by Geoff Larcom, Published April 25, 2013
YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University dance majors, under the direction of professor Joanna McNamara, will perform in the Diego Rivera Detroit Industry Murals Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, April 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The event, which is free and open to the public, consists of an open rehearsal followed by a presentation by professor McNamara on the multiple processes involved in making a video dance. Non-members of the DIA would pay the normal cost of museum admission.
McNamara's new dance, to music by Israeli composer Armand Amar, will be filmed in the Rivera Court later in the week. EMU faculty lecturer Laura Zimmerman, director of photography for the dance, will also participate in the Sunday presentation.
The dance, which draws from the juxtaposed natural and human-made dynamics and relationships of the Detroit Industry murals, explores ways in which the immense court space can be activated through movement.
"I think of the dance not so much as a representation of the murals, but as a dialogue between the dancers' embodied action and Rivera's frescoes," says McNamara.
The student dancers, who were instrumental in creating the work, are Jermaine Dickerson, Jennifer Flanagan, Chloe Gray, Amber Lawson, Morgan Hertz, Anthony Milian, Mariah Robinette, and Rebecca Zahm.
"I usually choreograph a dance with minimal input from my dancers," says McNamara. "But I couldn't ignore Rivera's emphasis on the significance of the voice of the workers depicted in the Detroit Industry murals. It's a reoccurring theme. So I gave my dancers structured improvisations, then developed what evolved out of these improvs into the final piece. The dancers thus have a strong voice in the choreographed dance."
Dance major Lauren Mudry serves as production manager for the project and David Koltunchik, a graduate student in Entertainment Design and Technology, serves as camera operator.
For more information go to: http://www.dia.org/calendar/family-sunday.aspx?id=3715&iid=