Fredonia Merrins Chamber Concert to feature variety of dance styles

Doug Osborne-Coy
Dancers on stage performing, Dance major, Dance program, Department of Theatre and Dance

Nineteen Dance majors will perform when the Fredonia Dance program presents the annual Merrins Chamber Concert from Nov. 3 through 5 at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

The dance concert will include Contemporary Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre Styles and Commercial Contemporary, according to Director Anthony Alterio, who is an assistant professor of Dance at Fredonia.

Performance dates and times are Thursday, Nov. 3 and Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. in the James and Marcia Merrins Dance Theatre in Rockefeller Arts Center.

Tickets are available through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 716-673-3501 and online.

“I hope audiences take away the joy of movement and storytelling outside of a box,” Alterio said. "Metaphorically because we are telling stories and creating movement abstractly but also physically. We look at boxes all the time, our phones, the TV, computers et cetera, and it seems we have forgotten what it is like to see a live performance. I wonder if people have chosen convenience over going to a live performance. We can easily forget how performance can make us feel, the thoughts it can evoke.”

The concert will feature four pieces - three choreographed by Fredonia Dance faculty members and one by a guest artist. The pieces are:

"We Got ’em”
Choreographer: Angelika Summerton

Between the 1950s and the 1980s, American businesses commissioned a vast array of euphoric, Broadway-style musical shows that were only for the eyes and ears of employees. The unique productions were meant to energize and empower employees to sell American-made products such as cars, copiers, bathtubs, insurance, soda, and many other products and services. The little-known world of Industrial Musicals is a big part of American history, culture, and business. “We Got ’em” turns the clock back by entertaining the audience with a small selection of humorous and silly songs and dances choreographed by Senior Lecturer Angelika Summerton and performed by B.F.A. Dance majors.

“Everything & Nothing”
Choreographer: Paula J. Peters

“Everything & Nothing” is an exploration of how everything people does matter, and nothing people does matter. The choreographer noted, “Once we accept and celebrate this truth, we can move forward in our lives with care for our communities through the shared experience.”

“The 9 Lives of Being Black and Blue”
Choreographer: Anthony Alterio

The piece is about relationships portrayed in popular culture, specific popular TV shows and movies. Alterio said he has noticed that with the expansion of social media that people are less invested in their relationships and tend to bail when things get tough. This poses questions like, what is worth fighting for? What are we investing in? Does the wealth of information at our fingertips make us desensitized to each other and the way we operate in our relationships? The piece features lots of twists, turns and surprises.

“...and then”
Choreographer: Jennifer McNamara, assistant professor of Dance at Mercyhurst University

The work is a contemporary ballet piece about grief. Program notes for this work reference an excerpt from the poem “In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver.

The Merrins Chamber Concert is presented as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season at Fredonia.

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