posted October 17, 2007

Statewide Dance Concert Includes Faculty Work

Works by three members of the Hope College dance faculty are being featured in the Showcase Concert that will culminate the statewide Michigan Dance Council Dance Day being held at HopeCollege on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The Showcase Concert is taking place at the Knickerbocker Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 p.m.  Tickets are $12, and will be sold at the door.

Hope faculty members Rosanne Barton-DeVries and Linda Graham are among the six choreographers who will have works in the concert as entrants in the statewide Maggie Allesee New Choreography Award competition. In addition, the concert program will feature a work choreographed by Hope faculty member Steven Iannacone and performed by Hope-affiliate dance company dANCEpROjECt (formerly Aerial Dance Theater) as a special guest.

The other four choreographers competing for the award along with Barton-DeVries and Graham are Shawn T. Bible, Gregory M. George, Corinne Imberski and Beth LaBaren-Root.  The program will also include a performance by Happendance School with choreography by the 2007 Michigan Dance Council Educator of the Year, Diane Newman.

Barton-DeVries is a part-time lecturer in dance at Hope, where she has taught since 2000, and is co-artistic director of IDT, which is an affiliate of the college's department of dance and was formerly InSync Dance Theatre.

Her work in the concert is "inter-play," which celebrates the body as a percussion instrument.  The a cappella, hand-slapping, foot-tapping, back-drumming piece invites audience and performer alike to engage the simple joy of creating rhythm.  It debuted during IDT's concert at the Knickerbocker in January 2007, and has since been performed at the Dogwood Festival in Dowagiac, and a variation of the piece will be presented at the University of Illinois-Chicago for Chicago Tap Theatre's holiday show.  The dancers Saturday will be Tracy Albus, Robyn Anderson, Brianna Bedsole, Carrie Brandis, Alissa Gigler, Mary-Claire Penner, Pam Rexius, Briana Sosenheimer, Ashten Wallace and Lacey Williams.

Graham is a professor of dance and chairperson of the department, and is former co-artistic director of Aerial Dance Theater/dANCEpROjECt.  She has taught at Hope since 1983.

Her work in the concert is "Snow Dogs," of which she notes:  "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human.  The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."  The work was originally created for and performed during the department of dance's major annual concert, Dance 33, in the DeWittCenter main theatre in March 2007.  The dancers are Kari Burke, Colleen Creamer, Shauna Masura, Mary Clare Penner, Pam Rexius and Ashten Wallace.

Iannacone is an associate professor of dance at Hope, where he has taught since 1990.  He is artistic director of dANCEpROjECt, and also founded Men Dance Michigan, a new venue for male choreographers designed to showcase the works of men who live, work and create dance in Michigan.

Iannacone's work being performed by dANCEpROjECt in the concert is "Sideshow," which he notes combines low tech and high jinx in a stimulating visual spectacle full of humor, color and surprises.  The dancers will be Haley Bartel, Sarah Breese, Naomi Dees, Lindsey Ferguson, Katherine Moore, Ahmed Slimini and Krista Stanton.

The Michigan Dance Day activities preceding the concert will be attended by high school- and college-level dance students and instructors from around the state.  Throughout the morning and early afternoon the event will feature master classes in modern, jazz, jazz/Broadway, yoga, ballet/intermediate, East Indian and beginning Pilates.

The eight master class instructors will include three members of the Hope faculty:  Iannacone (modern); Dorrell Martin (jazz/Broadway), who is a faculty member at the JoffreyBalletSchool and Dance New Amsterdam, and is a guest master teacher at Hope; and Ray Tadio (jazz), who is an assistant professor of dance and co-artistic director of IDT.  In addition, Heather Winia of Zeeland, who will be leading the master class on beginning Pilates and is a certified holistic health counselor and group exercise instructor, is a 1991 Hope graduate.

The Michigan Dance Council is a nonprofit organization that, through networking and advocacy, links all the various components that make up the diverse Michigan dance community. MDC seeks to make dance an integral part of each person's life by supporting performance and educational opportunities, promoting audience development and preserving the legacy of Michigan dance.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.