Denison Students to Present Concert of Contemporary Dance
Posted: November 22, 2002
The Denison University Dance Department will present a Concert of Contemporary Dance at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday (Dec. 6-7) in the Doane Dance Studio Theater. Works by Vail Artist-in-Residence Karen Nelson and Associate Professor of Dance Sandy Mathern-Smith will be performed. Tickets are $2 for seniors and children and $5 for the general public.
The hour-long program consists of three original works: "3 Hands" by Nelson, and "Solo-oloS" and "Opening" by Mathern-Smith. Nelson directed and conceived the dance "3 Hands," a 30-minute improvised dance guided by movement ideas she brought to the work, over the course of two weeks in September when she was in-residence. Though the dance is improvised, the score, which is set in three major sections, remains the same each time the dance is performed. Each section of the dance deals with perception and the dances that result from this awareness. The dancers use verbal calls and cues to each other and to the audience so that they become privy to the performers' perceptions, opinions and compositional desires. "3 Hands" is performed by Denison students Ashleigh Diver, Lara Ellinger, Franklin Grace, Kori Martodam, Kristie Proffit, Rebecca Schenk, Casey Schory, Sarah Schneider, and Jessamyn Schmidt.
"Solo-oloS" is choreographed for six dancers by Mathern-Smith. It focuses on solo movement studies designed for each performer and features each one consecutively over the entire dynamically shifting 20-minute work. Students Kerry Farrell, Meg Hebert, Cassandra Smith, Grace, Martodam and Schmidt will perform this number. The music accompanying "Solo-oloS" was conceived by Kathleen Pierson, resident musician in the dance department and recorded by a Denison student/faculty ensemble. Members of the ensemble were: Corey Babb, Megan Coil, Emily Culp, Aaron Fulecki, Emily Gonzalez, Steve Mokris and Jared Thompson along with Assistant Professor of Spanish Michael Sisson.
The last piece, "Opening," features Mathern-Smith in a solo performance to a selection of works for string, preset for the dance. This dance changes from evening to evening, as Mathern-Smith uses an entirely unscored improvisation approach. The music sets the structure for the performance and creates the emotional texture and dynamics to which the dancer responds. The focus of Mathern-Smith's work for the past five years has been performance improvisation and collaboration.
Nelson served a residency at Denison working with students and faculty in the dance department. She is based in Washington State and is a recognized expert in dance improvisation. Nelson has also incorporated influences from meditation to martial arts in her performances over the past 25 years. Nelson also directs Diverse Dance, a research retreat for people of mixed abilities, on Vashon Island in Washington.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
For press inquiries:
- Barbara Stambaugh
- Position Title
- Director, Media Relations
- Primary Email
- Business Phone
- (740) 587-8575