LEWISTON — Aerial performances, works exploiting the capabilities of video, and a total of some 70 student participants, will be part of the Bates College Dance Company “After Affects” annual spring concert series March 29-April 1.

Performances include a mix of jazz, hip hop and modern dance created by students in composition and advanced composition courses. Three students in an independent study program will perform with aerial straps, hoops and silks. Dance major Kirsten Pianka will offer a senior thesis.

The aerial work is new to Bates, and involved a residency with Chicago aerialist Andrew Adams, a member of the college class of 1999, and his performing partner Helena Reynolds. The student aerial performers are:

Travis Jones, a senior who performs on straps of thin fabric that wrap around the arms and function something like gymnastic rings; Alison Haymes, a first-year student who works with a metal hoop; and Kelsey Schober, a first-year student who performs on silks — long, broad colorful fabrics that hang from the fly space.

“We received a grant from the Harward Center for Community Partnerships to bring Andrew and Helena here for two weeks this winter,” explained Rachel Boggia, assistant professor of dance. “They worked with more than 60 students, teaching basic aerial skills and conditioning.”

Two sophomores will present works involving video. Talia Mason’s “Empty House” uses a video projection to create an environment for three dancers. The work is one of two in the program to feature an original score by junior Conor Smith, a music composition student.

Working with videographer Joshua Ajamu, a junior, Tomisha Edwards created a dance for the camera that will be shown on screen. “Video is an important aspect of contemporary dance composition, and I’m proud that we are teaching our students these skills,” said Boggia, herself a video dance artist.

Senior dance major Pianka looked to theories of urban spawl for inspiration while choreographing her thesis, “What I Know About Crocker Park.” She said, “Groups form and re-form, creating dynamics that shift and respond to the spaces and people around them, but ultimately fall back into the same repressive patterns.”

The concerts are distinguished by the number of collaborations between student choreographers, musical composers and designers of lighting and costumes. “We’ve had weekly production meetings to facilitate this large number of collaborations,” said Boggia. “We are bursting at the seams — there are so many creative ideas.”

Performances take place in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St. at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29; at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30; at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 31; and at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 1.

The company presents two different programs over four nights. Program A will be performed Friday and Sunday and Program B, Saturday and Monday. Admission is $6 for the general public and $3 for seniors and students, and one ticket is good for attendance at all performances. For more information, call 207-786-6161.


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