Duet Program: 7 Dancers, 5 Duets, 1 Musician and a Hoop

Bill Evans performing with local jazz musician Duvid Smering at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning NY Sponsored by DF member Lois Welk
Bill Evans performing with local jazz musician Duvid Smering at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning NY

Year: 2014-2015
DanceForce Member: Lois Welk
Artists: William Evans, Philadanco, Gabrielle Revlock, Beth Hesch
Community Partners: 171 Cedar Arts Center, Alfred University Dance Department, Elmira College Theatre Department
Audience: 227
Counties: Allegany, Chemung, Steuben

“7 Dancers, 5 Duets, 1 Musician and a Hoop” is a program of duets curated and produced by DanceForce member Lois Welk in close partnership with 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY. “Duets are a metaphor for what happens between two people, one on one, face to face, real time. They are as intense as a chess game, as intimate as a hug.”

Since the demise of the 171 Cedar-Clemens Center Dance Series back in 2003, little or no professional dance has been presented in the Elmira-Corning region. A program of duets afforded the opportunity to create a diverse mixed-bill program and to build on other duet programs produced in Western NY such as the Brockport Duet project and Garth Fagan Dance’s annual Valentine’s Day duet programming. A primary goal of this project was to reconnect with partners in the region and begin to rebuild an audience for dance. Local artists were involved, producing a professional development opportunity for them and added interest within the community.

In addition to two performances at 171 Cedar Arts Center (Sept 27 & 28, 2014), guest artist Gabrielle Revlock led workshops at Alfred University and Elmira College and a post-performance Hula Hoop Party, and the great Bill Evans taught a Master Class in Rhythm Tap.

Outcomes include:

  • a commitment from 171 Cedar Arts Center to continue the production partnership in 2015 with close to $4,000 worth of in-kind support;
  • a renewed relationship with Alfred University Dance Department;
  • the beginning of a new relationship with the Theater program of Elmira College, plus the delightful joyous moment during the post-performance Hula Hoop party, with Corning executives and retirees hula-hooping along side toddlers and teens.