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Professional and Innovative Dance comes to Goose Route Dance Festival’s Ninth Season

By Staff | May 22, 2009

Goose Route Arts Collaborative is pleased to announce the innovative line-up of professional dance artists coming to Shepherdstown for the Ninth Annual Goose Route Dance Festival, July 6-26. Concerts, lectures, events for children, master classes, a pre-professional training program, and the West Virginia Dance Teacher Institute comprise this year’s offerings. Known for its intimate setting and stimulating presentations, this modern dance Festival is a much-anticipated event, and this year promises to be better than ever. Most events take place at the War Memorial Building, 102 East German Street, Shepherdstown, and all events for children are offered free of charge. Tickets for the eight concerts and the cost of the four master classes are kept at an economical $10-15. A Festival Preview Party will take place on Friday, June 19 at the Byrd Legislative Center on the campus of Shepherd University.

Peforming the weekend of July 17-19 are James Hansen (Rochester, NY), who brings Shaken with a Twist, a light-hearted and quirky duet, and Ophelia’s Reclamation, which uses a Pre-Raphaelite painting as a catalyst to explore the reunification of self and nature and the sense of calm release into the inevitability of eternity; Anne Burnidge (Buffalo, NY), exploring the complex and sensitive nature of human relationships through kinetically driven movement in two pieces: Conversation Pieces, inspired by strong female archetypes, and Discesa in Bianco (Descent in White), loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy , with themes of greed, loss, and desire; Erica Essner Performance Co-Op (New York, NY), bringing Back to Tijuca, a series of spicy duets set to a percussive score; You Go, I Go, in which chains of dancers are tangled up and twisted, in forceful dialogue; and the expressionistic Moon Uprising ,which features intricate partnering; YelleB Dance Ensemble (New York, NY) performing Pericardium, in which co-choreographers Ella Ben-Aharon and Edo Ceder have collaborated with a video artist and architect to create this multi-media work in which two people find each other and try out what it means to really meet one another; and Goose Route Dance (Shepherdstown) with Kitty Clark showing new work featuring her signature style of gesture combined with large dancing and Ray Shaw showing a new work utilizing elements of contact improvisation.

During the weekend of July 24-26, performers are danceTactics (New York, NY), directed by former Trisha Brown dancer Keith Thompson, performing Blueprints of Relentless Nature, a high velocity work with a pulsing language of flicks, hesitations, lunging dives, and curious catches; and RememberingYourParadoxicalWhisper, an abstract portrait of melancholic isolation, articulated and imbued by the qualities of subtle recollection; CityDance 2 (Washington, DC), one of Washington’s pre-eminent dance companies, bringing five pieces to the Festival: Girl Friends, a delightful and funny dance set to 1950’s love songs; Limbo, an elegant and haunting dance that questions what it means to be in or out of a state of balance; Givin’ Up, a virtuosic female quartet about lost love; Leave/Left, an evocative solo that looks back at memories and forward to the future; and Falling a heart-stopping love duet; Nu Dance Theater (New York, NY), directed by French-born Eva Perrotta, performing Elle d’Elles (Her from Hers), a physical dialogue between a puppeteer and a dancer, a mother and a daughter,exploring their relationship via the intimate contact between their bodies and a wedding dress; and Ashley Thorndike/Peter Swendsen (Columbus, OH), a collaborative team made up of choreographer Thorndike and composer Swendsen, performing the austere and tender coldness and lightness, with three powerful dancers slicing and propelling their way through a tenuous landscape; and 5 minutes; 5 blackouts, a series of five quirky and driving 1-minute vignettes set to music by five emerging composers from the Oberlin College Conservatory.

Concerts take place Fridays, July 17 and 24 at 7 pm; Saturdays, July 18 and 25 at 3 pm and 7 pm; and Sundays, July 19 and 26 at 3 pm. Tickets are $12 in advance ($10 for students/seniors); $15 at the door ($12 for students/seniors). Master classes for adults and teens in modern dance technique and contact improvisation, taught by visiting dance artists, take place Saturdays, July 18 and 25 and Sundays, July 19 and 26 at 10:30 am and cost $12 each (or all four for $40). Free classes for kids are taking place in various off-site locations, including the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library and the Berkeley County Boys & Girls Club. Open dress rehearsals, free for kids, take place on Fridays, July 17 and 24 in the morning. Free lectures are also planned for each weekend. The Goose Route Dance Festival will also host the West Virginia Dance Teacher Institute, co-sponsored with the Appalachian Education Initiative. This free teacher training program is open by application to all West Virginia public school teachers of dance and includes workshops in all facets of dance training, fundraising, and production. The Institute takes place from Wednesday, July 22-Sunday, July 26.

News to the the Festival this year is the Summer Dance Intensive, a pre-professional training program directed by Ray C. Shaw, and running from July 6-26. The SDI is a unique opportunity for promising college and high school dance students to train intensively in contemporary dance technique and performance. Participants will take daily classes in modern dance technique and improvisation, learn and rehearse repertory, perform alongside professional dance artists during the Goose Route Dance Festival, and gain technical theater experience by assisting the Goose Route technical director during the Festival. Interested pre-professionals should contact Kitty Clark at 304-876-6751 for audition information.

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the War Memorial Building, 102 East German Street, Shepherdstown, magically transformed into an intimate theater for the Festival.

For more information and to order tickets, call 304-876-6751 or go to www.gooseroute.org