Lehrer Dance in Residence

Lehrer Dance Photo by Jim Bush
Lehrer Dance
Photo by Jim Bush

Year: 2016-2017
DanceForce Member: Robin Collen
Artist: Lehrer Dance
Community Partner: SUNY Potsdam
Audience: 335
County: St. Lawrence

The primary goal of this project was to present a concert by Lehrer Dance to (a) the participants in the American College Dance Association (ACDA) New England Regional Conference–hosted by SUNY Potdam and (b) the wider Potsdam community. Secondary goals were to (a) engage SUNY Potsdam dance students (prior to the conference) in a dance class taught by a member of Lehrer Dance and (b) give Lehrer Dance exposure to a broad audience of college faculty and students from around New England.

The principal artists were Jon Lehrer, the 8 dancers in his company, and the company’s technical director. Tom Grabowski, faculty member in the SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance served as an in-house technical director.

The planning process began with DanceForce member, Robin Collen collaborating with Department Chair, Don Borsh on choosing a company to perform that would work well as an opening activity for the ACDA conference. Robin worked with Mr. Lehrer on a contract, as well as with the Department of Theatre and Dance for (a) space, (b) technical support, and (c) promotional materials.

March 20: (12:00 p.m – 3:00 p.m.) Company rehearsal on stage
March 21: (2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Company technical/spacing rehearsal on stage
March 22:
(9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.) Jon Lehrer was a guest lecturer in Robin Collen’s 20th/21st Century Dance History class. This was followed by an informal performance/lecture demonstration by the company, which demonstrated what was covered in the lecture.
(1:00 – 2:45) Jon Lehrer and 2 company members taught 3 separate modern dance classes to SUNY Potsdam students.
(8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) Lehrer Dance performed in the Proscemium Theater on the SUNY Potsdam campus.

The Lehrer Dance performance was marketed to the 300 registrants of the ACDA conference on the ACDA website. Participants could purchase concert tickets online, prior to arriving in Potsdam. The performance was also promoted through posters around the SUNY Potsdam campus.

The SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance contributed studio space, theatre space with technical expertise, and paid for posters, programs, the 3 dance classes taught by the company, and hospitality (food and drink, as required in the company’s tech rider).
A new partner, Dance Ensemble–a Student Government-funded organization that provides support for dance experiences at SUNY Potsdam–paid for the company’s housing.

The largest community consisted of college students and faculty from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. There were also members of the wider Potsdam community in attendance at the performance.

“Taking a class from these incredible dancers and performers opened me up to a new way of moving. This movement greatly helped me explore my movement vocabulary and find new places to draw my movement from. It was inspiring to see the possibilities of where we could go and what we could do in the future as dancers.” (SUNY Potsdam Dance Major)