The ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance
Season Announced at Williams College
By: Randal Fippinger - Sep 05, 2019
The ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance unveiled its fourteenth season of diverse and challenging theatre and dance programming for the Williams College community and beyond.
This season, the ’62 Center will host theatre and dance performances showcasing the brilliant work of student artists and professional companies alike. As a vital gathering place of people and ideas, the Center offers us the space to regard and reconsider that which evades immediate comprehension, most critically one another.
The visiting artist CenterSeries brings professional artists to campus for residencies that culminate in performances at the ’62 Center. The mission of the series is to connect performance and scholarship, with an eye towards engaging the broadest spectrum of academic disciplines. The integrated programming events that surround each CenterSeries production—panel discussions, guest lectures, film screenings, master classes, and other residency activities—offer multiple points of entry to students and the community at large.
The Series kicks off with the return of Dancers from New York City Ballet. One of the foremost dance companies in the world, New York City Ballet hosts a roster of spectacular dancers and an unparalleled repertory. Works by Justin Peck, Lauren Lovette, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins will be presented on Friday, October 18th exploring a "legacy through the repertory." (www.nycballet.com)
Also returning to Williams is the SITI Company. Founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki, SITI set out to redefine and revitalize contemporary theater in the United States through an emphasis on international cultural exchange and collaboration. The company will perform a “spellbinding modern update” of The Bacchae by Aaron Poochigian, on Saturday, November 2nd (Los Angeles Times). The Greek classic finds a new life in the hands of Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. The Bacchae reorients the tragedy of King Pentheus and Dionysus as a vividly contemporary showdown between patriarchy and gender anarchy. (www.siti.org)
PHILADANCO! will perform mix repertory on Saturday, February 22nd. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in the 2019–2020 season, PHILADANCO!, founded by Joan Myers Brown, has since its inception been committed to the preservation of African-American dance traditions and opening of professional doors to Black dancers. Brown received the 2012 National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama, who cited Brown for carving out “an artistic haven for African American dancers and choreographers to innovate, create, and share their unique visions with the national and global dance communities.” (www.philadanco.org)
Rounding out the CenterSeries is James & Jerome's INK: A Piece for Museums performed Thursday through Saturday, April 16th to 18th, at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA). A new show for museums and theater spaces alike, INK is an art lecture, live personal essay, and concert performed in conversation with a museum collection. James + Jerome perform an original live score as they respond to artworks from around the world, transforming the traditional art lecture into a unique theatrical experience that compels us to practice close-reading of images that defy immediate comprehension. Together, they guide us through a reflection on calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts, on music and silence, and on Jerome’s intimate relationship to the spoken and written word. (www.jamesandjerome.org)
The CenterSeries performances are made possible by the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Endowment for the Arts and the Lipp Family Fund for Performing Artists.
The '62 Center's Off-CenterSeries will present New England Dance on Tour on December 6th. New England Dance on Tour is a special collaborative with the support of the New England Foundation of the Arts Expeditions Grant designed to support New England's dance artists. The performance will showcase a broad spectrum of work from the Davis Sisters, Subject:Matter, and Crossroads Dance.
The Williams College Theatre Department begins its season with a performance encapsulating the intensive work of the STUDIO‘62 summer program in Outer Space, Outer Time on Friday and Saturday, September 27th and 28th. From movement to dance, the independent student projects feature devised, contemporary, and established work, including original student plays. Filling all technical and artistic roles, the company members investigate storytelling across a myriad of performance mediums, genres, and experiences.
On Thursday, November 7th through Saturday, November 9th, Purple Valley Plays returns as a biennial student-led festival with new plays by Williams students and alumni. Taking charge in all technical and artistic positions, students will be mentored by the Festival Artistic Director Robert Baker-White to bring each production to life. Celebrating one of Williams’ most renowned playwrights for his 90th birthday, Sondheim @ 90 @ Williams is a festival Friday through Sunday, March 6th through 8th featuring work by the Department of Theatre, Cap & Bells, and the Department of Music. Inspired by Sondheim’s legacy not only in the world of the arts, but as an alum of the college, the performances will pay tribute to his indelible impact on performance.
The celebration presents a new play by Ilya Khodosh '08, directed by faculty member Omar Sangare, that investigates the fabric of the college’s history and narratives, both idealized and genuine. Set during Sondheim’s time at the university as an undergraduate student, Khodosh explores the pivotal moments shaping the ever-evolving narrative of the college, defining the mythology of its past and present. Throughout the season, three seniors will be working on Honors Projects that encapsulate their time at Williams. Each independent piece will be specific to the styles, knowledge, and experience the artist brings to the table, presented in April and May.
