New Street Dance Group, a collaborative modern dance company based in the Philadelphia and Washington, DC Metro areas, has partnered with composer Alexandra T. Bryant and a team of musicians to create an innovative new production. Another Word For Missing, New Street Dance Group’s 2014 Philadelphia FringeArts Festival performance, uses movement, design, and music to explore missing persons, the Bermuda Triangle, long lost love letters, Dark Matter, autism spectrum disorder, and more. Another Word For Missing will be presented Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 7:30pm at Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia PA.
The evening length concert features five original dance works choreographed by company directors Krista Armbruster and Shannon Dooling in collaboration with the cast of nine dancers. The movement takes places within a set designed by the choreographers, where items, artifacts and even people are found, lost, and rediscovered. Ten musicians, arranged in dueling ensembles, accompany the all of the dances with Bryant’s music, which includes a world-premiere original composition.
“The theme of missing is universal,” says Dooling. “It lends itself to the kind of thought-provoking, challenging but still highly accessible work that interests us most. The creative team connected personally to the theme, which allowed us to make work tied into our experiences and interests.”
Armbruster, who is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, was inspired by her work with children with the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to create a piece in which she explores the idea of the “missing link,” a term used to discuss the causes of ASD, the research being conducted to find the causes, and a brief look into effective interventions to teach those affected. Through her choreography, she draws on her rich research and experience in the field to create an artistic reflection on the realities of ASD.
After learning that 2300 Americans are reported missing each day, Dooling decided use movement and design to shed light on this staggering statistic and the struggle of families to bring their missing loved ones home. She collaborated with dancer Lauren Post to research real-life missing persons cases, from which they created a series of vignettes that explores what may have happened to these missing individuals, and how people cope with the mysterious loss of a loved one.
Bryant was also moved by the theme of missing. Her world premiere composition accompanies a dance that was inspired by Amelia Earhart, the Bermuda Triangle, and recent aviation mysteries and disasters. “It seemed only appropriate to try and capture the feeling of questioning and searching,” says Bryant. “Although nothing can bring back the loved ones of those who lost mothers, fathers, spouses, siblings, or grandparents, music is one way that we can at least help keep the memory alive.”
Since 2009, New Street Dance Group (NSDG) has been bringing a dynamic form of collaborative dance-theatre to audiences throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond. The group’s performances cross disciplines, often incorporating live and original music, spoken word, and design, and they are committed to creating high-quality, accessible work for a variety of audiences. With collaborators living in the Philadelphia and Washington, DC areas, they enjoy a wide performing and teaching radius. Recently, they have performed in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, PA, New York City, and the DC area, in addition to self-producing annual spring concerts and Philadelphia FringeArts Festival performances. ChORDED Motion, New Street Dance Group’s 2013 FringeArts Festival Performance, was featured in the Philadelphia Dance Journal and The Easton Express Times. The cast of dancers for this performance is made up of alumni and student apprentices from DeSales University in Center Valley, PA.
Another Word For Missing
New Street Dance Group
Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 7:30
Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia PA.
Tickets: $15, $10 students 25-and-under, purchase at the Festival Box Office or in cash at the door
Photo by Matthew Wright
Pictured: Krista Armbruster