Monica M. Tinyo ’13 on the Fall Senior Thesis Dance Concert (Oct. 26-27)

CFA Arts Administration Intern Monica M. Tinyo ’13 talks with Lindsay Kosasa ’13 and Kelsey Siegel ’13 about the Fall Senior Thesis Dance Concert (Oct. 26-27).

Tonight and Saturday, Wesleyan dance majors Lindsay Kosasa ’13 and Kelsey Siegel ’13 present the first installments of their theses at the Fall Senior Thesis Dance Concert. This weekend’s performances are only a part of each student’s thesis project, which will include one choreographed work per semester and an accompanying research paper. I had the opportunity to talk with Kosasa and Siegel about their theses, and will share what I learned from them here.


Lindsay Kosasa and Kelsey Siegel

Both Kosasa and Siegel assembled teams of five “movers”—dance majors and non-majors alike—to perform their works. Both consciously chose to describe the performers as “movers” rather than “dancers”, which fits with their conceptual frame of dance. Both Kosasa’s and Siegel’s projects are interdisciplinary and focus on concept more than technique, reflecting their modern dance backgrounds. While Kosasa’s and Siegel’s projects are different in both concept and process, both were inspired by each student’s second major: Kosasa is a Dance and East Asian Studies double-major and Siegel is a Dance and Math double-major.

Kosasa’s piece is an exploration and expression of trauma through dance, and she utilized different intellectual approaches to movement in post-war (post-atomic bomb) performance art, visual art and literature for inspiration. Although Kosasa is not in her piece (standard practice for Wesleyan dance theses), she will be operating a projector during the performance that will illuminate a screen behind the movers. She will produce “textures” and imagery through live manipulation of materials like water, food coloring and cornstarch in a box that will be captured by a camera above. The imagery and textures are used as a way to extract movement qualities from the movers that evoke Kosasa’s interpretation of trauma. This projection is inspired by Kosasa’s experience at Butoh workshops in Japan in the spring of 2012.

Kosasa wanted the dance to form naturally through collaboration rather than be dictated by specificities in her research. She only shared her topic with the movers later in the process because she didn’t want to have the movement be theatrical or determined by individual movers’ unavoidably and understandably narrow notions of trauma.

Siegel, on the other hand, did give her movers direction, explaining enough about her project to guide the movers. However, like Kosasa, she limited her explanation in order to help the dance manifest organically. She directed the movers with open-ended questions: How do you create order in your own life? What is order? How do you move/orient yourself in different planes? And what does it mean to move horizontally or vertically? When performing, the movers are also directed by a grid created by Siegel as a physical manifestation of an x-y plane; the performers move in, out and through the grid throughout the performance.

In her project, Siegel illuminates and simultaneously questions how we organize ourselves in space. She has been researching concepts and formulas related to the grid, focusing on how we draw lines and curves in space. She explains that although there are no “right” directions in modern dance, certain movement styles move across a certain plane. Her research has led her to understand that many artists, especially modern choreographers, use mathematical perspective in constructing pieces without realizing it.  She is also researching chaos theory and how it applies to improvisation in dance. Siegel explains that much of her research is conducted through the actual process of creating the dance in her own examination of the spatial organization of the movers.

Kosasa and Siegel work to manifest an idea through the body in a way that is relatable to a variety of audience members. You don’t need to understand techniques of dance, chaos theory, or post-war performance art to understand the concepts that the artists are grappling with or to enjoy the performance.

Please join us at the Bessie Schönberg Dance Studio, 247 Pine Street this weekend to celebrate the work of Kosasa, Siegel and their movers. Don’t hesitate; tickets are selling fast!

Navaratri Honors its Founder at 36th Annual Festival (Oct. 17-21)

Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge discusses working with T. Viswanathan, and the events of the 36th annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan (October 17-21, 2012).  

