Contemporary Motions, the resident professional dance company of Hope College, has returned to the Holland area and will perform on Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.
Tickets will be available at the door, and cost $7 for regular adult admission and $5 for senior citizens, students and children over 12. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. 8th St. in downtown Holland.
The program will include world and company premieres, classic repertory works and reconstructions.
"This year's cast is enthusiastic to return and present their joy of dance and repeat the magic for this residency program to our loyal fans," said Julio Rivera, who is the company's founder and artistic director. "We have been busy rehearsing and preparing in New York City and Holland. We are creating new works, re-staging old favorites, reconstructing works that call for more or new voices, and polishing works of emerging young choreographers to bring yet another powerful season production to our fans in the Hope College, Holland and surrounding communities."
Veteran company member Alicia Diaz returns with Matthew Thornton to present their collaborative "La Orilla," a duet with continuously evolving shapes and forms, accomplished through the sharing of weight and set to the poem "Una palabra" by Carlos Varela and original music composed by Oliver Lyons. The work features a new opening section evoking an aquatic environment, and continuing the thread of La Orilla.
One of the repertory works featured on the program is the dynamic female trio "Ghost Birds," the first work created by Rivera for the company's world premiere in 1986 at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. "Ghost Birds" is an abstract work in two sections. The first, performed as a solo by Katie Rowden, who is an apprentice with the company and a native Michigander, emphasizes soft, flowing, round and lyrical movement. In contrast, the second section is performed as a trio in a celebration of percussive, driving non-stop movement. Company member Erica Nelson and apprentice Kelly Buwalda, who is a 2001 Hope graduate, will join Rowden for the second section.
Rowden will also dance the solo "Ether." The work, created at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and performed at the school's memorial to Alvin Ailey, celebrates the essence of the self while being pulled from different and possibly conflicting sides.
The newly reconstructed "Wild Hearts" will follow. Performed by Nelson and Buwalda to a song popularized by Sinead O'Connor, the duet explores the private emotional trip of a lost love and ends with an upbeat celebration of survival.
Diaz will dance her solo "Yukuninu," a piercing voyage, and rite of passage in isolation, set in a sharply lit corridor. The work, which premiered at Hope during the company's 15th anniversary season, has been called haunting and riveting.
Rivera will perform the solo "Cold," to the song of the same title by Annie Lennox. The work is a man's dance of remembrance and forgetting...moving on. The solo has toured internationally with Rivera, and among other recognition received a special notice of distinction at the Avignon International Dance Festival.
Rivera will also present an adaptation of his most recent work for Hope's department of dance, "Forever Without End...As It Was." The adaptation has a new ending and will be titled "Origin Cycle."
Contemporary Motions is also presenting the choreographic debut and premiere work of Erica Nelson. The solo work is set to music that she and her husband, Yorell Ashley, composed in collaboration.
Based in New York, Contemporary Motions has been the professional dance company in residence at Hope since 1991. Also this coming year, the company will tour to Puerto Rico for performances at the University of Puerto Rico, and will travel to Queretaro, Mexico, as part of the exchange relationship between Hope College and the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro.