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Jan. 8, 2007
CONTACT: Pam Young

Eastern Michigan University features Arcs and Orbits dance concert with faculty, guest artists Jan. 19-21

YPSILANTIEastern Michigan University Department of Music and Dance presents “Arcs and Orbits,” a dance concert of modern dance, contemporary ballet and jazz performed by EMU students.

            Performances are scheduled Friday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. at EMU’s Quirk Theatre, located at East Circle Drive on the main campus.  Tickets are $10 general admission; $8 for students with ID.  To order, call 734.487.1221 or 734.487.2282.  Tickets may also be purchased online at www. emich.edu/convocation.

            The program’s choreography showcases the works of guest artist Tom Smith, a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company; EMU faculty Holly Hobbs; Sherry Jerome; Joanna McNamara; and Julianne O’Brien Pedersen; and guest artists Amy Cova and Wendi DuBois.  EMU alumna and choreographer/dancer Suzanne Willets-Brooks will narrate one of the pieces.   

            Tom Smith, is choreographer in residence.Formerly with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Smith has performed nationally and internationally as well as on PBS’ Great Performances “Dance in America” series.  He has worked with such notables as Donald McKayle, Tom Evert and Joan Lombardi. Smith’s choreography has been featured several times by the Cleveland/ San Jose Ballet as well as by regional companies and musical theatre.

            He has recent national and international experience teaching modern dance in Hong Kong, Denmark, and The People’s Republic of China.Currently a professor at Akron University, Tom graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Colorado and a MFA in Dance from the University of California at Irvine.

Dances to be perform include:

  • Tom Smith presents, “Episodes (A Study in Stream of Consciousness),” to various music selections edited by Blake Thompson.  This dance explores the way thoughts come to us in a river as they pass us by, sometimes unrelated.  
  • Amy Cova’s dance, “The Journey,” explores life’s trials and tribulations.  Choreographed to music by Flaming Lips, it touches on friendship and love, loneliness and fear, and the inner light that carries us forward. 
  • Wendi DuBois, choreographer and artistic director of Youth Dance Theatre of Michigan, presents “Concerto” toGeorge Gershwin’s, “Concerto in F, Third Movement.”
  • Holly Hobbs dance, “Rustle,” is choreographed to music by Evan Ziporyn, and is inspired by a quote from Sophocles:  “To him who is in fear everything rustles.” 
  • Sherry Jerome presents, “Out of Reach Part II,” a work that explores the struggle to escape our insecurities and fears, to Beethoven's Moonlight Piano Sonata, No. 14.
  • JoannaMcNamara’s, “Feathers Suspended,” to music by Michael Daugherty, explores the juxtaposition of linear text with sometimes-random movement and images, as from a memory.  EMU alumna and choreographer/dancer Suzanne Willets-Brooks narrates McNamara’s text.
  • Julianne O’Brien Pedersen’s piece, “Needing Meanwhile,” is choreographed to music by Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O’Connor.  Drawing its inspiration from a poem by Mary Oliver, the dance portrays themes of finding one’s place.  Dancers congregate, arch, disperse, connect, support and reach while winding their way towards that place.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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