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Dance Takes Center Stage at SUNY Potsdam's LoKo Arts Festival

04.20.18
LoKo Arts Festival
The Christopher K. Morgan & Artists dance company will perform at SUNY Potsdam on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, for the LoKo Arts Festival (Photo: Brianne Bland).

Dance will take center stage at this year’s LoKo Arts Festival at SUNY Potsdam—with a celebrated dance company visiting campus, and two separate dance productions in the works featuring the College’s talented students and faculty artists.

The visiting contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists will open the festival with a performance on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., in the Proscenium Theater, located in SUNY Potsdam’s Performing Arts Center.

Morgan founded CKM&A in 2011, the same year that Dance Magazine profiled him as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. Said to be “charming and poignant” by The New York Times, his choreography has been presented in 18 countries on five continents, and has addressed issues including sexuality, gender identity, race, climate change, immigration and water conservation.

This concert includes a dance work of Morgan’s that will be performed by SUNY Potsdam dance students. The dance, “In the Cold Room,” uses light and shadow to create a confined space, and a sense of isolation—with a lack of connection—among the dancers.

Next up, the Faculty Dance Concert will feature the choreography of SUNY Potsdam dance faculty members Don Borsh, Robin Collen, Cynthia DuFault and Nicole McClam, performed both by the professors and their students. Performances will be offered on Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m., also in the Proscenium Theater.

Don Borsh’s “We Are All in the Dumps (Apologies to M. Sendak)” is an episodic new dance work featuring 14 student performers, and is set to music ranging from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention to Laurie Anderson. In this work, Borsh takes a wry look at the events and politics of today. Borsh will also perform his signature solo work, “L’Abbatoire,” choreographed in 1990.    

Robin Collen’s “Is it you? Is it me? Is it us?” will change at each performance. The four dancers will explore improvisational processes—investigating spontaneity, risk-taking and group awareness.

The premise of Cynthia DuFault’s new work, “Shinrin-Yoku,” is to soak in nature and improve a sense of well-being. The Japanese concept means forest-bathing. Eighteen dancers will perform to music inspired by a work composed by the Finnish artists/composers Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen.

Nicole McClam’s “Kitchen Mechanics' Night,” inspired by the Lindy Hop and created in collaboration with the dancers, explores how social dance is a recuperation from the systemic oppression which marginalized groups face daily. The dance gets its name from the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Thursday night was the one night of the week that live-in domestic workers, often called “kitchen mechanics,” had off. McClam’s solo, “It's All Good Hair,” combines storytelling, dance, paper bags and pencils to share the challenges of embracing naturally coily hair in a society that values long straight hair.

Finally, the SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to present the annual Senior Choreographers’ Concert to close out the LoKo Arts Festival. The concert features nine original works by five graduating dance majors. Performances will take place on Friday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., and on Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m., all in the Proscenium Theater.

Kendall Hanrahan ’18 of Binghamton, N.Y., will present a solo, “Bye for Now,” a chronological representation of her life experiences and a dedication to her mother. Hanrahan notes that her group dance, “Going, Going, Gone,” is inspired by her bittersweet emotions of graduating college and moving forward in her life.

Asyha Mosely ’18 of Brooklyn, N.Y., said that her solo, titled “Submerged,” is “inspired by the never-ending depths of the ocean,” and her group dance, “On the Other Side” “explores the journey of self-identity through the differences between confinement, release and freedom.”  

Adelmari Rodriguez ’18 of the Bronx, N.Y., stated that her dance, titled “Close to Shedding Skin,” “showcases the relationship between individuality and community.”

Shondelle Webster ’18 of Brooklyn, N.Y., said that her solo, “Journal Entry No. 25,” was inspired by her journal, and “the free flow of its content which expresses random thoughts and ideas that I eventually translate into movement.” Webster’s group dance, “Us vs. Them,” was inspired by the concept of aggression. She created this piece as a way to explore an unfamiliar movement quality and also to serve as an outlet for her performers to release their aggressions.

Stephon Williams ’18 of the Bronx, N.Y. will also offer a solo and a group piece. In his group dance, he explores ways in which dancers make connections to one another on stage—building a sense of community.

The LoKo Arts Festival is made possible by the generosity and artistic vision of Kathryn Kofoed Lougheed ’54 and Donald Lougheed (Hon. ’54).

Tickets are free and will be available at the door one hour before the performance begins. Doors open a half-hour before each performance. Reservations can be made by calling the Community Performance Series Box Office at (315) 267-2277. For more information, please contact the Department of Theatre and Dance at (315) 267-2556.

North Country Public Radio is the media sponsor for the 2018 LoKo Arts Festival at SUNY Potsdam.

For a full schedule and listing of events, visit www.potsdam.edu/loko.

About the Department of Theatre & Dance: 

From directing, choreographing, acting and dancing, to designing and technical work, theatre and dance are highly collaborative art forms at SUNY Potsdam. Students and professionals engage in creative problem solving, requiring the setting and meeting of long-term goals, and the analysis and understanding of movement and dramatic literature. For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Theatre and Dance, visit www.potsdam.edu/theatre.

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam’s arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.

Media contact:

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Office of Public Affairs,
(315) 267-2918