Choreographer Jeffrey Peterson has produced a powerful new dance concert, Men and Women are Created Unequal, and will present it with Gustavus colleague and choreographer Melissa Rolnick and a cast which includes a number of professional dancers along with current Gustavus students and alumni June 2-5 at Intermedia Arts on Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis. Fe/Male hypothesizes on gender through a choreographic exploration of power, intimacy and joy.
Building on the success of Thinkingaview, as performed to rave reviews and packed houses at the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival, choreographer Jeffrey Peterson is at it again, exploring gender in a deliberately revealing way. Working in collaboration with Melissa Rolnick, his colleague at Gustavus Adolphus College, Fe/Male presents three distinct dances, all originally choreographed for a single-gendered cast. Each of these works will be performed twice: once by an all-female cast, and once by an all-male cast,
separated by the concert’s intermission. As these three dances each explore different yet universal aspects of the human condition, including power, intimacy, and joy, Fe/Male seeks to uncover our preconceptions about the nature of gender and differences between men and women.
Commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam in New York City for their In The Company of Men series, Rouse (2007) explores sexuality, social psychology, and power through a wrestling-inspired movement vocabulary. Originally intended to dissect a male, homo-social environment, Rouse blurs the line between violence and intimacy, generating a sadomasochistic undercurrent. Rouse is set to the emotional, driving original score “Glass, Metal, and Wood” by local percussion guru Ryan Inselman (of GB Leighton fame).
“…the dancers’ bodies and moves [were] so breathtaking, it all sort of assaulted your senses and
seduced you from whatever angle you were willing to meet it. The yearning for connection was both
aural and visual, the one constantly reinforcing the other until you almost couldn’t bear it…”
– Matthew A. Everett, tcdailyplanet.com
Melissa Rolnick’s Soaring (2003) responds to her experiences working with female survivors of torture in the Phoenix Arizona Survivors of Torture (PAST) program from2002-4. Soaring weaves her experience with PAST into a solo that celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit.
Rolnick’s 2×2 (2011) investigates social dynamic power, manifested through constant maintenance of the double image. 2×2’s two couples work through an intention-filled, rhythmic movement vocabulary, offset by circular and interchangeable spatial patterns. The result is 2×2’s escalating tension, revealing the struggle for control and dominance between the two dancers of a couple as well as between couples. As 2×2 progresses, the double image maintains paramount importance, yet the couples become interchangeable, revealing new layers of meaning.
The talented cast of dancers in Fe/Male includes a number of current and former members of the Gustavus Dance Company: Katherine Arndt ’13, Taylor Cook ’11, Alyssa McGinty ’12, Emily Hassenstaab ’13, & Jordan Klitzke ’10, along with Bryan Gerber, Cade Holmseth, Heather Klopchin, Tamara Ober, Leslie O’Neill.
Performances for Fe/Male @ Intermedia Arts (2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis) run June 2 – 4, 8:00 p.m. and June 5 at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $14, general admission, $12 for Students and Seniors and will be available at the door or in advance by emailing Fe.MaleTickets@gmail.com.