Arturo Mariano, above, bases his choreography on the movement system Choreology.

New moves at UH

New choreography will be showcased this week at "Spring Footholds: Moving Images" at the University of Hawaii-Manoa's Earle Ernst Lab Theatre, where Master of Fine Arts candidate Nicole Pouliot and Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates Desmond Kane Balbin, Kelly Del Rosario, Arturo C. Mariano, Elizabeth Merida and Jacqueline Nii will display a convergence of movement, technology and original music.

"Spring Footholds: Moving Images"

Where: Earle Ernst Lab Theatre, Kennedy Theatre, University of Hawaii-Manoa

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (with post-show rap Friday), and 2 p.m. May 8

Tickets: $10 general; $8 seniors, military, UH faculty and staff, and non-UHM students; $3 UHM students with valid Spring 2005 UHM ID

Call: 956-7655

Pouliot will present two new works in partial completion of her thesis work. "Soul Scratchings" is a solo, danced by Pouliot, set to blues music. "Scape" features dance to an original musical composition by Minneapolis-based composer Will Fehlow.

"'Scape' is performed by seven dancers, and the piece is more abstract than narrative," Pouliot said. "Images suggested by the dance are ideas of a group journey, a tribe, a migration. ... Bodies are climbed upon and used to create a landscape that other dancers travel over and through until all the dancers collectively become a moving landscape.

"When I had the idea for this piece, I knew that I wanted to commission original music, and I immediately thought of Will ... who I have worked with in the past. Will and I met and became friends when I was an undergrad and he played percussion for some of the dance classes that I took.

"He played improvisationally for some work that I choreographed, so the 'Scape' project was obviously a lot different, as it's set work and we had to deal with the challenges of long-distance collaboration.

"The process was very challenging, but I am really thrilled with the final score. Will has an amazing range as a musician and creator, and I am incredibly impressed that he composed, played and recorded the entire score solo," Pouliot said.

His work will be featured in the dance program that also features pieces by, from left at top, Elizabeth Merida, Nicole Poulio, Jacqueline Nii, himself and Kelly Del Rosario.

THE REST of the program features "Skeletons in the Closet," a premiere work from Kamehameha Schools grad Balbin.

"My piece is based on the idea of revealing on stage some vices people have but like to hide. The idea is to give the audience a visual interpretation of the emotions that we go through when dealing with these issues, from initial temptation, to participation, to addiction, to backlash and to final decisions.

"In order for me to fully express my artistic intention, I now use multimedia technology in my dance pieces," Balbin said. "I believe that the integration of live performance and digital video, graphics and music brings to the stage something that couldn't exist if these two forms never intertwined.

"I like to think that the choreography, the dancers and the multimedia all exist on the same plane when it comes to performance time.

"Using digital video allows me to take the choreography to a new level. It allows me to fabricate movements I created by playing with velocity, juxtaposing images, adding special effects and arranging movement phrases in ways that may not be possible on stage. This is done through editing, transposing and applying plug-ins to raw footage. In addition to video footage, I also use images and text to convey my message."

"ENCOUNTERS," Merida's work, presents a small ensemble of dancers exploring physical aspects of human relationships. Accompanying the piece will be a new composition, performed live by a small group, led by writer and UH music student David Langfelder.

"My piece includes fun and slightly quirky physical encounters between strangers," Merida said. "The music is lively and percussive, featuring interlocking rhythmic patterns as well as didgeridoo."

Del Rosario, a graduate of Mililani High School, will premiere "Bodyprints." He said his choreography is heavily influenced by capoeira, a Brazilian martial art he has practiced for more than seven years. His piece deals themes such as slavery, rebellion, strength and energy. The Brazilian percussion band Sambanda, headed by Adam Baron, recorded the music for the piece.

Mariano, a graduate of Aiea High School, will premiere new choreography based on the concept of energy and how it can be transferred to a body in different forms. He takes inspiration from ideas explored in the movement analysis system known as Choreology.

Nii, a graduate of Mid-Pacific School of the Arts, will present "Cause of One," which premiered earlier this year at the ARTS at Marks Garage, a work that focuses on shapes, as well as action and reaction between bodies.

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