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An Evening of Dance Runs the Musical Gamut

KEENE, N.H., 3/21/07 - The 31st annual An Evening of Dance will highlight diverse choreography from Wednesday to Saturday, April 18 to 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond at Keene State College. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for KSC students, senior citizens, and youth ages 17 and under. Call the box office at 603-358-2168.

This year’s dance concert will showcase eight dances: five choreographed by students, two by faculty, and one by guest choreographer and Keene State alumnus Paul Besaw, who is currently a faculty member at the University of Vermont.

“I am struck by the variety in this year’s concert,” said Marcia Murdock, director of the dance program at Keene State. “Musically, we run the gamut from Yo-Yo Ma and Kronos Quartet to Pink Floyd and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Themes are equally diverse with dances inspired by the art of Boccioni, identity struggles, and the world of runway models.”

Murdock’s quartet, “Cantilever,” explores one’s delight and willingness to take risks with others and the difficulty in taking a single step forward when alone.

“Vanishing Point,” an ensemble piece for nine dancers, was choreographed by William Seigh, associate professor of dance at Keene State, with inspiration from the 1911 Umberto Boccioni triptych, “States of Mind.” The three paintings inform the theme and structure of this modern dance work, which explores inescapable partings with ideas and dreams.

Guest choreographer and KSC alumnus Paul Besaw ‘88 created “Coverings,” a quintet, first premiered in 2001 at Catawba College in North Carolina. In the dance, five identically dressed figures interact and begin to experiment with peeling away layers. Risk-taking leads to vulnerability as each figure must decide how far they are willing to proceed with this process of uncovering.

Two of the pieces (“Paperweight” and “Simplexity”) represented Keene State at the New England Regional American College Dance Festival Association Conference at Williams College in February. “Paperweight,” choreographed by senior Lisa Bates, with lighting design by senior Amy Howard, is a quintet that investigates the idea of being caught, using the spider’s web to inform the movement vocabulary. Senior Joshua Midgett choreographed “Simplexity,” using music by Yo-Yo Ma and Pink Floyd; this dance explores the different lenses of solitude and companionship.

“Haute Couture,” choreographed by KSC alumnus Adam Berube ‘06, asks “How original are we? Do we, as a society, depend upon popular culture to tell us what to do, how to act, and what to wear?” Berube will be discussing his choreographic process in the creation of this work at the KSC Academic Excellence Conference on Saturday, March 31.

KSC alumnus Dave Abrams ‘06 choreographed “Community Mutiny,” which is supported by an accompaniment one could find in a cocktail lounge. The six dancers pose and answer the question: “Am I better off alone?”

Within four minutes, three dancers use movement abstraction and sheer technique to explore the emotional layers in guilt and pleasure in “Guilty Pleasures,” choreographed by junior Angie Muzzy. Music will be a string version of a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song.

Murdock and Seigh are director and associate director of the concert. Celine Perron, professor of theatre and dance, is the lighting designer. Costumes for the production are by Kate Jansyn Thaw, a theatre and dance faculty member. Craig Lindsay, a theatre and dance faculty member, is technical director for An Evening of Dance.

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