During the month of July, the nine members of Philadelphia based MM2 Modern Dance Company will be traveling to Florence, Arezzo and Venice, Italy to present their latest dance work, THREE. Under a $30,000 grant through the WHW Foundation, the group will have the opportunity to present current work, develop site specific pieces and take classes with local companies and artists.
THREE is a collection of short stories, if you will, with dances that are no more than three minutes in length. The structure of the dance company is such that there is no single choreographer, rather each dancer is charged with setting work on their fellow company members. A total of eighteen new dance pieces have been developed over the past six months by the nine company members for presentation while on their tour.
Florence is one of Italy’s most important arts centers and the capital of Tuscany. Performing arts make up the very identity of Florence, from the historical influences of Paganini to the hundreds of dance, theater, and music groups that thrive there today. Philadelphia and Florence have long been “Sister Cities”, with a relationship dating back to 1966. Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter, recently spent five days in Florence with a delegation from the U. S. Conference of Mayors and an organization of Italian counterparts for discussions on the creative economy.
MM2 dancers will have an extremely busy schedule during their trip, starting with classes each morning with choreographer and master instructor, Massimiliano Terranova at the famed Max Ballet of Florence. MM2 will be staging their own performance of THREE for the public at Spazioseme, a creative arts space in the town of Arezzo. The group will also be collaborating on new work with dancers from Italy as part of the Arezzo Wave Festival and Italy Contact Fest. Featured will be “dance in urban spaces”, in which MM2 dancers with their international counterparts perform in the area train stations and on the trains themselves for festival goers.
Besides taking in as much art and culture as possible in Florence, MM2 will also be making excursions to Venice and the Tuscany countryside, where they will create and capture on film site-specific improvisational movement. The goal is to then make these pieces available online through social media for everyone to share in the experience.
This is not the first international collaboration on film for MM2. The dancers, had at the end of last year, been contacted by a band out of Milan, Italy that had shared their namesake – “MM2 The Band”, to work on a music video featuring the two cities. The final video was released earlier this year on social media and to IMZ Dance Screen.
This season’s dancers/choreographers for THREE are: Jessica Bryan, Katelyn Capato, Jenna Faye Eugenides, Heather Fleischman, Angela Frezzo, Kaylee Goodwin, Jennifer Laucella, Brianne Scott and Matthew Varvar.
One can follow the travels and performances of this group on their web site at www.mm2dance.org as well as see them upon their return to the states when they premiere THREE as part of the FringeArts Festival in September.