DanceForce Member: Jacqueline Davis
Artists: Heather Cornell, Iréne Hultman, Stephen Koester, Claire Porter, Lisa Race
Community Partner: The College at Brockport
“The Duets Project – An Exploration of the Duet Form” was a trial run in an unfunded year for a possible 2014-15 project. Co-sponsored with The College at Brockport Department of Dance, the focus was on duets performed by Brockport faculty and their chosen partners. All work was choreographed by outside (non-local) artists and not performed in the region in the previous three years. The duets could have been in current repertory, newly learned existing choreography, or newly commissioned work. Interested faculty applied; Carla Peterson, Ivan Sygoda, and Lois Welk curated. Five duets were performed by seven dancers; choreographers were Stephen Koester, Claire Porter, Lisa Race, Heather Cornell, and Iréne Hultman. Guest performers and curators taught classes and presented a panel discussion in addition to the three performances in the Hartwell Dance Theater.
The project was a clear success. Audiences saw work by performers and choreographers new to the Rochester area. More important, the goals of duets in different movement styles as well as sometimes unexpected relationships were met. Four new works were commissioned and some have already been performed again. Students worked with guests and saw them perform with faculty. Faculty artists had a week of work time with their visiting colleagues in performance week in addition to summer time together. It was a stimulating experience for all of the artists as well as for those attending the performances and various other activities. For some in the audience, it was a new experience to see anything other than traditional male-female partnerships.