The Contemporary Motions dance company,
celebrating its 15th anniversary year, will perform at Hope
College on Friday-Saturday, April 6-7, at 8 p.m. in the
Admission is $7 for regular adult admission, and
$4 for senior citizens, students and children over 12 years
of age. Tickets will be available at the door the evening
of the performances.
Contemporary Motions is the resident professional
dance company of Hope College and is back on campus for its
annual spring residency and performances. The concerts will
present "exciting performances featuring many surprises,"
according to Julio Enrique Rivera, the company's founder and
This year the company is preparing a special
program with performances featuring veterans Alicia Diaz,
Elizabeth Gormly Moraes and Jesus Miranda, as well as young
company members, Erica Lynn Nelson and Nathanael Buckley.
Since most of the members of Contemporary Motions
go on to creative careers beyond their experience with the
company, Rivera has commissioned the returning veterans to
create and premiere solo works of their own inspiration for
the anniversary celebration.
Rivera has also created a new solo work for
himself, a piece that will present the beginning of what he
noted promises to be a new venture for Contemporary Motions-
-live music. Rivera has choreographed his work to a
composition by Argentine musician Fernando Otero, founder of
"X Tango," a New York City-based group. Rivera describes
Otero's musical compositions as "rich, imaginative, moving
and very inspirational," and noted that he hopes to
choreograph more works to the artist's music in the future.
Otero will participate in the concert, providing
live piano accompaniment to the recorded version. He will
also play solo movements from his repertoire, and improvise
while Diaz and Miranda dance an improvisational duet
inspired from their past collaboration.
According to Rivera, the concert will also feature
selected favorite works from the Contemporary Motions
Rivera founded the company with young
professionals from his advance dance classes at the Alvin
Ailey American Dance Center in New York City. The company's
premiere performance was in June of 1986.
Contemporary Motions has performed extensively
throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. The company has
also been honored with invitations to participate in
cultural events such as Expo '97 as guests of the U.S.
Pavilion; Puerto Rico's 500-year celebration; Princeton
University's 250-year celebration; and the Avignon Dance
Among the first dancers to work with the company
was Ray Tadio, now a visiting assistant professor of dance
at Hope, who was introduced to the Hope and Holland
communities as a performer when Rivera invited him to guest
with Contemporary Motions in 1999. Rivera has encouraged a
number of Hope graduates to apprentice and dance with the
company, including Christy (Guth) Ross, a 1992 graduate;
Elizabeth Gormly Moraes, a 1993 graduate; Nathanael Buckley
and Jennifer Mancini, both 1997 graduates; and Jennifer
Spalding, a 1999 graduate.
Rivera is a senior member of the Hope dance
faculty, and returns to campus after successful tours
throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the U.S.
He spent much of last summer as the guest of the
Czech Republic, working with top students from the
conservatories of Prague and Bratislava. He was selected to
represent the U.S. in the special Summer Workshop, where he
reconstructed three of his works for presentations at the
outdoor stage of the Liechtenstein Castle in the heart of
Prague. The works were then presented at the International
Dance Week Prague 2001 in January.
Nathanael Buckley has lived in New York City since
graduating from Hope, and has danced for many
choreographers. He apprenticed with Contemporary Motions in
1998, returning to perform in the residency concerts. He
was a scholarship student at the Merce Cunningham studio,
and now focuses on ballet and Ta'i Ch'i.
Alicia Diaz has performed nationally and
internationally with a variety of companies. From 1997 to
1999, she co-founded and co-directed "en la brega dance
company." She is originally from Puerto Rico, and her
choreographic work has been presented in various venues in
New York, Puerto Rico and Spain. She currently works for
the New York State Psychiatric Institute, conducting
fieldwork on homelessness and mental illness.
Elizabeth Gormly Moraes is a member of a number of
Dallas-area performance companies. She spent five years
teaching and performing throughout Europe, in addition to
doing graduate work in dance in England. She recently
completed her master of fine arts in choreography and
performance at Texas Woman's University. She has a strong
interest in the mixing of dance and technology.
Erica Lynn Nelson is originally from Wisconsin,
where she began ballet training at age six. She graduated
from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in history and
dance, and subsequently moved to New York City, where she
has continued her training in dance. She is in her third
season with Contemporary Motions.
Jesus Miranda began his dance studies as part of
Ballet Isleno, Puerto Rico's folkloric dance company, and
met Rivera while a student during a summer camp provided by
the company. Based on Miranda's talent and enthusiasm for
modern dance, Rivera offered him a scholarship at the Alvin
Ailey School. He presently dances with the Andanza modern
dance company in Puerto Rico. He was the guest
choreographer for Dance 23 at Hope.