The Duets Concert II – An Exploration Of The Duet Form

Heather Roffe and Courtney World in Daniel Gwirtzman's TOGETHER Sponsored by DF member Jacquie Davis Photo by Matt Yeoman
Heather Roffe and Courtney World in Daniel Gwirtzman’s TOGETHER
Photo by Matt Yeoman

Year: 2014-2015
DanceForce Member: Jacquie Davis
Artists: Anne Burnidge, Jane Comfort, Arrie Davidson, Daniel Gwirtzman, Cheryl Johnson, Mariah Maloney, Stevie Oakes, David Parker, Kendra Portier, Heather Roffe, RoseAnne Spradlin, Vanessa Van Wormer, Richard Walters, Cynthia Williams
Community Partner: The College at Brockport
Audience: 602
County: Monroe

“The Duets Project – An Exploration of the Duet Form” was an expansion of a 2013 pilot project. Faculty performers (full and part time) at all Western New York colleges and universities were encouraged to think broadly about what a duet might be and to invite a partner and a distinguished choreographer from outside the area to work with them. Based on concept descriptions and the proposed choreographers’ previous work, guest curators Ivan Sygoda, Paz Tanjuaquio, and Lois Welk selected seven proposals for financial support and presentation in three September 4-5, 2014 performances in The College at Brockport’s Hartwell Dance Theater.

Faculty from Nazareth College (Heather Roffe), University at Buffalo (Anne Burnidge), Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Cynthia Williams), University of Rochester (Cheryl Johnson), and The College at Brockport (Stevie Oakes, Mariah Maloney,Vanessa Van Wormer, Cheryl Johnson) performed diverse works by choreographers David Parker, Jane Comfort, Richard Walters, RoseAnne Spradlin, Kendra Portier, Arrie Davidson, and Daniel Gwirtzman. The duets included a cellist partner, a mother and daughter, and a dancer partnering with herself using video projection. Brockport provided lighting (Benoit Beauchamp) and rehearsal space and hosted an excellent curator panel, guest teaching and a meet/greet reception, all open to the public.

Audiences saw a wide range of interesting duets created by choreographers unfamiliar to them. There were week-long opportunities to attend special events with guests. Financial assistance and production support enabled regional performers to expand their repertoires. Faculty performers valued the new challenges and the shared experiences with regional colleagues.

Panelist/curator Paz Tanjuaquio and choreographer Arrie Davidson each taught master classes. Students from other colleges attended the performances. The curators were valued guests who brought a wealth of ideas and information to their panel presentation.

This project could not have taken place without the generous partnership of Brockport’s Department of Dance, especially Kevin Warner (Chair), Maura Keefe (guest artist coordinator), Benoit Beauchamp (lighting design and production coordinator) and Pam Callan (secretary). The performances were presented in only the second week of classes and with an all-student crew.