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Sarah Hart
Press Releases
Various Performance Dances
The Miller Theatre
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Loco-Motion's Young Dancers Conceptualize, Choreograph, and Perform 13 Pieces WORD (May 17, New York, NY)

by Sarah Hart
May 17, 2009
The Miller Theatre
Columbia University
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street)
MC 1801

New York, NY 10027
NEW YORK—Loco-Motion Dance Theatre for Children will perform WORD at The Miller Theatre located at 2960 Broadway (at 116th Street) on May 17, 2009, at 7:00pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children, available at the venue starting an hour before the performance. No advance purchase or reservations are required.

With WORD, Loco-Motion's young choreographers and dancers, ages 6 to 17, conceptualized, created, and choreographed their performance through a unique creative process under the guidance of artistic director Lisa Pilato. They combine dance with poetry, narrative and spoken word to explore and introduce a greater vocabulary for social commentary and artistic integration. Their refreshing and candid interpretations illuminate and challenge the meanings inherent in a variety of chosen writings resulting in a moving visual achievement. Loco-Motion will perform 13 original dances, including:

"Colors" by 8 to 10 year old choreographers using the Jazz word poetry of recording artist Ken Nordine. Nordine isolates different colors and gives each one a personality that will be depicted by the dancers. His percussive voice with accompanying jazz music evokes each color's essence and is interpreted by the dancers as a comic political commentary on race, class and social hierarchy.

"Dance for Darfur" by 10 and 11 year old dancers in response to the crisis in Darfur. It utilizes a poem written by Jinsoo and was recorded by one of our 10 year old dancers and mixed over music. The music includes Requiem by composer Jamshied Sharifi, Living Darfur by Mattaflix, and lullabies and voice recordings of children in the Sudan.

"Puberty" by 12 and 13 year olds uses audio from old health class films from the 60's instructing school children on the scientific changes of the body during adolescence. This dance also uses the music I am Changing by Jennifer Holiday and Princess Superstar's I'm so Out of Control to inject humor.

Other pieces will include the audio recording of Maya Angelou's A Brave And Startling Truth, excerpts from Totally Like Whatever by Taylor Mali, the poem The Country by Billy Collins, President Obama's Do Words Matter? speech, as well as writings by Loco-Motion students.

The performance will feature authors whose works expose dancers to various characteristics of word, such as powerful description, rhythm and rhyme. Words become the paint that depicts the images onto the canvas of the stage. They will be accompanied by music, sounds or will just be the spoken word. Some dances are a physical response to the recorded narrative, other times they bypass and challenge the verbal messages.

Loco-Motion students explore modern dance skills and study the techniques of Pilato, José Limón, Katherine Dunham, and Alvin Ailey among others while participating in workshops by visiting artists in ballet, West African dance, and physical comedy. Students are also encouraged to develop their own personal movement style, to think independently and to trust their own voice. "Loco-Motion provides a forum for young voices to be heard," says Pilato. "We encourage students to create material that reflects their responsibility as members of a global community, to search for fresh answers to old questions while exploring the idea that art can effect positive change. We encourage children to take risks, and we support them in their creative vision."

Directions: By Subway: 1 train to 116th Street

By Bus: M4, M60 or M104 to 116th Street

Loco-Motion Dance Theatre for Children is a not-for-profit performing arts organization for children located at 155 Christopher Street in Manhattan. Their primary purpose is to cultivate the development and appreciation of dance and theater arts among school-age children of all backgrounds and levels of ability. Classes and workshops combine technical and creative exercises to develop the imaginative capabilities of each child, infusing them with confidence in their abilities and enabling them to grow as artists and individuals. They provide full-tuition scholarships for over a third of their total enrollment, and students stay in the program for an average of 8–12 years. The students are a cross-section of the city's ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic makeup.

For more information about Loco-Motion Dance Theatre for Children, please visit their website at www.loco-motiondancetheatre.org.

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Digital images are available upon request.
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