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Arts Fest: Dance Production to Feature Undertones of Penn State Scandal

by on July 12, 2012 6:00 AM

The Pennsylvania Dance Theatre will be making its debut of “For the Hills Cannot Hold Back Our Sorrow Forever …” Thursday at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre.

The 60-minute performance is brand new from German-born choreographer Andre Koslowski, who has a track record for highlighting some of the most uncomfortable and unsettling subjects in his pieces. Koslowski, who is also the artistic director of the work, said that this particular performance will touch on power, status, cruelty and fear.

“It’s pretty dark,” he said. “The piece kind of explores different types of violence against others and against oneself.”

Koslowski said that while he worked on the performance for many months in advance, the audience may be able to relate the show’s message to current events.

“It’s kind of in response to what’s been going on in Centre County and the University,” he said. “It touches on abuse and what happens when people stand by and watch.”

Koslowski, along with eight members of the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre company and two participants from the State College community, will be included in the performance. The community members were incorporated in an effort to relay the message that the problems discussed and conveyed in the show are universal and can exist anywhere.

The set was designed to be “very dark and urban looking,” and the work will include “some dark humor” and influences from Koslowski’s background.

“My work is rooted in the tradition of German Dance Theater, so there will be some spoken word sections,” he said. “The boundaries between dance and theater will be blurred and explored.”

Admission is free for audience members who have an Arts Fest button, which are available at various vendors around State College, as well as at vendor booths at the festival. Parental discretion is advised because the work involves mature themes that may not be appropriate for smaller children.

The Pennsylvania Dance Theatre was formed in 1979 and since then has gained a reputation for its intense performances that are difficult as well as captivating.

The company has been featured on national and international stages and prides itself on performances and works that are the same caliber as those in New York or Berlin. Koslowski is hopeful that this particular work will soon be featured in Pittsburgh and eventually overseas to Europe.

Thursday at Arts Fest:

Allen Street Stage

  • Heritage Brass, 11:30 a.m.
  • Erin Condo and the Hoofties, 1:30 p.m.
  • The Insomniacs, 3:30 p.m.
  • Christine Havrilla & Gypsy Fuzz, 5 p.m.
  • JR and Natalie Band, 7 p.m.
  • Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats, 9 p.m.

Festival Shell Stage

  • Vinegar Creek Constituency, 2:30 p.m.
  • Keystone Society of Swing, 4:30 p.m.
  • Dirk Quinn Band, 6:30 p.m.
  • Primary Element, 9 p.m.

Sidney Friedman Park Stage

  • The Show Twirlers, 3 p.m.
  • Chris Mincer Suzuki Guitar Students, 4 p.m.
  • Jay Vonada Trio, 5:30 p.m.
  • Atlas Soundtrack, 7:30 p.m.
  • Flashback Forward, 9:30 p.m.

100 Block of South Allen Street

  • CPFA Silent Auction (Continues through Sunday), noon - 8 p.m.

State Theatre

  • Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, 8 p.m.

Schwab Auditorium

  • Comas, 8 p.m.

Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a student at Penn State and an intern for covering local news and events.
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