Dance Grads Present 4 New Works

Northampton, Mass.—Smith’s Master of Fine Arts in Dance candidates will present a diverse and action-packed program during the annual MFA Thesis Dance Concert, with performances Thursday through Saturday, February 6-8.

The program, beginning at 8 p.m. each night in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center, will feature a unique merging of cross-border professional dance, in collaboration with the guest Canadian company Mocean Dance. Melding intellectual inquiry with physical rigor, Mocean will share the stage with local dance professionals in bringing the MFA candidates’ creations to life on stage.

The concert will feature works by:

Shaina Cantino—Her duet, of course off course, investigates the distance between two people and their efforts to align their experiences in the same landscape, intertwining text with highly physical, quirky movement. This piece is like going for a country drive, and getting a little lost.

Sara Coffin, who is from Canada, brings the Halifax-based contemporary dance company Mocean Dance to Smith to present her thesis work, body abandoned. In this trio, Coffin examines the cost of inter-web connectivity to the body and our relationships with others. Coffin’s choreography offers a layered, physical interpretation of the abandoned body in the age of online living.

Mat Elder explores physical risk through rhythm, time, props, and intricate partnering work. His ensemble work decision/experienced places an emphasis on in-the-moment evaluation and tests instinct and fearlessness as the dancers negotiate risky movement situations, bringing an element of realness readable to the audience and performers.

Safi Harriott explores the tension between aloneness and community in her quintet, saudade. Psychic dislocation, insistence and determination manifest in complex, overlapping phrase-work and a relentless physical drive.

Tickets, available online or by calling 413-585-ARTS (2787), are $9 general, $5 for students/seniors.