2012 Spring Events

Screening of “Little House in the Big House”

March 1 Thursday 7:00 P.M.       FREE
Axinn Center Room 232


<p class="caption"><em>photo by Stephen Schreiber</em></p>


Join us for a screening of Little House in the Big House, a documentary produced by Artist in Residence Tiffany Rhynard and her sister, Kim Brittenham with thier production company Sisters Unite. Little House in the Big House takes you inside the gates of the Vermont state women’s prison where, over a period of a year, inmates in a trades program build a modular home from start to finish. Under the instruction of Vermont Works for Women, these women find the tools necessary to build a house and construct a sustainable future. Four women tell their stories as they face difficult challenges while incarcerated and as they re-enter society. Vermont songwriters and performers Anaïs Mitchell and Steph Pappas contribute to the soundtrack. Co-sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies program, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the History of Art and Architecture. www.littlehousebighouse.com


March 6-10           Rothrock Residency featuring Cellist David Darling

<p class="caption"><em>photo by Stephen Schreiber</em></p>

Described as a “maverick cellist,” David Darling mixes genres including jazz, pop, rock, country, and New Age with intellectual curiosity and playful innovation. A member of the Paul Winter Consort from l970-1987, Darling’s prolific recording career includes playing music with whales, wolves, and in the depths of the Grand Canyon as well as producing River Notes with nature writer Barry Lopez and Refuge with Terry Tempest Williams.  His 2009 CD Prayer for Compassion received a Grammy for best New Age album. David’s numerous collaborations include dance (Pilobolus) and film (Wim Wenders), and reflect his belief in the social and spiritual power of musical expression.This student-initiated residency is sponsored by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts—established in 2011, to support opportunities that broaden the scope of Middlebury students’ experience in the performing arts—with support from the Performing Arts Series and Dance Program.  Rehearsals and classes will occur throughout the week; check the dance calendar for a full schedule: go/dance.

All events are FREE.

Tuesday, March 6
5:00 - 6:30 P.M.      Mahaney Center   Dance Theatre
Music, Meditation, and Yoga with Russell Comstock and David Darling, co-sponsored with the Yoga Club.

Wednesday, March 7
12:30 - 1:20 P.M.      Mahaney Center   Dance Theatre
Music, Meditation, and Yoga with Andrea Olsen and David Darling, co-sponsored with the Yoga Club.

4:30 - 6:00 P.M.      Mahaney Center   Concert Hall
Open music jam with students, faculty, and staff.   Bring your instrument.

Thursday, March 8
12:30 - 1:15 P.M.     
The Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, 
The Orchard (Room 103)
“Music and the Environment” presented as part of the Spring 2012 Woodin Environmental Studies Colloquium Series. David will play and share prerecorded examples of music created with the Paul Winter Consort.

7:30 - 9:00 P.M.      Mahaney Center Dance Theatre
David Darling in Concert
Join us for an intimate evening with David. Open seating, and no tickets required, so come early and enjoy!

Friday, March 9
4:30 - 6:00 P.M. Mahaney Center   Dance Theatre
Improvising Together: Music and Dancing.

Women Who Write about Dance:
A Panel Discussion with Toni Bentley, Deborah Jowitt, and Kathryn Levy:
March 15 Thursday     4:30-6:00 P.M. FREE   
Harmon Periodical Reading Room Davis Family Library

The Abernethy Series presents a panel of writers who have focused their distinguished work on the elusive art of dance. Ranging from poetry to female sensuality to perceptive dance criticism and biography, Kathryn Levy, Toni Bentley, and Deborah Jowitt will share their individual perspectives on dance writing as well as engage their colleagues and audience in compelling discussion. Moderated by Penny Campbell, Dance Program Director and Andrew Wentink, Curator of Special Collections & Archives. Presented by Abernethy Lecture Series and the Dance Program.

March 15-17           Residency and Performances by Kyle Abraham

Residency Activities:

Thursday, March 15
9:30 - 10:45 A.M.     FREE      Mahaney Center   Dance Theatre
Master class, intermediate technique

12:30 - 1:20 P.M.     FREE    Mahaney Center Dance Theatre
Lecture demonstration with Kyle Abraham and company members.

<p class="caption"><em>photo by Stephen Schreiber</em></p>

Abraham In Motion: The Radio Show
March 16-17 Friday, Saturday 
8:00 P.M.
each evening.
Tickets: $25/20/6               
Mahaney Center Dance Theatre

<p class="caption"><em>photo by Stephen Schreiber</em></p>
photos by Stephen Schreiber


Bessie Award-winning dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham delves into identity and personal history in The Radio Show. Creating an abstract narrative around the loss of communication, he investigates a community’s reaction to the abrupt discontinuation of a radio station and how the lingering effects of Alzheimer’s disease and aphasia impact a family. He mixes a score with recordings of classic soul and hip-hop with contemporary classical compositions by Ryoji Ikeda and Alva Noto. Sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series and the Dance Program

Rothrock Residency featuring dancer and filmmaker Erika Randall

April 9, 10

Erika Randall (MFA, The Ohio State University, BA, University of Washington) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado.  Erika has worked with Sara Hook, David Parker and the Bang Group, Teena Marie Custer, Michelle Ellsworth, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, the Mark Morris Dance Group and Buglisi/Foreman Dance.

