Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring performances by Shapiro and Smith Dance

Minneapolis, Minnesota

A shorthand description of "Women and Men," the spring performance program by Shapiro and Smith Dance, can be summed up by the numbers five, four, three, two, one – plus three.

Five women РMaggie Bergeron, Megan McClellan, Kari Mosel, Laura Selle-Virtucio, and Joanie Smith Рfour men РBryan Godbout, Cade Holmseth, Andrew Lester, and Eddie Oroyon Рand three guest performers РAnanya Chatterjea, Carl Flink, and Emilie Plauch̩ Flink Рwill perform three repertory works and two world premieres staged in an evening of dance, Apr. 1-4, at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.

After meeting in the New York dance companies of Murray Lewis and Alwin Nikolais, collaborators Joanie Smith and Danial Shapiro choreographed their first dance together during a 1985 Fulbright Lectureship in Helsinki, Finland. For more than 20 years, the dynamic duo then toured the world with a distinctive blend of contemporary dance and dramatic theater.

Since Shapiro's death from cancer in 2006, Smith has continued to lead their company's creative and administrative development, presenting a mix of new and old works in annual Twin Cities seasons. When not choreographing and performing, Smith serves as associate professor of dance at the University of Minnesota.

For the seven dancers in the world premiere of "Bolero" on the April program, Smith has re-imagined "The Art of War," an earlier work with Shapiro set to Ravel's classic. "'The Art of War,'" Smith says, "used to be Danny's piece. Under my hand, the new 'Bolero' has completely changed, to the point where all that is the same is the music!"

In "Betty's House," the other premiere, Smith has continued the narrative started 23 years ago in "George and Betty's House," the duet she danced with Shapiro. The new installment, set to a Scott Killian score, finds Betty surrounded by cats and still obsessed with fruitless housework.

Smith's colleague, Ananya Chatterjea, director of dance at the University of Minnesota, will perform as a guest in the reprise of "Medea Medea," while Carl Flink, chair of theatre arts and dance, will perform with his wife, Plauché Flink, in "The Gist."

The quartet of Bergeron, Godbout, Oroyan, and Selle-Virtucio promises to round out the program with romantic eye candy in Shapiro and Smith's "Moonlight," set to Beethoven.

Shapiro and Smith Dance will perform at the Southern Theater, Minneapolis, Apr. 1-4. The opening night, pre-show reception will be sponsored by City Pages. For tickets: 612.340.1725.


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