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A memorable spring

Posted: 04/13/2012

This has been a great semester for Skidmore’s dance students, who have had two very special performing opportunities this spring. 

In March, students of Mary Harney, artist-in-residence, accepted an invitation from the Martha Graham Dance Company to help the company celebrate its 86th season. They performed the classic work Steps in the Street (Chronicle) (1936).  It was reconstructed/staged for the Skidmore dancers by guest artist Susan Kikuchi from the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, and directed by Harney.

"Having the opportunity to perform a Graham work is an invaluable experience and to be doing so at the prestigious Joyce Theater, alongside some of the finest dance conservatories in the country and the Martha Graham Ensemble, is truly an honor. We were thrilled to have been invited to participate in this exciting collaborative event," said Mary Harney, artist-in-residence in Skidmore's Dance Department.

On Sunday, April 15, the student dancers will help to celebrate the centennial of the birth of composer John Cage by performing in a multi-disciplinary program titled Keeping Company with Cage. The program, which takes place in the Arthur Zankel Music Center, will feature a sound installation by Margo Mensing and Brendon Gaffney ’12 in Zankel lobby. In the second part of the program, David Porter, Tisch Family Distinguished Professor, will perform Sonatas and Interludes by Cage. The students will dance to choregraphy by Professor Debra Fernandez. 

Fernandez called the piece “a contemplative response to the music.” In a recent interview she explained, “I was inspired by the Zen notion of formal rigor and informal mind. It’s a complex dance, put together like a Rubik’s cube. So it’s formal, but it lets your mind go where it wants to go.”

Photos by Sam Brook ’12 and Joe Ritter.