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'Rumidance' Brings Poetry and Music Together November 18

November 12, 2006

fall-leaves.jpgNovember 12, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw University will celebrate the great Persian mystic poet Jellaludin Rumi on Saturday, November 18, with "Rumidance" in Moore Theatre. Actor/director John McManus will give voice to Rumi's poetic words, while accomplished modern dancer Robin Becker and cellist/drummer Eric Edberg, respond to the poetry. Free and open to the public, the 7:30 p.m. performance will blend the classical and contemporary, choreography and improvisation.

The audience is invited to live in the moment, as the Rumidance artists create a spontaneous performance that is truly "now", as they celebrate the contradictions, paradoxes, and mysteries of life.

Born in Chicago, dancer and choreographer Becker explores the relationship between our common human spirit and its physical expression, including connections between movement, healing and spirituality. Her studies in dance took her to New York City, withRobin Becker Rumidance.jpg a scholarship to the Martha Graham School. She was a principal dancer with the Eleo Pomare Dance Company from 1973 to 1983 and performed with the Martha Graham Ensemble, the Pearl Lang Dance Company, Ballet Etc., and Los Angeles Dance Theatre.

In 1987, Becker founded her own company, which has enjoyed critical success with engagements at premiere New York dance institutions that include the Joyce Theater's Altogether Different Series, the Harkness Dance Project's Playhouse 91 series, the Fiorello Festival, and three seasons at St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery. Her wide-ranging experiences as a choreographer include residencies at Southold Dance Theatre in South Bend, Indiana, and at The Yard, a colony for performing artists on Martha's Vineyard. In 1998, she was commissioned to create a new work, which was performed with Roberta Flack in a New York concert to benefit breast cancer research and awareness.

Becker's extensive training also includes bodywork, meditation practice, and continuum, an innovative field of movement education founded by Emilie Conrad and co-developed by Susan Harper. Becker is an authorized teacher of continuum, and weaves her foundation of classical dance training together with the ongoing inquiry and discovery of contemporary dance. She has served on the faculties of American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, The Fiorello Laguardia High School of Performing Arts in New York City, the Princeton Ballet Society, the Actor's Studio, Peridance Center, and the Stone-Camryn School of Ballet in Chicago. Currently she is on the faculty of Hofstra University and is an accredited teacher of the Martha Graham Technique.

John McManus grew up on a sheep and cattle ranch in the Australian Outback. After receiving training in speech and drama at the Harkness Studio in Sydney, he traveled to New York to study eurythmy (a modern art of movement). Since 1989 John has worked as an actor, director and teacher. Recent theater roles include Prospero in The Tempest, King Cymbeline in Cymbeline, Duncan in Macbeth (Shakespeare Alive!, Hudson, New York), The Snow Goose (solo performance) and Rumi With a View (Columbia Chamber Players). Currently, McManus teaches eurythmy at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School in Massachusetts. During the summer he directs productions for Shakespeare Alive!.

Founded in 1884, the DePauw University School of Music is one of the oldest in the nation and has an established tradition of educating leaders in virtually every facet of music, including performers, educators, composers and administrators. For additional information, click here or call (765) 658-4380.

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