T. Viswanathan

I had the great fortune of working with T. Viswanathan soon after I arrived at Wesleyan to plan the annual Navaratri Festival. And in the two years I worked with him before he died in 2002, I learned so much.  I learned about the number of contacts Viswa had around the world, and how so many of them were interested in performing at Wesleyan because of our reputation as a place that honors and celebrates Indian music and dance.  I learned about Viswa’s family lineage and about his sister, the astonishing Balasaraswati, a bharata natyam dancer of the highest distinction, and his brother Ranganathan, a spectacular mridangam player.  And I learned about his talented students, from Jon B. Higgins, former Center for the Arts Director, who was one of the most renowned Carnatic singers in the world, to David Nelson, a mridangam player who is an Artist in Residence in the Music Department.

Viswa taught at Wesleyan from 1975 to 2002, and he founded the Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan 36 years ago. A panel of his students will open the festival on Wednesday at 4:15pm in CFA Hall and discuss aspects of his profound legacy to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his passing. Wesleyan Music Department faculty members B. Balasubrahmaniyan and David Nelson will be joined by Josepha Cormack Viswanathan Ph.D. ’92 and Douglas Knight ’70.

The festival continues with a concert of South Indian vocal music on Friday at 8pm by B. Balasubrahmaniyan, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music, joined by David Nelson on mridangam [and violinist L. Ramakrishnan] in Crowell Concert Hall. On Saturday, T.V. Sankaranarayanan, one of the most widely sought after Carnatic vocalists in the world, comes to Wesleyan from India to perform at 7pm in Crowell Concert Hall [along with Vittal Ramamurthy on violin and Thiruvarur Bakthavathsalam on mridangam]. The festival closes on Sunday with a puja (Hindu worship service) at 11am in World Music Hall, and a bharata natyam dance concert by Rama Vaidyanathan in Crowell Concert Hall. Ms. Vaidyanathan was scheduled to perform at last year’s Navaratri Festival, which had to be cut short due to a rare October snow storm.

We invited Hari Krishnan, Assistant Professor of Dance, to write to us about Sunday’s performance by Rama Vaidyanathan.  Here’s what he said:

Rama is a leading Bharatanatyam dancer from her generation in India today. Through sheer hard work and constantly creating new innovative dances, Rama has transformed the traditional solo dance of Bharatanatyam into a vibrant, dynamic and engaging solo dance style—current and relevant for a 21st century global audience. This is why she is much sought after by the most avant-garde theaters/festivals in Europe to the most conservative classical arts-friendly venues in India. Rama’s Bharatanatyam cuts across linguistic, social, political and cultural boundaries.

Rama is also a dear friend and I remember in the summer of 2010 when we were on the teaching faculty for a dance residency in the U.K., the students had insisted that we perform together. Not having prepared any piece, we improvised right there and performed a nouveau-Bharatanatyam duet to the delight of all present.

Being a contemporary dance and Bharatanatyam dance artist myself, I wasn’t too sure if Rama would be game to improvising a duet with me involving close physical touch. I was struck at Rama’s versatility—not only does she collaborate passionately  but she also boldly brings her art into new experimental terrains while still maintaining her identity of that of a classical Bharatanatyam dancer. She is able to bring out the inherent beauty of the Bharatanatyam form with her creativity and genuine love for the dance.

I am delighted Rama is performing at Wesleyan with her team of stellar musicians [vocalist Indu Sivankutty Nair, violinist Vikram Raghukumar, K. Sivakumar on nattuvangam, and Kalapurakkal Arun Kumar on mridangam], offering her dazzling, highly individual brand of Bharatanatyam.  Wesleyan is truly in for a treat of innovation, grace and pure joy—a Bharatanataym 21st century gazelle will be strutting her stuff on the Crowell Concert Hall stage this Sunday afternoon.

