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Fall Dance Concert Explores New Styles

“My piece for this concert is about the shapes and patterns of dance,” says Ben Munisteri, the newest member of the dance faculty.

Precise pointe work, live musicians and the exploration of new styles, including a piece set by a visiting contemporary dance artist, highlight five works that will be performed by the Alma College Dance Department.

The annual fall concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 in the Remick Heritage Center.

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.

<em>Ben Munisteri</em> Ben MunisteriExploring the Architecture of Dance

The concert launches the Alma choreographic debut of Ben Munisteri, who joined the Alma College faculty this fall as an associate professor of dance. Exploring the architecture of dance is one of Munisteri’s passions.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the dance faculty,” says Munisteri. “My piece for this concert is about the shapes and patterns of dance. Going in, I didn’t have any ideas. I let it take shape as the dancers provided their input. Although there isn’t really a narrative, it looks a bit like sad robots right now.”

Munisteri’s piece is “different and unique in the best way,” says Allison Boulware, a first-year student dancer from Canton.

“It’s quirky and fascinating, and I think the audiences will enjoy watching it,” she says.

Live Musicians Accompany Dancer

The program also will feature original choreography by faculty member Kristen Bennett using live musicians.

“I want the focus to be on the dance and the musicians, with minimal costuming and casting,” says Bennett. “I have always wanted to use live musicians, and I am excited that it has finally worked to do so.”

Mount Pleasant vocalist Natalie Shattuck, Mount Pleasant guitarist Eric Maxon and pianist Anna Dobyns will accompany the single dancer, Howell senior Megan Isom.

<em>Jacqueline Garcia</em> Jacqueline GarciaFaculty member Crystal Fullmer has created two original works. Her classical piece uses the musical works of Johannes Brahms to “explore the freedom and beauty of the moving body in classical form,” she says. Betrayal of the flesh is the theme of her second work, in which five dancers will be featured, with two on pointe and three barefoot.

Visiting Artist Specializes in Flamenco

The fifth piece was choreographed by Jacqueline Garcia, a visiting artist from Albuquerque, N.M. Thirteen Alma College dancers will perform her piece.

“The piece will use Garcia’s specialization in flamenco to analyze the barriers people construct within themselves and in their relations to others,” according to Audrey Ortiz, a senior from Midland.

Munisteri comes to Alma after serving as the choreographer-in-residence from the Andrew W. Melon Foundation’s “choreographers on campus” initiative at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. He also has taught at Eugene Lange College The New School for Liberal Arts, Adelphi University and the University of South Florida.

Story published on October 18, 2016