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   Date: 11/11/10 Bookmark and Share

MFA Dance Concert: Celebrating 35 Years of Excellence

The Smith College Dance Department will host a special concert November 18-20, at 8 p.m. each night in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center, in honor of the 35th anniversary of the MFA in Dance at Smith. Tickets are $9 for adults, $5 for students/seniors; order online, by email, or by phone: 413-585-ARTS (2787).

Nine returning alumni will choreograph or perform in dances presented in the concert. Pieces will include:

Emerging Adventures of a Sensual Etymologist, presented by Peter Schmitz ’86, currently on the dance faculty of Middlebury College, in collaboration with Jennifer Kayle ’99, an assistant professor of dance at the University of Iowa.

In Moving On, Redux, Virginia Scholl ’79, assistant professor of dance at Landmark College, and Rebecca Nordstrom ’79, professor of dance at Hampshire College, have created a playful duet based on movement and material ideas first explored while they were at Smith.

Cathy Nicoli ’04 is a two-time recipient of both the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts’ Choreography Award and the Rhode Island Foundation’s Joseph Cirino Scholarship for Arts Education. She describes her piece, Sight Point, as at first “a bit tongue-in-cheek and bordering sometimes on the lines of literal sarcasm—or is it just being earnest?” and then “fluid, circular, continuous, abstracted systematic chaos.”

Brenda Divelbliss ’99, an artistic associate at Harvard University, presents Misplaced, set to music by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson; she says the dance was inspired by the score’s mystery, melancholy, and sense of struggle.

Sarah Seely ’01 runs a New York-based theater company, From the desk of Sarah Seely. Her piece, Which brings me to you… was choreographed “during an artist residency at Kirkland Farms, Penn., after several long nights and many bottles of red wine.” This solo combines Seely’s comedic flare, love of all things vintage, and her gift for telling a good story.

Thomas Vacanti ’04 and Maryanne DeLisle Kodzis ’96, artistic co-directors of the Pioneer Valley Ballet Company & School, have choreographed an excerpt from Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, which Vacanti describes as “a story of bones, eggs, and infernal creatures.” Vacanti is also on the dance faculties of UMass/Amherst and Amherst College. Kodzis has taught at the University of Massachusetts, Smith College and Dean College. This piece will also be performed at dance concerts at Mt. Holyoke and UMass.

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