Christina Halpin Chair in Dance and Associate Professor of Dance Maurice Fraga, M.F.A., led a four-week trip with 19 dance and theatre students to Europe, including visits to Barcelona, Athens and Ikaria in Greece, and Rome.
The first stop included dance classes in Barcelona with members of CREA Dance Company, directed by Spanish choreographer Maria Rovira. Rovira is a Catalan dancer and choreographer of contemporary dance. She was born in 1963 in the city of Mataró, a town located in the Maresme region. She studied dance at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, later expanding her studies at the International Dance Center in Paris, at the Merce Cunningham school in New York, and at the Superior Conservatory of Dance in Madrid. In 1998 she was awarded the National Dance Prize awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 1986 she founded the company, Trànsit, based in Mataró, with which she has developed her entire choreography career and of which she was the director. Among her works are “Trastorn” (1989), “Entre Asesinos” (1990), “El Pols de l’Àngel” (1992), “Bienvenidas” (1993), “Arriba y Abajo” (1994), “El Punt de la Memòria” (1995), “Rugged Lines” (1997), “No Man’s Land” (1998), “Trans 20” (2005) or “El Salto de Nijinsky” (2007). After disbanding the company in 2010, Rovira founded CREA Dance Company in Barcelona in 2018 to launch her new era of dance works.
After Barcelona, the group traveled to Athens where it participated in “Seven to the Seventh,” an improvisational performance led and directed by Ana Sanchez. “Seven to the Seventh” was an unprecedented event that synchronically connected artists and their artistic communities, in multiple urban sites, across seven time zones during the week of June 24, through June 30. The leading cities and artists circumnavigated the globe: Athens, Greece; Byblos, Lebanon; Chennai, India; Tokyo, Japan; San Francisco, California, Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Arnhem, the Netherlands, with more cities and artists joining as the project continued. Each participating city produced local events based on specific focuses relevant to their cities and communities and, through mobile technologies, these local events were synchronically linked to create a virtual space inviting participation through dance. movement, performance, sound, and social networks. GEL participants performed in the event at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center complex in the bay of Faliro in Athens, which includes new facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO), as well as the 210,000-square-meter Stavros Niarchos Park. The center was designed by architect Renzo Piano and its construction was funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The €566 million project was completed in 2016, and was donated to the Greek state in 2017.
Shenandoah students and faculty then traveled to the Greek island of Ikaria, to participate in the third annual Ekilibre Contact Improvisation workshop led by Fraga.
After this week, the group traveled to Rome, where it visited many of the city sights, but also had a wonderful choreographic process workshop with Italian choreographer Salvo Lombardo.
At the end of the trip, and in Rome, Shenandoah students performed at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO), where they presented a two-hour improvisational performance for museum visitors. The MACRO is a municipal contemporary art museum housed in two separate places: a former brewery in Via Nizza, in the Salario quartiere of the city; and a former slaughterhouse in Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, in the quartiere of Testaccio.This performance was made possible with the huge help of Mary Angelo Schroth, director of Sala 1 Centro Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea (in Rome), who is also the sister-in-law to Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance Robyn Schroth, M.A. Read the full press release at www.salauno.com/web/salauno_exhibitions/efficient-chaos.