Northampton, MA - Always a wildly popular, sold-out event, this year's Faculty Dance Concert at Smith College promises to go beyond the beloved performances of years past. Three must-see pieces stand out from an already stellar program: two premieres of new works by internationally acclaimed guest choreographers, Sidra Bell and Kathleen Hermesdorf, and another not-to-be-missed pre-show video by Rodger Blum made with the dancers of the Pilobolus Dance Company, a follow-up to last year's stunning and provocative Vitruvian Men. Distinguished Smith College faculty Chris Aiken and Candice Salyers will also showcase original work for small ensemble and solo dancers.
Sidra Bell is an award-winning choreographer, a highly sought-after master teacher, and the artistic director of Sidra Bell Dance New York. The Five College Dance Department was honored to host Ms. Bell for a residency in August, during which time she created at the bazaar, a new large ensemble work on two casts of Five College dancers, in which "environments and culture are created on the stage" and we watch "playful worlds colliding with structure."
Kathleen Hermesdorf is a San Francisco-based choreographer and teacher. She recently completed a residency at Smith College, where she choreographed a new work, Ouroboros 10, to the original music of composer Albert Mathias. Named for the ancient symbol of a serpent eating its own tail, the dance explores themes of serpentine and circular mythology, which are particularly resonant in this Chinese year of the snake.
Chris Aiken has choreographed an ensemble piece for ten dancers, How Did I Get Here?, a performative representation of the inner life of students who fall asleep in class lectures set to music by the Talking Heads.
Candice Salyers will perform one of her own solo works entitled Six Reasons Why My Dance Card Isn't Full, part of a larger work and ongoing project, A History of Levitation, which explores different physical and spiritual conceptions of female sainthood.
Rodger Blum's Eros and Psyche is abstractly based on the classic myth of the same name and focuses on the themes of understanding and forgiveness and the role of human physicality and proximity in propelling us toward these goals. The work is set to music by Baroque composer Francois Couperin and uses the human "marks" in the musicians' interpretation of the composer's work as an entry into a series of formal but familiar relationships.
Blum's preshow video is a half-hour, two-track installation exploring loss and gain in human interaction. It was created on three male dancers from the Pilobolus Dance Company for this concert.
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Sidra Bell Dance New York