A hint of spring is in the air and the Academic Theater and Dance Company and Mercer Dance Ensemble are in creative outdoor mode as the groups prepare for their next production: ‘2 Events 3 Days – an Immersive Outdoor Art, Video and Dance Experience” on the grounds surrounding the Kelsey Theater at Mercer County Community College on May 7, 8, and 9.
“‘2 Events 3 Days’ combines the efforts of MCCC students, instructors, alumni, community members, world-renowned artist Tamara Torres and Moving Productions – an interdisciplinary performance company – into two immersive experiences,” said MCCC Academic Theater and Dance Company. Coordinator Jody Gazenbeek-Person.
“The Academic Theater and Dance Company and Entertainment Tech Company have also joined forces with Mercer Dance Ensemble to present exciting new forms of dance and video art that reflect current culture,” he said.
On Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m., the Mercer Dance Ensemble will swing emotions and weave spells with several new dances. Highlights include: “Torres’ Shadows” under the choreographic direction of Jody P. Gazenbeek-Person, where dance and theater students will bring to life the canvases of international Trenton artist, Tamara Torres.
Led by MCCC dance teacher and choreographer Jill Molinaro, students will perform “Fireflies” – an abstract piece that explores the sharing of light in a time of darkness.
Mercer County community resident and choreographer Shelley Gail Weiss Lightman will present a whimsical performance entitled “Out of the Box aka Etudes and Such”, to music by Hector Villa Lobos (Etude #4) accompanied by Sarah Lightman and Empty Shell Performers.
One of the highlights of the show will be the introduction of the modern dance form known as Butoh.
“The dance program recently introduced butoh into their program,” Gazenbeek-Person said. “Butoh is a form of modern dance that originated in Japan. Since its inception in 1959, butoh has moved from Japan to the international dance scene. It is now part of every dance season in every major city in the world. world; all kinds of people are dancing and learning butoh,” he said.
The program’s dance students have created and will perform several butoh solos that will be performed during this event. To learn more about this captivating dance form, Gazenbeek-Person highly recommends watching the documentary “Butoh: Body on the Edge of Crisis” on youtube.com.
“Documentary is definitely aimed at a mature audience, but both of our events are aimed at people of all ages,” explained Gazenbeek-Person.
He continued, “It is important that our MCCC students are trained on the cutting edge, so that they are well prepared for what is happening in the entertainment industry. That is why we are also looking for an instructor with a master’s degree in dance that can help us create a hip-hop component in our dance program.And that’s why our students work with successful artists outside of college.The theater, dance, and technology programs of the entertainment at MCCC prepares students for a prosperous future.
On Monday, May 9 at 8:30 p.m., the students of MCCC Entertainment Technology will present the third day of this event called “Outdoor Movie Night”, which is free for the public. Working with professional artists from Moving Productions – an interdisciplinary performance company – the students created a sound score to accompany the silent films this new company has shot during the pandemic.
As described by Gazenbeek-Person, Moving Productions invented a new form of street art known as VideoBombs. VideoBombs are short silent videos that address a current cultural concern. The idea behind this street art is to blow the minds of the public and challenge viewers to think about an issue from a new perspective.
“Collaborating with professional artists is essential to deepen each student’s learning experience and thus the art form and craft. At the same time, Video Bombs mosaic graffiti will be an incredible and unique experience for the audience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event not to be missed,” he said.
Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. Mercer Dance Ensemble
Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. Mercer Dance Ensemble
Monday, May 9 at 8:30 p.m. “Movie Night” VideoBomb (Free event)
Events will take place outdoors next to the Kelsey Theater and may require very limited walking. Please bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on for the full experience. (In case of rain, performances will take place inside the theatre.)
Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for children, students, and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at KelseyTheatre.org or directly at https://ci.ovationtix.com/35232 or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.
Kelsey Box Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon and Friday 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for phone and in-person purchases, and one hour before show time for purchases in person only. Masks are recommended but not required.
More information on the MCCC’s theatre/dance program is available at https://www.mccc.edu/pdf/program-brochure_dancetheatre.pdf.
The Kelsey Theater is located on the MCCC campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor Township. The theater is wheelchair accessible and free parking is available next to the building. Assistive listening devices are available upon request. For a complete list of events, visit Kelsey’s website at www.KelseyTheatre.org.
For direct ticket purchase, please visit https://ci.ovationtix.com/35232.
Note: Masks are recommended but not required.