New Year, New Dance Festival at JMU

From: Public Affairs

Aug. 18, 2009

James Madison University's School of Theatre and Dance presents the New Dance Festival '09, an evening of contemporary dance to commence the artistic performance season at the university. The festival showcases dances by professional choreographers and JMU's nationally renowned dance professors.

DATES: Friday and Saturday, Sept. 4-5, 2009
TIME: 8 p.m.
LOCATION: Latimer-Shaeffer Theatre in Duke Hall, JMU


This year's concert brings in Washington, D.C., choreographer Daniel Burkholder and his company, The Playground, to perform their 30-minute work, "My Ocean is Never Blue." This work is an ever-changing and evolving performance project that explores our multifaceted relationship to water – from the personal, to the ecological, societal and political. The dance reflects the complexities of our relationship to water by layering choreographed phrases, improvisational movement, live music, text and video to create a collage-type work.

JMU dance Professor Shane O'Hara presents two dances in the festival. He will perform "Mutt," the latest installment of a larger work, "Clown Stories," which will be premiered later this year. The solo deals with the peculiar attitude we have in America to lock those away who we fear, whether they are innocent or not.

O'Hara will present "Lisboa," a group work performed by the JMU dance faculty. The piece is a reflection of O’Hara's respect and love for Portugal and its people. The style of music, called Fado, is full of longing, yearning and strength.

JMU's Cynthia Thompson and Kate Trammell of the duet company thompson and trammell will perform their co-choreographed piece, "Heart's-Eye." The work incorporates music for the solo harp, with selections by 18th century composer Jan Dussek and 20th century innovator Harry Partch. Associations surrounding the sport of archery form the central image for the piece, which begins as a frolic and takes an unexpected twist.

Suzanne Miller-Corso will premiere a solo choreographed by New York-based choreographer Derrick Evans. "Hold" explores the control that loved ones sometimes have over us.

Tickets for the New Dance Festival '09 are $12 general admission and $8 for children under 12, seniors and JAC card holders. Information about the festival and the complete JMU Masterpiece Season can be obtained through the box office at (540) 568-7000 or (877) 201-7543 (toll free) or http://www.jmu.edu/cvpa/masterpiece/.

# # #