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Pearson/Widrig & Company Dancers Return to Keene State

KEENE, N.H., Jan. 21, 2002 - Sarah Pearson/Patrik Widrig and Company dancers will return to Keene to hold a community workshop/audition on February 10 for their upcoming performance of Hereafter at Keene State Colleges Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. The workshop/audition, which begins at 1 p.m., will be held at the Arts Centers Main Theatre. Hereafter has been performed in New York City at the prestigious Joyce Theaters Altogether Different Festival as well as on tour throughout the U.S. and in Switzerland and India.

Sara Pearson / Patrik Widrig and Company is an internationally renowned New York-based experimental dance / theater company, which specializes in works that explore how pivotal moments in peoples lives can inform art. Hereafter marks the third year the company has been in residency at Keene State College.

For more information regarding the workshop/audition, call the Redfern Arts Center at 603-358-2171. For tickets to the February 22 performance call 603-358-2167 or reserve them on the web at

The themes of Hereafter have particular relevance after the events of September 11. The piece is a multi-disciplinary community-based dance theater/video work, exploring peoples relationship to the experience of death and their ideas of what comes after.

The piece addresses the silence that surrounds death and explores how people deal with death, their views of an afterlife, and the influences of religion on their beliefs. It asks about the ideas, fears, and dreams associated with death, and how these experiences have changed through time.

Those selected to perform in Hereafter will need to commit to an intensive rehearsal period of nine weekday evenings and one Saturday afternoon before the February 22 performance. Under the direction of Pearson and Widrig, participants will develop their own material (written, spoken, and danced) and learn pre-existing dances to be performed with the company.

Co-founders of the Company, Patrik Widrig and Sara Pearson say that no real dance experience is necessary to audition. People of all ages are welcome, they explain. Everyone who participates should treat the audition experience as a workshop. Since we are limited in the number of people who will actually be able to perform, we will also be selecting people to participate in the video to be incorporated in the performance. Were looking for people with a strong, natural presence, high energy, a deep sense of stillness, a clear natural speaking voice, and one pointed focus.

The Pearson/Widrig residency, rehearsals, and performance are made possible through a National Endowment for the Arts Collegiate Dance Grant and a New England Foundation for the Arts Dance Tour Grant with additional support from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Along with their annual appearances at New York Citys Joyce Theatre and Central Park Summer Stage, they have been in residence at the Bates Dance Festival and Jacobs Pillow and have brought their works to several European countries and India. Switzerlands Neue Zürcher Zeitung described their work as American dance-theater at its funniest and most compelling.

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