Fall Concert Celebrates Movement, Dance, Art, Life
A celebration of dance, including ballet set to music by Fredric Chopin, a work choreographed by professional dancer Kristin Bender Polizzi, and a tribute to Matt Boles, an area student who died unexpectedly earlier this year, will highlight the annual fall performance of the Alma College Dance Company.
The concerts take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 in the Remick Heritage Center. Seating is reserved. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. For questions contact the Heritage Center Box Office at (989) 463-7304.
Bender Polizzi came to Alma College earlier this fall to work with Alma dance students on “Waiting for the Sun,” which she choreographed with music by The Doors. The piece incorporates movements from yoga such as the Sun Salutation.
“It is soulful and thought-provoking piece,” says Carol Fike, professor of dance at Alma College who instructed Bender Polizzi when she was a student at Alma in the 1990s. “There is a sense of connecting with your inner soul.”
Bender Polizzi is the artistic director and co-founder of Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre in Volusia County, Florida. She also is the co-owner of Art Soles Fitness & Dancewear and an adjunct faculty member at Daytona State College.
“She eats, breathes and lives dance. I knew she would make it,” says Fike.
Joining Bender Polizzi at Alma College earlier this fall was Rachael Leonard, co-founder of Surfscape. Leonard presented her choreographed piece “Lade” with music by Michael Leonhard and costume design by Tina Vivian, Alma College costume coordinator.
The concert also features “Back to Bach,” a piece choreographed by Fike to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. The arrangement is in a modern dance lyrical style, says Fike.
The opening is a portrayal of the experience of preparing for a show: Dancers chat on cell phones, stretch, snack, and warm up in their Pointe shoes; technicians check the lighting; actors practice sword fighting; a set crew moves pieces across the stage. All of this occurs in two minutes until the last ballet bar is taken off stage, and then the dance begins.
“It is a celebration of dance, art and life,” says Fike.
In “Les Sylphides,” a poet moves through the night dancing with ghost-like sylphs, fantastical and elemental based beings, in the moonlight.
The choreography is by Michael Fokine, with music by Fredrick Chopin and staging by Thomas Morris, associate professor of dance at Alma College.
“I learned this ballet from Fredrick Franklin who is 96 years old and still coaches and performs with American Ballet Theatre,” says Morris. “He learned this role from Michael Fokine himself.”
“Calm Your Waters,” choreographed by Alma dance instructor Kristen Bennett with music by Citizen Cope, is a dedication to 18-year-old Matt Boles, who died unexpectedly last summer. Throughout the piece, dancers move while the lyrics from Citizen Cope’s “Let the Drummer Kick Back” cross a large screen. At the end the dancers all raise their hands in tribute to Boles.
The performance also will feature guest dancer Brandon Koepsell, a graduate of the Walnut Hills Academy in Boston.
Posted: Thu, November 5th, 2009 at 10:37AM