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July 7, 2003

Doug Hamby Dance Performs at Dance Place

Fluid and languid, Aaron Jackson and Chip Scuderi slide, tumble, and splash their way across the silent room, following UMBC dance professor Doug Hamby's choreography. In Edgewater Park, these two talented dancers bring to life rides in an amusement park -- water slides, roller coasters and carousels. Carefully recorded and mixed, the images of the two men are woven together to create very different perspectives of the freefall and motion that accompanies each ride.

A curtain separates the dancers from the audience, who will watch the performance on a projection screen placed in the middle of the stage. Only patches of fabric removed from the curtain panels let the audience know that the dance is being performed live. Videographer Nick Prevas intertwines Jackson and Scuderi's movements on the large screen, at times fading one in and the other out, and other times capturing one moment of the two together and freezing it.

On July 19 and 20, Doug Hamby Dance will perform its annual concert at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. In addition to the premiere of Edgewater Park, the program includes the premiere of the memory-based Vial and the Washington, DC premiere of Short'nin Bread Variations, about a three-year old boy's kitchen mischief. Also on the program are the World Cup Soccer-inspired Opus `98; Interplay; and Women at Work.

Hamby is excited about all of the pieces scheduled to be performed, but Edgewater Park makes the eyes of this charismatic and talented dancer/choreographer burn a little brighter. "Technology is a conduit used to manipulate the perception of the audience," he remarks. "They see the dance through the eyes of the mixer." In this piece, Hamby is collaborating with UMBC visual arts professor Tim Nohe. "The challenging thing about collaboration is that you don't realize how much control you've relinquished."

Women at Work, a dance Hamby created in 1983, interprets a short story by D.H. Lawrence about fighting sexual harassment in the workplace. This is a piece featuring Emily Gibbs, Ali Linthicum, Allyson Gebken, and Margaret Terry, and is designed to show the empowerment of women. Dancing to frantic music, frenzied and rushed, yet languorous and smooth at the same time, these women are evocative, sensual and completely in control.

"A dance to me is a celebration," Hamby says, "and this is definitely a celebration."

Tickets are $18 general admission, $14 for Dance Place members, seniors, students and artists, and $6 for children and teens (17 and under). The concert begins at 8 p.m., on the 19th, and 7 p.m., on the 20th. Dance Place is located at 3225 8th Street N.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets may be purchased through the Dance Place box office at (202) 269-1600 or online at

- Jennifer Leigh Gibson

Posted by dwinds1 at July 7, 2003 12:00 AM