Dance Company to Perform on April 5-6
Posted April 1, 2002
HOLLAND -- Contemporary Motions, the resident
professional dance company of Hope College, has returned to
the Holland area and will perform on Friday and Saturday,
April 5 and 6, at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.
Tickets will be available at the door, and cost $6
for regular adult admission and $4 for senior citizens,
students and children under 12. The Knickerbocker Theatre
is located at 86 E. 8th St. in downtown Holland.
"The cast, moved by the amazing experience and
wonderful audience reception during last year's 15th-year
anniversary season, is enthusiastic to return and repeat the
magic for this residency program," said Julio Rivera, who is
the company's founder and artistic director. "We have been
busy creating new works, re-staging old favorites,
reconstructing works that call for more voices, and
polishing works of emerging young choreographers to bring
yet another powerful performance to our fans in the Hope
College, Holland, and surrounding communities."
This year's palette will offer four world
premieres, a company premiere, a classic company piece, an
old favorite, two extended solos and reconstruction of two
Rivera noted that Contemporary Motions is
enthusiastic about the world premieres for this season.
Veteran company member Alicia Diaz has created "La Orilla,"
a new duet in collaboration with company guest Matthew
Thornton. Using the poem "Una palabra" by Carlos Varela and
original music by Oliver Lyons, the creators explain that
"La orilla is a journey through physical connection towards
the light of understanding."
Thornton brings a new solo titled "Learning hot to
Walk, Learning hot to Fly," with music by Scientist (Hopeton
Brown). It is about "leaning how to live in times of self-
destruction, of human against human. In this visual journey
a man dies and a spirit moves him from the ground up to the
Both works have been made possible by the Winter
2002 Union St. Space Grant and the Artists in Residence
Grant at the Capoeira Angola Palmares Center.
Another world premiere is the creation of company
veteran and 1993 Hope College alumna Elizabeth Gormly de
Moraes, a solo work titled "Divna Slecinka (Strange Young
Lady)." The work is a poignant portrait of a young lady
choreographed to the score of voice and violin by Iva
Bittova and costume/lighting design by Marketa Fantova, both
from the Czech Republic.
This year Contemporary Motions is also presenting
work by two emerging young choreographers. "These works
have been selected because they embody the vision of
Contemporary Motions," Rivera said. "This effort
encompasses part of our commitment to promoting and
developing the promising young choreographer. That is how
most of the company members have found motivation to pursue
creative careers as choreographers during and beyond their
work with Contemporary Motions."
The works will be by company member and 1997 Hope
alumnus Nathanael Buckley, and by Hope dance major and
senior Charlotte van Coevorden.
Buckley's "Central Park" is a duet he created for
company member Erica Nelson and himself full of playful
overtones to Bach's "Violin Sonata in G Minor." It is a
fun, light-hearted piece bringing boy and girl together.
van Coevorden, recipient of the college's Mary Van
Tamelen Award for Creativity, is the creator of a duet that
she presented as her entry for the Student Dance Concert in
the spring of 2001. The work, titled "A Love Story" and set
to the score by Thomas Newman, is a whimsical look at young
love (1st section) and the despair of separation because of
death (2nd section).
In addition to the premieres, for the performances
senior company member Jesus Miranda and Rivera bring back
their respective solo creations "Vislumbrado" and "Somewhat
Hoping I was Dreaming" from last year's anniversary
performances, with extended choreography. Rivera noted that
both choreographers felt the need to continue exploring
their works for a deeper shade to the vision of their ideas.
Rivera has found inspiration from Dante's Canto IV: Inferno,
using the lines "I found myself upon the brink of grief's
abysmal valley that collects the thunderings of endless
cries." He works within circles of lights.
The company has also selected some favorite works.
The popular "Papobellicious" and "The Chosen" have been re-
staged from duet to quartet and from trio to 5 dancer
ensemble work, respectively.
"The Chosen" is an excerpt from the larger work
"Escape/Chains" that Rivera originally choreographed for
Dance 21 at Hope in 1995. Returning to the stage is the
underwater courtship dance of the West African/Caribbean
legend of "Iemanja," goddess of the sea. The work is an
adaptation of the legend about the strife of the sea beauty
that lures sailors with her whistling and entrancing voice
to the depths of the sea to love and ultimately destroy with
Julio Enrique Rivera (Princeton University), the company's
founder and artistic director, is a senior faculty professor
in the Hope College Dance Department. He returns to the
campus after successful tours throughout Europe, the
Caribbean, and the USA. Rivera spent a good part of last
summer as the guest of the Czech Republic working with the
top students from the conservatories of Prague and
Bratislava. He was selected to represent the USA in the
special Summer Workshop where he reconstructed 3 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. Rivera was awarded a stipend from the United
States Embassy in Prague, and received sponsorship from Hope
College (Arts and Humanities and Dance Department) as well
as many friends.
