An evening of contemporary dance

November 23rd, 2013 by Heather

    An evening of contemporary dance

    THE PLYMOUTH State University Contemporary Dance Ensemble will present two acts’ worth of varied dance styles on Dec. 6 and 7. COURTESY

    PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth State University Contemporary Dance Ensemble will present an evening of dance in two acts on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

    Act I will present works by student choreographers on humanistic themes ranging from love to hate as well as relationship building and teamwork. Musical selections for the works “represent a broad selection from spoken word to pop,” according to Amanda Whitworth, PSU director of dance. Whitworth says the works were selected through an adjudication process and showcase several genres of dance, including contemporary, performance art, theatrical, jazz and lyrical.

    Student choreographers are Danielle Aucoin, a senior theatre arts major from Hudson, Mass., Jeannette LaPlant, a senior psychology major from Sutton, Mass., Tayleia Meader, an undeclared sophomore from Swanzey; Rebecca Martin, a senior theatre arts major from Rochester; and Mariah Rasmussen, a sophomore health education major from Pomfret Center, Conn.

    Act II will unveil a collaborative performance piece created by PSU dance faculty Lisa Travis, Lenore Sousa and Whitworth. The 40- minute uninterrupted work was inspired by the “schizophrenic qualities of lucid dreaming,” according to Whitworth. More than 30 dancers will participate in this monumental work that includes a physical wall the dancers manipulate and break open to reveal pivotal scenes and ideas.

    “In the spirit of American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, and American composer, writer and artist John Cage, the dancers are challenged further by performing elements of the dance through chance,” Whitworth said. “The movement phrases are cut into chunks or sections, and the dancers will find out the order of the work by drawing slips from a hat. The drawing will take place during intermission, so the dancers will be forced to act spontaneously and with calculated risk.”

    Through this experience, the dancers will exhibit their level of mastery in the use of muscle memory while remaining fluid and relaxed, similar to the lucid sleeper who has the ability to consciously manipulate their dreams.

    Pieces of the musical score have been created and edited by both dancers and choreographers to add a layer of tonal and rhythmic sophistication to the work.

    Tickets for the evening of dance can be purchased at the Silver Center Box Office, 535-2787 or (800) 779- 3869. Tickets are also available online at

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