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Sean Curran Residency Concludes with Open Rehearsal

KEENE, NH, 11/21/03 - An open rehearsal for a new dance created by choreographer Seán Curran with six dance students and two alumni from Keene State College will be held in the Mabel Brown Room of KSC’s Young Student Center. The open rehearsal, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3. Tickets and reservations are not necessary. For information and directions, call 603-358-2171.

The open rehearsal will conclude Curran’s two-and-one-half week residency at Keene State. The residency, which was made possible with a grant from the National College Choreography Initiative, included closed rehearsals of the new dance (working title “Another Metal Garden”), a master class for students and teachers at Keene’s Moving Company, master classes for KSC dance students, a master class for Franklin Pierce College dance students, and workshops with Walpole Elementary School children.

After Curran’s residency, Marcia Murdock and William Seigh of the KSC dance program will continue to rehearse the piece. It will then be performed during KSC’s annual “Evening of Dance,” which will be seen April 21-24, 2004. In May 2004 the students and alumni will travel to Montreal, Quebec, to give another public performance of the work, take master classes and attend other dance performances.

The open rehearsal is a rare opportunity for a general audience to see how a professional choreographer creates and works with a company of dancers. Murdock said that she “enjoys seeing how a choreographer works, the kinds of images he uses, the way dancers work with his comments. You get a bite-sized view of the choreographic/rehearsal process which is quite foreign to many.”

Curran described the open rehearsal as taking place in two segments. “We will start at 7 p.m.,” he explained, “by cleaning and polishing of the ingredients that go into the dance. The dancers will run dance phrases that I have given them and that they created themselves. We will also work on counterpoint movements and partner duets. At 8 p.m. we will run the dance and follow up with a question-and-answer session with the audience, all the while encouraging comments, feedback, and concerns.”

The student dancers performing are Jillian Davey, Danielle Dicento, Ali Rosenthal, Meredith Roy, Melanie Rosner and Leah Waitkun. The two alumni are Yoshio Chandler and Aiyana Maye. The dance will feature music by Tigger Benford and Peter Jones and choreography by Curran in collaboration with dancers.

Curran, who appeared with his company last spring at Keene State’s Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond, began his dance training as a young boy in Boston, Mass., with traditional Irish step dancing. He went on to make his mark on the dance world as a leading dancer with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He received a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for his performance in “Secret Pastures.” A graduate and guest faculty member of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Curran was an original member of the New York City cast of the Off-Broadway percussion extravaganza “Stomp,” performing in the show for four years.

Recent projects include a second new work for the Trinity Irish Dance Company, choreography for the New York City Opera and Glimmerglass Opera’s co- production of “L’Etoile,” and the Playwright’s Horizon production of “My Life with Albertine.” Curran choreographed the Broadway production of “James Joyce’s The Dead.”

He has also created works for Denmark’s Upper Cut Company, Sweden’s Skänes Dance Theater, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Utah’s Ririe Woodbury Dance Theater, and Pittsburgh’s Dance Alloy, as well as for numerous college and university dance departments. Curran has taught extensively at the American Dance Festival, Harvard Summer Dance Center, Bates Dance Festival, and Boston’s Conservatory of Music. “Irish American Magazine” selected Curran as one of its “Top 100” in the year 2000. He currently performs with the Seán Curran Company.

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