Alicia Diaz: Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Alicia
Díaz has performed nationally and internationally with
companies such as, Complexions: A Concept in Dance, Donald
Byrd/The Group (The Harlem Nutcracker), Andanza: Compañía
Puertorriqueña de Danza Contemporánea, Alice Farley Dance
Theater, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater and
Contemporary Motions. She was co-founder and co-director of
en la brega dance company with Ñequi González from 1997-
1999. She is now the Assistant Artistic Director and
choreographer of Rubí Theater Company in New York City. Her
choreography has been presented in the U.S., the Caribbean
and Spain. She was the recipient of the Winter 2002 Union
St. Space Grant.
Elizabeth Gormly: Elizabeth’s is a graduate of the Hope
College Dance Department. Upon completing her Bachelor’s of
Arts Degree at Hope College, she performed with such
companies as Contemporary Motions (Michigan and New York),
Aerial Dance Theatre (Michigan), and Liisa Nojonen Dance
Company (Pori, Finland). After studying with David Dorfman,
Doug Varone, Ralph Lemon (at N.Y.U.) and Erick Hawkins (New
York, NY), she moved to Europe where she performed, taught
and choreographed extensively (International School of
Geneva, the American School of Leysin [Switzerland],
Brigitte Tanz Schule (Germany), University of Surrey
(England), and the Liisa Nojonen Dance Company and School,
(Finland). She has assisted Rivera and Professor Steven
Iannacone at various dance workshops in Belgium and the
Netherlands. She received her M.A. Degree in Dance Analysis
and Anthropology at the University of Surrey in Guildford,
England, and her M.A. in Dance Performance, Choreography and
Pedagogy from Texas Woman's University. She is currently
pursuing a doctorate in Performance Theory at T.W.U.
Erica Lynn Nelson: Erica Lynn Nelson is originally from
Wisconsin, where she began ballet training at age six. She
graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she
danced extensively and graduated with a B.A. degree in
history. She subsequently moved to New York City, where she
has worked with numerous choreographers. She is in her
fourth season with Contemporary Motions. She loves working
with these fantastic dancers! Erica has traveled to assist
Rivera at the Summer Workshop in Prague where she taught and
coached various roles that she has performed with
Jesus Miranda: Jesus Miranda began his dance studies as
part of Ballet Isleño, 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 has danced with
Andanza modern dance company and Ballet Concierto in Puerto
Rico. Most recently he has danced Swan Lake with Ballet
Concierto. Jesus currently teaches at dance academies
throughout Puerto Rico and works as guest instructor for
Ballets de San Juan, Puerto Rico’s first ballet company. He
earned a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico. He was
the guest choreographer for Dance 23 at Hope.
Nathanael Buckley: Nathanael Buckley has lived in New York
City since graduating from Hope, and has danced for many
choreographers throughout the country and abroad. Since
moving to New York, Nathanael has worked with The Anna
Sokolow Company, The Erik Hawkins Company, Isabel Gotzkowsky
and Friends, The Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, Mark Dendy,
Fiona Marcotty, H.T. Chen and Dancers, The Howard Fishman
Quartet, Zangfroid Productions, and numerous other artists.
In addition to dancing and choreographing in New York City,
he has become certified and teaches in the Pilates Method.
He also works extensively with the internationally renowned
painter Clive Smith. This is his third season with
Matthew Thornton started studying movement theater with his
father, James Thornton, and the Shaker Acting Ensemble. He
has an English degree from the University of Wisconsin and
studied dance at Hamilton College and contact improvisation
at University of Wisconsin. Matt studies capoeira, an Afro-
Brazilian dance martial art, with Mestre Ombrinho of
Capoeira Angola Palmares. He recently performed in The
Story Thus Far with Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, and
One day on the F train, a video-performance in
collaboration with Brian Kantrowitz, aka ‘B’. Matt is
honored to have a role in Contemporary Motions and hopes to
continue his work with Alicia Díaz in New York City.