Friday, September 26, 2008

A bit of perfection in an imperfect world - Summer Stages Dance/Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist Residency Project 2008

Last Saturday, Summer Stages Dance was at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) to present a special showing of their joint 2008 Artist Residency Project. It was a spectacular evening of celebration, as the past and current recipients of the award, and the future candidate, all showed in the evening's program.

Chris Elam/Misnomer Dance Theater (2007 recipient) and the Dance Conduction Continuum with Burnt Sugar Arkestra (2009 candidate) opened and closed the program. Guests also were treated to a sneak preview of a work in progress—a collaboration between New England-based new media artist/choreographer Nell Breyer and dancers/choreographers Alissa Cardone, Lorraine Chapman, and Bronwen MacArthur, all recipients of the 2008 Artist Residency Project award. The work will have its full world premiere during the 2009 Meet the Artist Performance Series at Summer Stages.

Jake Dresden, head of School at Concord Academy, where Summer Stages is in residence, was honored at the start of the evening for his commitment to arts education. Summer Stages co-founders and directors, Amy Spencer and Richard Colton, approached Head of School Dresden in 2005 with the idea to collaborate with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the Boston Ballet. Dresden supported the initiative, which has evolved into the Artist Residency Project.

The Summer Stages Dance/Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist Residency Project supports choreographers and their companies as they develop new works. Residents spend three weeks in July at Summer Stages Dance in Concord and three weeks in late fall at the BAC in New York. Colton called the residency “a bit of perfection in an imperfect world.”

At the event, Spencer thanked Dresden for his support of creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit at Concord Academy, and Dresden praised Summer Stages as “one of the thrills of the time I've been at the school. I've had a great deal of fun supporting it, watching it grow, and seeing the dancers who were at CA, now in NYC and other places.”

Several Summer Stages and CA alumnae/i, parents, and past parents attended the performance and a reception. Also on hand were representatives of our friends at the LEF Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, all supporters of the Artist Residency Project.

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