Yaa! Samar Dance Theatre stops in Middlebury

THE YAA! SAMAR Dance Theater will be coming to Middlebury for a residency Oct. 23-25. A master class will be held on Wednesday, a lecture demonstration on Thursday, and a final performance on Friday. All free and open to the public. Photo / Samar King

MIDDLEBURY — The mission of Yaa! Samar Dance Theatre (YSDT), based in New York City and Palestine, is to create invigorating performance and education programs that expand access to — and promote understanding through — the arts.  YSDT believes art should be liberating, transformative, and accessible to all. The company is committed to uniting diverse artists and audiences in the creative process.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m., company founder Samar Haddad King and Addison County native Zoe Rabinowitz will lead a Movement Matters master class designed to meet and challenge students wherever they are in their technical training and physical practice. Dancers are invited to inhabit their own bodies more fully and find new solutions for how to effectively communicate through performance. Class will be held at the Mahaney Arts Center, dance theater.

During a lecture demonstration on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 4:30 p.m., King and Rabinowitz share methods the company has developed to create art across physical and political barriers, and the impact of working with disenfranchised communities on creative projects. Based on their work between the U.S. and on both sides of the Green Line in Palestine for close to a decade, the presentation features video footage from the creative process, source materials, and performance excerpts, as well as an opportunity for discussion with the audience. “Redefining and Reclaiming Space in Conflict Zones” will be held in the Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room of the Rohatyn Center, 148 Hillcrest Road, Middlebury.

A culminating showing and discussion caps off the residency on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m., in the MAC dance theater. The program features veteran company members Yukari Osaka and Zoe Rabinowitz performing solo and duet excerpts from their most recent and forthcoming works — “Against a Hard Surface” and “Last Ward” — developed and performed in the Arab World and Europe.

All events are free and open to the public.

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