February 25, 2002
Rockhopper Dance celebrates five years with new concert
by Carolyn Butler
Special to the Valley View
DUVALL On March 2, at 7:30 p.m., dance collective Rockhopper Dance celebrates its fifth birthday with a concert of new works and repertory favorites in "Taking Stock," as part of the Duvall Arts Commission's Arts Onstage performing arts series at Cedarcrest Performing Arts Center.
Rockhopper made its grand debut in February 1997 at the Walla Walla Festival of Dance and has built a strong following in the Pacific Northwest with their signature style of dance that ranges from lyrical movement to raw athleticism to broad theatricality, all informed by an ever-present appreciation of pop culture.
Since October 2001 Rockhopper has been working with longtime Seattle choreographer Wade Madsen on a new commission. The result is "Pub," a 20 minute dance/theater piece that blends Madsen's unique choreography with Rockhopper's exuberant performance. "Pub" began as an exploration of social drinking in different eras of the last century, and developed into an abstract, character-driven work that manages to be engagingly subtle and over-the-top at the same time.
Sharing the bill will be Rockhopper's first commissioned work, "Near Miss," created for the group in 1998-99 by founding D-9 member and Velocity Co-Director Michele Miller.
"Near Miss" is a highly physical quintet weaving intimate duets and trios into explosive group movement, and features an original score by Seattle composer Lance Morgan.
Filling out the concert will be three works by Rockhopper company members: "xy," a 1998 work by Jenny Gerber examining the not-so-subtle bonds of male friendship; selections from "Are We There Yet?," a suite of dances exploring the evolution of the American family by Matt Mulkerin and Jana Hill; and "Between," a new work created by Camin Bell blending classical partnering and precision with contemporary momentum and release.
Tickets for "Taking Stock" are available at Gardens & SunSpaces, Pumps and Grinds and Duvall Books in Duvall or Simply Grand in Carnation. Prices are $9 for adults, $6 for students and seniors and free admission for children under five. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount. To request a brochure, call (425) 788-2983 or (425) 844-8516.
Arts Onstage is presented by the Duvall Arts Commission with support from the King County Performance Network and community business partners. All performances take place at Cedarcrest Performing Arts Center, 29000 NE 150th Street, Duvall.
For a map and driving directions to Cedarcrest Performing Arts Center, visit www.cityofduvall.com/dac.