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.