Original dance at COA

Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2012 in Culture

Original dance at COA

COA students Bo Dennis, Jaya Chakravarti, Sasha Dunbar, Nadege Laporte, Marius Nicolas, and Zoe Mullan-Stout.

BAR HARBOR —A dancer since the age of five, Bo Dennis studied ballet for 10 years, then modern dance and beyond. For years, Dennis expected to engage in a professional dance career—until farming became an even greater joy. Dennis’ senior project for College of the Atlantic is a dance performance reflecting upon the connections between movement and the land. “In Constant Season” will be performed Tuesday, May 8 and Saturday, May 12, both at 7:30 p.m. in the college’s Gates Community Center. The performance will run roughly 50 minutes.

“This is an attempt to bridge dance and farming,” says Dennis, who spent the last growing season as a farmer on Roque Island in downeast Maine. Dennis expects to return to Roque to work after graduation. While farming, Dennis often thought about the movements of the work, as well as its drama. The dance, says Dennis, speaks to ideas about seasons, harvesting, and the transitions between life and death.

“I went to school to be someone else’s dancer,” says Dennis, speaking of the time spent before transferring to COA. “I’m now exploring scenes active in my life: scenes of death and change and love, of relationships shifting, and the impulses of animals.” Adds Dennis, “to be able to choreograph so personally and work with others who feel passionately about similar things is amazing.”

To create the dance, Dennis assembled a group of five other dancers, COA students Jaya Chakravarti, Sasha Dunbar, Nadege Laporte, Marius Nicolas, and Zoe Mullan-Stout. The group collaborated to bring scenes and relationships into movement. While not all the dancers have had training, Dennis says, “They all have a beautiful sense of the movement.” Much of the dance was created through improvisation. For the sound track, Dennis uses the Icelandic band Sigur Ros for its evocation of a landscape similar to that of Maine.

For more information about the dance performance In Constant Season, performed at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 and also on Saturday, May 12, both in the college’s Gates Community Center, contact Bo Dennis at bdennis@coa.edu, or call the college at 207-288-5015.

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