Cambridge Tab/Chronicle © 2002
June 11, 2002


By SUSIE DAVIDSON
ARTS CORRESPONDENT


“Arts organizer unites dance scene with Web list ”




Dance aficionados now have a resource that aims to choreograph area performances and organizations into electronic efficiency.

Longtime dance presence and genre-bending arts collaborator Kelley Donovan has launched a list-serv at [email protected], which will reference local events for the dance performance community. The venture was greatly needed, she believes.

" Quite often, " she said, " smaller dance companies produce excellent programs, but do not receive the publicity that larger organizations do. Since the demise of Dance Umbrella in Boston, there are only a few organizations presenting dance, and so it is getting harder to find out about dance events in the Boston area. "

Donovan, who has choreographed locally since 1990, formed Kelley Donovan & Dancers in 1997. She has performed with Peanut Butter and Jelly Dance Company, a dance group geared to schoolchildren, and, in the PB&J, Blackstone Community, Longfellow and other community dance schools, has taught creative movement to 3- and 4-year-olds.

She studied choreography with Mark Morris, Bessie Schönberg and Deborah Jowitt, and received the Eisenhardt Dance Award in 1988 and 1989 for her work as a Bradford College student choreographer.

At Bradford, she received a bachelor’s degree in creative arts focusing on dance and choreography in 1989. She was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of Boston Dance Alliance. Her productions incorporate original music, often in collaboration with poets, composers and visual artists, at colleges, festivals, and concert venues. She has performed in works including those of Boston choreographers Laura Knott, Marcus Schulkind and Amy Spencer and Richard Colton and she creates contemporary, yet historically reflective, dance presentations which draw upon experiential themes like metamorphosis and growth.

Venues which have produced her choreography have included Mass. College of Art, The Artist Foundation, Out of the Blue Gallery, Actors Workshop, Mobius, Open Faucett Productions and The Federal Reserve Bank.

Donovan has shown work at the Zeitgeist Gallery, The Federal Reserve Bank, The Middle East, Mobius, The Dance Complex, The Actors Workshop, Green Street Studios, MIT, the Mass. College of Art, Bradford College and other local schools.

" Metamorphosis, " an evening of contemporary dance about healing and transformation, was her company’s first full evening program, and was performed at Green Street Studios in Cambridge. Her acclaimed " Fragile Connections " was a sensory collage of sculpture, video and original music.

Recently, as part of the Emerald Necklace Project, she performed in Franklin Park with choreographer Ann Carlson in " Any Day Now. " Her efforts also include " Green " at the Dance Complex, and " A Midwife’s Tale, " about the life of midwife and healer Martha Ballard, a member of her great grandmother’s family.

In 1994 she was an artist in residence with the Abydos Movement Collaborative and The Artist Foundation at the State Transportation Building, where she put on lunchtime performances and created " Pressing for Passage, " a full evening-length collaborative dance work made specifically for the Transportation Building.

The Web list is exceedingly local. " There are 25 organizations currently posting their events, " she said. " Eighteen of them are based in Cambridge. The list includes Cambridge-based dance companies, dance organizations and individual choreographers. "

Those on the list include Cambridge’s Green Street Studios, Out of the Blue Gallery and World Music. Cantabridgian choreographers include Kate Digby, Daniel McCusker, Nicole Bindler, Jody Weber and Rebecca Rice. The city’s dance companies are many: Kelley Donovan & Dancers, Outside Art Collective, Ego Art, Snappydance, The Moving Lab, Navarasa (Indian) Dance Theater Presents, Carol Somers Dance, Royal Jelly Collective, Chidance Productions, Silimbo D’Adeane West African Dance and Drum Troupe, FlipSide Dance Theatre, The Zeitgeist Gallery and YogaDance, to name several. This summer, Green Street Studios, at 185 Green St. in Central Square, will host Thursday evening showings as well as many dance events, including an " Open Floor " on the first Sunday of the month at 7 p.m. " This is a workshop for choreographers, " says the studios’ Jody Weber, " who wants to show work and get feedback. Musicians are welcome as well. "

A June 14 and 15 fundraiser concert will feature live music by the Nanette Perrotte Combo and new choreography by founding Studio directors Marcus Schulkind and Cheri Opperman; Donovan will be holding auditions there on June 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. For information, call 617-864-3191, or visit http://web.mit.edu/kdonovan/www/.


A Review of "Changing Skin" in October 2002

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