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Northwestern Dance Program to Present New Work by Jaema Joy Berry

November 9, 2009 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The premiere of a work by emerging independent Chicago choreographer Jaema Joy Berry will be featured during three December performances presented by the Dance Program of Northwestern University's School of Communication.

Berry's program, "You Can't Dance Out the Side of Your Mouth," will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3; 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4; and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Ballroom Theater of the Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center, 10 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern's Evanston campus.

Berry, a Northwestern alumna, will showcase her sleek style of "visually-designed" modern dance with some jazz elements. She focuses on unfolding visual patterns, especially when working with larger groups -- a kind of visual call-and-response for the audience.

Quirky and nostalgic, Berry's newest work will explore family relationships and the easy connections made by small children. It will be performed by Berry and a small ensemble of contemporary, modern and tap dancers, including Northwestern Dance Program students and alumni.  

The 70-minute piece will be performed without an intermission. It is set to music from diverse sources, including French musician and composer Yann Tiersen's minimalist instrumental recordings; the ethereal sounds of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros; classical works by J.S. Bach; and an original composition by Chicago-based composer and Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center staff accompanist Daniel Green. Short recordings of everyday family life will be featured between each of the work's eight short segments.

To view choreographer Berry's artist profile and biography, visit See Chicago Dance at www.seechicagodance.com/company/223.

General seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Admission for the general public is $12 and $5 for students with valid IDs and senior citizens 65 and older. For tickets, call the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or purchase tickets in person at the box office, located in the lobby of the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

(Nathalie Rayter, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.)

Topics: Campus Life