Dance Concert 'Intersections' Features Faculty Choreography and Student Performers
Posted: October 23, 2007 / Last Updated: October 29, 2007
Traditional Thai and Balinese dance forms are contrasted with western European ballet; conceptions of dwellings and domesticity find their way around intimate spaces; and richly textured autumn brocades breathe in emotional landscapes in the Dance Department's fall offering, INTERSECTIONS. The concerts, each consisting of three works, are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1, 2 and 3, in the Doane Dance Performance Space (231 West College St.). The presentations are free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary.
Choreographed by Assistant Professor Mishele Mennett, with collaborating choreography by the dancers, "Toksu Celebration" was inspired by Mennett's travels to Thailand and her participation in the Denison Balinese Gamelan Ensemble. Her choreography is a movement exploration of what she perceives as the essence of three strictly codified forms -- traditional Thai and Balinese forms perceived and recast against the training of European ballet. "The dance moves from serene and sedate to playful and chaotic," says Mennett, "all in celebration of 'Toksu,' which means 'divine inspiration lived through dedication to the gods and to the art form.'" The music is: "Gamelan Salundin"; a recording of the opening parade from the 1987 Bali Arts Festival; as well as selections from "Body Tjak, the Celebration" by Keith Terry, who was last season's Vail Residency guest artist in dance and music. Dancers for "Toksu Celebration" are: Abby Browarsky, Megan Castranio, Kathleen Dean, Kelsy Espy, Kelly Maryanski, Lilly Pinto, Alexandra Rose, Elyse Schultz and Melanie Warning.
"Center 8" was choreographed on and for Denison students by Vail Artists Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, performers selected and sponsored by the National Performance Network. Aiken and Hauser, artists-in-residence this season, spent a week in September and again in October sharing their craft with both the dance and women's studies students. Aiken has received a major Guggenheim Fellowship, and Hauser recently received a prestigious New York "Bessie" award for her work with Bebe Miller. "Center 8," performed to music by Garlo, Bad Data, Rai Howell and Steve Reich, will be danced by Kasey Alfonso, Sarah Drake, Courtney Ego, Sarah Page, Tasmin Pepin-Perry, Tricia Smit and Melanie Warning.
"I wonder if you feel the same" was choreographed by Sandra Mathern-Smith, associate professor of dance, to music composed and performed by Resident Musician Terrence Karn. This work considers the idea that the profound can be discovered in the common place and that the everyday can be found in the profound. "Touch is part of the investigation," says Mathern-Smith, "and is used both metaphorically and literally. The dancers interact in ways that are both commonplace as well as kinesthetic and dramatic." Karn's richly textured accordion and percussion score compliments the riveting gold, red and blue costumes designed by Tatjana Longerot of CATCO. The student performers are: Genie Charles, Diana Dixon, Sarah Drake, Brooke Hayes, Jenna Kelly and Sarah Page.
INTERSECTIONS, directed and produced by Dance Department Chair Gill Wright Miller '74, is offered much earlier in the fall than usual, "in an effort to unclog the artistic bottleneck in early December," reported Miller. "Denison is privileged to host so many compelling events prepared by the entire fine arts division -- faculty and students. We are working to untangle that last weekend in the semester so that the community can witness more of them."
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CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Fall Dance Concert featuring three works, "Toksu Celebration," "Center 8" and "I wonder if you feel the same"; 8 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1, 2 and 3, Doane Dance Performance Space (231 West College St.). Free and open to the public. Contact (740) 587-6712 to confirm information.
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.
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