Post-modern dancer Nancy Stark

Smith to debut new work

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—World-renowned

post-modern dancer Nancy Stark Smith, in collaboration with composer

Mike Vargas and dancers Ray Schwarz and Claudio Garrido, will present

a new work titled “When” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the

Middlebury College Center for the Arts Dance Theatre on South Main

Street (Route 30).

The evening will include contact

improvisation, a duet form of dance motivated by the play of physical

forces between dancers in almost constant physical contact. The music

will be anchored by the sound of the piano, which Vargas has been

studying for 40 years. For the last 25 years, veteran improvisers

Smith and Vargas have each been refining the art of instant

composition-a collaborative art form which relies heavily on

awareness, flexibility and tight structures.

“When” is the latest fruit of an

artistic partnership between Smith and Vargas that started in 1994.

The focus of the work is on proportion, timing and the balance

between composing in advance and spontaneous creation. For their

material, the dancers will draw from many styles, disciplines and

body therapies, and will take advantage of a variety of possible

relationships between movement and sound.

Since 1972, Smith has been one of the

seminal figures in the development of contact improvisation. She has

traveled the world teaching and performing this dance form and

related new work. In 1975 she cofounded Contact Quarterly, an

international dance and improvisation journal, which she continues to

coedit and produce.

Vargas, who trained as a classical

musician, but has a very broad taste in styles, has specialized in

making music for dance. Since 1983, he has composed close to 100

commissioned dance scores for a variety of choreographers across the

country. He is music director of the Middlebury College dance

department for the current spring semester.

Tickets are $5 for general admission

and $4 for senior citizens. For information and reservations, call

the Center for the Arts box office at 802-443-6433.