Works Featured in Fall Faculty Dance Concert
addition to performances of original choreographies by Smith
dance professors Susan Waltner and Rodger Blum, the Fall
Faculty Dance Concert, the season’s
most anticipated dance event, will feature a dance by guest
choreographer David Dorfman, artistic director of David Dorfman
Dance, and the William Meredith Professor of Dance and Chair
at Connecticut College.
Closing the evening will be
Mark Morris’ celebrated Gloria. A masterwork from a master American
choreographer, Gloria has been called a “choreographic praise
to the heavens.” Jonathan Hirsh will conduct the Smith College
Orchestra and Chamber Singers in the lush Vivaldi score.
Performances will take place
Thursday, Nov. 19, through Saturday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m. each
day in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center.
Special guest choreographer
David Dorfman has received a Guggenheim fellowship and his
company was presented at the American Dance Festival and
the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s
Next Wave Festival, and continues to tour internationally.
Dorfman described his piece, Dance To
The Music/Every Body Is..., as “a celebration of the joy of dancing and the funk
of living.” Eighteen dancers take the stage in this energetic
piece set to music by Sly and The Family Stone and Above/Below.
Rodger Blum’s new contemporary ballet for 12 dancers is set
to the vivid, rusty, and evocative music of Zach Condon and
his talented multi-instrumentalist troubadours, Beirut. He
describes this work Open Arms as “exploring open space and
Susan Waltner’s work includes four members of The Dance Generators, a Northampton-based
intergenerational dance company, and MFA student Caitlin Johnson, in a work that
looks at the tension between leaving and being left.
The concert’s final work,
Gloria, premiered at the Dance Theater Workshop
in 1981 and was the first piece the Mark Morris Dance Group
(MMDG) presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Morris’ works
have mostly been performed to live music throughout the company’s
history. His seminal work, and the oldest one to be performed
on a regular basis, Gloria is set to Vivaldi’s composition Gloria in
D, RV589. Its performances have garnered numerous accolades: “One
of Morris’ masterpieces, beautiful, lush, virtuosic—one
of those pieces where you can see the unbelievable connection
between the movement and the music.” (Greater Boston
Arts); “Gloria pleased ear and eye alike.” (The
New York Times.)
In keeping with the tradition
of live music, Vivaldi’s score
will be performed by the Smith College Orchestra, Chamber Singers and soloists,
under the direction of Jonathan Hirsh, senior lecturer in music. The piece, for
10 dancers, has been restaged for dancers from the Five College Department of
Dance under the direction of long-time Mark Morris company member Marjorie Folkman.
The production of Gloria is
made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part
of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries
of Artistic Genius.
Gloria and the commissioning
of David Dorfman is also made possible by the Sharonjean
Moser Leeds Endowment, a generous fund created by Sharonjean
(SC ’67) and Richard
Leeds for the Smith College Department of Dance.
Tickets ($9 general public,
$5 for students/seniors) for the three performances are always
in high demand; early purchase is recommended. Call or email
the box office, 413-585-ARTS (2787), email@example.com.