"An Evening of Dance" Features Premieres of Modern Works
A specially commissioned dance by New York choreographer Yanira Castro will premiere along with three new works by Keene State College faculty during An Evening of Dance, presented by the Keene State Department of Theatre and Dance.
This annual modern dance concert of original works will be performed by talented and always-engaging Keene State dancers on Wednesday, April 20 through Saturday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for senior citizens and children, and $6 for KSC students. For tickets, contact the Redfern Box Office, open Monday to Friday noon to 6 p.m., call 603-358-2168, or order online at keene.edu/arts/redfern.
An Evening of Dance, directed by KSC Dance Program Director Marcia Murdock, offers nine new modern dance pieces by guest artists, faculty, and students that burst with the creative energy of Keene State’s vibrant dance community.
This year’s concert features the premiere of 7 Dancers + Curtain by Yanira Castro, the 2015-16 choreographer-in-residence for the KSC Theatre and Dance Department. This dance is based on material from Court/Garden, a full evening-length, multi-media dance performance inspired by the Imperial ballets of Louis XIV’s French Court. 7 Dancers + Curtain will be performed by an ensemble of seven KSC dance students who have been working with Castro throughout the academic year. Music is by composer Stephan Moore, who wrote the music for Court/Garden. Castro, a Puerto-Rican born and Brooklyn-based director and choreographer, formed the collaborative group, a canary torsi in 2009.
An Evening of Dance was created in 1975 by the late Alta Lu Townes. Townes was an English department lecturer who also taught dance, who went on to develop the college’s dance program. This annual celebration of original modern dance choreography continues 41 years later under the leadership of Dance Program Director Marcia Murdock, assisted by Dance professor William Seigh. Both Murdock and Seigh will premiere new works during the concert.
Marcia Murdock’s new dance, Matter of Balance, is a reworking of a quartet she choreographed with students in a Modern V class 26 years ago. She was inspired to revisit this work when one of those students, Paul Besaw ‘88, now director of the University of Vermont Dance Program, asked if he might place the piece on his dancers. KSC Music Professor Christopher Swist’s original music, Duality, will be performed live by faculty violinist, Marcia Lehninger, as the quintet of dancers explores the balance for which each dancer is striving.
ephemeral in nature by William Seigh is a dance that, like most live performance, exists for a few moments in time – and then it is over. This dance collage for eleven performers is at once about ephemerality, beauty, relationship, loss, and the wonder of memory.
KSC dance faculty and guest choreographer, Cynthia McLaughlin, explores “progress” in her new work, Now You Don’t. The piece, made for eight women, examines what progress builds, dismantles and pays tribute to those whom have come before and those still to come.
Through My Eyes, by student Kimberly Best ’17, is a dance about four women who must find acceptance and discover that surrendering to their reality is the only way to persevere.
11:11, by student Alexa Deluca ’16, is a piece in which five dancers are living in what seems to be a perfect world while struggling with unfulfilled desire.
Only You, Elvis and Balls, by student Abbie Leigh Brown ‘16, is a modern dance quintet of women who find themselves caught in an awkward moment and, despite nerves and insecurity, gain the courage to embrace that which defines them. This piece represented KSC at the American College Dance Association Conference at Springfield College in February. Brown is this year’s recipient of the Alta Lu Townes Memorial Dance Award.
Student Emily Brochu ’16 created Sometimes, a dance about three girls who share the intense bond found among siblings and who travel together on this familiar journey.
Fit, Fixed, Found by student Makayla Marion Ferrick ’17 is a dance trio exploring three individual timelines. As time passes, the dancers discover similar moments but realize that they will always be on their own paths. This dance also represented KSC at the American College Dance Association Conference at Springfield College in February. Ferrick is this year’s recipient of the Bruce LeVine Mellion ‘69 Scholarship for Excellence in Dance.
Keene State Theatre and Dance Department
The Department of Theatre and Dance is dedicated to providing a comprehensive course of study that balances theory and practice within a sound liberal arts education. The collaborative nature of theatre and dance disciplines fosters an atmosphere in which students work closely with peers and faculty to gain practical experience in all facets or production and critical engagement. As artists and teachers, our primary focus is to encourage and guide our students as they find their creative voices and experience and question the world through the arts.
For more information about the Theatre and Dance Department, visit keene.edu/academics/programs/tad/ or call 603-358-2162.