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‘Evening of Dance’ to feature AU faculty, students, award-winning dance artist
2/03/10

The Alfred University Performing Arts Division will present “An Evening of Dance” programs from Thursday, Feb. 18-Saturday, Feb. 20 with performances at 8 p.m. in the CD Smith III Theatre, Miller Performing Center; there will be an additional Saturday matinee performance at 2 p.m. Reservations are required.

Please visit the Performing Arts Box Office, via e-mail: performs@alfred.edu or by calling 607.871.2828. Admission is $5.

This year’s performances will feature an eclectic and provocative collection of “voices” in the contemporary dance and dance theater, including the premiere of a new work by New-York-based choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones, which he composed in collaboration with 13 AU dance students during a week-long creative and teaching residency on campus in early February.

There will also be new dances by faculty member Robert Bingham and by dance students Amy Proscia of Webster, T.J. Samuels of Fort Wayne, IN, and Laura and Emily Smith of Pine Valley. All are senior art & design majors. The works will run the gamut from small, ensemble pieces to large, group works and will include both set choreography and structured improvisation, text, and surprising and imaginative use of props.

North Carolina-based Fereshteh Rostampour, a prominent lighting designer whose teaching and design residency at AU was organized by support from the University Theater Program will create the entire lighting scenario for the concert.

Houston-Jones, whom the New Yorker Magazine recently called “one of the most genial survivors of the ‘80s avant-garde,” has been a fixture of the downtown New York performance scene for decades. His provocative work, grounded primarily in structured improvisation, often combines movement and text with a sense of careening into arenas of messy personal experience. He has earned countless commissions and awards, including a Bessie, the contemporary dance world’s equivalent of an Oscar. Recently, the venerated experimental performance venue P.S. 122 hosted a star-studded event honoring Houston-Jones.

Houston Jones is also a frequent curator and arts consultant in addition to his work as dance artist, writer, and teacher. He was on the board of directors of Danspace Project from 1984-2007 and currently sits on the board of Movement Research in New York. He is an artist member of Performance Space 122 and Dance Theater Workshop and is a member of Dias y Flores Community Garden. He is on the advisory board of Culture Push.

Bingham received a master of fine arts degree in dance from the State University of New York at Brockport, where he was a Pylyshenko-Strasser Award recipient. Prior to attending graduate school, Bingham danced with several New York-based companies and artists including De Facto Dance, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Jennifer Monson.