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Spring Dance Ensemble: Closed Body/Safe Heart

Spring dance ensemble 1
Spring Dance Ensemble
Members of the Performance Dance Ensemble rehearse for Closed Body/Safe Heart. Photo by Shizuka Tokuma

The Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning will present Closed Body/Safe Heart, the Stony Brook Performance Dance Ensemble’s spring performance opening on Thursday, April 12, at 8 pm in Nassau Hall. Performances include the premier of Aconteceu/It Happened, a story depicting the lives of street children in Rio de Janeiro; Hey Penny, a contemporary ballet piece by faculty choreographer Alison Russell and select student choreography. Additional performances are scheduled for Friday, April 13, at 8 pm and two shows on Saturday, April 14, at 2 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-SBU students and a $5 suggested donation for Stony Brook University students.

The Performance Dance Ensemble (DAN 400) is a performance company for undergraduate and graduate students at Stony Brook University. Students spend a semester or more developing various cultural performances, allowing them to experience diverse approaches to movement and performing arts.

“The spring performance is a capstone event for the dance minor,” said Amy Sullivan, director of The Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning. “Students are challenged to incorporate their academic insights, creative innovations and technical training in order to build an exciting and powerful performance that emerges from the totality of their education and their own creative and performance skills.”

Aconteceu/It Happened, directed and choreographed by Joya Powell, a lecturer of dance in The Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning, depicts the Candelária Massacre of 1993 chronicling the lives of eight street orphans growing up homeless in Rio de Janeiro and their unfortunate fate at the hands of authority. In the performance Powell fuses contemporary dance with famous Afro-Brazilian dances including those of the Orixás, Capoeira and Samba into this extremely emotional piece.

“This dance is a vehicle for social change. It raises awareness about the injustices in Brazil that are often overlooked,” said Yelizaveta Kotlyarova, a dancer in the ensemble who represents the fate of the eight children. “It’s a captivating and dynamic piece that will make you rethink how you view poverty and homelessness.” Sullivan added, “Joya Powell teaches and directs the students with great skill and artistry. She inspires them to achieve their very best.”

Tickets are available for purchase at The Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning, 114 Nassau Hall, Stony Brook University, on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 am and 5:30 pm. Please call (631) 632-3005 for reservations. Space is limited.

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