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Press Release

Barbara Laskin


Macalester College Presents Dance Concert
“Faces of Madness”

November 30, 2009 - St. Paul, Minn. - Ten faculty, guest, and student choreographers probe the many faces of madness in Macalester College’s fall dance concert at the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Main Stage Theatre, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., December 11 and 12 and 2 p.m., December 13. For ticket information, call 651-696-6359.

Guest artist and noted choreographer Stuart Pimsler, co-director of the Twin Cities–based Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater company, has created a new work for the Macalester Dance Ensemble. Pimsler’s dance portrays a stirring protest that comments on a diverse range of contemporary issues. These eight dancers deliver powerful performances ranging from raw monologues to highly physical dance, driven by the music of experimental band Yeasayer.

The imagined inner lives of women in four iconic visual arts masterpieces, including the paintings of Degas and Picasso, are brought to life in visiting instructor Sharon Varosh’s Watched, Not Seen. Set to jazz, classical, and rock music, the piece explores how women are depicted on the surface without an understanding of what’s inside. Visiting instructor Wynn Fricke playfully explores the opposite states of mind/body and perhaps the shades of “madness” within each. A large box inhabits the space and dancers as they investigate inner versus outer, held versus released and hidden versus transparent. 

Macalester student choreographers also take very different approaches to the various faces of madness. Gwyneth Shanks, a senior from North Bend, Ore., juxtaposes photographs of Russian silent film actress Vera Kholodnaya with live performance. Themes of masculinity, consent, and intimacy are delved into by Stephanie Stoumbelis, a senior from Boxborough, Mass., while Susanna Hostetter, a senior from Chicago, utilizes the art of dance on camera to explore the gentle social deviance of dancing in public spaces.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement. For more information, visit