Stony Brook’s Center of Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning held its Dance for a Dollar: Faculty Showing event on Thursday night, putting together a showcase for audiences to get a look at what the center has to offer. The event featured a collection of performances and lectures, and was the first of their “Dance for a Dollar” series.

“The Faculty Showing was generated to give students ‘a window into the world and work’ of their faculty. It is part of a larger series ‘Dance for a Dollar,’ where works in progress of faculty and students are presented to a public audience for feedback and response,” professor Amy Sullivan, director of the Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning, said. “So many times, we miss the opportunity for feedback before the work is completed.  Public audiences are part of the performance process. The ‘Dance for a Dollar’ Series allows us a chance to hear how people respond to the work before it is completed.”

Sullivan’s background in dance includes her body of work that has appeared at the International Festival of Dance and Community in Portugal, the American Choreographer’s Showcase in Mexico City, the Global Holistic Body in Seoul, John Drew Theater at Guild Hall in East Hampton, T. Schreiber Studio in NYC and International New Music Festivals.

According to the Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning’s official site, the program originated in 1987 as a few courses in the Department of Physical Education.

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The center itself was created in 2009, after developing an expansive curriculum to include classes from Tap Technique and History to Contemporary Dance, World Dance, Ballet Technique, Jazz Dance Technique, Dance Improvisation and much more.

Emily Beattie—who was recently hired as a full-time lecturer at the center—was ecstatic to take part in Thursday’s Faculty Showing.

“I am thrilled to come onboard this year at Stony Brook. I came here from touring with a dance company and making work in Cambridge, Massachusetts,” Beattie said. “Teaching here gives me a beautiful outlet to share the information and experience I have gotten through many years of dance and dance making.”

Beattie brought her own piece to the table—a dance and media performance dubbed “Shadowline”—on Thursday

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“This particular piece was a solo that used a Kinect camera and software to create a mirroring effect that I projected onto a screen behind me,” Sullivan said. “The work is about isolation and the strong desire to connect to another person. The black and white image of myself is interactive, so it moves with my movements. The presence of the abstract image is like having an onscreen partner.”

Some of the other performances at the event were “Her Veiled Reflections,” a piece that explored the secrets women conceal and carry with them, “Remnants of Flight,” an experimental piece performed by Sullivan and “Introduction to Zena Rommett Floor-Barre,” a style that is meant to effectively realign the body while strengthening muscles and exhibiting artistic expression.

As the name suggests, the event cost just one dollar to attend, making it an inexpensive view into the inner workings of the Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning. There will be a student showing on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

David Vertsberger

David also writes for ESPN's Truehoop Network and Hardwood Paroxysm.

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