In 2004, Erika formed the Columbus Movement Movement (cm2), which was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” (2007). Her film, Leading Ladies (2010), has played 60 festivals worldwide, winning Audience Awards for Best Feature Narrative Film at the Palm Beach Women’s Film Festival and the San Francisco United Film Festival. www.leadingladiesmovie.com This residency is sponsored by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts—established in 2011, to support opportunities that broaden the scope of Middlebury students’ experience in the performing arts—with support from the Dance Program.

Modern Technique Master Class

April 9 Monday   2:45-4:15 p.m.
Mahaney Center Dance Theatre

Transferring the three-dimensionality of dance to the twodimensional format of cinema starts with a keen understanding of movement. In this master class, students will experience movement from both visual and kinetic perspectives as Randall progresses through a rhythmic romp that emphasizes the planes in space, large, sweeping movements, delicious detail, and turning off balance.

Film Screening of Leading Ladies

April 10 Tuesday 7:00 p.m.
Mahaney Center Dance Theatre

Join us for a screening of Leading Ladies with Erika Randall who co-wrote, directed, produced and choreographed this feature dance film. The film premiered at the Sonoma International Film Festival in 2010, and has played to sold-out audiences at over 60 festivals world-wide, including: New York’s NewFest, Los Angeles’ Outfest, San Francisco’s Frameline, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Cannes Independent Film Festival, and won “Best Feature” at the Palm Beach Women’s Film Festival. Her interest in dance, its relationship to popular culture, and its ability to impact change, is at the heart of all of her research and teaching. Leading Ladies will be distributed by Wolfe Films and is now available on DVD.

Senior Thesis Concert:
Sarah Chapin, Alicia Evancho, James Moore, Alexandra Vasquez

April 20, 21 Friday, Saturday 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $12/10/6
Mahaney Center Dance Theatre

Four dance program seniors present a passionate evening of choreography and performance. Drawing on backgrounds as diverse as sociology and poetry, Portuguese and theatre, they investigate questions of grief, surveillance, the persistence of memory, and more.

The concert will transport you from abandoned ballrooms to public parks, from explosive athleticism to delicate reflection, as these four choreographers explore their emerging artistic voices.

The 2012 Ron Rucker Lecture: Robert Swinston,
Preserving the Cunningham Legacy

April 26 Thursday   4:30-6:00 p.m.
Harmon Periodicals Reading Room Davis Family Library

Discussion of digital preservation of treasured cultural resources rarely extends to the most ephemeral of the arts—dance—and the preservation of the choreographic legacy of a 20th century icon.  The 2012 Ron Rucker Lecture confronts this compelling archival issue in Preserving the Cunningham Legacy, presented by Cunningham Director of Choreography, Robert Swinston. Swinston will discuss how he has coped with this monumental and unprecedented challenge. There continues to be much debate, internal and external, as to whether the plan to preserve Cunningham’s body of work, digitally as well as in performance, will actually work. No company with a singular choreographer has fully solved the riddle of how to preserve its dances once their creator has died. “I’m so consumed by it that it never leaves me,” says Swinston, who has been a Cunningham dancer since 1980 and shouldered much of the burden of running the company in its final days. “How can I prolong it, or what can I do? And what do I have to do?” Sponsored by Friends of the Davis Family Library and the Dance Program.

Lunch with Robert Swinston
April 27 Friday   12:30-1:20 p.m.
Mahaney Center Dance Theatre

An opportunity to get to know Robert Swinston, the dancer and former Middlebury College student. Hear him talk about his career and the decisions he made as he moved from Middlebury to Juilliard to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Lunch provided. Co-sponsored by Friends of the Davis Family Library, The Abernethy Lecture Series, and Special Collections.

Shifting the Frame: Dance for the Camera Screening

May 5 Saturday   8:00 p.m
Tickets: $12/10/6
Mahaney Center Dance Theatre

Shifting the frame from the stage to the screen, spring choreography students investigate the intersection of movement and video. Facilitated by Artist in Residence Tiffany Rhynard, the students will present their short movies choreographed specifically for the camera.

<p class="caption"><em>“Anatomy of a Heart”<br />film by Tiffany Rhynard, photo by Frank Glinski</em></p>
"Anatomy of a Heart" film by Tiffany Rhynard, photo by Frank Glinski


Come dressed for a Hollywood movie premiere and join us on the red carpet (literally!) for the Middlebury Dance Program’s first dance for the camera screening.  Awards will be given for best overall film and audience members will receive prizes for best costume. Dress to the nines!

Taking Flight

May 8  Wednesday   4:30 p.m.
Mahaney Center Dance Theatre

A “lightly produced” showing of dance experiments by the new batch of choreographers emerging from the Advanced Beginning Dance course.

Program in Dance

Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753