Eastern University Dance Students & Alumni find a home with MM2 Dance

Several of Eastern University’s current dance majors, along with recent graduates, teamed up this Summer with entrepreneur and founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org,  Steven Weisz to create a new modern dance company, MM2.

Weisz had attended the Spring dance concert at Eastern, “The Terrific Twenty”, and after the performance, recruited students Jessica Bryan, Kristen Davies, Jenna Faye Eugenides, Stephanie King, Angela Littlefield, Liz Lyle and Cathrynne Grace Reynolds to join his company.

With the creation of MM2 Modern Dance, a new type of platform has been developed offering college age dancers to both develop choreography as well as showcase their works to the dance community and public.

The newly formed company has already created a stir with their performances and was made the resident dance company at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, where they created a new program entitled, Dance with Sculpture.  Collaborating with local artists and their works, the group has developed site-specific dance pieces. In addition, a photographic exhibit of their performances was also exhibited in the Grounds museum.

MM2  has also successfully presented to audiences at the Michener Museum and Summer Breeze Concert Series. However, their most ambitious project to date will be the premiere of a new dance work, EMERGENCE,  this September at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. The company’s enthusiasm for this opportunity was probably best summed up by Stephanie King,  “I am so excited to be dancing at Philly Fringe! To have my choreography presented at the biggest arts fest on the east coast is a tremendous honor.”

On September 11th , MM2 Modern Dance will present three performances of new works at 2:30, 4:30 and 7:30pm. Also, for the first time, the Philly Fringe will extend beyond the city limits, as the performance will take place at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center in Drexel Hill, Delaware County.

The work being presented at the Fringe this year, Emergence, is derived from examples in nature, a flock of birds or a school of fish moving together. Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of relatively simple interactions. For company members of MM2, especially those who recently graduated from college, it has marked their own self-exploration and development as they seek careers and their place in the performing arts world. Company member, Liz Lyle reiterates, “Being able to present my choreography at the Philly Fringe is a huge stepping-stone in my career. It’s challenged me to think out side of the box and inspired me to conceive fresh ideas and new movement phrases.”

In the piece Post-Emergence, Lyle explores patterns that create contact between elements, while incorporating some quirky gems. Her counterpart, Cathrynne Grace Reynolds takes on the concept of Pre-Emergence in an attempt to emerge from pandemonium by finding calm within chaos.

In Re-Emergence, Jenna Faye Eugenides, elicited the help of Eastern University’s music major, Daniel Ison to compose original music for her choreography, which explores the issue of global responsibility, where following “the flock” may actually be a contributing problem. Daniel, along with fellow music students, Paul Buehler and Rachel Fahrenbruch will be performing their composition “live” at the Fringe in accompaniment.

Eastern dancer Angela Littlefield notes that both MM2 Dance and the Fringe provide “a crucial learning experience to the new choreographer, allowing one to reveal themselves to both the dance and arts community at large.”  For audiences, it is a great opportunity to see new work emerge in the Philadelphia region.

The group hopes that their fellow Eastern students and faculty will come out to support them at the Fringe, and special discounted tickets are being offered.

EMERGENCE
MM2 Modern Dance
Saturday, September 11, 2010
3 Shows:  2:30pm, 4:30pm & 7:30pm
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center
601 Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Tickets:
$15 General Admission.
For EASTERN students and faculty, tickets are just $5.00 with ID.

Purchase direct online at
http://www.DanceBoxOffice.com and enter discount code: eastern to get the $5 offer.

MM2 Modern Dance brings the Philly Fringe to Delaware County

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe is an internationally recognized presenter of performing arts. A broad array of performing artists, from Philadelphia and around the world, converge for two concurrent sixteen-day festivals during the month of  September in venues throughout Philadelphia. Now in its 14th year the festival will run from September 3rd –18th.

For a twist this year, fringe veteran, Steven Weisz and his Drexel Hill based MM2 Modern Dance received special permission to bring their perfomance to Delaware County with their premiere of Emergence, on Saturday, September 11th at 2:30, 4:30 and 7:30pm at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center located at 601 Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA.

Weisz goes on to add “this will be my 6th year with the Philly Fringe and I wanted to be able to bring this incredible experience to more people in the suburbs, who might not otherwise venture in to the city. The folks at the Fringe Festival were great in allowing us to extend their borders this year”.

MM2 Modern Dance  has evolved as a leader in imaginative movement and creative collaboration for college age dancers as well as post-college dance majors in career transition. The Fringe offers the perfect platform for Weisz’s new choreographers and dancers to gain exposure for their works.

The work being presented at the Fringe this year, titled Emergence, has taken on a variety of meanings during the course of its development. Derived from examples in nature, a flock of birds or a school of fish moving together, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of relatively simple interactions. For company members of MM2, especially those who recently graduated from college, it has marked their own self-exploration and development as they seek careers and their place in the performing arts world. Company member, Liz Lyle reiterates, ” It’s challenged me to think out side of the box and inspired me to conceive fresh ideas and new movements.”

For example, in the piece Post-Emergence, Lyle explores patterns that create contact between elements, while incorporating some quirky gems. Her counterpart, Cathrynne Grace Reynolds takes on the concept of Pre-Emergence in an attempt to emerge from pandemonium by finding calm within chaos. In Re-Emergence, Jenna Faye Eugenides incorporates original, live music by Daniel Ison, to tackle the issue of global responsibility, where following “the flock” may actually be a contributing problem.

Dancer Angela Littlefield notes that both MM2 Dance and the Fringe provide “a crucial learning experience to the new choreographer, allowing one to reveal themselves to both the dance and arts community at large.”  For audiences, it is a great opportunity to see new work emerge right here in Delaware County!

2010 company members are: Kristen Blundi, Jessica Bryan, Kristen Davies, Jenna Faye Eugenides, Stephanie King, Angela Littlefield, Liz Lyle and Cathrynne Grace Reynolds.

More about MM2 Modern Dance can be found on the web at https://www.mm2dance.org

 

QUICK FACTS
Show:
Emergence
Company: MM2 Modern Dance
Event: Philadelphia Live Arts & Philly Fringe
Date: Saturday, September 11, 2010
Times: 2:30pm, 4:30pm & 7:30pm
Venue: Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA

Tickets:
$15 general admission
$10 students and buyers under 25 years w. ID
Box Office: http://www.livearts-fringe.org or http://www.DanceBoxOffice.com

Special $5 tickets available: Send text message to 25827 and in body of message put mm2dance to find out how to get this discount.

Cultural Data Project

The Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project has selected the company photograph of MM2 Modern Dance – EMERGENCE to be featured on their web site.  It will be part of a new online slide show they are developing. Look for us in the near future on their site at http://www.pacdp.org

The Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project (Pennsylvania CDP) is a powerful online management tool designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations.  Arts and cultural organizations enter financial, programmatic and operational data into a standardized online form and can then use the CDP to produce a variety of reports designed to help increase management capacity, identify strengths and challenges and inform decision-making. They can also generate reports to be included as part of the application processes to participating grantmakers.

This emerging national standard enables participating organizations to track trends and benchmark their progress through powerful reporting tools, empowers researchers and advocates with information to make the case for arts and culture, and equips funders with data to plan and evaluate grant-making activities more effectively.

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