Friday night gala with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dancers and more


Brattleboro >> Two confirmed world renowned choreographers. Former Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dancers, Paul Matteson and Jennifer Nugent will join Southern Vermont Dance Festival for the Friday Gala concert at 8 p.m. at the Latchis Theater. This will chock-full of dancers and choreographers at the top of their field

Paul Matteson and Jennifer Nugent will bring a welcome aspect of contemporary dance. Jennifer Nugent and Paul Matteson have collaborated for over sixteen years with a shared interest in movement invention that at once honors and challenges personal range. Their current duet explores the arising and passing away of support and the ever changing nature of intimacy over time. As ever, the work is grounded in a momentous physicality. Paul Matteson lived for many years in New York City and was a member of the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company from 2008-2012. Before that, he was a member of David Dorfman Dance and Race Dance, receiving a New York Dance and Performance Award (BESSIE) for his "Body of Work" in 2002. Paul joined Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College in the fall of 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Dance and is a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council Award recipient in Choreography. Jennifer Nugent danced in New York City with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and David Dorfman Dance and received a New York Dance and Performance Award (BESSIE) for performing. Jennifer's teaching and dancing is inspired by all her teachers and mentors including Daniel Lepkoff, Wendall Beavers, Gerri Houlihan, David Dorfman, Bill T. Jones, Janet Wong, Wendy Woodson, and Patty Townsend. She teaches regularly in NYC and abroad and has been a guest artist at numerous universities and dance festivals. Jennifer is a teaching artist at Smith College and Amherst College in Western Massachusetts.

The show features works by some of the festivals featured artists. New this year is work coming to us by the Wonder Twins, Billy and Bobby McClain, formerly on tour with New Kids on The Block and performing in music videos and on stage as back up dancers, these artists have brought their talent to the street and will show their work throughout this year's festival. With the technical facility of hip hop, the sophistication of the glory days of the Cotton Club, the flash of Rat Pack era Las Vegas, and elements of vaudeville, animation, robot, tap and mime. The Wondertwins, Billy & Bobby McClain, have created a distinctive style while remaining artistically true to the origins of Hip Hop.

This evening performance will also Feature returning artists Billbob Brown, Ted Thomas and Adrienne Hawkins. Billbob comes to us formerly the director of the Performing Arts Academy in Hong Kong as well as the former chair of the UMass Dance Department. He will perform an updated version of his piece "Space Cowboy" Adrienne Hawkins bring to us her company Impulse Dance Company. Adrienne Hawkins has opened for greats such as Cab Calloway and Miles Davis and is returning for her fourth season, third with her company. Both choreographers offer dynamic works that will transform how you think of dance. Ted Thomas is a native New Yorker who attended the High School for Performing Arts before receiving his B.F.A. from the State University of New York at Purchase. He went on to earn a Masters degree in dance and higher education from New York University. He danced with Ballet Hispanico, Elisa Monte, and the Murray Louis and Nikolais Company prior to joining the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1996.

This year the festival will once again host "Dances By Isadora" a Boston based company that specializes in Isadora Duncan Technique. There will be an Isadora Duncan Master class and a performance of choreography by Isadora Duncan in the Friday Gala concert. Isadora Duncan born in 1877, was a pioneer of Modern Dance. She liberated dance from the confines of ballet. She shed ballet slippers and corsets and traded it for simple and natural movement. No film or documentations of her dances were made until long after her death in 1927 and thus her choreography and technique was preserved by passing it down from one generation to the next. It is a uniquely beautiful style of dance and SVDF has the unique opportunity of presenting this company at this years festival.

New artists include the following: Kym McDaniel will show a magnificent multi media work that will touch all of us in contemplation. Kym McDaniel is a choreographer and filmmaker living in Milwaukee. Originally from Chicago, Kym has a BFA in Dance and a BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has performed at various concerts in the Midwest and has taught dance in Romania, Maine, Chicago, and Milwaukee. Her collaborations have included video texture mapping, projection, and sound design for choreographers. Millie Heckler, originally from Vermont and coming to us from Colorado will be showing a work that combines voice and high energy modern hip hop fusion to create a completely engaging work.

Returning from Western Massachusetts is Noel St. Jean-Chavalier and her company "The Legible Body". They will be sharing their work entitled "Narcisist" a beautiful and intense modern dance work that uses water as a prop. . Friday Gala welcomes to the stage IBIT Dance Company performing an excerpt of a work that shows the motion of anxiety disorder. The work is meant to depict the way that anxiety effects the average person in our society and show through movement the inner workings of a person with Anxiety Disorder.

The friday gala shows a variety of Modern and Contemporary dance styles with interesting social themes as well as beautiful movement styles. Tickets to this performance are $18 Students/$22 general in advance and $24/students/$28 general at the door. To purchase tickets, sponsor events or learn what you can do to support go to


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