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Fall Dance Concert Explores Themes of Life, Love, Loss

The program will feature works by guest artist Nora Gibson and Alma College faculty choreographers Kristen Bennett, Ben Munisteri and Rosely Conz.

Alma College Dance, with the help of guest choreographer Nora Gibson and the visiting Michigan State University Orchesis ensemble, will examine themes of human existence during the group’s annual fall concert, highlighting ballet and contemporary works set to international songs.

The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 in the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall.

A community appreciation evening featuring recognition of local Alma dentists Sara Wassenaar and Richard Frutiger will take place prior to the Friday evening performance. Adult tickets for the Friday concert are reduced to $10, and refreshments will be served during an intermission reception.

Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday concerts are $15 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 program will feature works by Gibson, an accomplished contemporary ballet choreographer from Philadelphia, and Alma College faculty choreographers Kristen Bennett, Ben Munisteri and Rosely Conz.

“We have a very diverse group of pieces for this show,” says Alma senior Laura Lowe. “Our faculty have done an excellent job at challenging us with new concepts and new movement. I am very excited to see these pieces on stage with costumes and lights. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Gibson’s piece is one of contemporary ballet en pointe. “While the piece is very technically demanding, it is a welcomed challenge for us as dancers,” says Kathryn Kalamaras, a senior from Crystal Lake, Ill.

The first of Conz’s dances is an aesthetic experiment using the vocabulary of the Afro-Brazilian samba for concert dance. Her second dance, titled “Maculele Revisited” and based on the Afro-Brazilian dance/fight form, will be performed by guest students from the Orchesis group at MSU. The piece analyzes resistance, strength and intense physicality.

“L,” Bennett’s new dance, uses songs by Ed Sheeran to explore additional overarching themes of human existence such as life, love and loss.

Munisteri’s piece — set to four international songs originating in places from Bulgaria to Ghana — reveals beauty and affirmation for a group of 10 dancers. Simultaneously it dares to suggest fulfillment and satisfaction in the face of uncertainty.

Story published on October 25, 2017