The art of modern dance

Festival brings contemporary dance to Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Festival brings contemporary dance to Shepherdstown, W.Va.

July 10, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Goose Route Dance Festival enters its eighth year as a user-friendly showcase of contemporary dance.

Eight dance companies from across the country will perform at the War Memorial Building in Shepherdstown. Performances start Friday, with showings from Philadelphia dancer Megan Mazarick, New York-based Guta Hedwig Dance and Morgantown, W.Va.-based AhernDance, Performances will continue through Sunday, July 20.

Goose Route Dance Festival is a series of performances, lectures, workshops and classes. The aim is to showcase the expanse of contemporary dance in a way that's legitimate to dance fans and approchable to nondancers, said the festival's founder Kitty Clark.

"A lot of people who are not dancers don't 'get it.' They think they're supposed to get 'it,'" Clark said. "I say to them, there's so much that could be 'it.' It's really important that the audience meet the artist halfway in this understanding of what modern dance is."


Clark's own company, Goose Route Arts Collaborative, based in Shepherdstown, will perform two pieces, "I Am," a duet choreographed by Ray C. Shaw, and "Tango Ã?tude," a solo piece featuring Clark.

"I think the beauty of art is being able to reflect on the human experience, current events and the wide range of emotions people have and experience," Clark said. "You can enjoy that and really feel that -- both as an artist and as an observer."

Goose Route Dance Festival performance schedule

Performances are scheduled for Friday, July 11, through Sunday, July 20, at the War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va. Performers have been grouped into four shows. The schedule is as follows:

Show A: 7 p.m. Friday, July 11, and 3 p.m. Saturday, July 12

"Roadkill," by Megan Mazarick's dance company. "Roadkill" is a humorously dark portrayal of the oft-stereotyped world of trucker culture. Athletic physical comedy references violence, sexuality, whirring motors and vulnerability.

"Dog Days," by Guta Hedewig Dance. "Dog Days" uses slapstick, folk dance and burlesque to deliver a satirical look at the subtext of "Bushisms," President Bush's famously mangled rhetoric.

"There's a Groove in My Jam," by AhernDance. A jazzy quartet.

"Bad," by AhernDance. A tounge-in-cheek performance with text from Mother Goose and a 1905 book of manners.

Show B: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 12, and 3 p.m. Sunday, July 13

"Cuttlefish," by Megan Mazarick. Mazarick's solo piece is a multi-media performance that uses a shape-shifting invertebrate as a metaphor for human transformation. The audience will wear 3-D glasses.

"Blink," by Heather Ahern. Ahern's solo explores the passage of time.

"Utopia," choreographed by Heather Ahern. Trio explores social mores, particularly as they pertain to gender.

"Pausing at the Threshold," by Karen Schupp. Solo piece explores the moments when the mind shifts between alertness and slumber and was inspired by the painting "Star Fall" by Anselm Kiefer.

"Sonata," by Karen Schupp. Solo explores the relationship between calssical music and contemporary modern dance.

Show C: 7 p.m. Friday, July 18, and 3 p.m. Saturday, July 19

"One Woman Show," by Cara Hagan dance company. A solo with video projection about a physical, emotional and spiritual journey. 

"Reverie," by Carson Efird. A languid dance reminiscent of Efird's womanly southern heritage.

"Why Fall When You Can Stand," by Courtney Greer with Joan Nicholas-Walker. An exploration of what happens when two creators enter a project with different intentions.

"The War We Make," by Katherine Kiefer Stark. The quartet explores anger and violence.

"Tango Ã?tude," by Kitty Clark, Goose Route Dance company. A sensual solo that combines contemporary modern dance vocabulary with characteristic elements of the tango.

"I Am," choreographed by Ray C. Shaw. A group work inspired by people's physical scars.

Show D: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, July 20

"Kitchen Table" by Cara Hagen and her sister. A humourous peice about what happens in the kitchen when all the men have left.

"Purple Duet," by Cara Hagen and her sister. "Purple Duet" showcases the dancers' idiosyncracies.

"A Part," dancers are Carson Efird, Courtney Greer and Katherine Kiefer Stark. The piece explores the concepts of womanly might and vulnerability.

"Within were fightings, without were fears," by Courtney Greer. Inspired by Albert Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus" and Seamus Heaney's poem, "Blackberry Picking." 

"An object or place whose older layers or aspects are apparent beneath its surface," a duet by Courtney Greer and Katherine Kiefer Stark. Explores movement, gestures and quirky behaviors.

"Anticlimactic," by Erika Randall and Anna Sapozhnikov, of Sweetie Pie Productions. Randall and Sapozhnikov transform into off-kilter magician's assistants with something up their sleeves.

"Sweetie Pie," by Erika Randall and Anna Sapozhnikov. An autobiographical romp through mother-daughter relationships.

Classes, lectures and children's activities

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