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Choreographers Converge for UWM Dancemakers Concerts

The UWM Peck School of the Arts Dance Department will offer its fourth formal concert of graduate student work, Dancemakers, on July 30 and July 31 at 7:30 PM. Dancemakers showcases work by the professional dancers and choreographers who travel to Milwaukee each summer to pursue graduate degrees. The concerts take place in the Mainstage Theatre, 2400 East Kenwood Boulevard on the UWM campus. A reception follows the Friday evening performance. Tickets for Dancemakers are $8/$5 for students and seniors. For tickets or further information, please call the Peck School of the Arts Box Office at (414) 229-4308. UWM has offered an M.F.A. degree in dance since 1997, and has attracted more than its share of noted professionals to the program, among them Allyson Green and Hetty King. As the program has grown, the balance has shifted toward graduate students with a primary interest in choreography for the concert stage, and Dancemakers has become a natural conclusion to the intensive summer program. This summer, the volume of work–primarily by established choreographers currently pursuing an advanced degree at UWM–is large enough to sustain two different concert programs. As has become traditional, there will also be a showing of works-in-progress on Sunday, August 1 at 2 pm in the Mainstage Theatre. Among the dances: • Peggy Myo-Young Choy, who teaches in the UW-Madison Dance Program will perform her solo, “Seung Hwa/Liberation After Great Suffering.” This contemporary piece is inspired by the shaman’s purification ritual intended to rid a community of illness, bad fortune or pestilence. Choy was the only American invited to perform in the 2002 Seoul International Dance Festival and received the 2002 Wisconsin Dance Council Award for performance and choreography. She directs The Ki Project, an organization supporting intercultural contemporary performance that produced the First Asian Contemporary Performing Arts Festival in 2003. • Aviva Geismar has been making dances that stem from complex emotional and psychological impulses since 1989. Her New York-based company, Drastic Action, has garnered excellent reviews since it was formed in 1998. Geismar will perform “Desire,” a solo that uses an idiosyncratic kinetic language to explore an inner landscape fraught with conflict and contradiction. “I become an otherworldly creature,” explains Geismar, “part reptile, part bird, part masquerade performer.” • Sara Baird, cofounder and artistic director of Anemone Dance Theater, a New York-based performance art collective, creates work informed by her study of Butoh. Baird will transform a trio, “Monsoon,” into a quintet. “Monsoon” was inspired by travels through Thailand and by Kobo Abe’s book and the film, “The Woman in the Dunes.” • Joyce Dohnal, who teaches at Bradford High School in Kenosha and co-directs the Bradford Dance Company, will offer “Episode 180 Take 6,” a humorous dance about love and longing for two women. • Paula Biasi co-founded the Core Dance Project, a dance collective, prior to joining Wild Space Dance Company in 2003 as a dancer and outreach instructor. In “Duet for One,” Biasi explores the absence of someone she loves. Left in the lurch, Biasi creates her partner by delineating what isn’t there, dancing with the mere thought of her missing lover. • Mary Cochran, formerly of the Paul Taylor Dance Company and now faculty at Barnard College will present two premieres, “Concrete Jungle’s Hawaiian Shirt” and “All by Myself,” works that, according to Cochran, :explore the intersection between ingenue and hag.” • Clare Byrne, artistic director of Clare Byrne Dance (New York), will make a new group work for the concert. Recently, Byrne choreographed a Mac Wellman play, Anything’s Dream, and premiered Rend and Sew, an evening of dance commissioned by Dixon Place. • Rodger Belman, a New York-based dancer (formerly of Laura Dean Dancers), choreographer, and teacher, will reconstruct Yvonne Rainer’s “Chair/Pillow.” • Guest artist Barbara Grubel, who recently joined the faculty at UW-Whitewater, will teach modern dance technique and will set a piece inspired by Newton’s laws on the graduate students while in residence at UWM. Grubel’s career as a performer encompassed work in both Minneapolis (New Dance Ensemble) and New York (Dan Wagoner, Douglas Dunn, Bill Young, David Dorfman, and Ralph Lemon). She is currently working on a book about the collaborative process between dancer and choreographer. • Molly Rabinowitz offers “Liquid Grip,” a humorous piece for two women and a ballet barre that explores physical endurance, struggle, competition, and letting go. Rabinowitz has been dancing and choreographing in New York for 16 years. Her work has been presented at many venues in New York as well as around the United States and abroad. She is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. • Catey Ott, who received her B.F.A. in dance from UWM, is returning to her alma mater after 10 years in New York to pursue a graduate degree. She will “restore” a solo originally made for another dancer. “Fire in My Sole” was inspired by poems by Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.