Choreographers to perform, discuss identity and dance

Connecticut College alumnus Nicholas Leichter ’94, an internationally known choreographer and performer, and Wendell Cooper, a dance artist and audio/video designer, will complete a semester-long residency with two presentations on campus Wednesday, April 3.

At 11:50 a.m., the two will present “[embodied] the dynamic nature of identity,” in which they’ll discuss how identity impacts their choreography. Cooper will show an excerpt of his work “[Bodied],” a multisensory, interdisciplinary performance in which urban contemporary dance, rapping and singing, video projection from multiple sources, and a collage-like sound score with original music are woven together to tell a nonlinear narrative. After the performance, Cooper and Leichter will discuss their identities and how it impacts their work as artists, choreographers and dancers.

“This project began as a memoir and channels a powerful stream of my family karma as a queer, indigenous, multimedia performance-based healing artist,” said Cooper.

That evening at 6 p.m., Cooper will present “Lost in Familiar Places,” a performance and research project exploring performer/audience awareness of embodied and mediated information processing, performed by Connecticut College students. The work borrows traits from complex adaptive systems by creating a recursive feedback cycle between the performers, audience and the ever-evolving piece. During the production, audience members’ heart rate variability are projected in real time as the audience is lead through a series of guided visualizations and breathing exercises to help them create an internally coherent state. The dancers selected for the piece prepared by listening to their own series of guided meditations for two months.

Students in the dance department and the Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology have been involved in the residency, including Mauri Connors ’15, Maia Draper-Reich ’16, Sasha Peterson ’16, Candace Taylor ’13, Mindy Toro ’15, Jillian Wiseman ’14 and Tony Knapp ’14.

Both presentations will take place in the Martha Myers Dance Studio in the College Center at Crozier-Williams. They are free and open to the public. For more information, call the dance department at 860-439-2830.

These events are sponsored by the Ammerman Center, the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Department of Dance.

April 1, 2013