Patricia (choreographer), Suzanne Oliver

Album was choreographed in 1978; its first cast was Patricia with Kathy Kleeman; then Patricia, with Deb Riley, performed it in New York City. Morgan Powell and Ray Sasaki were the musicians for various other performances of the piece.

Myth (1981)Myth (1981)

choreographer: Patricia Hruby
composer: Morgan Powell
backdrops: Donna Essig
dancers include: Jim Coates, Marla Gerber, Sue Jobst, Patricia Hruby, Jean McManus, Earl Martin, Debra Noble, Suzanne Oliver, Peter Rothblatt (anyone remember the rest?)
musicians: Dan Anderson, Deborah Munn, Morgan Powell, David Onderdonk, Ray Sasaki.

Myth was performed at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, Illinois, and at MoMing in Chicago; with live musicians and twelve dancers. The beautiful backdrops (acrylics on canvas) by Donna Essig depict the yin yang theme of the dance. Materials for the dance were developed from the dancers work with contact improvisation, under the guidance of the choreographer.

Duet for Dolly (1984)Duet for Dolly (1984)


choreographer: Patricia Hruby
composers: medley: Washington, Kahn, Ellington, Roberts, Carmichael

When Patricia grew lonely at an “artist residency” in southern Illinois, living in a cabin on Lake Mattoon, she created Dolly with rib, needle, thread, glitter, eyelash and fingernail. Dance for Dolly was the first dance she did with Dolly. Next came Kuder Dance (1987), one of Patricia’s story pieces taken from her high school days based on the outcome of a Kuder Preference Test. Outcome: She should become a shepherd. Second choice: fireman.


Comprised of dancers Patricia Hruby and Debra Noble and musicians Morgan Powell (trombone) and Ray Sasaki (trumpet), began as a completely improvisatory group. The dancers employed contact improvisation, used ropes rigged from the ceiling, and handles sewn to their costumes to augment the form. The musicians also moved/danced, and the quartet eventually did choreographed works such as Dickel Seven (choreo: Hruby 1988) and commissioned a piece from the great choreographer Beverly Blossom. ONE PLUS ONE…Quartet performed in Champaign, Cleveland, New York City, Paris, Vernon, Cologne, Florence, and Rome, among other places. (Debra Noble was eventually replaced by dancer Daniel Halkins).

A Woodland Tale (1991)A Woodland Tale (1991)

A Woodland Tale (1991)

choreography, story and libretto: Patricia Hruby
music composition: Erik Lund
(dancer/actor/trapezists from L) Sue Jobst (Moon); Patricia Hruby (Archer); Jim Coates (Empress); Micah Magee (Witch); Ki McGraw (Queen); Suzanne Oliver (Gardener); not pictured: Barbara Magee (Goddess); Irene Bond (Narrator); Kate Kuper (Demon); Seredy Masar (Angel); Earl Martin (Satyr), also: Shelley Masar, Wendy Denny, Michael

A Woodland Tale (1991)Work on A Woodland Tale began two years before its final performance. Patricia had used five swings in a piece commissioned by the Painted Bride in Philadelphia (Viriditas- 1986) and went to Berkeley, CA to study low-flying double-decker spinning trapeze work with its founder, Terry Sendgraff. She returned home to teacher her cast of twelve dancer/actors the art of trapeze work, and to train them to use their voices as part of their bodies. The result was A Woodland Tale which was first performed at White Street Art Center where the dancers flew out over the audience on their trapezes; then at Parkland College Theatre, where perfomers had to learn to swing only laterally so as not to disrupt the stage lights on their hanging beams. The chorus and ensemble sang and played live at both venues.

A Woodland Tale (1991)Music ensemble: Erik Lund (conductor and trombone); Fred Lau (flutes); Steve Butters (percussion); Jacqueline Bobak (soprano); Pamela Elrod (alto); Mark Fisch (tenor).

Small photo credits from L to R:

  1. Jim Coates (Empress); Suzanne Oliver (Gardener); Patricia Hruby (Archer); Barbara Magee (Goddess)
  2. Ki McGraw (Queen); Suzanne Oliver; Patricia Hruby; Jim Coates; Micah Magee (Witch)
  3. Jim Coates; Ki McGraw; Sue Jobst (Moon)

