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Center for The Arts




Contact: Anya Backlund, Interim Press & Marketing Manager
Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University
283 Washington Terrace
Middletown, CT
860-685-2806 abacklund@wesleyan.edu

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts and Dance Department Presents
New York-based artist alliance ZviDance
Friday, September 14 & Saturday, September 15 performances to feature Connecticut premiere of the work "Zoom" (2010)

Middletown, Conn., August 31, 2012—The 13th annual Breaking Ground Dance Series presented by Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Dance Department opens with two performances by the New York-based artist alliance ZviDance, featuring the Connecticut premiere of the work "Zoom" on Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 8pm in the CFA Theater, located at 271 Washington Terrace on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown. "Zoom" was created by ZviDance’s Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner, the company’s eight dancers, video designer Tal Yarden, composer Scott Killan and lighting designer Mark London.

There will be a pre-performance talk with ZviDance Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner on Friday, September 14 at 7:30pm in CFA Hall, located at 287 Washington Terrace.

Set on ZviDance’s lyrical and idiosyncratic dancers, “Zoom” uses dance, music, cell phones, video projection and real-time web to explore the evolving landscape of virtual communities.

In “Zoom” the audience is encouraged to leave their cell phone on, allowing them to “misbehave” by subverting the typical theater performance setting in which that is prohibited. In fact, the audience is invited to participate in the visual design by taking pictures during the performance, and then e-mailing the photos or texting to the visual designer, who uses the photos and texts in the real-time video collages being projected on the stage. The projected “crowd sourced” content sparks a series of improvisatory dance and musical codes Zvi Gotheiner and Scott Killan have set on the dancers.

A project conceived by long-time collaborators Mr. Gotheiner and Mr, Killan, with noted video designer Tal Yarden, “Zoom” reflects on the way technology proliferates all elements of human life, how handheld devices have become a driving force for interactivity, and simultaneously, how these devices can create a sense of alienation. “Zoom” explores how distinguishing between reality and fantasy becomes increasingly difficult in a world saturated with representations. Reflecting on the process of memory, “Zoom” projects photographs and videos from the recent past into the present in a performance environment, whereby the audience finds itself in a radically different relationship to the art-making on the other side of the foot-lights.

The world premiere of "Zoom" took place at Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, April 8-11, 2010. The initial idea for “Zoom” came from the site-specific work “Alice’s Way” (2008), which was performed at the Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island, and during which the company dancers captured each other’s movement outdoors by a river with Polaroid photos that were then hung on a tree in the garden. Mr Gotheiner compares “Zoom” to “the artistic experience of being on Facebook: blurring the clear identity of who is the artist and who is the spectator, giving the audience the capacity to contribute to the creative process.”

The performances of "Zoom" at Wesleyan are made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Admission for the performance of "Zoom" by ZviDance is $23 for the general public; $19 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, and non-Wesleyan students; and $6 for Wesleyan students. Tickets are available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa, by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University”, and all major credit cards. Groups of ten or more may receive a discount – please call (860) 685-3355 for details. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges.

About ZviDance

Now in its 22nd season, ZviDance, a company comprised of athletic and lyrical dancers, blends contemporary aesthetics with lush, full-bodied movement. A world-class dance company, ZviDance exists to share with audiences the choreographic vision and movement vocabulary of Israeli-born Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner. Each piece defines a unique set of relationships and experiences, boldly addressing the depths of the human experience.

ZviDance has received critical praise and prestigious grants for its artistic pursuits. The company performs frequently at home in New York City at venues such as the Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors. Acting as a cultural ambassador for the city, ZviDance has toured across North America to festivals such as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and The American Dance Festival, and abroad to Germany, Poland, Russia, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Japan.

In addition to concert presentations, ZviDance engages in site-specific work that has been performed at a variety of locations such as Governors’ Island, Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island, the Angel Orensanz Foundation and the garden paths of Wave Hill.

For more information about ZviDance, please visit http://www.zvidance.com/.

