Philadelphia Dance Projects’ DANCE UP CLOSE – Mazarick & Ramirez

Philadelphia Dance Projects’ DANCE UP CLOSE Festival continues on Wednesday, February 26 and Thursday, February 27 at Christ Church Neighborhood House with choreographers Megan Mazarick in Boundaries & Other Works, and Marion Ramirez in kNots & Nest.  Both performances are at 7:00 PM. Tickets at $15, $10 for students, are available at danceboxoffice.com.

Megan Mazarick is a choreographer, performer and teacher.  Her work has been presented throughout the US in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York City, New Jersey, North Carolina and West Virginia, as well as internationally in Singapore, Bulgaria, Egypt, Poland, Australia and Hungary.  She curated a dance community class program at the Philadelphia-based nEW Festival for four years and was co-director of the Festival from 2010-2012.  She has received an Independence Fellowship, an Ellen Forman Award, LiveArts LAB Fellowship, Susan Hess residency and a Graduate Assistant Scholarship from Temple University where she earned her MFA.  As a performer she has worked with Susan Rehorst, Keith Thompson, Marianela Boan, Merian Soto, Ananymous Bodies, Black Box Dance Theater and members of Lower Left.  Currently an Assistant Professor at Georgian Court University, Mazarick has taught technique, improvisation and composition classes at studios, festival and universities around the globe.

Boundaries and Other Works is a series of dance theater sketches and movement vignettes with overly political subject matter inspired by the intersection of separate-ness and national identity.  The work will be accompanied by singer Jess Conda and drummer Mel Gervasio.  “Exploring human relationships and identity politics, my choreography looks for both the comical and uncomfortable places that surface around the subject of race, gender and privilege,” explained Mazarick.  “I look to smash the cultural and political references against one another in places where tension and entertainment collide.”

Puerto Rican dance artist, Marion Ramírez has choreographed, performed, and taught Contact Improvisation in numerous dance festivals, university residencies and events across the US, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Cuba, Germany, and the UK. Since 2003, she has been immersed in the practice of Kinetic Awareness and Body-Mind Centering®, and is currently completing a Certification in Somatic Movement Therapy (Dynamic Embodiment™) with Dr. Martha Eddy.  She teaches at Temple University’s Dance department in Philadelphia where she received her MFA. Her most recent works include kNots and Nests for the choreographic commission of Reflection:Response 2019 and the choreographic commission I see you, choreographed for The Fathering Circle, and presented at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and extensive creative collaborations with Jungwoong Kim, including the development of SaltSoul presented at Asian Arts Initiative.

Explained Ramirez about her work kNots & Nest, “I use dance as as a tool for experiencing bodily agency and empathy.”  Accompanying the dance will be Cuba percussionist Juan “Cuco” Castellanos and gamin on the Korean wind instrument.

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