posted March 29, 2006

Contemporary Motions and Grosso Modo to Perform

The Contemporary Motions Dance Company will feature multiple guest artists, including the Grosso Modo dance company of Queretaro, Mexico, during its annual spring concerts at Hope College on Friday-Saturday, April 7-8, at 8 p.m.

The concerts will be presented at the Knickerbocker Theatre, with musical performances opening both nights beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door and cost $7 for regular admission and $5 for senior citizens, students and children over 12.

Based in New York, Contemporary Motions was founded in 1986 by Julio Enrique Rivera, who is the company's artistic director and primary choreographer. The company has been appearing in residency at Hope in the spring for most of its history, since 1990.

With the company marking its 20th anniversary year, the April 7-8 concerts at Hope have been designed in a spirit of celebration and with an emphasis on cultural exchange, according to Rivera, and will feature the theme "I Dream in Color." The program, he said, "will offer rainbows of live music, folkloric and modern dances, myriad moods, themes, and amazing costumes coupled with Erik Alberg's mesmerizing lighting style," and is intended to "delight the audiences and keep them talking for a long, long time."

Continuing the spirit and coordinated efforts of cultural exchange established by the Aerial Dance Theater (Steven Iannacone, director) and Contemporary Motions, the gala performances bring the Grosso Mododance company (Cristina Medellín, director) from Querétaro,

México, as guest artists. The company, affiliated with the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, will present a selection of folkloric dances of Mexico.

From Veracruz, Mexico, the concert will feature Trio Alma Jarocha providing authentic music and songs from the region. The trio, composed of harp, guitar and mandolin, will perform beginning at 7:30 p.m. as the opening act for the Friday, April 7, performance.

Carlos Alberto, el Mariachi, of Puerto Rico will perform on both Friday and Saturday. A crooner of ballads and love songs, he will sing during intermission during Friday's performance and open the show beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8.

The gala will feature a variety of works from Contemporary Motions's repertory.

The concert will include the world premiere performance of a new solo work by original company member Ray Tadio, who is now a member of the Hope dance faculty. The dance will incorporate a master prop inspired by the flora around us.

Company member Kelly Buwalda, who is a 2001 Hope graduate, will also present the world premiere of a new solo work, "Floreciendo." Especially choreographed for the occasion and featuring Latin classic song "Dos Gardenias," the piece is a private look at a personal moment in the discovery of self, a moment of blossoming.

New company dancers Antonio Ramos and Ian McGowan will perform a duet choreographed by Ramos with poignant social commentary.

And from his eclectic repertory of favorite works Rivera has brought back to life two duets, "Broken Angels," performed by Buwalda and 2005 Hope graduate Jessica Mumford; and "Mountain of Needles," performed by Ramos and McGowan.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St.