The Williams College Dance Department offers students ways to investigate embodied knowledge and to develop multiple perspectives by studying individuals and communities. Students collaborate with faculty and peers and have access to world-renowned artists via residencies, workshops, field trips, and performances. We believe dance has the potential to expand the individual, build community, and provide a platform for activism and social engagement.
The Department's four ensembles continue to excite and challenge with a new original works presentation on Friday & Saturday, November 22nd & 23rd, Pachedu. Pachedu means “among ourselves,” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe. This year, the Department continues their tradition of offering a family friendly (F)all shared concert, with dance and music in diverse genres, created by students, faculty, and guest artists. Each ensemble will present a full spring production examining the ideas first explored in Pachedu.
The performances continue with a Valentines concert, the Zambezi Dance Party! directed by Tendai Muparutsa on Friday & Saturday, February 14th & 15th. All are invited to dance it up and feel the heat blazing! Bring yourself, bring a friend, bring the family to listen and dance to the amazing music. Inspired by traditional Zimbabwean music as well as contemporary African styles, Zambezi’s chromatic marimbas are hybrids, combining tempered tuning with a rich and buzzy African tone. CoDa (Contemporary Dance Ensemble) is dedicated to the continued development of dance on campus and the larger community by fostering collaboration across artistic and academic disciplines. Directors Erica Dankmeyer and Janine Parker strive to educate and inspire through the creation and performance of repertoire and new work.
The spring performances on Friday & Saturday, April 10th & 11th will highlight new works which are the culmination of the company’s year of training and creative process. This year includes an exciting collaboration with the Williams College Percussion Ensemble (WiPE), directed by Matthew Gold. Each spring concert is completely unique, encompassing new faculty creations; other works can include reconstructions of historic works, guest artist choreography, and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Kusika and the Zambezi Marimba Band will join forces on Friday & Saturday, April 24th and 25th. Under the direction of Sandra L. Burton and Tendai Muparutsa they will revisit dance and music from the Caribbean that is rooted in Afro Cuban, Orisha and Afro Puerto Rican folklore. They will consider the movement, sound and visual practices that gave birth to diasporic citizenship, healing and innovation. Our collaborators this year include Kusika alumnae Arif Smith, Mayda del Valle’01, Robert Michelin’03, Jason Lucas’02 and our spring concert invites the community to join us for a manifestation of spirit and legacy.
Rounding out the is the Sankofa Spring performance on Friday & Saturday, May 8th & 9th. Drill Sergeants Evette Eweka and Dong Joo Lee will showcase the amazing hard work and creativity of the student choreographers. Centered around a unique theme, our spring show will incorporate everything from pop music, spoken word, break dancing, and gymnastics. Making for a loud, high energy, and incredibly exciting performance.
This is just a taste of what to expect this season as this award-winning building throws its arms wide open to the arts on campus and the Berkshires. A complete calendar follows, and for tickets, prices and additional information, please call (413) 597-2425 or visit 62center.williams.edu
All shows, unless otherwise noted, are at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance located at 1000 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267
- STUDIO’62: "Outer Space, Outer Time" Works from the 2019 Season
o September 27 & 27, CenterStage, 7:30 PM, Free
- A Legacy Through the Repertory: Dancers from the New York City Ballet
o October 18, MainStage, 8 PM, $10/$3 (students)
- SITI Company: The Bacchae
o November 2, MainStage, 8 PM, $10/$3 (students)
o November 7-9, CenterStage, 5 PM & 7:30 PM, $3
- Pachedu (All Ensembles) Performance
o November 22 & 23, MainStage, 8 PM, $3
o December 6, MainStage, 8 PM, Free
- PHILADANCO! Mixed Repertory
o February 22, MainStage, 8 PM, $10/$3 (students)
o March 6-8, Adams Memorial Theatre, 7:30 PM, $3
o April 10 & 11, MainStage, 8 PM, $3
- James & Jerome INK: a Piece for Museums
o April16-18, Williams College Museum of Art, 8 PM, $10/$3 (students)
o April 17 & 18, Directing Studio, 7:30 PM, Free
o April 24 & 25, Directing Studio, 7:30 PM, Free
o April 24 & 25, MainStage, 8 PM, $3
o May 1 & 2, Directing Studio, 7:30 PM, Free
o May 8 & 9, MainStage, 8 PM, $3