FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 11, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Missy Pfohl Smith
Email: [email protected]
Elemental Forces Redux at the new Theater @ Innovation Square
BIODANCE/Missy Pfohl Smith, W. Michelle Harris and Dave Rivello/Dave Rivello Ensemble collaborate for the 2022 Rochester Fringe Festival!
ROCHESTER, NY— Choreographer Missy Pfohl Smith, director of BIODANCE, media artist W. Michelle Harris, and the Dave Rivello Ensemble return to the Rochester Fringe Festival again with a new version of Elemental Forces, created for the 2021 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. The same artistic collaboration who produced the sold-out phenomenons Anomaly, Labyrinth and Aria, are thrilled to once again join one of Rochester’s favorite jazz-inspired bands, the Dave Rivello Ensemble led by Eastman faculty member Dave Rivello. The newly realized version, Elemental Forces Redux, is a live and in-person, family friendly show (kids 12 and under are free) featuring 12 musicians, 11 dancers and media projection that together create an interwoven tapestry of dance, sound, and media inspired by the catastrophic climate change now catapulting beyond human control.
The metaphor of climate catastrophe as it parallels rising human-to-human conflicts in our world are explored, but we look to humanity for a future with hope. Elemental Forces Redux will feature music composed by Dave Rivello, and will include the premiere of poetic dance narratives created by Missy Pfohl Smith, sharing stories of places that once existed. The choreography and imagery considers the fragility of our earth in the face of climate change, a concern that the 2019 The Fragile Corridor also explored.
Missy Pfohl Smith, who also directs the University of Rochester’s Institute for the Performing Arts and Program of Dance and Movement, shares her excitement about this new project, “The making and performing of dance has become more challenging than ever, with interruptions in rehearsal processes and the residuals of the pandemic still very much at the forefront. I am incredibly proud of these artists for their dedication and can’t wait for audiences to see their hearts and souls revealed in this work.” Smith and W. Michelle Harris, an Associate Professor of Interactive Games and Media at Rochester Institute for Technology, are no strangers to large scale multi-media collaborations in The Fringe. Their 2018 Fringe premiere was called “an absolute masterpiece” by Rochester City News.
There will be only two performances of Elemental Forces Redux, and there is plenty of space to distance in the huge Theater at Innovation Square (131 Chestnut St. Rochester, NY 14604). Show are Thuesday, September 13 at 8pm and Saturday, September 17 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $15 General Admission, $10 for Students with ID, and Free for Children 12 and Under, available at https://rochesterfringe.com/tickets-and-shows/biodance-elemental-forces-redux
BIODANCE website: www.biodance.org, Phone: (585)-201-1002
BIODANCE Social Media: facebook.com/BIODANCE1 and Twitter: @BIODANCE1
NOTE TO MEDIA: Interviews and photos are available upon request.
BIODANCE is a Rochester-based repertory dance company under the direction of Missy Pfohl Smith, who also directs the University of Rochester Institute for the Performing Arts and the Program of Dance and Movement. BIODANCE collaborates with multi-disciplinary artists, such as W. Michelle Harris, an Associate Professor in Interactive Games and Media at RIT. Established in Rochester over 15 years also, BIODANCE works with some of the area’s top dance artists and collaborators, and has a focus on community-based work, offering many free and low-cost performances to neighborhoods across the city. It’s long-term history offering dance experiences to older adults at Community Place in Beechwood happily continues. Visit Biodance.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram.
