MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-The Dance Company of Middlebury will present “Terrain,” a group of diverse and lively new works by five award-winning professional choreographers at 8 p.m. on Feb. 20-21 in the Middlebury College Center for the Arts Dance Theatre. Under the artistic direction of Middlebury College Professor of Dance Andrea Olsen, students and guest artists will perform the repertory, reflecting a breadth of styles and approaches popular in contemporary dance.

Music is an integral part of “Terrain.” Popular 60s tunes frame the choreography of Jim Coleman and Terese Freedman of the Massachusetts-based Freedman/Coleman Dance Company; the eloquent Goldberg Variations of J.S. Bach outline choreography by Middlebury College Visiting Artist in Dance and Theatre Peter Schmitz; and live foot-tapping fiddle music of Middlebury College senior Caleb Elder is integral to the suite of dances by Olsen. An original score by viperHouse member and Middlebury College Musical Director for Dance Michael Chorney?based on the distinctive “bonk” of the endangered three-wattled Costa Rican bellbird?sets the tone for choreography by Middlebury College Artist-in-Residence Amy Chavasse; and contemporary songs by British recording artist BabyBird (Stephen Jones) support the intricate partnering of Bessie award-winning choreographer Paul Matteson, a 2000 Middlebury graduate. Featured guest artist Frank Kalolo, who recently arrived from New Zealand on a grant from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council to perform with the company, will present a dynamic contemporary Pacifica dance?a blend of traditional Maori and modern choreography.

Each of these works contributes to a landscape of dance that offers the audience a visual stroll through the varied terrain of contemporary styles. According to Olsen, the repertory is both playful and evocative and features athletic dancing by the seven-member company as well as guests. Dancers include: Kalolo; seniors Julia Basso, Ben Brouwer, Morgan Jones, Kate Stamper and Jenelle Slavin; juniors Colin Penley and Ellen Smith; sophomores Kate Elias, Hannah Giles and Hannah Reimen; and first-year students Sara Granstrom, Sharyn Korey and Louisa Irving.

The Middlebury College Center for the Arts is on South Main Street (Route 30). Tickets for the performances are $5 for general admission and $4 for seniors. For tickets or information, call the College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or visit the College’s Web site at www.middlebury.edu/arts/.

Dance Company of Middlebury Related Event Calendar Listings:

Tuesday, Feb. 17

12:30 p.m.

Behind the scenes lunch and discussion: Artistic Director Andrea Olsen introduces the Dance Company of Middlebury’s upcoming performances of “Terrain.” Members of the company and design staff share insights into their work. Lunch provided by Rehearsals Cafe.

Dance Theatre, Center for the Arts, Route 30 (South Main Street)


Friday, Feb. 20

7 p.m.

Pre-dance concert and discussion: “Nature and Creativity” is the title of a talk with two members of the Middlebury College faculty?Stewart Professor of English and Environmental Studies John Elder and Dance Company of Middlebury Artistic Director Andrea Olsen?who will focus on the relationship between arts and environmental awareness. The talk precedes The Dance Company of Middlebury’s Feb. 20 performance of “Terrain.”

Room 232, Center for the Arts, Route 30 (South Main Street)


Saturday, Feb. 21

9:30-11 p.m.

Post-dance performance celebration: Cuban music is featured along with video clips from the Dance Company of Middlebury’s 2003 tour to Cuba. Everyone is encouraged to take off their shoes and dance.

Dance Theatre, Center for the Arts, Route 30 (South Main Street)


Sunday, Feb. 22

1-3 p.m.

Arts Extravaganza: Dress up and enjoy fantastic food as The Dance Company of Middlebury performs amid paintings, sculptures and prints. Proceeds will benefit the Town Hall Theatre in Middlebury.

Gallery-in-the-Field, Arnold District Road (corner of Route 7), Brandon

Reservations required; tickets are $25 each. Contact the Town Hall Theatre at 388-1436 for tickets and information.

For more information, contact Middlebury College Professor of Dance Andrea Olsen at olsen@middlebury.edu or 802-443-5687.

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