A Sense of Place: Celebrating a Creative Community
6pm-7pm Art Show and Picnic
7:15pm Dance Concert Begins
9pm Contra-Dance with music by Alison Aldrich, Called by John Bolster

NOTE: This dance concert celebrates the space of the Robin Hood Park Amphitheater. The audience will need to travel throughout the space to see the dances. Please refer to your program, and follow the instructions of the ushers between pieces.

1. GPS (a work in progress)
Choreographed and conceived by Paula Aarons in collaboration with the dancers
Music: Albert Mathias, Einsturzende Neubauten
Performance: Paula Aarons, Gretchen Carmel, Noah Carmel, Aurora Corsano, Elle Gantt, Megan Geer, Amy Gershfield, Angelica Falcinelli, Mike Mattil, Val Snowdon, Emily Villeaneuve, Tasha Warshaw & Zoe Warshaw

2. Hide & Speak
Choreography: Angie Muzzy
Music: Mogwai, Belanescu Quartet
Performance: Jessica Howard, Ali McRae, Becky Midler & Nina Robinson-Poole

3. Excerpt from To Tell “a dandelion effect”
Choreography and Peformance: Becky Midler
Music: Ceilizemer,  Mary Hopkins

4. EveryBody Dances: A Community Dance Experience

“Humans, even nomadic ones, need a sense of home.  Home need not be one place or any place at all, but every home has two essential elements: a sense of community and, even more important, a history.” – Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss

Choreography: Jessica Howard, Cindi L’Abbe and dancers
Music: David Ross (samples: Set Fire to Flames, Dave Brubeck, voices and text: dancers)
Performance: Laina Barakat, Ali McRae, Angie Muzzy, Matthew Ragan, Lisa Rogers, Madeleine Sepe, Val Snowdon, Michael Soldati & Nic Tremblay
Set Design: Laina Barakat, Derek Crowe & Chris Engle

5. Dirt: this is my body
Choreography: Cindi L’Abbe
Text: Cindi L’Abbe & Carrie Kidd
Music: David Ross
Performance: Becky Midler & Hannah Whitley

6. Nothing Left but Love
By: Michael Soldati
Soundscore: Michael Soldati
“Nothing Left but Love” is a three part dance/theatre experience that explores the act of creative destruction through the loss of the Soldati family home, the grieving process and how to move beyond tragedy.
The audience is invited to take part in the second and third parts of this experience.
NOTE: The Performer may give you a hug.

7. 2.4 Time Enough
Choreography: Stephanie Ritchie Logan and dancers
Music: The Magnetic Fields
Performance: Cindi L’Abbe, Becky Midler & Val Snowdon

One of the more exciting elements of A Sense of Place (which is on SATURDAY, whoa!). Is working within the Robin Hood Park Amphitheater. Our original intention for this project, was to purchase a portable dance floor and use that on the concrete stage in the amphitheater. The costs for that were prohibitive (this year!), but in coming to terms with that we discovered a wonderful opportunity. The event is about home, space, place and community, so why not use the space in the creation of the dances? Each choreographer has utilized a specific space within the amphitheater for their piece and the audience (read: community) will change positions in the space to view the piece. The community is involved and the space is a part of the piece. While I have been working on a duet (Dirt: this is my body) in a corner of the amphitheater from the start, and I have been rehearsing as a dancer in Stephanie Ritchie-Logan’s piece (2.4 Time Enough), the sense of place really came home to me last night while we were rehearsing EveryBody Dances. The set, created by artists from The Starving Artist, the grass and sun, and the shape of the space all brought the piece together for me in a new way. It was exciting to see. EveryBody Dances has all kinds of playful movement (we’ve explored images of bees, contra-dance, tribal circle dances etc.) and wonderful, dancer-created partner work that examines home and connection. Within the grassy space with the trees and sky above, the sense of play and joy is magnified. It is an exciting experience, and one that I am eager to share.

Note: The best way to access the Robin Hood Park Amphitheater for the July 24th event, is to drive up Roxbury Street (away from downtown Keene) and take a left at Resevoir Rd. There is a parking lot there where you can park for the event. Please walk past the lake and up the steps (there will be signs) to the amphitheater. We ask that you bring a pick nick dinner and come at 6pm to view the art exhibit. The dance concert will begin at 7pm (the pieces are all site-specific, so the audience will be moving through the space). Stay after for a free community contra-dance from 9-10! Please take anything that you bring with you when you leave.

Among the many talented local artists and dancers presenting work at A Sense of Place on July 24 (see that tab up there? Click it!) is Paula Aarons. We’re very excited and honored to have her work presented at the event, and for good reason:

Performing many solo roles, Paula Aarons toured worldwide with the
Nikolais Dance Theater and completed a number of New York City
seasons in conjunction with The Murray Louis Dance Company. In
addition to Nikolais, Paula has also had the pleasure of working with
Pearson Widrig Dance Theatre, Susan Hefner and Dancers, Jerry
Pearson, Mimi Garrard, and Gerald Otte. Most recently she completed
her MFA through Hollins University and the American Dance Festival and
has been on faculty at Dickinson College for the past two years. In
addition to her MFA Paula also received her M.Ed. from Antioch New
England with her thesis work done in India. She then spent the next 6
years teaching in public schools. In 2001, she left the classroom and
began doing residency work and formed a pick up group called Short
Ladies Dance that performed for two years. She served as Program
Director for Creative Arts at Keene at MOCO Arts where she also taught
modern dance and choreographed for musical theater for many years. In
addition, she was also the Program Director of The Academy of Art and
Design, a school of choice program at Monadnock Regional High School.
She has been an adjunct faculty member at Antioch New England
Graduate School and at Keene State College designing courses that
integrate dance and art into educational models. At the present time
Paula is set to be on faculty at Marlboro College in the fall, is actively
pursuing certification in Pilates and is creating new dance works for her
new pick up company, ReGroup Dance, that address social political
issues.

Come check out Paula’s newest work, which explores community and reactions to the environmental toll of the recent BP Oil Spill. The work is site adaptive (as is most of the A Sense of Place event) and allows the audience to connect on many levels.