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Skidmore College

Skidmore dancers to explore "Strange and Familiar Places"

April 17, 2014

Skidmore’s Department of Dance will present "Strange and Familiar Places," its spring dance concert, Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19, in the Dance Theater. Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. both days and a 2 p.m. matinee is planned for Saturday.

The program includes works choreographed by department faculty Debra Fernandez, Rubén Graciani, Mary Haney, and Denise Warner Limoli, along with guest artist Kevin Wynn, associate professor at the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance.

General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. The box office opens 45 minutes prior to the show and people are encouraged to arrive early for best seating. For more information call 518-580-5392.

Program selections include the following:

“Borderland,” a work for six dancers, by Debra Fernandez. With music by the electronic group Small Life Forms, “Borderland explores the restless tracking of an indeterminate area, situation, or condition,” she explained. The work features film animation by John Danison and costumes in the style of Game of Thrones by Kim Vanyo.

Inspired by the gardens at Yaddo, “Reflection,” Mary Harney’s new work, aims to transport the viewer to a place of serenity, promise, and art, through its beautiful imagery.

Rubén Graciani has two works in the program. “Meetings Along the Edge” is an exploration of the strange places in which we find ourselves when we investigate vulnerability. The piece features 16 dancers and music by Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar. Graciani’s second work, “She Once Was,” is for a trio and set to music by Philip Glass and Tyondai Braxton.

Denise Warner Limoli’s students will present excerpts from the classical 1881 ballet, "Dance from Paquita," staged by Limoli after the great St. Petersburg choreographer Marius Petipa. With music by Ludvig Minkus, the ballet has a charming Spanish gypsy style.

Guest artist Kevin Wynn’s work is titled “To Repel the Demons,” a fast-paced dance that includes articulated gestures and movement themes that are abstractly based on ideas of tent revivals and spirit-based action. The piece was commissioned by the senior capstone dance class, which applied for and received student opportunity funds to help fund the commission.

Wynn received his early training in Washington, D.C., at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and continued his studies at Cal Arts and S.U.N.Y.  Purchase.  He was a soloist with the Jose Limon Dance Company and has worked with Jowale Willa Jo Zollar, Laurie Carlos, Vernon Reid and Living Colour, Dianne McIntyre, Sounds in Motion Dance Company, Mel Wong, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Daniel Nagrin and Jacques D’Amboise.

Wynn’s choreography has been performed at Holland Music and Dance Festival, International Dance Festival in Hong Kong, International Dance Festival in Taipei, Clark Center’s New Choreographers Series, UCLA, and George Washington University, among others. His commissions include four New York State Council on the Arts grants in choreography for works for EBA Dance Company, Pick-of-the-Crop Dance Company in Buffalo, and the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble.

Wynn has completed residencies in Europe, Asia, Scandinavia, and throughout the U.S. 

He says, “My work continues to deal with the persistence of the human spirit and idealism in a sexist, homophobic and racially troubled society, sustaining a complex dance subject in an un-dogmatic and even lyrical way.”

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