36th annual Navaratri Festival

Colloquium: The Wesleyan Legacy of T. Viswanathan (1927-2002)
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 4:15pm

CFA Hall 


Henna and Chaat hosted by Shakti
Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Olin Library Lobby

B. Balasubrahmaniyan: Vocal Music of South India
Friday, October 19, 2012 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall
$12 general public; $10 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students
Pre-concert talk on the music of T. Viswanathan at 7:15pm by Wesleyan Ph.D. Candidate Joseph Getter

T.V. Sankaranarayanan Concert
Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 7pm
Crowell Concert Hall
$15 general public; $12 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

Saraswati Puja (Hindu Ceremony)
Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 11am
World Music Hall

Rama Vaidyanathan: Bharata Natyam Dance
Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 3pm
Crowell Concert Hall
$15 general public; $12 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

Making the Invisible “visible” (October 6)

Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts, shares the highlights from a discussion earlier this week in South College with the choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Nora Chipaumire about their work and the development of the piece “visible”, which will have its New England premiere in the CFA Theater on Saturday, October 6 at 8pm.

When Nora Chipaumire fled Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) in 2000, she was pursuing a law degree. After moving to New York, she discovered dance and the work of Urban Bush Women.  “In Rhodesia, I was not a person. Part of leaving Zimbabwe for the U.S. was about becoming human. I discovered that what I was most interested in was advocacy.  The idea of advocacy exists in both the law and in dance.  In dance, there is an advocacy that is immediate, human—and not on a piece of paper.”  Nora Chipaumire and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (founder and Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women) spoke at an informal lunch with Wesleyan faculty and students on Monday. Together, they have created visible, which will have its New England premiere on Saturday night in the CFA Theater. Ms. Chipaumire won Wesleyan’s Emerging Choreographer Award (at the annual DanceMasters Weekend) in 2007;  Ms. Zollar has a history with the Center for the Arts, as a member of the Center for Creative Research and having brought her company to Wesleyan twice in the past six years (including DanceMasters Weekend in 2006).

Ms. Chipaumire met Ms. Zollar when she auditioned for Urban Bush Women. Ms. Zollar talked about how striking Ms. Chipaumire was when she walked into the studio: ”I thought to myself, ‘God I hope she can dance.’”  Ms. Chipaumire shared that Ms. Zollar became “a comrade, a teacher, a guide—a sister.”  Ms. Zollar explained that over the years, Ms. Chipaumire has given her as much as she has taught. Ms. Chipaumire became a leading collaborator when Urban Bush Women (an all female company) embarked on making a piece with the all-male Senegalese company Compagnie Jant-B (presented on the Breaking Ground Dance Series at the Center for the Arts in February 2008).  Ms. Zollar and Ms. Chipaumire described all of the challenges of Urban Bush Women’s residency in Senegal, all of the differences—brought up by gender, culture, and education—that needed to be “unpacked.”

Their collaborative work, visible, grew out of some of these challenges, and the question “how do you really talk across cultural boundaries?” The piece was originally entitled visible/invisible, but Ms. Chipaumire explained they wanted drop the “victim” quality of the word “invisible.” “The fact is, we are visible,” said Ms. Chipaumire. “How can we learn to talk about things that are close to the jugular? Because in the space of difference—that’s where life is happening.”

The dancers chosen by the choreographers to perform in visible are almost all immigrants to the United States. Each is virtuosic in their own right, and each was encouraged to perform dances in their “mother tongue.”  For example, Catherine Denecy from Guadaloupe performs movement based on traditional forms from her country; Marguerite Hemmings from Jamaica performs work that is derived from dance halls; and Judith Jacobs from Holland is a true post-modernist. “The piece is a lot like the idea of jazz—each instrument has its own voice, but they come together as one sound,” said Ms. Zollar.  Two percussionists join the dancers onstage to help bring the piece to life.

Earlier in the day on Saturday (at 11am in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Studio), Ms. Zollar will give a free masterclass. She will also give a talk before the performance (at 7:30pm in CFA Hall). Then after the performance, the audience will have the chance to discuss the notion of migration/immigration, led by Associate Professor of Dance Nicole Stanton.  Do join us on Saturday!

