Bates dancers present works by celebrated guest choreographers

The Bates College Modern Dance Company performs works developed at the college by renowned guest choreographers in three concerts in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17.

Admission is $6 for the general public and $3 for senior citizens and non-Bates students. For more information, please call 207-786-6161 or visit the online box office.

Choreographers Janis Brenner of New York City, Kellie Lynch of Connecticut and Tania Isaac of Philadelphia have developed dances with Bates students in the course “Dance Repertory Performance.” Bringing sharply distinctive creative processes and visual styles, each has a piece on the November program.

Also featured is a lyrical jazz piece by Portland choreographer Tina Rae Kelly, who has worked with Bates students in an extracurricular capacity.

Finally, in a notable exception to an annual concert typically dedicated to works by faculty and visiting professional choreographers, Bates junior Marlee Weinberg of Tampa, Fla., will present a piece she created.

Artistic director of Janis Brenner & Dancers, Brenner is a dancer, choreographer, singer and teacher. Her work has been commissioned or restaged at more than 40 companies and colleges throughout the world, and she has received such honors for her work as the New York Dance and Performance Award, the Lester Horton Award for Choreography in Los Angeles and the Leach Fellowship for Outstanding Achievement.

Since 1990 Brenner has performed with the pioneering composer and singer Meredith Monk. “Lost Found Lost,” her Bates piece, is set to music by Monk.

Based in New Haven, Conn., Lynch works with choreographer-dancer Ariel Cohen Gonzalez in the two-woman company “slipperyfish dance.” Slipperyfish dance received a 2008 Choreographic Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which the pair will use to introduce their work to communities throughout New England.

Lynch dances with Nazorine Ulysse & Dancers and Bronwen MacArthur’s MacArthur Dance Project. She is also a member of Heidi Henderson’s “elephant JANE dance.” In summer 2008 she premiered new work at the Built on Stilts Festival, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Fledgling Festival, Providence, R.I.

A regular presence at the renowned Bates Dance Festival, Isaac has presented work with her company, Tania Isaac Dance, throughout the U.S., Japan, England and the Caribbean. Originally from the island of St. Lucia, she offers a unique marriage of Caribbean and contemporary movement, music and aesthetics.

Isaac has taught at Temple University and Bryn Mawr College and is a Commonwealth Speaker with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. She received a 2004 Rocky Award for her piece “Home Is Where I Am,” and her video work has been screened at video dance festivals in North Carolina and Argentina.

Kelly is a jazz and hip-hop choreographer who has been working with Bates students as an extracurricular activity. Her “Three Out of Four Ain’t Bad” will feature a completely different Bates cast and a different style from the rest of the program.

“It’s been exciting to have so many new dancers volunteer for this piece,” says Carol Dilley, director of the Bates dance program. “It is a great starting place for first-years who are just finding their way into the Bates dance community.”

Weinberg performs her duet, “My Eyes on You,” with Jake Lewis, a senior from Katonah, N.Y. Minoring in dance, Weinberg has attended the Bates Dance Festival since her first year at Bates and has choreographed a variety of works in her time here.

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