First dance majors present their choreography

Dance Fall 11

Dance students wearing gumboots perform a piece developed by Kwame Ross and Michael Wimberly.

Featuring dances created by acclaimed choreographers and by students who will graduate among Bates’ first dance majors next spring, the Bates Modern Dance Company offers its annual Fall Concert in performances at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Tickets cost $6 for general admission and $3 for senior citizens and non-Bates students, and are available at For more information, please call 207-786-6161.

The Fall Concert usually consists of work made by professional choreographers, both visiting and faculty artists. But in a historic change, this fall’s program, titled Things That Travel, also features work by two of the first Bates students, both seniors, who are majoring in dance. (The Bates faculty voted to add a major in dance to the academic program last spring.)

Two more senior dance majors will present their thesis projects in the spring concert. “It’s a big moment for us in dance at Bates,” says Carol Dilley, associate professor of dance and director of the college’s dance program.

Yasin Fairley of Newark, N.J., and Kristen Gavin of Lewiston are the dance majors presenting work this time. Fairley is collaborating with composer Vonetta Trotter, a junior from New York City. Gavin is employing interactive technology that processes live motion to create visual effects during the piece.

Also on the program are works by three guest choreographers, Kendra Portier and the team of Kwame Ross and Michael Wimberly; and by Bates faculty members including Dilley.

During a residency in September, world-music and dance specialists Ross and Wimberly worked with students to create a piece derived from South African “gumboot” dancing. Devised by miners who wore rubber boots to keep their feet dry in the mines, the genre originated as a means for the workers to communicate and now recalls the solidarity among the miners.

The dynamic piece is performed to live music by a five-piece student band.

Portier, who has a long history at the Bates Dance Festival including performances with festival mainstay David Dorfman Dance, also worked with students during an autumn residency. Previewed in performance in October, her piece will be performed in its entirety in the November concert, with costumes designed by Christine McDowell and Carol Farrell of Bates.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Rachel Boggia has made two works for students in a dance ensemble course in collaboration with professors William Seeley in philosophy and William Matthews in music, and with Matt Duvall of the college’s Imaging Center. Students in Boggia’s improvisation course will perform, too.

Dancers in an advanced jazz repertory course will present a piece by faculty member Debi Irons. And Carol Dilley will make the Schaeffer Theatre debut of a solo work that she has presented nationally and internationally, titled “Grito” — Spanish for a cry or a yell.

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