May 4, 2022

Dance Troupes at MCCC Join Forces

A COLLABORATIVE ARTISTIC EFFORT: Lisbeth Burgos, front, and Hakim Hachicha rehearsing for “2 Events 3 Days — an Immersive Outdoor Art, Video and Dance Experience” at Mercer County Community College. (Photo by Kyle Bethea)

The Academic Theatre and Dance Company and Mercer Dance Ensemble will present “2 Events 3 Days – an Immersive Outdoor Art, Video and Dance Experience” on the grounds surrounding Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Kelsey Theatre on May 7, 8 and 9.

The production combines the efforts of MCCC students, instructors, alumni, community members, artist Tamara Torres, and Moving Productions – an interdisciplinary performance company – into two immersive experiences, according to MCCC Academic Theatre and Dance Company Coordinator Jody Gazenbeek-Person. “The Academic Theatre and Dance Company and Entertainment Tech Company have also joined forces with Mercer Dance Ensemble to present new and exciting forms of dance and video art that reflect present-day culture,” he said.

On Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. the Mercer Dance Ensemble will dance Torres’ Shadows under the choreographic direction of Jody P. Gazenbeek-Person, bringing the canvases of Trenton artist Torres. Jill Molinaro’s Fireflies is on the program, along with Shelley Gail Weiss Lightman’s Out of the Box aka Etudes and Such, to the music of Hector Villa Lobos accompanied by Sarah Lightman and Empty Shell Performers.

One of the highlights of the performance will be the introduction of the form of modern dance known as Butoh. “The dance program recently introduced Butoh into its curriculum,” said Gazenbeek-Person. “Butoh is a form of modern dance coming out of Japan. Since 1959 when it was first established, Butoh has gone from Japan out into the international dance scene. It is now a part of every dance season in every major city across the world; all kinds of people are dancing and learning Butoh.”

Dance students in the program have created and will present several Butoh solos that will be shown over the course of this event.

On Monday May 9 at 8:30 p.m., MCCC Entertainment Technology students will present the third day of this event titled “Outdoor Movie Night,” which is free to the public. Working with professional artists from the interdisciplinary performance company Moving Productions, students created a sound score to go along with the silent films this new company shot over the course of the pandemic.

Events will take place outdoors adjacent to Kelsey Theatre and may require some very limited walking. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. In the event of rain, performances will take place inside the theater. Tickets are $14-$16. Visit