Rock Out for Summer: ARCOS Dance First Annual Live Music Collaboration
SANTA FE, NM―ARCOS Dance presents an electric performance with their first annual live music collaboration June 8th, 9th, and 10th, for one weekend only! Concerts take place at the MPD Performance Space at 1583 Pacheco St. in Santa Fe, 7:30pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm Sunday. Featuring local musicians Andrew Primm on percussion, Karles McQuade and Karina Wilson on strings, and Wes Jansen and Emily Silks [Los Alamos] on piano, the evening offers brand-new co-choreography by ARCOS Directors Curtis Uhlemann and Erica Gionfriddo, and fresh feats of theatricality in props, sets, and costuming.
“We’re getting the musicians right out on the floor with the dancers, and really melding the two worlds,” said Gionfriddo. In blending both disciplines to create a unique production, Gionfriddo noted: “ARCOS is so inspired by the mutual back-and-forth with these musicians, and the way collaboration keeps involving other wonderful young artists in the Santa Fe community to help us grow as a company.”
Dancers and musicians alike are buzzing with excitement for the athletic, aggressive, and daring ‘46 Thousand,’ choreographed on, around, and on top of construction scaffolding and set only to live percussion and the sounds of performers jumping and breathing. “This number is really rock: dark, mysterious, and dangerous,” said Primm, who will be suspended above the ‘danger zone’ with his drum kit, while the scaffolding below is engulfed by a storm of nine dancers whirling around poles and vaulting up and over shelving. Uhlemann and Gionfriddo’s bold, fast choreography is loosely inspired by the ancient Japanese drum form Taiko, in which movements of dance and drumming become one. However, the beat of this piece is inspired by Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s solo ‘Bonzo's Montreux’ (c. 1976). Primm summed up: “The music and the dancing were created side-by-side, which is exciting in that it gave all of us a lot of room for evolution and flexibility to create the exact final product we wanted to achieve together.”
A live string quartet including McQuade and Wilson will weave a rich, recognizable musical background with Johann Sebastian Bach’s most famous work of the late Baroque period, ‘Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor’ (c. 1730) for ‘She, Extracted.’ The expressive relationship between the instruments in this piece is further enhanced by the staging: a visually graphic floorplan of three sections in three colors, which reflects the structure of the score. “The music is popular, clean, and recognizable, while the staging design creates a challenge for choreography to be creative within each of its three defined spaces,” Uhlemann explained. “What’s so nice about live collaboration is that the swells, hills, and valleys of music might tell the musicians something in each moment of each performance, and the dancers and audience can feed off that energy in return. It makes the show slightly different every single time; this is adventurous territory where the dancers can truly grow.”
Two musicians will also be highlighted on piano. Emily Silks’s original composition, ‘Still,’ is a haunting, melodic piece created specially for this ARCOS Dance production. A nine-minute solo and duet, ‘In Stillness’ calls on strong emotions; her first composition for dance, Silks collaborated closely with Gionfriddo as the two produced music and choreography simultaneously. Wes Jansen, who is also an ARCOS dancer, will play Philip Glass’s ‘Metamorphosis Two’ as a solo for Artistic Director Uhlemann’s ‘One of Five.’ This highly anticipated number will mark high-octane choreographer Uhlemann’s first appearance back onstage as a dancer in Santa Fe since 2009. “From a dancer’s point of view, having live music feels on some level more true to its source―you can feel the artists’ intent and passion and what music can bring out of you as a performer on a whole other level,” said Jansen. Speaking from a musician’s perspective as well, he said, “Seeing what music is turning into onstage through dance, in the moment, increases the emotion of the piece and your work on an instrument just as much.”
ARCOS Dance is comprised of twenty-one professional and pre-professional performers from Columbia University, University of California Irvine, University of New Mexico, National Dance Institute of New Mexico, Belisama School of Contemporary Dance, Moving People Dance, and New Mexico School for the Arts, and includes college dance majors and graduates as well as young local artists. The company’s mission is to offer year-round professional level performance opportunities in Santa Fe and an annual international tour. ARCOS provides a much-needed bridge between scholastic training and professional dance careers.
Listing Information: ARCOS Dance Live Music Collaboration performances will be held Friday and Saturday June 8-9 at 7:30pm and Sunday June 10 at 2pm, at the MPD Performance Space at 1583 Pacheco Street in Santa Fe. Email email@example.com or call 505-473-7434 for reservations. $20 adults, $15 students. And, special offer: ‘Student Sunday,’ all students admitted for just $10! For more information visit www.arcosdance.com.
Members of the press are invited to attend rehearsals the weekend of May 25th and 26th for preview stories, as well as the June 7th dress and tech rehearsal. Please contact Kristin Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-501-2497 to register.
Upcoming Performance Calendar
Summer Choreography Workshop
(*Performance July 14th)
Students learn a full evening of repertoire with ARCOS Directors Curtis Uhlemann and Erica Gionfriddo and have two new works set on them, culminating in a public performance at the Santa Fe Railyard. All intermediate/advanced dancers are invited to apply.
Fall Repertoire Concert, Dates TBA
ARCOS Dance presents a spring and a fall repertoire concert in Santa Fe annually. These concerts include existing company repertoire as well as world premiere works created specifically for ARCOS dancers.
ARCOS welcomes new company members year-round. Dancers interested in joining ARCOS should have a strong background in ballet and modern technique, be at least 14 years of age, bring a head shot and resume if available, and be prepared for ballet, modern, repertory, and improvisation components in the audition. Contact email@example.com or call 505-473-7434 to apply.
ARCOS Dance Staff:
Curtis Uhlemann, Artistic Director
Erica Gionfriddo, Associate Artistic Director
Dave Jansen, Executive Director
Tracie Jansen, Operations Director
THINK Creative Consulting