Choreography challenge

Producing innovation in performance, the Susan Hess Modern Dance group will present its fourth annual show, In Performance: 48 Hours. With only 48 hours to create and execute a performance, the choreographers work in a frenzy. Resident choreographers Meg Foley, Erin Foreman-Murray, Jumatatu Poe and Olive Prince create five elements of a dance work including visual images, sounds, music, costumes or props, then decide on who they want to perform it. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Susan Hess Modern Dance Studio, 2030 Sansom St. Tickets: $10, $7 for DancePass holders. Information: 215-925-5350 or

Resident choreographers for 2008-9!

meg_foleyPhoto by J.J. Tiziou

Meg Foley

Meg Foley, a new resident this season, has been performing and creating dances in Philadelphia for  four years as an independent dance artist and as the director of Moving Research/megfoley.  She creates astonishingly intricate movement and teaches it to dancers who love discussion.  Her goal is to have an ongoing dance research process with a group of steady collaborators: a dance family.  Foley’s work has been presented at the Community Education Center, Mascher Space Cooperative, and Vox Populi Gallery, as well as by Bowerbird.  As a performer, she currently dances for Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Devynn Emory, and Lisa Kraus.  She was a CEC New Edge Mix Recipient in 2006.  Foley was educated and influenced by the good people at Scripps College and Laban Centre London.  She loves to teach both technique and critical theory and has led workshops on whether authentic movement really exists and on locating meaning within and constructing self-referential movement. Some of her favorite dances that she has recently seen are Bird Song by Siobhan Davies, Rammed Earth by Tere O’Connor, and Jen Rosenblit’s greatest hits duets.

meg_foleyPhoto by J.J. Tiziou

Erin Foreman-Murray

New resident Erin Foreman-Murray is a dancer and independent choreographer who delights in making her home in Philadelphia. Her creative work has been presented by the Field/Philadelphia, Limina Projects, the Glue Performance Series, In Flux, and Current, as well as in Fresh Juice in the Philly Fringe Festival and the Movement Research Open Performance Series. She was an artist-in-residence at the Mascher Space Cooperative, where she also served as the director of Philly Dance COSMOS, a contemporary dance class series. Foreman-Murray currently dances with Michelle Stortz/Ring Dance Theater; she has also appeared recently in works by Moving Research/megfoley and Roko Kawai.  She holds a B.F.A. in modern dance from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, and she values supporting the advancement of dance in Philadelphia through her roles as Program Associate at Dance/USA Philadelphia and as a freelance nonprofit administrator.

Jumatatu Poe

meg_foleyPhoto by Lindsay Browning

Jumatatu Poe hails from California by way of Philadelphia and is in his first year of residency at SHMD.  He is an alumnus of Swarthmore College and a graduate of the M.F.A. program at Temple University.  While at Swarthmore, he studied the Umfundalai technique and other African-inspired dance styles, performed in student- and faculty-choreographed works, and created Hip-Hop-/Dancehall-infused works for the student-run company Rhythm N Motion.  He has trained at Philadanco and in the Jacob’s Pillow and Illadelph Legends Festivals.  Poe has performed in the works of Charles O. Anderson, Oscar Araìz, Myra Bazell, Stafford Berry, Marianela Boan, Silvana Cardell, H. T. Chen, Clyde Evans, Phil Grosser, Tania Isaac,  C. Kemal Nance, Merián Soto, Keith Thompson, and Kariamu Welsh (as a member of Kariamu & Company: Traditions).  His choreography has been featured at Swarthmore College, Temple University, the Philly Fringe Festival, GLUE Performance Series, and the New Edge Mix festival series.  Most recently, he co-choreographed (with Tania Isaac) the revival of the musical Jamaica for the Prince Music Theater.

Olive Prince

meg_foleyPhoto by Lindsay Browning

Dancer, educator, and choreographer Olive Prince is a second-year resident who has been working professionally in the Philadelphia area since 2005.   She is currently a company member with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, Merián Soto/Performance Practice, and Group Motion, and she has worked with many local and national choreographers.  Prince is the artistic director of Olive Prince Dance, where she develops and presents experimental video and contemporary choreography.   Always created with abstraction, metaphor, and meaning making in mind, her work provides commentary on the female experience.  Prince’s dance and video works have earned numerous accolades, including the American College Dance Festival/Dance Magazine Award Nominee for Outstanding Student Performer; the Temple University Emerging Choreographer Award; a project completion grant from the Graduate Board at Temple University; and a grant from the Experimental Television Center.  Her work has been featured at many festivals, including the nEW Festival, Philly Fringe, The National American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center, the International Contemporary Dance Conference, New Dance Alliance’s Performance Mix Joyce SoHo, and the CEC Resident Artist Series.  She has taught throughout the Philadelphia area and is presently teaching at Drexel University. Originally from Rochester, New York, she completed her M.F.A. in Dance at Temple University.

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