posted April 1, 2002

Contemporary Motions to Perform April 5-6

Contemporary Motions, the resident professional dance company of Hope College, has returned to the Holland area and will perform on Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.

Tickets will be available at the door, and cost $6 for regular adult admission and $4 for senior citizens, students and children under 12. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. 8th St. in downtown Holland.

"The cast, moved by the amazing experience and wonderful audience reception during last year's 15th-year anniversary season, is enthusiastic to return and repeat the magic for this residency program," said Julio Rivera, who is the company's founder and artistic director. "We have been busy creating new works, re-staging old favorites, reconstructing works that call for more voices, and polishing works of emerging young choreographers to bring yet another powerful performance to our fans in the Hope College, Holland, and surrounding communities."

This year's palette will offer four world premieres, a company premiere, a classic company piece, an old favorite, two extended solos and reconstruction of two repertory works.

Rivera noted that Contemporary Motions is enthusiastic about the world premieres for this season. Veteran company member Alicia Diaz has created "La Orilla," a new duet in collaboration with company guest Matthew Thornton. Using the poem "Una palabra" by Carlos Varela and original music by Oliver Lyons, the creators explain that "La orilla is a journey through physical connection towards the light of understanding."

Thornton brings a new solo titled "Learning hot to Walk, Learning hot to Fly," with music by Scientist (Hopeton Brown). It is about "leaning how to live in times of self- destruction, of human against human. In this visual journey a man dies and a spirit moves him from the ground up to the sky."

Both works have been made possible by the Winter 2002 Union St. Space Grant and the Artists in Residence Grant at the Capoeira Angola Palmares Center.

Another world premiere is the creation of company veteran and 1993 Hope College alumna Elizabeth Gormly de Moraes, a solo work titled "Divna Slecinka (Strange Young Lady)." The work is a poignant portrait of a young lady choreographed to the score of voice and violin by Iva Bittova and costume/lighting design by Marketa Fantova, both from the Czech Republic.

This year Contemporary Motions is also presenting work by two emerging young choreographers. "These works have been selected because they embody the vision of Contemporary Motions," Rivera said. "This effort encompasses part of our commitment to promoting and developing the promising young choreographer. That is how most of the company members have found motivation to pursue creative careers as choreographers during and beyond their work with Contemporary Motions."

The works will be by company member and 1997 Hope alumnus Nathanael Buckley, and by Hope dance major and senior Charlotte van Coevorden.

Buckley's "Central Park" is a duet he created for company member Erica Nelson and himself full of playful overtones to Bach's "Violin Sonata in G Minor." It is a fun, light-hearted piece bringing boy and girl together.

van Coevorden, recipient of the college's Mary Van Tamelen Award for Creativity, is the creator of a duet that she presented as her entry for the Student Dance Concert in the spring of 2001. The work, titled "A Love Story" and set to the score by Thomas Newman, is a whimsical look at young love (1st section) and the despair of separation because of death (2nd section).

In addition to the premieres, for the performances senior company member Jesus Miranda and Rivera bring back their respective solo creations "Vislumbrado" and "Somewhat Hoping I was Dreaming" from last year's anniversary performances, with extended choreography. Rivera noted that both choreographers felt the need to continue exploring their works for a deeper shade to the vision of their ideas. Rivera has found inspiration from Dante's Canto IV: Inferno, using the lines "I found myself upon the brink of grief's abysmal valley that collects the thunderings of endless cries." He works within circles of lights.

The company has also selected some favorite works. The popular "Papobellicious" and "The Chosen" have been re- staged from duet to quartet and from trio to 5 dancer ensemble work, respectively.

"The Chosen" is an excerpt from the larger work "Escape/Chains" that Rivera originally choreographed for Dance 21 at Hope in 1995. Returning to the stage is the underwater courtship dance of the West African/Caribbean legend of "Iemanja," goddess of the sea. The work is an adaptation of the legend about the strife of the sea beauty that lures sailors with her whistling and entrancing voice to the depths of the sea to love and ultimately destroy with her passion.