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Dance concerts feature student choreography

April 4, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Four upcoming concerts feature original works choreographed entirely by graduating Western Michigan University dance students Matthew Baker, Angelina Grima, Jackie Nowicki and Marissa Staniec.

The four students will present their graduation concert, "AFTeRmotion," in Dance Studio B, on the third floor of WMU's Dalton Center. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday, April 11; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 12; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 13. General admission seating is $3 and tickets are available at the door before each performance.

"Along the Way" was choreographed by WMU student Matthew Baker, a senior from Ann Arbor, Mich. It focuses on the human journey. Through quirky, gestured movements set in contrast to an athletic attack, this modern dance piece explores the aspect of change and how it shapes our persona.

"Merde" was choreographed by WMU student Angelina Grima, a senior from Livonia, Mich. It presents a spectacle of dancers transformed through costume and movement into traveling circus performers. The movement is a fusion of jazz and hip-hop styles combined into an energetic display. In a "normal" society, these characters would be outcasts. But, in the comfort of the circus, they are surrounded by others who are just like them--each uniquely bizarre.

"Bubble Gum Ice Cream" was choreographed by WMU student Jackie Nowicki, a senior from Clarendon Hills, Ill. It is about the love for family and how it can embody the soul and inform the character. In this modern piece with a lyrical jazz influence, the use of video technology allows the audience to experience a favorite vacation spot that has become significant to the choreographer.

"Ambiguous Calamitous" was choreographed by WMU student Marissa Staniec, a senior from Sterling Heights, Mich. This modern work explores the emotional transition of tragedy. Complex floor work and aggressive movements exhibit the choreographer's interpretation of a drastic reaction to tragic news.

The program also features the four student choreographers dancing together in a piece by Derrick A. Evans, internationally renowned master teacher and winner of WMU's Distinguished Alumni Award. The dance, "Four Love," was created specifically for the student choreographers, with whom Evans worked as a teacher and mentor. The commission of "Four Love" is sponsored by Partners in Dance.

For more information, contact Nina Nelson, chair of the WMU Department of Dance, at nina.nelson@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5833.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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