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Herberger College presents “Spring Dance Collection”


Photo credit: Tim Trumble
Scenes from "Spring Dance Collection"


Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

March 06, 2003

WHAT: ASU’s Herberger College of Fine Arts Department of Dance presents "Springl Dance Collection,” a modern dance concert comprising eight pieces.

This concert’s showcase piece is a new work titled “Big Sky,” created by acclaimed choreographer and guest artist Mark Haim. The New York Times has called Haim, “a choreographer’s choreographer,” and his work, “mad and memorable.”

“The material was developed by the dancers through several days of structured improvisations,” Haim says. “I became attracted to the idea of working in confined and isolated spaces on the stage.

“The title “Big Sky” is slightly ironic in that there is very little “big” about this work. Perhaps it is a response to a paradox of living in a country with lots of space: while we as Americans live with an abundance of space and material wealth, our vision is very often short-sighted, isolated, restricted by codes of conduct and reduced by our obsession with amplitude and abundance.”

Haim said his experience creating this work was one of constant joy and play. “Even though there is a large degree of weight in the work itself, the dancers and I created it with much lightness and curiosity,” Haim adds. “I found the dancers to be extremely curious, responsive and responsible. I am looking forward to seeing the dance on stage.”

WHEN: March 27-29, 7:30 p.m.; March 30, 2 p.m.

Special Preview! The second dress rehearsal on March 26 is open to the public. Same admission charge; show time is 4 p.m.

WHERE: Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 E. 10th St. on the ASU campus in Tempe.

TICKETS: $14 adults, $12 seniors, faculty and staff; $5 students.

INFORMATION: 480-965-6447.

“Big Sky” is one of eight diverse works in the Herberger College Department of Dance’s “Spring Dance Collection,” a concert performance of highly acclaimed faculty and student choreography. The department is known for its inventive choreography and dynamic and beautiful performances.

Haim, a native New Yorker, directed Mark Haim & Dancers, which performed at the Riverside Dance Festival in NYC, and at various theaters and venues in the US, Luxembourg and Holland. In 1987 he was invited to Lisbon, Portugal, to become artistic director of the Companhia de Danca de Lisboa and toured Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Haim has been commissioned to create new works for many dance companies in the US, Europe and Asia. He has restaged his works on companies such as The Joffrey Ballet, the Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel and the Juilliard Dance Ensemble.

Haim served on the faculty of the American Dance Festival from 1993 to 2000. He has been on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Haim is a recipient of a 1987 NYFA Choreographers Fellowship, a 1988 and 1996 NEA Choreographers Fellowship and grants from the NPN Suitcase Fund, ArtsLink, Inc., the Harkness Foundation and the Jerome Foundation.

Haim set this piece on student dancers during his January guest residency in the department. The guest artist work is generously supported by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts; ASU Public Events; and the City of Tempe.

The other pieces in “Spring Dance Collection” are:

  • Time and Again,” choreographed by Cliff Keuter and set on six dancers;
  • “Inseparable,” choreographed by Ying Yang and set on Yang and Casey Blake; 
  • “Fork in the Road,” choreographed by Ann Ludwig and set on five dancers;
  • “The Backwards Boys,” choreographed by Rayn Hookala and set on six dancers;
  • “The Field,” a duet choreographed by Kimberly Karpanty;
  • “Quick,” a solo choreographed and danced by Karen Schupp;
  • “Going to the Other Shore,” choreographed by Mary Fitzgerald and set on eight dancers.

The Department of Dance is committed to providing a stimulating and diverse environment where students develop as scholars, educators and artists through participation in innovative programs, residencies, performances and partnerships.

The department is nationally ranked in the top 10 by Dance Teacher Now magazine. Its graduate program is ranked fifth and its undergraduate program is ranked ninth. The ARCO Performance Arts College Guide calls the department one of the “most highly recommended programs” in the country.

Media Contact:
Megan Krause
480-965-8795
megan.krause@asu.edu