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NYC choreographer brings troupe to Geneva

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 9:56 am

GENEVA — A New York City-based choreographer’s visit to Hobart and William Smith Colleges will include community programs.

The Colleges’ Dance Department is bringing the acclaimed Kyle Abraham to campus Thursday with his company, Abraham.In.Motion. Abraham will stay in Geneva through Oct. 12, with a number of performances and classes lined up.

Events include:

• A master class on dance technique from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday at Winn Seeley studio ; $10.

• “Dialogue in Motion” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 70 Clark St., in Geneva. AIM dancers will perform excerpts from “Pavement” and join members of the congregation and the Geneva Human Rights Commission Community Dialogue on Race in a multi-layered dialogue on race, identity and neighborhood. Registration required by Wednesday.

• A Dance as Identity workshop from 11:55 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. Oct. 11 at Winn Seeley Dance Studio.

• A performance of “Pavement” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at Winn Seeley Gym Theater; tickets are $8, $5 for students and seniors.

Honored in June with the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and recipient of a 2010 “Bessie” Award for outstanding performance in dance for “The Radio Show,” Abraham began his training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative Performing Arts High School in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Abraham has danced with acclaimed modern-dance companies including David Dorfman Dance, Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Dance Alloy and the Kevin Wynn Collection. In addition to “Pavement,” Abraham is at work creating a new piece for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for a December, 2012 premiere and a duet with New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whalen.

Since forming his company, Abraham.In.Motion in 2006, Abraham has garnered multiple accolades, including being named as one of “25 To Watch” by Dance Magazine, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and being described by Out magazine as one of “the best and brightest creative talents to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.”

Audiences in Geneva will have the opportunity to see “Pavement” before its official premiere in November at the Harlem Stages in New York.

Abraham describes “Pavement” as a culturally referenced, evening-length dance work that draws inspiration from W.E.B. Dubois’ classic essays “Souls of Black Folk,” the John Singleton film “Boyz N The Hood,” and Phillipe Jaroussky’s album “Carestini: The Story of a Castrato.” Abraham sets “Pavement” in Pittsburgh’s historically black neighborhoods, Homewood and the Hill District, and layers contemporary dance movement, classical music, and narrative to evoke an emotional chronology of a culture “plagued by discrimination, genocide, and a constant quest for a lottery ticket.”

Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams was first drawn to Abraham’s work when she saw “The Radio Show” in 2011, and began conversations with Abraham at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the summer of 2011 about bringing his company to Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“Kyle’s work is powerful,” Williams noted. “The questions he explores are gritty and relevant; his choreography is visually stunning: expansive gestures, movement that transforms from fluid undulations to explosive energy, and an emotional content that reaches everyone in the audience. I am thrilled to host Kyle Abraham and Abraham.In.Motion for this October residency.”

Tickets for performances may be purchased at the door. Contact Cynthia Williams for more information or to register: william@hws.edu or 781-3495.

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