One of the dance students performing. Photo courtesy

Queensborough Community College’s Dance Program presents a program of dance May 11th!  The concert features QCC dance students performing choreography by Jennifer Archibald, Robert Battle,  Aviva Geismar, and Kevin McEwen along with work by promising student choreographers. 

Who:               Queensborough Community College Dance Program

When:             Saturday, May 11th, 2019 at 8:00 pm

Where:             Manhattan Movement Arts Center, 248 W 60th St., New York, New York 10023

“Line Up” by Jennifer Archibald

Line Up was directed and choreographed by Jennifer Archibald for Queensborough Community College with the support of the CUNY Dance Initiative Residency. The work investigates how racial disparities in advantage translate into racial disparities in firearm violence victimization. How can we treat the epidemic of firearm violence?

The QCC students performed “Line Up» at the Northeast Regional American College Dance Association Conference where they were selected to perform in the gala.

Strapped” by Robert Battle

«Strapped» was choreographed by Robert Battle on the University of Richmond in 2008. In the Fall of 2012, it was restaged at the Ailey School with a new original score by Carl Landa, Director of Music for Dance at Skidmore College. It is an abstract piece which uses repetition to create an intense environment. The compact and angular movements of the piece create tension in the dancers bodies and the chaotic spatial patterns create tension between the dancer’s. The piece is driven by the rhythms and the changing time signatures and tempos of the score. The combination of commanding movement and dynamic music gives the piece a charge of thrilling energy.

Erika Pujic, former Battleworks Dance Company principal and rehearsal director has set Battle’s “Strapped”.  This year marks the 11th year QCC dance students have performed Robert Battle’s choreography!  It is a tremendous honor!

“Cabin Pressure” by Aviva Geismar

The dancers in Aviva Geismar’s “Cabin Pressure” are vibrating with tension. Set to Jonah Parzen-Johnson’s wailing score for baritone sax and analog synthesizer, the dance portrays a community drowning in anxiety and self-destructive impulses.

“Nkosoi Sikelel’í Afrika – God Bless Africa” by Kevin McEwen

“Nkosoi Sikelel’í Afrika – God Bless Africa” takes us through a journey of the African Diaspora, showing the connections between cultures past, present, and future. Nkosoi Sikelel’i Afrika – God Bless Africa is a hymn originally composed by Enoch Sontonga, a Xhosa clergyman at a Methodist mission school near Johannesburg, South Africa. The song became a pan-African liberation song and versions of it were later adopted as the national anthems of five states in Africa including Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia and Zimbabwe after independence. Our choreography takes that name as our dancers take you on a journey through the African Diaspora.

Jennifer Archibald is the founder and Artistic Director of the Arch Dance Company and Program Director of ArchCore40 Dance Intensives.  She is a graduate of The Alvin Ailey School and the Maggie Flanigan Acting Conservatory where she studied the Meisner Technique.   Archibald has choreographed for the Atlanta Ballet, Ailey II, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Kansas City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and worked commercially for Tommy Hilfiger, NIKE and MAC Cosmetics as well as chart-listed singers and actors. She was recently appointed as the first female Resident Choreographer in Cincinnati Ballet’s 40-year history.

Robert Battle became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011 after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958.  A frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and at The Ailey School.

Aviva Geismar is the Artistic Director of the contemporary dance company, Drastic Action and an Assistant Professor at QCC. Her dances have been performed in numerous national and international venues throughout the US and Germany including Dance Theater Workshop, Dance New Amsterdam, Haus der Berliner Festspiel, Willhelma Theater (Stuttgart) and Studio 303 (Montreal). Drastic Action will perform on “Take Root” at Green Space Studio in Long Island City in January 2020 on a shared program with Nicole McClam. The company will also be teaching a series of creative dance workshops at The Door in Soho in fall 2019. www.Drasticaction.org

A native of Brooklyn New York, Kevin McEwen is the Founder and Artistic Director of Kofago Dance Ensemble, based in Jamaica, New York. A graduate of the NYU’s Dance Education Graduate Program, His dance focus is in traditional West African dance techniques from the countries of Mali and Senegal. Kevin is also versed in Afro Cuban, Haitian Folkloric, and various Modern/Contemporary techniques. He is currently the African dance instructor for the Gloria Eve School of the Performing Arts, and a Professor of Dance at Queensborough Community College.

Tickets:           $15.00/students and seniors $10.00.  Tickets are available at http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1858659/