UA dancers premiering work at Cincy Fringe Festival


Lianne Zydowicz and Whitney Szabos perform a piece choreographed by UA Assistant Professor Robin Prichard. Photo by Dale Dong

A professor, students and alumni from The University of Akron Dance Program have been invited to present an Ohio premiere during the Cincy Fringe Festival, June 1-3 in Cincinnati.

Performing as the Pas de Monkéy Dance Project, the UA dancers will present "Dances for a Recession" on June 1 at 7 p.m., June 2 at 2 p.m., and June 3 at 8 p.m. at Hanke 1, 1128 Main St., Cincinnati. Admission is $12. More information is available online about the Cincy Fringe Festival.

Choreographed by UA Assistant Professor Robin Prichard, "Dances for a Recession" consists of three pieces that premiered earlier in New York City, Miami and Sydney, Australia.

"In a recession," says Prichard, "dance should be intimate, cozy, conversational, and with a profound payoff to remind you that dance matters. No fluff, no frills and no additives — just dance that is stripped down to the magic and vigor of human bodies and human stories."

Exploring communication

The first piece in "Dances for a Recession" is "Learning to Listen," a duet performed by Prichard and Chelsea Hupalowsky, a May graduate of the UA Dance Program. Robust, high-intensity movements as well as subtle gestures explore the intimate terrain of communication. NY Theatre recently called the piece "both beautiful and fun to experience, and undeniably moving" as well as "the happiest surprise" of the American Living Room Festival.

"Duet for Three" explores the alienation a person inhabits when she feels superfluous or unnecessary in a relationship. Three UA dance students who graduated earlier this month will perform the piece: Erin Buck of Columbus, Chelsea Hupalowsky of North Royalton, and Ellyn Sjoquist of Illinois.

Featuring quirky text and nine UA dance students, "Cracks" was inspired by a Leonard Cohen quote: "Everything has a crack in it. That's how the light gets in." As Prichard explains, "This dance looks to the cracks in the surface, the rips in the fabric, and the fault lines in relationships as important moments of illumination and insight." The UA Dance Company also performed the piece as part of its concert this spring at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on the UA campus.

Artistry is highly praised

Often interdisciplinary and autobiographical, Prichard's choreography is "noted for its wit and vulnerability" (LA Weekly). Prichard has worked with Victoria Marks, David Rousseve, Donna Uchizono and Opera Australia, and has performed the works of Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris and Doris Humphrey. She choreographed and performed, via motion capture, for the interactive CD-ROM "American Idol."
In 2002 Prichard received a Fulbright Fellowship in choreography to develop a cross-cultural project between Aboriginal and contemporary dance. This year she received the Puffin Individual Artist Award.

Prichard joined the UA dance faculty in 2009. Learn more about The University of Akron Dance Program.

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or