Missy Pfohl Smith (Artistic Director/Choreographer/Performer) is the founder and Artistic Director of BIODANCE, a non-profit contemporary dance company based in Rochester, and the Director of the University of Rochester Institute for the Performing Arts and the Program of Dance and Movement. Smith enjoys collaborating with multi-disciplinary artists in music, visual art, sculpture, film and technology. She was selected for City News’ “The Rochester 10: Rochesterians doing great things behind the scenes” in 2015. BIODANCE’s Anomaly, in collaboration with Sound ExChange and media artist W. Michelle Harris at the Strasenburgh Planetarium, won a 2013 Best of Fringe Festival award for Best Use of Venue and enjoyed another sold-out run in 2016. To follow up, Smith and Harris co-conceived a new work for the Planetarium in 2017 titled Labyrinth, which sold out its shows playing to over 1000 audience members and critical acclaim. In 2018, they were proud to collaborate with soprano Kearstin Piper Brown in an acclaimed production entitled Aria at the majestic Lyric Theater, for which critics said “Every bit of the performance was an absolute masterpiece.” In 2019, the duo collaborated with Michael Burritt and the Eastman Percussion Ensemble to premiere The Fragile Corridor, again selling out at the Planetarium. Based in NYC for 12 years, Smith performed and toured with Randy James Dance Works as a founding company member from 1993-2003, with Paul Mosley from 1997-2004, and with Philippa Kaye Company. She also worked as an apprentice for the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. Missy has performed and taught across the U.S. and in Greece, Finland, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia & Japan. Missy earned her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and her BS from SUNY Brockport and she has recently developed various new courses including a community-engaged course called Dance and Interdependent Community in the UR Program of Dance. She has received various grants from The New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature, administered by the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester and Genesee Valley Arts Council. Smith and/or BIODANCE have also received support from Ames Amzalak Charitable Foundation, The Max and Marian Farash Foundation, the Rochester Community Foundation, Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Center for Teaching and Learning, among others. www.biodance.org
W. Michelle Harris (Media Artist) is a media artist and a New Media professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is also a member of Rochester’s WOC Art Collective. Her video installation work (solo and collaborative) has been shown at such diverse venues as the ACM SIGGRAPH, World Maker Faire, and INST-INT, as well as regional venues such as Gallery 74, Community Folk Art Center, Schwienfurth Memorial, and Squeaky Wheel. She has done live-mixed visuals for performances in collaboration with Juanita Suarez, fivebyfive, Dave Rivello, Reenah Golden, Sound ExChange orchestra, and most prolifically, BIODANCE. Michelle has been an ongoing collaborator with Missy Pfohl Smith and BIODANCE since 2013. She received her BS from Carnegie Mellon University, and a MPS from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (where she had the honor of interning with Troika Ranch).
The Dave Rivello Ensemble was formed in 1993 by composer/conductor Dave Rivello as a vehicle for his original work and is celebrating 25 years as a band in Rochester, New York. The 12-piece ensemble includes a standard jazz rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) three reed players and six brass (including flugelhorn and tuba). The scope of Rivello’s music encompasses the jazz tradition and modern classical music, creating a unique blend of improvised and notated music. Rivello’s compositions have been referred to as ‘dreaming in color’. In addition to having held a steady gig for more than fourteen years, they have performed at Saint Peter’s church in New York City, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, performed with Bob Brookmeyer, Rich Perry and Dick Oatts, held a week long residency at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady New York, performed at Cornell University, Alfred University, the Monroe Community College Jazz Festival, the Coudersport Fine Arts Festival, perform an annual concert in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, have appeared several times on the Bop Shop record store’s concert series, and WGMC’s ‘Meet The Artist’ series. The ensemble includes some of the best musicians in Rochester, and is continuing to be more in demand for festivals and clinics. Their debut recording, Facing The Mirror, received strong praise from reviewers in the United States, Italy and Ireland. The Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll chose Facing The Mirror as the Debut release of that year. Their second recording is in progress. Dave has recently launched a version of the band in New York City and a more electric version of the band called DRE | RED.
The Theater at Innovation Square is Rochester’s new center for Performing Arts and Community Engagement. Formerly known as Xerox Auditorium, The Theater has been a much-loved space in Rochester for generations and will come alive once again with programming for all ages and demographics. As we emerge from this world-wide pandemic, one that has impacted every aspect of our lives, we at Innovation Arts Management look forward to what is ahead. Arts throughout the world have been devastated, but together we can rebuild and breath new life into our Rochester Arts Community. Visit our Events page to see a comprehensive calendar of what’s happening at The Theater and Subscribe now to stay up to date with new additions. Come show your support for Rochester’s artistic organizations who have been courageously and tirelessly pronouncing “the show must go on!” To get in touch with us directly, please visit the Contact & Hours page, or email The Theater: [email protected]