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.
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
$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.