March 28, 2011

Peabody Dance presents ‘Live Guitars, Percussion and a Dash of Hip-Hop’

Meredith Rainey Photo: Martin O'Connor

Seven works choreographed by Peabody Dance artistic director Carol Bartlett and faculty members Meredith Rainey and Laura Dolid will be premiered on April 2 and 3 at Peabody Dance’s 2011 Choreography Showcase, Live Guitars, Percussion and a Dash of Hip-Hop.

Seventeen of the most accomplished students from Peabody Dance, the time-honored dance department of the Peabody Preparatory, will perform with guest artists Christine Buttorff, a former member of the Nashville Ballet, and Rainey, a former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist who directs his own Philadelphia-based company, Carbon Dance Theatre.

Rainey’s major new work for this year’s Choreography Showcase, set to Michael Nyman’s String Quartet No. 2, is a four-movement contemporary ballet in which he and Buttorff perform a pas de deux. With Dolid, he has choreographed a suite of dances set to three solo piano movements by Francis Poulenc. His third work is a restaging of a solo dance, Caged, which Buttorff will perform.

The four new works by Bartlett, who produces the annual Choreography Showcase, maximize the musical resources and unique opportunities for collaboration offered by the Peabody Conservatory.

Student percussionists Kei Maeda, Terrence Sweeney and Georgi Videnov will perform for Mantra, choreographed to Avalokitesvara’s Hand, a composition written by Grammy nominee Angel Lam, a Peabody Conservatory alumna.

Mantra is the focal point for creative partnership in this year’s showcase,” Bartlett said. “Angel’s piece creates a musical tai chi for the percussionists’ hands, and the choreography is inspired by this icon of compassion and the contemplative atmosphere in which mantras are intoned.”

In complete contrast, Bartlett has reached out to the conservatory’s renowned Classical Guitar Department to present a new arrangement of Wayne Siegal’s East L.A. Phase, a minimalist piece containing sections of improvisation. Five guitar students—Eric McCullough, Christopher Moy, Krystin O’Mara, Cassidy Payne and Young Ik Jang—will create a “cityscape” atmosphere for Bartlett’s choreography, danced by four students.

Bartlett’s third work will feature hip-hop virtuoso Logan Paschall, a second-year student in the Estelle Dennis/Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys and a freshman at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and Irina Randrianarivelo, a student at the Bryn Mawr School. The theme, in an experimental juxtaposition of genres, is “ballet meets hip-hop.” The smorgasbord of contemporary styles will be rounded off with a dance by Bartlett set to reggae music.

The two performances of Live Guitars, Percussion and a Dash of Hip-Hop will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, in Peabody’s Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children under 18 and students with ID. For tickets, call the Peabody Box Office at 410-234-4800.

Now in its 97th year, Peabody Dance is believed to be the oldest dance training program in the United States.

For more information about the Choreography Showcase and the performers, go to