Major Choreographies

1994 Sophisticated Lady     music: Duke Ellington
Performed with University of Illinois Jazz Band
Premiere: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts-Tyron Festival Theatre, Urbana, IL
1991 A Woodland Tale    music: Erik Lund
For 12 dancer/actor/trapezists; SATB choral quartet and instrumental ensemble
A “trapeze opera”; a serious evening length faery tale
Story and Libretto by Patricia Hruby
Costume art: Sheila Lehman
Premiere: White Street Arts Center (Acts 1&2); Parkland College Theatre, Champaign, IL
1989 Napping Beauties   music: Tchaikovsky and ambient outdoor sound
Dance for video: for four dancers
Premiere: CableVision TV, Urbana, IL
1988 One Plus    music: Lawrence Sheer
For soloist dancer and cellist, on stage: off stage percussionist
Premiere: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA) Studio Theatre
1987 Heavenly Company   music: Coward, Cohn, traditional
For 4 dancers who sing and speak in verse
Text by Patricia Hruby
Premiere: White Street Arts Center, Champaign, IL by The Dance Collective
Kuder Dance    music: Washington, Kahn, Bach
For soloist, life-size dummy and 2 toy sheep
Text by Patricia Hruby
Premiere: Conwell Dance Theater, Philadelphia, PA
1986 Viriditas    music: Stephen DiJoseph   visual artist: Michael Howell
Commissioned by Painted Bride; evening length work for 5 women, 1 man, 2 musicians
Swing/Trapezes used by 5 women
Premiere: Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
Gaman    music: Morgan Powell’s Ray’s in the Window
For soloist and 12 dancers; companion piece to Alone
Premiere: Conwell Dance Theater, Philadelphia, PA
Alone   music: Morgan Powell
Solo dance with solo trumpeter, Ray Sasaki
Premiere: Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
Celestial Reasonings    music: Morgan Powell
For 4 women dancers who speak
Text in verse by Patricia Hruby
Premiere: Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
1985 Whose Dream    music: Morgan Powell
For 2 men and 2 women dancers
Premiere: Thornburn Center, Urbana, IL
1984 Duet for Dolly    music: Washington, Kahn, Ellington, Roberts, Carmichael
For dancer and life-size Dolly
Premiere: LakeLand College Auditorium, Mattoon, IL
Look Up Look Out Look In    music: J.S. Bach
For 2 men and 3 women dancers, and one runner
Premiere: Thornburn Center, Urbana, IL
Olympus    music: Morgan Powell, Ray Sasaki
ONE PLUS ONE…Quartet: two dancers, two brass players
Premiere: World Heritage Museum, Champaign, IL
1983 Medley    music: Noble, Carmichael, Hupfeld
ONE PLUS ONE…Quartet: two dancers, two brass players
Premiere: Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
Funded: Illinois Arts Council Choreographic Award
Dickel Seven    music: Morgan Powell, Ray Sasaki
For 2 dancers and two cigar-smoking musicians
Premiere: Footpath Dance Lab, Cleveland, OH
Funded: Illinois Arts Council Choreographic Award
1981 Myth    music: Morgan Powell
For 12 dancers of varying skill level; 5 musicians
Set design: Donna Essig
Premiere: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, IL
1980 People And Other Species    music: Stephen Katz
For 2 dancers and 2 dancer/musicians
Premiere: Downtown Performing Arts Center, Champaign, IL
Funded: National Endowment for the Arts Choreographic Fellowship
1979 Duet    music: J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto
Pas du deux with contact improvisation
ONE PLUS ONE: Patricia Hruby and David Onderdonk
Premiere: Illinois State University, Normal IL
1978 House    music: David Onderdonk
For woman dancer and man dancer/musician/actor
ONE PLUS ONE: Hruby & Onderdonk
Premiere: Ljubjana Arts Festival, Ljubjana, YUGOSLAVIA,
Cordoba    music: Isaac Albeniz
ONE PLUS ONE: dancer and guitarist
Premiere: Wheeling College, Wheeling, VA
1977 Indeterminacy Principle    music: David Onderdonk, traditional, played live, with text
ONE PLUS ONE: Patricia Hruby and David Onderdonk
Part I – collaboration with David Onderdonk, musician (guitarist)
Part II – collaboration with James Staley, musician (trombonist)
Part III – collaboration with Mark Ludke, scholar
Premiere: Channing Murray, Urbana, IL
1976 In the Beginning… a non-comprehensive history of dance
music: Bach, Ravel, Onderdonk, traditional
ONE PLUS ONE: David and Patricia
Text by Patricia Hruby
Performed as both a lecture and as a concert piece in:
Premiere: English: Aquinas College Auditorium, Grand Rapids, MI
Premiere: Spanish: En el Principio… Centro cultural Costarricense Norteamericano, San Jose,        Costa Rica (1978)
Album   music: Catherine Hall (later: Morgan Powell and Ray Sasaki)
For two dancers and live singer (or live brass: trombone and trumpet)
Premiere: Terra Firma, New York, NY
Match    music: Delibes
Solo dance
Premiere: Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana, IL (SomeDancers, Inc.)
Discontents    music: Dennis Kita
Solo dance
Premiere: Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana, IL (SomeDancers, Inc.)
1975 A Bit About Women And Others   music: Debussy
For 5 woman and 1 man dancer
Text: Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath
Premiere: New York Reunion, Terra Firma, New York, NY
Bird    music: Antonio Vivaldi
Solo (and  pas de deux added later)
Premiere: Graduate Center Mall, New York, NY (New Choreographers Concert ’75)
1974 Game    music: Antonio Vivaldi and traditional
For 5 dancers
Premiere: Winnipeg, CANADA (Winnipeg Contemprary Dancers Junior Company)
1973 Layer and Line    music: Dolores Hruby
For 3 dancers
Premiere: The Place, London, ENGLAND
Explaining Piece    music: Patricia Hruby with violinist
For large group, site specific work for:
Premiere:  Euston Concourse, London, ENGLAND
1972 Aita Pea Pea? (Polynesian: What does it matter?)   music: P. Hruby with drummer & flutist
For 5 dancers, drummer, flutist; inspired by work of Paul Gaugin
Premiere: The Place, London School of Contemporary Dance, London, ENGLAND
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