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 Gender Sterotying of Women Subject of Dance Faculty Performance in Pittsburgh 

 

SPOTLIGHT

Sept. 28, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854

GENDER STEREOTYPING OF WOMEN FOCUS OF OCT. 19-20 DANCE CONCERT IN PITTSBURGH

BY SRU DANCE FACULTY JENNIFER KELLER

               SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University dance faculty Jennifer Keller will perform “Political Reflex,” a dance concert addressing gender stereotyping, at 8 p.m. Oct. 19-20 in Pittsburgh’s Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.

              Keller, cited for excellence in the arts by Pittsburgh Magazine and a recipient of the President’s Award for Creative Achievement at SRU, choreographed much of the concert, which addresses issues pertaining to reproduction, emotional confinement, guilt and victimization.

Tickets are $12 general admission; $10 for students and those 62 or older. Tickets may be purchased at the Kelly-Strayhorn box office on the evenings of the performances, or in advance through ProArts Ticket Service at 412-384-3353 or at www.proartstickets.org.

 “Political Reflex” includes choreography and performances by Keller and guest professional dancers Dennis Birkes and Gwen Hunter Ritchie, with additional choreography provided by Jeanine Durning, Mary Reich, and David Grenke.

Keller, associate professor of dance at SRU since 1996, described “Absorb” as the most politically charged work in “Political Reflex.” One of several separate movements, “Absorb” takes place in a shallow pool of water to the accompaniment of a U.S. Senate roll call. Immersed ankle deep, Keller is both “woman and animal, victim of assault and baptized sinner.”

“Smooth Muscle,” a solo premiere for Keller, comes out of her harrowing experience with "magnesium," an intravenously administered drug used to stop pre-term labor.

 Keller and Ritchie take on gender stereotypes in their latest version of “Skin Deep,” their 2003 collaboration that uses video projection to superimpose text onto the body.  “Still Life Through Window,” choreographed by Durning and performed by Keller, features a solitary, confined woman, inspired by the paintings of Jan Vermeer.

Keller’s 2002 concert at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater was cited as one of the top 10 dance events for that year by the regional media. Pittsburgh Magazine named her the 2002 recipient of the "Harry Schwalb Excellence in the Arts Award."

Keller taught and performed extensively for Mark Taylor, dancing with his company in New York City (1988-1991) and the repertory company Dance Alloy of Pittsburgh (1992-1996) before accepting a position at SRU.

 The Kelly-Strayhorn Community Performing Arts Center is at 5941 Penn Ave.

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