Miro Dance Theatre Moves Mash-Ups To Drexel’s Mandell Theater

Miro Dance Theatre’s creative laboratory is moving to the home of creativity and science in the city, Drexel University, for its second edition. Miro is partnering with Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, MAD Dragon Records and the Dance program for their second Miro Mash-Up. Following its recent debut, the second Miro Mash-Up will take place Thursday, April  8 at 6:30 p.m. at Drexel’s Mandell Theater (33rd & Market Sts.). The performance will also include a talk-back with the artists. This Miro Mash-Up will bring Toy Soldiers and the dancers from Miro Dance Theatre together with Ronald G. Vigue, new music composer and Executive Director of Orchestra 2001..  Admission is free. RSVPs are recommended. For more information or to RSVP email [email protected] or go online to www.mirodancetheatre.org.

For each Mash-Up, a composer, the rock band Toy Soldiers, and the Miro dancers meet at the beginning of the week and begin to brainstorm.  Over the next three days, they rehearse and create. On Thursday, they perform their creation, in its current state, in front of an audience.

Miro Artistic Director Amanda Miller said, “The first one was really about the beginning of a relationship. We took the time to get to know one another and to learn how each other thinks, moves, and plays. It was a serious challenge to build something with a deeper sense of connection and concept that stretched beyond your typical improv jam.”

“Everyone submitted themselves to the challenge. We came in with empty slates, met each other through the work, and created something in three days that had structure and energy,” said Miro Producing Artistic Director Tobin Rothlein. “It was special and of the moment. Everyone took the risk together.”

The Mash-Ups feature Miro company members Joy Havens, Dana Dlugosz, Scott Lowe, and Paul Struck dancing alongside Miro Artistic Director Amanda Miller.

While on the surface, there doesn’t appear a similarity between Toy Soldiers and Ronald G. Vigue. Both share an interest in Roots Music and Americana.

“I am curious to see how Ron and Toy Soldiers work together. Ron is very purposeful and structured in his compositions and Toy Soldiers are so ‘of the moment.’ Yet with Ron’s choral and operatic work and Toy Soldiers vocal harmonies I think that they will make a great pairing. Miro is gearing up for a future collaboration with Ron Vigue and this Mash-up will be a chance for us to see how he thinks about movement when composing and will allow us to begin creating a shared vocabulary- the most important part of any collaboration,” said Miller.

Vigue joins the next Mash-Up. He is a composer whose music has been performed throughout the US and Europe. He has participated in music festivals including: Centre Acanthes, June in Buffalo, Glimmerglass Opera and many others. His recent performances include: “Per(re)sistence” for violin and Double bass for the International Society of Bassists 2007 annual convention (Oklahoma City, OK in June 2007); “Thirst” for the Philadelphia-based Eakins Vocal Consort (Philadelphia in Nov 2007); “sore; soar!” for string quartet at the Niagara Falls International Music Festival with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ONT in Aug 2008); “Tides” for Orchestra 2001 and Tony-nominated singer-actress Ann Crumb (The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia and Swarthmore, PA in Oct 2008); a solo trombone work titled “Drown”, for celebrated trombonist Steve Parker (Baltimore and Milwaukee in Jan and Mar 2009, resp.); and the piano trio “Mo(u)rning Pure,” for the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium (Eugene, OR in July 2009).

Vigue studied with Lukas Foss and Theodore Antoniou at Boston University, and Betsy Jolas at the Conservatoire Amèricain in Fontainebleau, France.  His latest works have been inspired by nature; mostly using the image of water. These works also include what the composer refers to as “simultaneous dualities.”

Toy Soldiers, is a rising local rock band of University of the Arts and Temple alumni. They are now signed to Drexel’s Mad Dragon Records. The band started as a project between lead singer Ron Gallo and Mike Baurer. Baurer has since left the band. The current line-up  includes: drummer Tom Cladek, bassist Bennett Smith, singers Kate Foust, Vinchelle Woods and Josiah Wise, saxophonist Noah Skaroff, trumpeter Pete Veloski, guitarist Dan King, and pianist, singer and guitarist Zach Poyatt. Toy Soldiers pursue the music that composed the history of American music and utilizes a “throw together one hour, record the next” formula. They have toured and are building a rabid fan base.  They released their first album, Whisper Down The Lane in 2009. WXPN’s Bruce Warren called it “…a righteous collection of rootsy, jangly, scraggly, soulful indie inspired songs that bring to mind Shangri-La era Kinks, Nashville Skyline-era Dylan, Bright Eyes and the Black Keys, The Coasters and Carl Perkins.”

About Miro Dance Theatre
Miro Dance Theatre creates and performs original work that explores the collaborative intersections of contemporary dance, video, and visual art.

In 2004 dancer and choreographer Amanda Miller and video and visual artist Tobin Rothlein founded Miro Dance Theatre in order to realize their unique creative vision, and explore the intersections of contemporary dance, video, and visual art. Miller, with ten years experience as a dancer at the Pennsylvania Ballet and choreographic studies in Europe under Siobhan Davies, is at the helm of Miro’s choreographic exploration. Rothlein, whose work as video artist and visual designer for Rennie Harris Puremovement and others has garnered accolades nationally and internationally, oversees the company’s work in combining dance, multi-media and visual arts. Miro produces the work of Miller and Rothlein alongside special collaborations with invited friends and guests.

Miro shares its vision with the general and artistic communities through outreach in the form of residency activities, open studios, workshops, master classes, and access to visiting artists. Miro believes in the importance of establishing creative and mutually beneficial partnerships with other organizations, individuals and artists in the communities where we live, work, and perform.

About the Miro Mash-Ups

Miro Mash-Up #2
Thursday, April 8, 2010
6:30 p.m.
The Mandell Theatre, Drexel University
Miro Dance Theatre, Toy Soldiers, Ronald G. Vigue

Miro Mash-Up #3
Thursday, May 20, 2010
6:30 p.m.
Miro Dance Theatre, Toy Soldiers, Van Steifel

Miro Mash-Up Best-Of
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Time: TBA
Location: Kimmel Center
Featuring: A celebration of the best of the Miro Mash-Ups at the annual Solstice Celebration at the Kimmel Center.

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