Young Choreographers find a platform through MM2 Dance and the Philly Fringe

by Deena Moore for The Dance Journal

With the creation of MM2 Modern Dance, Steven Weisz, Artistic Director, decided to offer a new type of platform for college age dancers to both develop choreography as well as showcase their works. Weisz goes on to elaborate, “We try to provide them the opportunity and resources needed, including performance opportunities, to advance their own careers and place in the dance community.”

Weisz is not a newcomer in working with young adults, having directed Music & Motion Dance, a company comprised of primarily high school aged dancers for over ten years. A veteran to the Philly Fringe as well, Weisz sees the Fringe as the perfect platform for his new choreographers to gain exposure for their works. 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 is titled Emergence, which 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 Weisz, Emergence also signified the letting go of his former company and the evolution of a new one. 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.”

Ultimately what these young choreographers have created is an intriguing range of flavors. 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 in Philadelphia.

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.
$10 Students and buyers 25 and under w. ID.
$ 5 Organizational partners w. Discount Code.
$ 5 Group purchases of 10 or more tickets.

Purchase direct online at http://www.DanceBoxOffice.com (use discount code mm2dance for $5 tickets)