The Contemporary Motions Dance Company has returned to Hope College for its 14th residency season and will perform on Friday and Saturday, April 2-3, at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.
Tickets will be available at the door and cost $7 for regular adult admission, and $5 for senior citizens, students and children over 12. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. 8th St. in downtown Holland.
This year, Contemporary Motions's dancing is accentuated with performances by guest artists Eva Pardavé of Mexico and Ray Tadio of the Hope dance faculty. As usual, the company will present world and company premieres, works by the guest artists, reconstructions, old favorites, and a touch of last year.
This year's cast is once again looking forward to the residency presentations reflecting their joy and dedication to fine dancing, according to Julio Rivera, who is the company's founder and artistic director.
"The diversity of the program and the cast make for an enchanting evening of live art. The audience response is always enthusiastic and supportive, and we are grateful to have such loyal following from our fans," he said."Contemporary Motions is also hoping to greet and welcome the newcomer and dance enthusiasts that will join us for the first time. We have been busy rehearsing and preparing our program in New York City and Holland. We have created new works, re-staged old favorites; reconstructed works that call for new voices, and bring to you works representing international and local choreographers," Rivera said. "You are the first to experience our new exciting program for this season... The theme is: bring a friend or two!"
For the performances, guest artist Pardavé, from the Grosso Modo dance company in Querétaro, Mexico, will dance the solo "Escape" created on her in 1993 by the Mexican choreographer Federico Castro, resident choreographer for Ballet Nacionál de Mexico, and set to the music of Arvo Part. Castro was inspired to create "Escape" for Pardavé, and this year presented her the work as a gift. She in turn shares the work as a company premiere in the spirit of cultural and arts exchange established through Aerial Dance Theater, Grosso Modo and Contemporary Motions.
Tadio was one of the original cast members of Contemporary Motions. He will perform a solo inspired by the use of paper as the floor surface. He states that he is "inspired to explore the unusual way to dance/move on paper. Many dance floors are made of wood (as is most paper), so it is fascinating as a dance artist to experience the clear difference of these two materials and their effect on movement. Paper is much more unforgiving and harder to manipulate as a floor. I am challenged to create either a more simplified or frenetic movement quality."
Rivera will premiere a new male solo, "Historia de un Amor," which follows "Inolvidable," an old favorite, in a trilogy of unrequited love. "This project has been in the works for a while and is still in development," Rivera said. "It is always exciting for a choreographer to share his visions in development as it taps on dreams come true." Rivera has selected classic songs from The Latin Romantic Era, songs he has heard since his childhood, and dedicated to his mom who sang them to him. The full work will be titled "Inolvidable Historia...duo en silueta y dos almas aparte" ("Unforgettable Story...duet in silhouette and two souls apart").
Rivera premieres a second work in progress, a duet that starts out as a study of movement on the floor level. "It is as if you were looking through a microscope or a kaleidoscope," he said. "The latter suggests the name for the piece: 'Kaleidoscope.'"
Another work that has been staged for this season is "Missing You," a love duet that explores not only the spiritual longing for a loved one, but how a moment in time can actually cause two souls to miss one another...the two ships crossing in the night. Elizabeth de Moraes will be partnered by Tadio. "Missing You" was one of the works that help bring Contemporary Motions's selection to the 1992 World Exposition in Seville, Spain, as part of the cultural program of the United States Pavilion. Contemporary Motions was awarded the Goodwill Ambassador Award.
The complete cast is composed of returning veteran dancers Elizabeth de Moraes, who is a 1993 Hope graduate, and Erica Nelson; new company member Kelly Buwalda, who is a 2001 Hope graduate; Julio E. Rivera; and guest artists Eva Pardavé and Ray Tadio.
Based in New York City, Contemporary Motions has been the professional dance company in residence at Hope since 1991.
Last year the company traveled with its program to Puerto Rico for the cultural celebration of the University of Puerto Rico's centennial celebration, presenting works premiered in Holland. Dance critic Max Gonzalez wrote, "Julio Rivera with his group Contemporary Motions...come together to burst with the true spirit of celebration for the University of Puerto Rico's 100 years. In his captivating program they bring to the audience the most positive poles of contemporary dance. Perfect timing!"
Soon the company will travel to Querétaro, Mexico, as part of the cultural exchange program established through the projects of Aerial Dance Theater and Contemporary Motions from the department of dance at Hope and Grosso Modo from the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. The appearances of Eva Pardavé as guest artist with Contemporary Motions and the reconstruction of "Esa Sociedad," an exchange ballet from Grosso Modo to Aerial Dance Theater, has been made possible by the coordinated efforts of Rivera and Steven Iannacone of the Hope dance faculty and grants awarded by the Holland Area Arts Council and The Cultural Affairs Committee through the Office of the Dean for the Arts and Humanities at Hope.