Vermont Performance Lab's events coincide with the dance festival

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BRATTLEBORO — Vermont Performance Lab hosts its third annual Open Lab event on Saturday and Sunday, July15 and 16, in Brattleboro, to coincide with the Southern Vermont Dance Festival.

Events are scheduled at 3 p.m. at the Arts Barn at Hilltop Montessori at 99 Stafford Farm Hill, and are free and open to the public.

The Open Lab weekend features emerging local and international dance artists from Vermont, Maine and western Mass., Lithuania, England and Quebec. VPL has expanded the Open Lab to two festive afternoons that will include free and informal performances, opportunities to meet and talk with the artists and socialize with neighbors and dance aficionados.

For Saturday VPL has organized a beer garden featuring Vermont craft brews from Whetstone Station and Halyard Brewing.

The shared program on Saturday will feature "B + B Dialogue," by Lithuanian choreographers Greta Grineviciute and Agniete Lisikinait and Florence Rice Hitchcock and "The Theory of Soft Earth" by Massachusetts-based choreographer Sara Smith and performer Candice Salyers. Sunday's programs will feature two works-in-process "Voice and Vessel," by Hanna Satterlee (Vermont) and Delaney McDonough (Maine) alongside "No Nationalism," by Ellen Furey (Quebec) and Malik Nashad Sharpe (UK). Open Lab showings are free and open to the public; no advance reservations needed.

In addition, on Thursday, Hanna Satterlee will offer "Voice and Vessel Creative Process Workshop" as part of the Southern Vermont Dance Festival; information and registration can be found at southernvermontdancefestival.com. Advance registration for the workshop is recommended.

"We are excited to move the Open Lab to Brattleboro to coincide with the Southern Vermont Dance Festival to add to the dance offerings for local audiences," said VPL Director Sara Coffey. "The artists working in VPL's Open Lab this summer are raising important questions about our times from a range of perspectives that reflect the diversity and concerns of contemporary dance and performance artists."

Sara Smith is an interdisciplinary choreographer and librarian based in Greenfield, Mass., whose art making traverses dance, visual art, writing, and historical research. In a close collaboration with dancer/choreographer Candice Salyers, she has developed her latest piece, "Florence Rice Hitchcock and the Theory of Soft Earth," a multimedia performance with animation and mock documentary to explore ideas and the interconnectedness and indeterminacy through the story of a 19th century geologist (Florence Rice Hitchcock) who has visions of 20th century science. "Florence's theory of the Soft Earth" relate to Smith's own questions and feelings about connections between climate change, social justice, and human responsibility. Smith is interested in the ways that understanding a historically rooted path to our current moment can enable people to imagine hopeful futures built in collaboration across communities.

Greta Grineviciute and Agniete Lisikinait are the Lithuanian choreographic duo and creative minds behind "B + B Dialogue." Grineviciute and Lisikinait discovered B and B in Ireland — two girls from Lithuania who like to dance, sing, and travel and spread love all over the world. Grineviciute and Lisikinait have been capturing the adventures of B and B as they travel and meet new people in various cities and towns throughout the world.

Choreographer/performer Hanna Satterlee, of Burlington, was selected as VPL's 2017 SEED artist. Satterlee has teamed up with sound and movement artists Delaney McDonough (Maine) and Hanna and Caitlin Scholl (Maine) to create "Voice and Vessel." This interdisciplinary dance-based trio will seek to discover their relationship to action/ reaction, silence and sound and create a moving tableau that uncovers how we visually/ sonically/physically voice and express in different ways, and how we each uniquely carry information in the vessels of our minds and bodies.

Montreal-based Ellen Furey comes to southern Vermont through a dance residency exchange between VPL and Studio 303 in Montreal. Together with Malik Nashad Sharpe (London/ NYC), they will work on the beginnings of a new duet "No Nationalism." The artists' research comes out of the desire to aestheticize pluralityin- practice by fiercely rebuking insurgent nationalism.

It is an attempt to detail both the affect and the effects of neoliberalism, as well as to address the artists' longing for multiculturalist futures. "No Nationalism" will premiere at Theatre La Chapelle in Montreal and at the Hackney Showroom in London in Spring 2018.

VPL's 2017 Open Lab is made possible with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Vermont Community Foundation along with VPL's Community Engagement Circle Supporters: A.L. Tyler, David Ross Builder, Rockingham Arts and Museum Project, Silver Forest, and Wayne Corse Excavating.

VPL is a Guilford-based non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting artists in the creation and development of new work in the performing arts and bringing high quality performance experiences to rural Vermont communities. Since 2006 VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to elementary classrooms in Marlboro and Guilford, to youth in Brattleboro and Bellows Falls through partnerships with Youth Services and the Windham County Regional Career Center Program and various community halls, outdoor sites and theaters including the Broad Brook Grange, the Marlboro Town House, the Bellows Falls Opera House, Marlboro College, Next Stage Arts, New England Youth Theater and Vermont Shepherd Farmtonameafew.Last year VPL's community and education programs served more than 1,500 students, families, young professionals and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences.


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