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Kerry Clawson, The Akron Beacon Journal  |  October 04, 2017

Koresh Dance plans free performance inspired by works in Akron Art Museum

Three Koresh Dance Company members came in advance of the rest of the troupe Friday to get started on creating three dances that are new, site-specific works inspired by artwork at the Akron Art Museum.

Dancers Joe Cotler, Micah Geyer and Melissa Rector toured the galleries Friday and all came away inspired by sculptures featured in the Haslinger Galleries, which displays late 20th century pop art. They next went to a Guzzetta Hall dance studio and quickly began choreographing dances in response to the artwork and gallery spaces that spoke to each of them.

On Thursday, Koresh will offer two free performances of the new works, whose working title is Negotiating Corners, at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. in several of the museum galleries. For each showing, a maximum of 40 guests will carry chairs from a short solo by Andrea Romesser in the lobby to more dance movements upstairs in different gallery rooms.

Thursday's event is the first time that DanceCleveland has partnered with the museum to present a site-specific dance.

Koresh, a contemporary dance company based in Philadelphia, performed a full program at E.J. Thomas Hall on Sunday afternoon to kick off DanceCleveland's mainstage season. The professional dancers are spending the week in residency with the University of Akron dance program.

The goal of the site-specific work is to blend the influence of visual art and contemporary dance movement. Geyer said it wasn't surprising that all three of the choreographers chose sculptures as their inspiration: "It's almost like a real moment in time,'' he said of the human figures that inspired each of them.

Geyer created his dance in response to a colorful, headless Gentleman Walking a Tightrope in the corner of one of the galleries, an imbalanced-looking 2006 work by Yinka Shonibare. He worked on a duet with Cotler that starts out with them doing crawling, hunched movement as well as some mirrored movements to the song The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack.

Geyer was looking forward to having audiences sit in a semicircle around a wood sculpture called rzeski at the opposite side of the gallery from the tightrope piece, with his duet being performed in between.

He and Cotler, who have worked together for nine years, were building the dance quickly as Rector, who was creating a trio, worked on her plans next to a piano in the studio. Rector, an original member of the company founded in 1991, was inspired by the 1970 sculpture Girl Sitting Against a Wall II, which sculptor George Segal made from wrapping plaster-soaked bandages around a living model.

Finally, Cotler demonstrated a solo phrase from his dance, which will be a trio inspired by the statue The World and the Woman, a 1992 glazed ceramic piece by Viola Frey. Cotler called the dance "improvish,'' inspired by the museum setting he had just seen.

In another fun partnership this week, Chill Ice Cream has created a flavor in honor of the company's founder and artistic director, Ronen "Roni" Koresh, called Rocky Roni, made with chocolate ice cream, honey roasted almonds, marshmallows and caramel. The Akron shop is at 30 N. High St. downtown.

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or kclawson@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or http://www.facebook.com/kclawsonabj.
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