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New National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron to Host Free Public Grand Opening April 18

by Pam Barr
April 5, 2017
The University of Akron
Guzzetta Hall - Room 398
Akron, OH 44325
(330) 972-7111
www.nccakron.org
The new National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron) launched last year will open its renovated space to the public on Tuesday, April 18 from 3-5 p.m. at The University of Akron’s (UA) Guzzetta Hall Room 398. As part of the festivities, Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke has invited dance makers from across the country to celebrate the opening and share choreographic processes with northeast Ohio.

New York City Choreographer and dancer Netta Yerashulmy will share an installation of her Paramodernities research. Described as a meditation on different tracks of modernism within and beyond dance, Yerashullmy deconstructs landmark modern dance works and performs alongside contributions by scholars from different fields in the humanities. Yerashulmy last performed in Akron almost a decade ago as a member of Doug Varone and Dancers on tour. This time she will bring philosopher David Kishik with her to perform Paramodernities #1 and examine Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring).

Ohio’s own dance pioneer Dianne McIntyre and West Coast-based choreographer Gerald Casel will “hack” new dance works by UA faculty members Cydney Spohn and Tom Smith, which are scheduled to premiere at The University of Akron Dance Company’s spring concert the weekend preceding NCCAkron’s opening. Modeled after choreographer Susan Rethorst’s Wrecking® practice, McIntyre and Casel will work with UA dance students to reveal the myriad of choreographic decisions and options behind making a dance.

Bollingbroke says, “Thanks to generous investments by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The University of Akron, I am thrilled to throw open our doors to showcase athleticism and form, and to demonstrate how dance is rooted in a myriad of different ideas.”

NCCAkron exists to support the research and development of new work in dance by exploring the full potential of the creative process; serving as a catalyst for artistic, cultural and community advancement and enrichment; and strengthening the national dance ecosystem as an anchor development space for dance.

The first of NCCAkron’s inaugural creation residencies will feature New York City based Tere O’Connor Dance in July 2017 in Akron.

National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron)
Grand Opening
The University of Akron, Guzzetta Hall
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 3-5 p.m.
FREE
Parking available at gated visitor parking garage at 248 E. Buchtel Ave.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

‘Bessie’ award winning dancer, choreographer and teacher, Gerald Casel was born in the Philippines and raised in California where he began dancing in public school. He received a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School in 1991 and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007 assisted by a fellowship from the Advanced Opportunity Program. He danced in the companies of Michael Clark, Sungsoo Ahn, Stanley Love, Zvi Gotheiner, Russell Dumas, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Lar Lubovitch, and Stephen Petronio, where he was a company member from 1991-1998 and 2001-2005. Gerald is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at University of California, Santa Cruz and was recently awarded a Hellman Fellowship. www.geraldcasel.com

David Kishik studied philosophy at Haifa University in Israel (BA) and at the New School for Social Research in New York (MA, PhD). He is currently Assistant Professor at the Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College. He is the author of Wittgenstein’s Form of Life (To Imagine a Form of Life, I), which appeared in 2008 with Continuum (paperback, 2012), The Power of Life: Agambenand the Coming Politics (To Imagine a Form of Life, II), published in 2011 with Stanford University Press, and The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City, published in 2015 with Stanford University Press as well as the co-translator of Agamben’s Nudities and What Is an Apparatus? And Other Essays. His collaborations with choreographer Netta Yerashulmy include The Work of Dance in the Age of Sacred Lives, produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin, and Critique of Pure Movement - an evening of theory and performance at the ICI Berlin.

Born in Cleveland, Dianne McIntyre studied dance with Elaine Gibbs and Virginia Dryansky and received her BFA in Dance from Ohio State University, under the tutelage of Helen Alkire, Vera Blaine, James Payton, and Lucy Venable. Upon moving to New York City in 1970, McIntyre first performed with Gus Solomon’s Dance Company before founding her own ensemble of dancers and musicians in Harlem called Sounds in Motion. In the 1970s and 80s, Sounds in Motion was a space not just for dancers and musicians, but became a center for what McIntyre calls, “the culture crowd,” where many artists, scholars, activists would gather to forward the movement of Black consciousness. After sixteen years McIntyre closed Sounds in Motion and embarked on a career as an independent choreographer. Regarded as an artistic pioneer with an impressive career spanning four decades in choreography for dance, theatre, television and film, Dianne McIntyre is a 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award recipient. Her individualistic movement style reflects her affinity for cultural histories, personal narratives and the boldness, nuances, discipline and freedom in music and poetic text. www.diannemcintyre.com

Tom Smith (Professor of Dance, UAkron) has a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado and an MFA in Dance from the University of California at Irvine. Formerly with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Mr. Smith has performed nationally and internationally as well as on PBS’ Great Performances “Dance in America” series. He has worked with Donald McKayle, Tom Evert, and Joan Lombardi. His choreography has been featured several times by the Cleveland/San Jose Ballet as well as by regional companies and musical theatre. As a teacher, he has recent national and international experience in Hong Kong, Denmark, and The People’s Republic of China.

Cydney Spohn (Associate Professor of Dance, UAkron) has a BS in Economics (graduating summa cum laude) and a MA in Education from The University of Akron. She is a former soloist with The Pennsylvania Ballet and dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre. Her repertoire included lead roles in Swan Lake, Cinderella, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Serenade, Agon, Square Dance, and La Sonnambula, along with works by Joe Goode, Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Ms. Spohn is the recipient of an Emerging Choreographer Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and two Princess Grace Foundation-USA awards. Her work has been presented by Columbus Dance Theatre, The Pennsylvania Ballet, and others, including the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Shut Up & Dance, and the Next Move Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Spohn has served on the board of directors of CORPS de Ballet International and is currently seated on the board of advisors of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

Netta Yerushalmy is an award winning dance artist based in New York City. In the U.S., her work has been commissioned and presented by the Joyce Theater, Danspace Project, American Dance Festival, New York Live Arts, La Mama, Harkness Dance Festival, and Movement Research. In Israel, she has been presented by numerous festivals including Curtain-Up, Jerusalem International Dance Week, Intimadance, International-Exposure, and Different Dance. Her work was also performed at the International Solo-Dance-Theater Festival (Stuttgart).Commissions for repertory companies including the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (Salt Lake City), Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis), Same Planet Different World (Chicago), Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, Of Moving Colors (Baton Rouge), and Misgav Dance Workshop. Yerushalmy was born in South Carolina, where she had her first dance performance at age three. She moved to the Galilee in Israel soon after and trained at the Misgav Dance Workshop, the school of the Kibbutz Dance Company in Ga’aton, and Bat-Dor studios in Tel-Aviv. In 1996 she relocated to New York to earn a BFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts. www.nettay.com
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