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PS21 Closes Its 2018 Dance Festival with the Bang Group “Mouthful of Shoes”

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August 23, 2018 02:59 pm

CHATHAM — PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century continues its 2018 Chatham Dance Festival with the Bang Group, Friday and Saturday August 24 and 25. This charming, eclectic and highly entertaining dance company is dedicated to the love of rhythmic form. Performances will take place in PS21’s new state-of-the-art pavilion theater located at 2980 Route 66 in the town of Chatham.

“Having started my career in tap, I am drawn to rhythm and percussive dance. However, ours is far from a traditional tap dance show. At times in this new piece that we’ll be performing at PS21, ‘Mouthful of Shoes,’ the dancers are in bare feet, create body percussion, dance on pointe, are in velcro suits and dress shoes. They even sing,” said choreographer David Parker. In one dance, six dancers and violinist Pauline Kim Harris create music together in a piece composed by Dean Rosenthal. Other music includes pieces by Morton Feldman, Wolfgang Mozart, Steve Reich, and Igor Stravinsky.

“Percussive dance gives dancers a voice. The floor is the surface we play our instruments on and dancers making noise onstage is changing the idea of mute dancers who are to be seen but not heard. They can almost speak to each other through their rhythms, as well as play intricate musical scores,” he said.

Parker explained how dance can carry information about human relationships. “People are in synch, sharing beats, in counterpoint, out of synch, contradicting or agreeing, in the same groove or several at once. And all of this can be expressed through dance rhythm. Rhythm has the ability to bring out humor, and both relationships and humor rely on timing.”

That said, ‘Mouthful of Shoes’ is not a comic show. Humor arises naturally from the choreography. “We want to be entertaining, as well as thought provoking. This show combines elements of tap dancing with elements from music, theater, silent film, and life itself. Our show erases boundaries between music and dance, with the dancers making their own music through dancing itself,” Parker said.

“Versatile dancers play a suite of thorny modernist scores… with their feet and other body parts. It’s the choreographer David Parker’s latest venture in translating rhythms and dissonances into human behavior: tender emotions and low-comic shtick.” - The New Yorker

Tickets for the Bang Group: Mouthful of Shoes on Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25, at 8:00pm are $35 general admission, $30 for PS21 members, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at ps21chatham.org, by calling 1-800-838-3006, or at the door until the show sells out. For more information about this event or any other, please visit ps21chatham.org or call (518) 392-6121.

PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century is a not-for-profit organization in Chatham, NY, dedicated to the performing arts. PS21 seeks to serve a diverse community with concerts, programs and residencies by professional artists and ensembles, youth and children’s programming and cultural education opportunities for all ages.

The new black box theater is a flexible 40’x60’ performance space that is closed in the winter and seats up to 99. For this performance the east wall will be slide open, transforming the black box theater into the stage for the 300-seat open-air pavilion theater.

This performance is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by PS21’s generous members.