LSM Newswire

Thursday, March 12, 2009

PSO Presents a Tribute to Dance, April 4-5

PSO Pops! Presents Dance! Dance! Dance! April 4-5

Concert is part of the first national food drive sponsored by America's symphony orchestras

PORTLAND, Maine Music Director Robert Moody leads the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO), guest ensemble Neos Dance Theatre and tap dancer Fred Strickler in a dynamic PSO POPS! tribute to dance and dancers through the ages. Two performances of Dance! Dance! Dance! will be staged at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street in Portland, Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, April 5 at 2:30 p.m.

Dance! Dance! Dance! leads audiences through a tribute to dance and dancers throughout the ages, from the charlestons and foxtrots of Twentiana, to the razzle-dazzle of A Chorus Line. Along the way there will be a Tap Dance Concerto, showcasing the musicianship of the art of tap (composer Morton Gould notated all the rhythms for the dancer in the same way he would for a drummer), the "Hoe-Down" from Aaron Copland's classic American ballet Rodeo, music from Babes in Arms and My Fair Lady, plus plenty of fancy footwork, leaps, lifts, and more.

Led by Artistic Director Robert Wesner, the dancers of Neos Dance Theatre have performed all over the United States and abroad. Firmly centered in classical ballet technique, the Neos dancers have a modern versatility and sense of the eclectic in dance that allows them to move easily through the ages and styles of dance in a single show. Referring to the Neos dancers as "young and energetic," the Cleveland Plain Dealer said, "Ķthey pull the audience into their performance with bright personalities, warm rapport and a palpable love of dance." Neos Dance Theatre has collaborated for over a decade with maestro Robert Moody for various symphony orchestra programs.

Having danced and choreographed since 1961 for film, television, musical theatre and the concert stage, Fred Strickler is a virtuoso tap dance artist acclaimed by audiences and critics for his originality and musicality. Equally at home in classical, jazz and modern styles, in his tap dances he revels in the complex interactions of rhythm, sound and movement. Mr. Strickler is the Artistic Director for Fred Strickler & Friends New Ideas on Tap, which focuses on innovations in tap dance choreography and often includes nationally known guest dancers and musicians. In addition to his own dancing and choreography career, he is also a Professor of Dance at the University of California, Riverside, where he has taught since 1967.

During the Dance! Dance! Dance! performances, volunteers will be in the lobby of Merrill Auditorium collecting non-perishable food donations through the PSO's participation in Orchestras Feeding America, the first national food drive sponsored by America's symphony orchestras, inspired by the soon-to-be-released film The Soloist. All food collected will be donated to Preble Street. For more information, visit portlandsymphony.com.

Sponsored by MPX/Maine Printing Company and The Portland Press Herald, the Saturday evening concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $17-$62 and are sold through PortTix at (207) 842-0800 or www.porttix.com. New this year, the website offers real-time online seat selection. Phone and internet orders are subject to $5-per-ticket handling fees. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office at 20 Myrtle St., Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. For complete season information, including artist biographies and program notes, visit www.portlandsymphony.com.

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