September 25, 2001

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: September 25, 2001

MIDDLEBURY, VT - A range of emotions, from humor to grief, are the themes dancer Amy Chavasse will explore through dance and theatre in two unique performances at Middlebury College on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Dance Theatre on South Main Street (Route 30).

Chavasse is working at Middlebury this year as the College's dance artist-in-residence. Her program includes "Death, Beauty and Flying," a dance-theatre composition that celebrates the life and work of Cuban-American artist Juan Gonzaléz (1942-1993). Performed by her entire company-Chavasse Dance and Performance-the piece pairs sensual movement and the spoken word, creating a dancescape or dream world that reflects the magical realism of Gonzalez's work and Chavasse's interpretations of death and redemption.

Both performances will also feature a new duet titled "Spatula Sound Check" choreographed and performed by Chavasse and her Middlebury colleague Peter Schmitz, visiting assistant professor in dance.

Chavasse formed Chavasse Dance and Performance in 1995 to, in her words, "create provocative and probing work through movement, humor and striking visual stage compositions." She collaborates with other artists, including her sister Caroline Chavasse, a writer and actor, to produce her unique variety of dance-theatre-performance art. Her trademark style features wit, quirky and intensely physical movement, and original text and song.

The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch described Chavasse and her company this way: "So brilliantly inventive are these performers in their blend of dance, performance art, music, monologue and movement, that it is often hard to know when they are acting, when they are dancing and when they are just moving in response to an irrepressible urge."

Before joining the Middlebury faculty this fall, Chavasse toured internationally with Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, and has worked extensively as a freelance choreographer, performer and teacher. She has been a visiting instructor at many schools and universities, including George Washington University, American University, the School of the Washington Ballet, the University of Calgary, Duke and Arizona State University.

Chavasse is currently teaching an advanced dance course and working with Middlebury students to produce a December performance. Her winter-term course in January 2002 will address social issues in dance.

The Chavasse company performances are sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series and the dance program.

Tickets for both performances are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors. For tickets, call the College box office at 802-443-6433.