New England Premiere

Choreography by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Nora Chipaumire
Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 8pm

CFA Theater
$23; $19 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

Pre-performance talk at 7:30pm in CFA Hall by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

Ms. Zollar will also teach a masterclass on Saturday, October 6 at 11am in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Studio, located at 247 Pine Street. The masterclass is free with the purchase of a ticket to Saturday night’s performance. Registration for the masterclass is required. To purchase tickets and register for the masterclass, please contact the Wesleyan University Box office at or 860-685-3355.

Fall Events include World, New England & Connecticut Premieres, Navaratri Festival

Rama Vaidyanathan performs on October 21, 2012 as part of the 36th annual Navaratri Festival

Over the course of the next year, a campus-wide steering committee has put together a far-reaching series of global performances, talks and participatory projects, all with the intention of bringing us into an examination of the role of Music & Public Life. We will celebrate and study the sounds, words and spirit of music in public at the local, national and transnational levels, all designed to cross disciplines and to engage the campus and community-at-large. From performances by Middletown’s own Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem to the legendary Hugh Masekela; showcasing student research in the role of music in the current political campaigns; to the creation of MiddletownRemix–there are points of entry for everyone.

In September, we feature dance and theater companies who are exploring the role of the audience as actively engaged in the live creative process of the theatrical event. In ZviDance’s Zoom, patrons use their smartphones to integrate their own photos and text into the work; in Anonymous Ensemble’s Liebe Love Amour!, the audience is engaged in constructing the “performance script.”

October and November bring the return of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women in a stunning work she co-created with Nora Chipaumire (visible) that features an international cast of all-star dancers; as well as the CFA’s commission of a work by the fiercely interdisciplinary writer/director Rinde Eckert (this year’s winner of an inaugural Duke Performing Artist Award). The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy has been developed with students and faculty in Music, Animal Studies and Neuroscience and is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Creative Campus Initiative.

It’s a robust fall, rich with work that brings us into new conversations with art and its possibilities. We hope you’ll join us!

Best regards,

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

Updates on “SPILL”, Hari Krishnan, and Brad Roth’s “Shared Ability” Program

This is just a note to thank you for attending our events and exhibitions this past year.  I hope you have enjoyed and been challenged by the work of our faculty, students and visiting artists! After Reunion/Commencement this weekend, we will be switching gears to prepare for another beautiful summer in Middletown and the CFA’s summer series. I’ll be posting various CFA news items as I hear about what our students and faculty are up to, as well as our alumni and visiting artists.  Feel free to email me with any news you think I should know about at

First, I want to let those of you who saw Leigh Fondakowski’s work-in-progress SPILL at Beckham Hall in February know that she and her artistic collaborator for the project, Reeva Wortel, have been awarded two 3-week residencies in New Orleans this fall. Fondakowski and Wortel will live and work at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and at Louisiana State University to further develop the play. Fondakowski’s hope is to premier the completed work in New Orleans on the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2013. We’re so excited to see this important work travel home, completing the circle begun last summer as seven Wesleyan students journeyed with Fondakowski and Wesleyan’s own Barry Chernoff, Director of the College of the Environment, to conduct the interviews and research that became the seeds of this project.

inDANCE rehearse "Quicksand" at Wesleyan on March 1, 2012. Photo by Nam Anh Ta '12.

In faculty news, Hari Krishnan was invited by the Canada Dance Festival to perform Quicksand in Ottawa on June 11, 2012.  Later in the summer, Hari is one of only twenty choreographers from around the world invited to create a solo for Jacobs Pillow’s celebration The Men Dancers: From the Horse’s Mouth, an homage to the Pillow’s 80th Anniversary and pioneering founder Ted Shawn and his company of Men Dancers.

