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'Evening of Dance' Showcases Keene State Talents

KEENE, N. H. 3/21/03 - Keene State College faculty and students showcase their talents in choreography and dance at the annual “An Evening of Dance” Wednesday-Saturday, April 16-19, at 8 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for KSC faculty, staff, students, senior citizens, and youth 17 and under. Call the box office at 603-358-2168.

Directed by Marcia Murdock, “An Evening of Dance” features nine dances, six choreographed by students and three by faculty.

Murdock, who directs the KSC dance program and is a Jaffrey resident, will present a trio, “What Common Ground?” In this piece the dancers, KSC seniors Katelyn Foster, Lindsay Ide, and Aiyana Maye, explore a question inspired by the current political climate: How can people with contradictory belief systems find a common ground for discussion and acceptance?

This dance is an abstract look at the dilemma: “If I know I’m right, how can you be right too?” explains Murdock. The musical montage, which accompanies the work, offers additional context and humor.

Assistant Director William Seigh, assistant professor of dance and resident of Greenfield, Mass., is involved in the creation of two works. He choreographed the solo work “I Forget Just Why” performed by Aiyana Maye. The piece, inspired by Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem Lament, examines grief and the emotional ride to a momentary peace. A John Cage score further enhances the challenging journey for both dancer and audience.

Seigh and students in his Modern Dance V course collaborated on “In the Fire’s Dying Embers and the Waters That Sing,” a piece for 12 dancers, set to fado. Seigh describes fado as the folk music of Portugal, similar to blues in America, tango in Argentina, and flamenco in Spain.

“This dance explores the connection between passion and surrender as it is found in this evocative music, ” explains Seigh.

Senior modern dance major Katelyn Foster of Hyannis, Mass., choreographed “Back and Blue,” recently performed at the New England regional American College Dance Festival. Students Yoshio Chandler, Alison Rosenthal, and Leah Waitkun dance this light-hearted blues piece that uses contrasts in time and space to express contradictions inherent in the desire “to have it all.”

Allison Jette, a senior dance, and special education major from Rumney, choreographed “Just to See You,” based on her work with autistic children. Kristine Bonin and Jennifer Hope dance this duet complemented by an original musical score by KSC music major Ken Topham. Together the choreography and music explore feelings of confusion, reflection, and entrapment.

Recent KSC graduate Christopher Mehmed of Milford choreographed “Fingerprints on the Water,” a dance for three men and one woman: Adam Berube, Yoshio Chandler, Ryan Williams, and Jessica Moreland. In this piece, set to a string quartet by Zoltan Kodaly, each performer repeatedly relives a significant personal moment and, like an echo, every relived memory becomes a perversion or glorification of the initial incident, explains Mehmed, who graduated in December with a bachelor’s degree in theatre and dance.

Senior Lindsay Ide of Great Barrington, Mass., choreographed “She,” a duet in which she dances with Leah Waitkun. Through movement and text, the choreographer attempts to reconcile the memory of who she once was and the reality of who she has become.

Senior Carrie Cieslewski of Naugatuck, Conn., created a quartet that investigates various comfort levels, feelings, reactions, and realities of a human relationship gone awry. Yoshio Chandler, Stephanie Ritchie, Meredith Roy, and Ryan Williams perform.

Junior Stacey Brassia of Dover choreographed “Only Bare Feet in My Stilettos,” which takes issue with Madison Avenue and its affect on women of her generation. Marcia Murdock refined the choreography for Brassia, who is now studying in Australia. Inspired by Middle Eastern dance and the Indian fusion music of Sheila Chandra, the piece finds a middle ground between heels and Birkenstocks. Heather Burwell, Allison Jette, Alison Lodge, Jessica Moreland, Valerie Snowdon, and Lindsey Ware perform.

Céline Perron, professor of theatre and dance, is responsible for the set and lighting design for “An Evening of Dance.” Costumes for the production are by Elisabeth Toby Roos, associate professor of theatre and dance.

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