ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Modern Dance Comes to Grounds for Sculpture

Members of MM2 Modern Dance Company perform among artistic pieces at Grounds for Sculpture. Photo courtesy of Bill Hebert.

By Susan Wallner
State of the Arts

“Sculpture and dance have a lot in common,” points out Steven Weisz, artistic director of MM2 Modern Dance Company. “Both exist 360 degrees in space, and change depending on your angle.”

More than 10 years ago, Weisz was visiting Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton when it occurred to him that the two were a perfect match. MM2 Modern Dance Company will be performing Sunday, Aug. 18 at Grounds for Sculpture in what has become an ongoing collaboration — MM2 provides entertainment and variety, while Grounds for Sculpture provides an inspiring setting and receptive audiences.

When performing at Grounds for Sculpture, MM2 dancers usually work outdoors. They study the sculpture, sometimes even meeting the artists in advance. The dancers then create movements suggested by the sculptural forms, often drifting from one area of the park to another as viewers come and go. This Sunday, however, MM2 will be performing a full program in the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts, a performance space at the park. They’ll be staging a sneak preview of “THREE,” a collection of visual short stories that are each three minutes or less. The official premiere of the new piece will take place in September at the Philly Fringe Festival.

VIDEO:

“Take A Trip,” choreographed and performed by members of the MM2 Dance Company at Grounds for Sculpture on June 16, 2013

MM2 Modern Dance Company’s mission is to be an incubator for emerging dance artists. The dancers are all in college or very recent graduates, just starting out professionally. Not only does the company take them on tour (MM2 just returned from Italy), each dancer is also expected to choreograph new pieces for the company. There are nine current members of MM2 and each has created two short dances for “THREE,” for a total of 18 three-minute pieces.

“It will give the audience a chance to see multiple visions in a short time,” said Weisz. “If you don’t like one, chances are you’ll like the next.”

On Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m., MM2 Modern Dance Company will perform “THREE” in the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts, free with price of admission to Grounds for Sculpture.

Susan Wallner is an award-winning producer with PCK Media. She is a long-time contributor to State of the Arts, now airing on NJTV Sundays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays at 11:30 p.m.