And in local news, in last Sunday’s New Haven Register, I read about a terrific program facilitated by Brad Roth MALS ’97, who runs an organization called Dancing Day, Inc. based in Milford and has taught dance across Connecticut. Now in its third year, the Shared Ability Program, under the auspices of Young Audiences of CT and in partnership with the New Haven Ballet, continues to provide a supportive environment for ballet students and children with disabilities to meet, interact, and share their different experiences and interests. Students learn to accept touch, to communicate through movement, and to express themselves creatively and interactively – skills they’ll develop and draw upon throughout their lives.

For Roth, the “challenge is to create interesting choreography where the attention is not to the disability, but to the choreography. The magic is when restricted movement looks like designed movement or art, rather than the perception of limitation. They’re beautiful little moments that happen regularly – magic little moments where movement turns into dance.”

You can see Brad (and others) talk about the program in this video.

We congratulate Brad and his students on their work so far, and wish them the best of luck in the future.

Be sure to check back soon for more updates!

Until then, I send you my best wishes,

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

A Busy Week

Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge reflects on the many events that have taken place this week.

Monday, April 2, 2012: 

I had some wonderful conversations, emails and phone calls from students and community members who attended Chunky Move over the weekend.  I will say that I thought it was one of the most successful integrations of visual art and dance that I’ve ever witnessed, and I was particularly pleased that Gideon Obarzanek said he’s never seen Connected look better than it did in the CFA Theater.  For those of you who were there, thank you for supporting this important performance.

We sent out letters of acceptance to the Class of 2013’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance the same day we found out that the program will be receiving its first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012:

I had lunch with Gillian Goslinga in Anthropology and Jill Sigman, Center for Creative Research Visiting Artist to hear about “Ritual, Health, and Healing”, the course they are co-teaching in Dance and Anthropology as a part of the Creative Campus Initiative.  It’s also a Service Learning Course and so they are taking their students to St. Nicks Alliance in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn on three Saturdays to conduct research with residents. It will culminate on Sunday, April 22, 2012 as a series of student performance works are presented alongside Sigman’s Thinkdance installation at St. Nicks.  See a reflection by one of the students in the class, Hannah Cressy ’13, here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012:

I attended the opening of the beautiful exhibition, Provincial Elegance: Chinese Antiques Donated in Honor of Houghton “Buck” Freeman, a collection of objects donated by Anna Lee ’84, that’s at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Gallery through Sunday, May 27, 2012. I was so moved by Patrick Dowdey’s story of how Anna made the contribution to Wesleyan in honor of the great spirit that was Buck Freeman, whose family made, and continues to make, so many great things possible at Wesleyan. Jean Shaw, former director of the Center for the Arts, told me that not only did Anna graduate the same year I did, but that Anna worked at the CFA when she was a student!

Reception for Senior Thesis Exhibition Week One (3/28/12). Photo by Nam Anh Ta '12.

I also attended the second week of the Senior Thesis Exhibitions in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. If you’ve never taken the time to attend one of the Wednesday receptions from 4pm to 6pm, then you are missing one of the great “scenes” at Wesleyan. Hundreds of students flock to Zilkha to see their fellow students’ capstone project.  All of us have the great opportunity to feel the pulse of contemporary art on our campus in all of its many manifestations, from JoAnna Bourain’s video animation installation [sometimes its hard 2 b a woman (i c u looking at me!!)] to Alex Chaves’ vibrant paintings [casual desire] in South Gallery. Exhibitions continue for the next two weeks, with receptions on Wednesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

Thursday, April 5, 2012:

Today I’m on a plane headed to Cleveland to do a site visit of Cuyahoga Community College’s Creative Campus project on behalf of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.  The project features the prolific and generous violin virtuoso, Daniel Bernard Roumain (you may remember him downstage left playing solo violin for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s performance in the CFA Theater in 2006). He’s written an opera based on Gilgamesh and the composition has been offered on the web to anyone who wants to create their own work using his composition. He has truly democratized the creation process and tonight I’ll have the chance to see his ensemble perform alongside faculty, students and community members.

