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Guest Performers Combine Music with Percussive Dance

January 15, 2014

“Anyone looking for a wonderful evening of entertainment should attend this concert. Nic accentuates the music with percussive dance and gives a breathtaking show every time.” — Kristen Bennett

Percussive-dancer Nic Gareiss and Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist share a deep respect for traditional music and culture while drawing on contemporary elements of music, dance, rhythm and improvisation.

The talented duo will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.

The percussion and drive of Gareiss’ footwork combined with Gilchrist’s melodic and improvisational sensibilities make for an explosive duet, says Kristen Bennett, Alma College dance instructor.

“Nic and Maeve perform beautifully together,” says Bennett. “Maeve is an incredible harpist, and paired with Nic’s amazingly percussive feet, this is a performance not to be missed. The musicality of both performers is something most have not seen before.

“Anyone looking for a wonderful evening of entertainment should attend this concert,” she says. “Nic accentuates the music with percussive dance and gives a breathtaking show every time.”

Gareiss and Gilchrist met while both were teaching at the Shasta Fiddle Camp in northern California. They continued their musical relationship with spontaneous collaborations at festivals and chance meetings and later toured together as part of Darol Anger’s band, The Furies.

The Michigan-born Gareiss has studied a variety of percussive movement forms from around the world, from Appalachian clogging to Irish step dance. In addition to performance, he teaches workshops in percussive dance technique, American clogging, musicality and improvisation.

Gilchrist, born and raised in Scotland, is credited as an innovator on her native Celtic harp due to her improvisational approach to the instrument. Performance highlights include the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, World Harp Congress, Celtic Connections Festival, Edinburgh International Jazz Festival and ICONS Irish Festival.

 

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