For the eighth year in a row, the New Jersey dance company Nimbus will be returning to The Putney School, bringing excerpts from new dance pieces, acclaimed repertory, and a multi-day residency to the students of Putney and the greater community. Their weeklong residency is from Feb. 24 to March 2 and culminates in a performance in Calder Hall on Friday, March 1 at 7:30 pm.
Nimbus’ company dancers serve as teaching artists in the residency program with The Putney School students. Students partake in master classes, engage with the professional dancers, and participate in Nimbus’ signature work Memo, choreographed by Artistic Director Samuel Pott.
Premiered in 2006, Memo is an ongoing collaboration with dancers and community members to explore personal memories as movement sources and will be featured at the March 1 performance. Students will be led in generating movement vocabulary from personal histories, and the choreographic sequences created by the students will be interwoven into the company choreography.
Just as an oral history features individuals’ narratives, Memo similarly explores personal narratives through movement, utilizing dance as documentation. Memo will draw on audience participation in real time as well, with audiences contributing written memories of their own that are integrated into the piece. This innovative creative process and deep connection with the community is a hallmark of Nimbus’ work, using dance to elucidate and express both communal and personal histories.
“Nimbus’ annual performances at the Putney School over the last 8 years have been a source of creative inspiration for Nimbus as we use the time at Putney to develop new work, explore new ideas, and showcase previews of works-in-development before their premiere in New York City. It has been truly fruitful to spend time in Vermont in a like-minded, creative setting like the Putney School,” says Samuel Pott.
The March 1 performance also includes excerpts from a much-anticipated world premiere collaboration between Mr. Pott and Grammy-nominated Timothy Eriksen (Cold Mountain, Academy Awards), who is an active “Putney Parent.” Eriksen’s been called “one of the best singers in music” by T-Bone Burnette, and brings a distinctive sound grounded in the roots tradition of sacred harp singing and early Appalachian folk – earthy, incessant, and guttural.
Nimbus also features excerpts from The After Party, a new piece by Dawn Marie Bazemore (Philadelphia-based performer, choreographer, and dance educator, formerly with Philadanco). Vibrant, quick, and spirited, The After Party pays honor to jazz legends Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson. With intricate musicality and vivacity, Ms. Bazemore explores intertwined relationships, dynamics, and joy of movement in this ode to jazz. Ms. Bazemore’s soulful choreography has been hailed as “robust” (Dance Informa) and “theatrical” (The Dance Journal). She has been awarded the Helen Tamiris Award for Excellence in Dance and the 2018 ACHI Magazine Inc. Trailblazer of the Year award.
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Nimbus’ mission is to create and present innovative dance by bringing together top-tier dancers, choreographers, and collaborators in a dynamic, creative environment and delivering that work to diverse communities. Founded in 2005 by Samuel Pott and based in Jersey City, New Jersey, Nimbus has been at the forefront of excellence in the arts, community engagement, and impact, successfully interweaving Company, School, and Presenting wings. With a repertory of over 25 works, the Company performs on tour nationally and in Jersey City, impacting more than 16,000 people each year. Community engagement initiatives serve over 3,000 children annually through in-school, movement-based programs. The School of Nimbus holds 45 classes throughout the week and also offers the Junior Youth Ensemble, Nimbus Youth Ensemble, and the Pre-Professional Program.