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"Dance in the Fells” Returns to Medford on October 12th

Posted by boston.com  July 25, 2013 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by Two Roads Performance Projects:

Two Roads Performance Projects presents Dance in the Fells: Wright’s Pond, a festival of site-specific, outdoor dance at Wright’s Pond on Elm Street in Medford, just minutes outside of Boston.  On Saturday, October 12th, four innovative Boston-area choreographers will perform new dance works in four locations around beautiful Wright’s Pond and the neighboring forest. 

The October 12th event is free and open to the public, and features outdoor, site-specific choreography by Brian Crabtree and Dancers, Monkeyhouse, Kara Fili/Tara Weaver, and Alli Ross, as well as live music by local musicians and sculptures created over the course of the afternoon by artist Carolyn Lewenberg. Beautiful Wright’s Pond Park, one of Medford’s “hidden gems,” will be open to the public for the event by special arrangement with the City of Medford, and everyone will have the opportunity to hike or stroll around the pond, view the gorgeous fall foliage, and be inspired by some the best contemporary dance as it unfolds along the beach and wooded trails.  Rain date: Sunday, October 13th.

Dance in the Fells: Wright’s Pond is the second installment of Dance in Fells, a series of outdoor dance events designed to make dance accessible to local audiences and to explore the relationship between dance and the wooded landscape of the Fells.  In 2010, Two Roads produced the first Dance in the Fells, inviting six dance companies to perform throughout the Middlesex Fells Reservation.  Over 400 people attended this free community event, enjoying the natural beauty, engaging in healthy exercise, and being moved, thrilled, and entertained by original dances that celebrated and explored the Fells as a remarkable local resource.  In 2011, Dance in the Fells was recognized by the Massachusetts Cultural Council for making a unique contribution to artistic and community life in Medford, and was awarded a rare “Gold Star” for artistic merit and community engagement.

This year’s choreographers are inspired by Wright’s Pond both as a scenic landscape and as a beloved community space with a rich history. Wright’s Pond was created as an auxiliary water source for Spot Pond in 1884, and served as the location of the fledgling Medford film industry from 1917-1928 before it became a community park, beach, and sanctuary for local wildlife.  The Medford Historical Society is serving as a resource for the choreographers who are interested in Wright’s Pond’s place in Medford’s history, as well as its future.

Wright’s Pond is accessible by car via I-93 to exit 33 (Route 28) and by public transportation via the #100 bus from the Wellington Square Station (Orange line)

For more information about the choreographers, the event, performance times, directions, parking, accessibility, and rain date, please go to tworoads.org, email tworoads.org@gmail.com, or find Dance in the Fells on Facebook.

Two Roads Performance Projects is located in Medford and was founded by Wanda Strukus and Kyna Hamill to support the creation of public art and site-specific and environmentally based performance.  Collectively, Kyna and Wanda have produced, created, and facilitated over 50 theater, dance and movement-based productions. 

Dance in the Fells: Wrights Pond is supported in part by a grant from the Medford Arts Council, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.  Dance in the Fells is also a participant in Arts Across Medford.

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Brian Crabtree has been dancing and making dances since 1975 in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and his home town of Portland, Maine. He studied Modern Technique with Viola Farber, Dan Wagoner, June Finch, Diane Frank, Douglas Dunn and Daniel McCusker. For 8 years he was a member of Ram Island Dance Repertory Company based in Portland under the direction of Daniel McCusker. There he danced a repertoire that included dances by Senta Driver, Maida Withers, Yvonne Rainer, Lucinda Childs and Mr. McCusker. Since moving back to Boston, his own work has been produced or commissioned by the Boston Center for the Arts, Green Street Studios, Ram Island Dance, Dance Complex, World Music, First Night and Dance Umbrella.

Kara Fili / Tara Weaver / Carolyn Lewnberg
Kara Fili has been dancing for 26 years- since she could walk (according to her mother). Trained in ballet, tap, jazz and modern while growing up, she now specializes in West African and contemporary forms. She is a current company member of Benkadi Drum and Dance and Danza Orgánica and has also performed with Luminarium Dance Company, Anikai Dance Theater, Angie Moon Dance Theatre, Dance Currents, Annie Kloppenberg, and Elm City Dance Collective.  Her new choreographic endeavor with Tara Weaver inspires and excites her. Kara is also a firm believer in the power of the arts to change lives and communities. For the past nine years Kara has been a dance instructor for Express Yourself, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses the arts to empower mentally ill and at-risk youth. She has also taught dance to youth through Cambridge Youth Services and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción in Boston.

Tara Jean Weaver is a Cambridge-based dancer, fitness instructor, athletic coach, and martial artist. She began her dance training 10 years ago with West African dance under Joh Camara. She went on to study ballet with Anna Myer, Modern dance with Marcus Schulkind, Afro-Brazilian dance and Capoeira with Derraldo Ferreira, and Afro-Haitian and Horton Dunham with Jean Appolon. In 2011, she toured India with Anikai Dance Company and performed around Greater Boston with Benkadi Dance and Drum Ensemble. In 2012, she began dancing and touring with Danza Organica, recent recipient of the Boston Dance Alliance's Rehearsal and Retreat Fellowship. She is thrilled to be sharing a new creative space with friend and co-choreographer, Kara Fili. 

Carolyn Lewenberg (sculptor).  Carolyn’s work responds to the opportunities and challenges in a world with rapidly changing available resources. She is inspired by the potential of art to build community and connect people with their environment.  She began working with Oriental Bittersweet during the summer of 2009 on Bumpkin Island where she was a ranger/artist in residence. Carolyn’s use of Oriental Bittersweet as a symbolic act of reinvention. The vines go unnoticed, or are viewed as a nuisance and a threat to a healthy ecosystem.  She transforms them into something of interest and value.  In addition to Bittersweet, Carolyn has used tires and other miscellaneous finds from the trash to encourage the practice of seeing the excess things around us as potential material for works of art.

Monkeyhouse is an award winning, Boston based nonprofit that connects communities to choreography. Encouraging people to move with meaning is vitally important in these times of economic uncertainty when many feel disillusioned, stuck, and depressed. Choreography can emphasize individual strengths, express issues that are otherwise difficult to discuss, increase blood flow to the brain to ignite new ideas, and awaken innovative ways to balance. Founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Karen Krolak and Voted "Best Dance Company in Boston" for 2006, 2007 & 2010 by the Boston Phoenix Readers' Poll, Monkeyhouse regularly performs at Springstep in Medford, MA and First Night Boston as well as holding classes, workshops and performances throughout the Greater Boston Area.

Alli Ross is a performing and teaching artist. From 2009-2011, Alli worked with Punchdrunk on the award winning production of Sleep No More where she originated the role of Lady Macduff in both Boston and NY. Upon returning to Boston, Alli delved into the development of Healing Wars, a new work with Liz Lerman, premiering in 2014 on the Arena Stage. Her most recent performance projects include Accompaniment, exploring the measurability of relationship and voice with Lailye Weidman, Boston's Dances Made to Order-June 2012 with Jimena Bermejo and Mariela Cerda, and Experiment America at the Institute of Contemporary Art with Mikael Garver. She will teach Movement for Actors at Boston Conservatory for fall 2013. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Dance, and a M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She enjoys writing, singing, traveling, and spending time with her partner Erich and daughter Elena.

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