About Zvi Gotheiner

Born and raised in Mesilot, a kibbutz in northern Israel rooted in communal living, Zvi Gotheiner arrived in New York City on a dance scholarship from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation. Born to Polish parents who emigrated to Israel during the rise of national socialism across Europe, Mr. Gotheiner’s work contains a distinct blend of influences ranging from European Expressionism to New York City-based postmodern dance, intertwining concept- and movement-based performance into his signature movement vocabulary. Each work by Mr. Gotheiner engages in pressing themes of contemporary relevance while maintaining a universal reach. Recently, Mr. Gotheiner’s work has been focused on contemporary communities, mental patterning and the human condition.

Zvi Gotheiner began his artistic career as a gifted violinist with the Young Kibbutzim Orchestra, where he attained the rank of soloist and Concertmaster at age 15. He began dancing at 17, and soon after formed his first performance group. After arriving in New York, Zvi went on to dance with the Joyce Trisler Dance Company, Feld Ballets/NY and the Bat-Sheva Dance Company. After directing Tamar Ramle and the Jerusalem Tamar Dance Companies in Israel and the Israeli Chamber Dance Company in New York, he founded ZviDance.

About the Breaking Ground Dance Series

The Breaking Ground Dance Series at the Center for the Arts features cutting-edge choreography, world-renowned companies, and companies pushing the boundaries of the art form, and is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts is the only dance presenter in Connecticut to receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts dance program. This season's performances include the New England premieres of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Nora Chipaumire’s “visible” (October 6, 2012) and Gallim Dance’s “Mama Call” (February 8 & 9, 2013).

Past companies from the U.S. and abroad that have been featured on the Breaking Ground Dance Series include Bebe Miller Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Cathy Weis Projects, Chunky Move, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Compagnie TcheTche, Compagnie Vincent Mantsoe, Dance - The Spirit of Cambodia, David Dorfman & Dan Froot, David Dorfman Dance, Delfos Contemporary Dance, Doug Varone & Dancers, Jane Comfort & Company, Joe Goode Performance Group, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Mark Haim & Bill Shannon/Crutchmaster, Morgan Thorson & Company, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Rubberbandance, Sean Curran & Company, Stephen Petronio Dance Group, STREB, Susan Marshall & Company, Tere O’Connor Dance, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Urban Bush Women & Compagnie Jant-Bi, and Viver Brasil.

About the Performing Arts Series

The Performing Arts Series at the Center for the Arts brings a wide array of world-class musicians, cutting-edge choreography, and groundbreaking theater performances and discussions to Wesleyan University. This season's performances include the New England premieres of “Voices of Afghanistan” (September 28, 2012) and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Nora Chipaumire’s “visible” (October 6, 2012); the electric guitar quartet Dither (November 16, 2012); the New England premieres of “Music at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello” (February 1, 2013) and Gallim Dance’s “Mama Call” (February 8 & 9, 2013); the 14th annual DanceMasters Weekend Showcase Performance (March 9, 2013); and Hugh Masekela (April 19, 2013) . For more information, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

Save 15% when you buy tickets to four or more Performing Arts Series events. Call or visit the Wesleyan University Box Office at (860) 685-3355 to take advantage of these discounts.

About the Dance Department

The Dance Department at Wesleyan is a contemporary program with a global perspective. The curriculum, faculty research and pedagogy all center on the relationships between theory and practice, embodied learning, and the potential dance making has to be a catalyst for social change. Within that rigorous context, students encounter a diversity of approaches to making, practicing and analyzing dance in an intimate learning atmosphere. The program embraces classical forms from Ballet, Bharata Natyam, Javanese, and Ghanaian, to experimental practices that fuse tradition and experimentation into new, contemporary forms.

For more information about the Dance Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/dance.

About the Center for the Arts

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts is an eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus that houses the departments of art and art history, dance, film studies, music, and theater. Opened in 1973, the CFA serves as a cultural center for the region, the state and New England. The Center includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 414-seat Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Center for Creative Research, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford and New Haven Advocates, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

For more information about Center for the Arts performances and events, please call (860) 685-3355, or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

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Photo courtesy of Jeff Busby.