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Contemporary Motions Dance Company
to Perform on Friday-Saturday, April 6-7

Posted March 29, 2001

HOLLAND -- The Contemporary Motions dance company, celebrating its 15th anniversary year, will perform at Hope College on Friday-Saturday, April 6-7, at 8 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.

Admission is $7 for regular adult admission, and $4 for senior citizens, students and children over 12 years of age. Tickets will be available at the door the evening of the performances.

Contemporary Motions is the resident professional dance company of Hope College and is back on campus for its annual spring residency and performances. The concerts will present "exciting performances featuring many surprises," according to Julio Enrique Rivera, the company's founder and artistic director.

This year the company is preparing a special program with performances featuring veterans Alicia Diaz, Elizabeth Gormly Moraes and Jesus Miranda, as well as young company members, Erica Lynn Nelson and Nathanael Buckley.

Since most of the members of Contemporary Motions go on to creative careers beyond their experience with the company, Rivera has commissioned the returning veterans to create and premiere solo works of their own inspiration for the anniversary celebration.

Rivera has also created a new solo work for himself, a piece that will present the beginning of what he noted promises to be a new venture for Contemporary Motions- -live music. Rivera has choreographed his work to a composition by Argentine musician Fernando Otero, founder of "X Tango," a New York City-based group. Rivera describes Otero's musical compositions as "rich, imaginative, moving and very inspirational," and noted that he hopes to choreograph more works to the artist's music in the future.

Otero will participate in the concert, providing live piano accompaniment to the recorded version. He will also play solo movements from his repertoire, and improvise while Diaz and Miranda dance an improvisational duet inspired from their past collaboration.

According to Rivera, the concert will also feature selected favorite works from the Contemporary Motions repertoire.

Rivera founded the company with young professionals from his advance dance classes at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York City. The company's premiere performance was in June of 1986.

Contemporary Motions has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. The company has also been honored with invitations to participate in cultural events such as Expo '97 as guests of the U.S. Pavilion; Puerto Rico's 500-year celebration; Princeton University's 250-year celebration; and the Avignon Dance Festival.

Among the first dancers to work with the company was Ray Tadio, now a visiting assistant professor of dance at Hope, who was introduced to the Hope and Holland communities as a performer when Rivera invited him to guest with Contemporary Motions in 1999. Rivera has encouraged a number of Hope graduates to apprentice and dance with the company, including Christy (Guth) Ross, a 1992 graduate; Elizabeth Gormly Moraes, a 1993 graduate; Nathanael Buckley and Jennifer Mancini, both 1997 graduates; and Jennifer Spalding, a 1999 graduate.

Rivera is a senior member of the Hope dance faculty, and returns to campus after successful tours throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the U.S.

He spent much of last summer as the guest of the Czech Republic, working with top students from the conservatories of Prague and Bratislava. He was selected to represent the U.S. in the special Summer Workshop, where he reconstructed three of his works for presentations at the outdoor stage of the Liechtenstein Castle in the heart of Prague. The works were then presented at the International Dance Week Prague 2001 in January.

Nathanael Buckley has lived in New York City since graduating from Hope, and has danced for many choreographers. He apprenticed with Contemporary Motions in 1998, returning to perform in the residency concerts. He was a scholarship student at the Merce Cunningham studio, and now focuses on ballet and Ta'i Ch'i.

Alicia Diaz has performed nationally and internationally with a variety of companies. From 1997 to 1999, she co-founded and co-directed "en la brega dance company." She is originally from Puerto Rico, and her choreographic work has been presented in various venues in New York, Puerto Rico and Spain. She currently works for the New York State Psychiatric Institute, conducting fieldwork on homelessness and mental illness.

Elizabeth Gormly Moraes is a member of a number of Dallas-area performance companies. She spent five years teaching and performing throughout Europe, in addition to doing graduate work in dance in England. She recently completed her master of fine arts in choreography and performance at Texas Woman's University. She has a strong interest in the mixing of dance and technology.

Erica Lynn Nelson is originally from Wisconsin, where she began ballet training at age six. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in history and dance, and subsequently moved to New York City, where she has continued her training in dance. She is in her third season with Contemporary Motions.

Jesus Miranda began his dance studies as part of Ballet Isleno, Puerto Rico's folkloric dance company, and met Rivera while a student during a summer camp provided by the company. Based on Miranda's talent and enthusiasm for modern dance, Rivera offered him a scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School. He presently dances with the Andanza modern dance company in Puerto Rico. He was the guest choreographer for Dance 23 at Hope.

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