And I want to wish our senior thesis students in dance the best of luck on their thesis presentations in the Patricelli ’92 Theater, tonight through Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 8pm.  Click here for more information about the concerts.

It’s been a busy week.

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

Kinetic Sculpture Meets Dance: Chunky Move (Mar. 30 & 31)

Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge discusses Australian dance company Chunky Move, who present the Connecticut premiere of their hour-long work “Connected” on March 30 and 31.

The Center for the Arts has never hosted a dance company from Australia before, and it’s high time that we do, considering the strength of contemporary dance that is touring the world from down under.  And I can guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it.

Chunky Move: Connected. Pictured: Alisdair Macindoe and Marnie Palomares. Photo: Jeff Busby

Beginning with simple movements and hundreds of tiny pieces, the dancers build their performance while they construct a kinetic sculpture in real time. During the performance, these basic elements and simple physical connections quickly evolve into complex structures and relationships.  The work, Connected, is the brainchild of Chunky Move’s Artistic Director Gideon Obarzanek and California artist Reuben Margolin.  The two met at PopTech, the renowned conference that brings great minds together to focus on social change through current innovations in science, art and economics. The result is thrilling: athletic and agile dancers’ bodies twisting and hurtling through space, alongside movements from everyday life.  As Aldous Huxley wrote:  “All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.”

Suzanne Sadler, the CFA’s Assistant Technical Director, said they’ve created two line sets that work in tandem, each with a truss, and the sculpture is attached with a circular pipe.  220 strings are suspended from there:  “I can’t wait to see it in the space. It’s going to look really beautiful.”

Chunky Move, along with Australian Dance Theater and Lucy Guerin’s company, have garnered great acclaim as they have toured the world.  The Dance Department and CFA were interested in bringing Connected because of its interdisciplinary nature.  When I was speaking with Kristy Edmunds, a faculty member in Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, and the Director of UCLA Live (formerly the director of the Melbourne Festival), she said: “What is particularly intriguing about Gideon is his fascination and willingness to explore and collaborate with design and technologies. Increasingly, he is able to forge unique collaborations with artists from other fields, and orchestrate that discourse into a work of art where dance is the central vehicle.”

So we invite you to experience Chunky Move at the CFA this weekend – and if you come at 7:15pm on Friday in the CFA Hall, you’ll have a chance to hear dance scholar Debra Cash contextualize their work, and give you some things to look out for. Join us!

Chunky Move: Connected
Connecticut Premiere
Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8pm
CFA Theater
Pre-performance talk by dance scholar Debra Cash on Friday at 7:15pm in CFA Hall
Tickets: $21 general public; $18 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students, $6 Wesleyan students

Artist in Residence Hari Krishnan brings his Toronto-based company inDANCE to Wesleyan Mar. 2 & 3

Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge discusses the Spring Faculty Dance Concert with Artist in Residence Hari Krishnan.

inDANCE. Photo by Miles Brokenshire.

If you’ve not encountered Wesleyan’s Artist in Residence, Hari Krishnan, you must.  He came to Wesleyan’s Dance Department in 2001, and since then has developed a real student appetite for bharata natyam (South Indian classical dance) on our campus.  What is less known about Hari is that he is the Artistic Director of one of Canada’s most respected dance companies:  Toronto’s inDANCE.  Wesleyan presented the American debut of this company in 2006 [during the annual Navaratri Festival that October] and since then, inDANCE has made its New York debut and has been presented by performing arts centers around the world.

You’ll have the chance to see inDANCE again this weekend at the CFA Theater when nine male dancers from the company will perform U.S. premiere of Quicksand, hailed by Michael Crabb of The Toronto Star as “rambunctiously provocative work…a techno-hip, strutting declaration of freedom from the constraints of tradition and conventional sexuality.”

