a solo dance work to the music of J. S. Bach's "Goldberg Variations"
was no easy feat for renowned New York dancer/choreographer Mark
began as small studio pieces to please his friends, but fear of
being caught in the crossfire while walking through small gangs
of kids on the streets of New York prompted Haim to finish his unique
creation before it was too late.
80-minute work, broken into two parts of 30 solos in total, has
been performed worldwide and now comes to the stage at The University
of Southern Mississippi Feb. 1 in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center
Haim is actually
making a return visit to the Hattiesburg campus Jan. 30-Feb. 1 to
complete a residency he started in November 2002 with the university's
dance program. The residency, which also includes visits to Petal
Middle School and Hattiesburg High School, has been a multitiered
project that culminates with the dancer's public performance.
first visit, Haim created a new dance piece for the university's
Repertory Dance Company a work that will premiere during
the company's spring dance concert in April. He also gave seven
master classes for students of the dance program.
presented by Partners for the Arts, gives local audiences an opportunity
to see his acclaimed work. The performance will feature live accompaniment
by pianist André Gribou.
special performance will attract dance and music enthusiasts alike,"
said Dr. Mary Ann Stringer, dean of the College of the Arts. "It
is a unique marriage of talents by a modern choreographer and a
master of classical music and one you wouldn't expect. How
often do we have the opportunity to see' Bach's music through
Haim, a native
New Yorker, began studying the piano at 6 and attended the Manhattan
School of Music Preparatory Division. But, he was accepted into
and graduated from the dance division of the Juilliard School in
In an interview,
Haim said he was "a complete Bach nut." His early music
education, combined with his later dance career, seemed to move
Haim in a natural progression to create a dance work set to the
1742 published masterpiece.
Gribou, a respectable
composer, also is a graduate of Juilliard, as well as the Hartt
School of Music. He is the music director/associate professor in
the School of Dance at Ohio University.
Haim and Gribou
premiered the "Goldberg Variations" dance solo at the
American Dance Festival in 1997. Since then, the duo has performed
the work throughout the United States (including sold-out performances
at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.), Russia and the Seoul
Dance Festival in Korea.
More than one
critic has described Haim's performances of the Variations as "brilliant,"
"compelling" and "infinitely imaginative." Haim
has successfully translated the emotions that Bach exudes in the
music. Using few special effects, no props, and simple, yet elegant,
costumes, the dancer lets the music take the lead in winning his
between Haim and the Repertory Dance Company and dance program at
Southern Miss began many years ago, when many Southern Miss dance
students studied with him at festivals and conferences around the
been on the faculty of every major dance festival in the United
States, and his knowledge is vast in modern dance and ballet techniques,"
said Suzanne Stack Hirsch, a graduate of the Southern Miss dance
program and now the development officer for the College of the Arts.
"In July 2002, our dance program received a grant from the
Mississippi Arts Commission with support from Partners for the Arts
to bring Haim in for a two-part residency. The Southern Arts Federation
also awarded a regional touring grant in October (2002) to assist
with the project."
the 7:30 p.m. concert are $15 and $10 and may be purchased through
the Southern Miss Ticket Office. Call (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425
for tickets. Order online at www.tickets.usm.edu. Discount tickets
are available for school groups or 10 or more. Call 266-4161 for