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Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak to Return to Northwestern

Contemporary dance ensemble to present encore performances June 2 to 5

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May 13, 2011 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Back by popular demand, the critically acclaimed Chicago-based contemporary dance ensemble Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak will present a reprise of “Sharks Before Drowning,” which premiered last December at Northwestern University.

The performances of “Sharks Before Drowning” will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 2; 8 p.m. Friday, June 3; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 4; and 8 p.m. Sunday, June 5. They are open to the public and will be held in the Ballroom Theatre in the Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center, 10 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus.

Presented by the School of Communication’s dance program and the Theatre Interpretation Center at Northwestern University, “Sharks Before Drowning” received critical and audience acclaim following its premiere. The work explores themes of ferocity and fragility, hunger and survival and the tension between the drive to succeed and the need to adapt to a shifting environment.

Directed by Shanahan, the dance will feature ensemble members Juli Farley, Benjamin Law, Jessie Marasa and Shanahan.

The ensemble piece is the latest installment of the dance company’s multi-year project,

“Stamina of Curiosity,” an undertaking of solo and ensemble movement research and multiple performance iterations. “Stamina of Curiosity” is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund project co-commissioned by Alverno Presents, Denison University and NPN. To view an excerpt, visit www.vimeo.com/14684593.

Shanahan has been creating dances in Chicago since 1994 when she formed her ensemble. Her dances have been performed throughout North America. Shanahan, who recently received The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Arts Achievement Award, is a 2008 recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in choreography. A lecturer in Northwestern’s dance program, she also teaches at the Lou Conte Dance Studio and conducts workshops and teaching residencies.

General seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $15 for Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for students with IDs and seniors 65 and older. For tickets, visit www.madshak.com/events. Tickets purchased at the door will be $22.