“Quicksand” will be followed by the world premiere of “Nine”, which depicts Navarasa, the nine archetypal emotions popular in Indian classical dance, choreographed on dancers from Wesleyan Dance Department‘s repertory and performance course. ”Nine” almost serves as a kind of backstory for “Quicksand.”

When I met with Hari yesterday, he said the evening is an exploration of a single idea from two perspectives, two languages, the classical and the post-modern.  Taken in its totality, the program serves to enmesh two aspects of his choreographic life that have, at times, been at odds with each other.  He’s the Artistic Director of a major contemporary dance company and a professor of classical Indian dance, so respected that he was asked to perform at the prestigious Music Academy in Madras this past January.  “’Quicksand’ is a personal manifesto of sorts….its feeling is free and liberating…it uses the traditional form as a springboard to create a personal dialogue relevant to today, and asks the question, how current can you make the traditional feel?” “Nine” reveals the classical bharata natyam take on these emotions.

Hari’s dancers arrived on Tuesday night and have put our students through their paces by taking over the Modern I-III classes. This weekend, students in Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance will also have the opportunity to meet Hari, discuss his work, and see his performance.

Spring Faculty Dance Concert
Friday, March 2 & Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 8pm

CFA Theater

$6 Wesleyan students, $8 all others

Tell Us About It!

From now through January 17, share your thoughts about the spring events at the Center for the Arts in one (or both!) of the following ways:

1) Like us on Facebook and write something about our spring events on our Wall.
2) Follow us on Twitter and compose a tweet about our spring events (be sure to mention @WesCFA).

Everyone who writes about our spring events on Facebook or Twitter will be entered to win some excellent prizes, including the following:

—three tickets to see UConn Women’s Basketball play St. John’s (Saturday, February 18, 7pm, Gampel Pavilion, Storrs) courtesy of WNPR
—gift cards to Javapalooza Cafe courtesy of the Hartford and New Haven Advocates
—movie vouchers courtesy of Destinta Theatres
—arts books courtesy of Wesleyan University Press
—earbud headphones courtesy of Wesleyan Information Technology Services
—vintage posters courtesy of the Davison Art Center
—picture frame Center for the Arts magnets

Spring Events include World, U.S., & Connecticut Premieres

We hope that you will take advantage of all that the Center for the Arts has to offer in the coming months:

In keeping with our tradition of welcoming the world to Wesleyan at the CFA, you will have the opportunity to discover one of Australia’s most adventurous contemporary dance companies (Chunky Move); a sizzling jazz guitarist/vocalist from Benin (Lionel Loueke); and an Argentine quartet that celebrates the tango music of Buenos Aires (Fernando Otero).

And in keeping with our interest in the intersection of art and science, the CFA has commissioned two works that will have their first performances at Wesleyan in conjunction with Feet to the Fire: Fueling the Future. SPILL, by Leigh Fondakowski and Reeva Wortel, is a visual art/performance installation that explores the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The work will debut at Beckham Hall in February. Composer Paula Matthusen, new to Wesleyan’s music faculty, will premiere work divided by time at the Van Vleck Observatory. The sound installation is a reflection of how the scientific definition of energy resonates and clashes with cultural and historical concepts.

Other highlights include the world premiere of a new multi-part suite by jazz vibraphonist and music faculty member Jay Hoggard; the U.S. premiere of Quicksand, a provocative new work by inDANCE, the highly acclaimed Toronto-based contemporary dance company directed by Wesleyan Artist in Residence Hari Krishnan; and a 21st-century examination of Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, directed by Theater Department Chair Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento.

We invite you to stretch your imagination, contemplate new ideas and celebrate all that the CFA’s faculty, students, and visiting artists and companies have to offer.

Best wishes,

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

P.S. If you are looking for arts interaction over the holidays, please attend Middnight on Main, New Year’s Eve on Main Street in Middletown.