NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre stages its third annual Emerging Choreographers Concert Friday and Saturday evenings at the Historic Y Theatre. Hartley was one of four outside judges who evaluated some 14 pieces for the concert.
"All four of us were quite impressed with the work," says Hartley, co-artistic director of Funhouse Movement Theatre. "The choreographers ran the gamut from UA students to (semi-) professional choreographers to a high school group from Rincon (University) High who have graduated and stayed together. They're quite wonderful."
The eight pieces that made it through the judging fall mostly into the modern category, Hartley says, but UA dance student Holly Susic contributed a jazz work, "Funky Lemonade," a solo she will perform herself. Laurie Berg, another UA dancer, will do her modern solo "Love Poem" to classical music.
Three NEW ART dancers trying their hand at choreography each contributed a piece. Jessica Swartz solos in "Coaster," set to Pink Floyd music; Deborah Feldman dances her own "You Will Choose --," a work about rape, accompanied by spoken word and music by Steve Roach and Inlakesh; Cindy Alm's trio, "Still," will be danced by three other dancers to a song by U2.
The group of seven former Rincon/UHS dancers, trained by Peggy Paver, and one former Tucson High dancer, will team together for a large modern work, "Toreador." Two of their number, Heather Haeger and Jamie Jennette, now students at Pima Community College, created a second work, "What Were the Skies Like?" This techno-music piece is for eight dancers, all Pima students, who mimic the movement of clouds across Tucson skies.
A third member of the alumnae group, Shannon Maricich, will solo in "Death by Suffocation: Pompeii," inspired by her trip to the Pompeiian ruins last summer. Paver says this trio of works is the "pilot performance" of a new dance troupe, as yet unnamed.
Leigh Ann Rangel and Tammy Rosen, co-artistic directors of NEW ART, each year organize the concert to give young choreographers the chance to show their work. They pronounce themselves delighted with this year's crop. While all the choreographers are impressive, says Rangel, the young students are "really refreshing and experimental. They're not holding back as much as a professional would --. Each year this show has gotten progressively better."