LEWISTON — Showcasing the work of 13 students and one faculty member, Bates College’s annual Spring Dance Concert presents original choreography in four performances in Schaeffer Theatre, 329 College St.: at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, and Monday, April 1; 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 31.

Two different programs will be presented on alternate days in the four-show run. Program A will be shown on March 29 and 31, and Program B on March 30 and April 1. Each performance lasts around 90 minutes.

The concerts are open to the public free, but donations are appreciated. Reservations are available at batestheateranddance.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact the box office at 207-786-6161.

“The programs are diverse and everybody has a unique look to their pieces,” says Carol Dilley, professor of dance and head of the dance program. The students’ work explores themes of “alienation, home, identity and belonging,” themes that arise as college students come into themselves as members of this world.

The student creators are “directed people with somewhere to go, and often go to sleep thinking about their dance piece and wake up thinking about their piece, as it’s a pretty obsessive process,” Dilley added.

Bates Dance Company performers rehearse for the 2018 Spring Dance Concert. (Bates College photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen)


The concerts consist of a total of 14 pieces involving more than 30 performers. A member of the applied dance faculty, Katherine Marchessault, has a piece on the program. Three senior thesis projects will be presented. Representing all walks of life, students from courses in dance composition and advanced composition, advanced jazz dance, computer music and the arts, and lighting design have collaborated to make the performances a reality.

Three Maine students are among the performers: Esme Goldfinger of Portland, Amanda Sobotka of York and Liza May of Brunswick.
Culminating their dance majors by presenting thesis work are Sara Hollenberg of Stamford, Conn.; Yesul Lee of Yonginsi, South Korea; and Claire Sickinger of Simsbury, Conn.

Hollenberg focuses on the methods used by dance-theater choreographers in embodying durational histories specific to their setting. The piece aims to authentically portray her experience of growing up spending summer months under one roof with large extended family.

Lee explores themes of intimacy and human connection through energetic movement and a unique audience configuration. Sickinger uses methods of political expression in dance to explore female perseverance and different ways we empower ourselves and each other.

The March 29 performance coincides with Bates’s Mount David Summit, the college’s annual campus-wide celebration of academic achievement in which many choreographers will present research related to performance and dance pedagogy as well as research into other fields.

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