About Work in Progress: Concourse

Concourse, created by choreographers Barbie Diewald and Shakia Barron, is a dance project that extends the duet form.  Barron and Diewald facilitate a live dialogue in performance, joined by their mentors and emerging artists who are former students. Bringing vision and legacy into conversation at the level of the body, this confluence creates an intergenerational community of inquiry, and affirms that mentorship is multidirectional: we glean as much from our mentees as from our mentors.  Concourse celebrates the feedback loops that occur when we collapse the distinctions between self, student, teacher, and material. The work will premiere at Mount Holyoke College in September 2022.

 

Shakia Barron is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator whose work is rooted in the African Diaspora, focusing on Hip-Hop, House and other African diasporic dance forms. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Mount Holyoke College. She graduated with her MFA in Choreography at Wilson College, she holds an Associate’s degree in dance and psychology from Dean College, a Bachelor’s in liberal arts from Westfield State University, and she received the National Dance Institute’s teaching artist certificate in 2009. She graduated with her MFA in Choreography at Wilson College, she holds an Associate’s degree in dance and psychology from Dean College, a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Westfield State University, and she received the National Dance Institute’s teaching artist certificate in 2009. Her other dance training includes the Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and Pioneer Valley’s Performing Arts Charter School.

Barron has choreographed and directed more than 50 Hip-Hop, modern, African and lyrical works that have been performed at Trenton Educational Dance Institute, Rider University, the Princeton School of Ballet, Bates Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow. She has performed for numerous Hip-Hop events and has opened for concerts by Fat Joe, Jadakiss, 112, Charlie Baltimore, and Kima from “Total” and Omarion. In 2005, she choreographed a Hip-Hop number for the Celtics/NBA half-time show. Barron has toured nationally and internationally, dancing with Face Da Phlave Entertainment and Illstyle and Peace Productions. And recently, she made a guest appearance with Rennie Harris PureMovement. Her recent work titled “Concourse” was performed at Jacobs Pillow in October 2021.

As a dance educator, Barron spent four years teaching at the Bates Dance Festival and taught community classes at Jacob’s Pillow. Barron is a DEL faculty member who has facilitated multiple professional Development workshops around the integration of Hip-Hip dance and history in the curriculum. Her work titled “Our House” was selected to be performed for Community Day at Jacob’s Pillow in 2019. Barron was also the 2019 Arthur Levitt Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College. Prior to joining Mount Holyoke College Dance Department as a full-time tenure track faculty, she served as an adjunct at UMASS Amherst, Smith, Amherst and Connecticut colleges.

 

Originally from Illinois, Barbie Diewald (she/her) is a choreographer and educator committed to creating the conditions for her students to activate their agency and deepen their research.  She is Assistant Professor of Dance at Mount Holyoke College and Artistic Director of Barbie Diewald Choreography. She is a 2018 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Choreography and 2021 NEFA New Work New England Grant Recipient. Her dances have been presented in New York at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), the 92nd Street Y, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, University Settlement (Performance Mix Festival), The Center for Performance Research, The Chocolate Factory, and The Kitchen, and regionally at the Academy of Music Theatre, A.P.E Gallery, The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, and 33 Hawley Street.  Diewald has developed her work through residencies at Jacob’s Pillow, the Bogliasco Foundation, The Iron Factory, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Cleveland School for the Arts, Ponderosa, and Silo at Kirkland Farm. She has recently performed in the work of Katie Martin, Kate Seethaler, Karinne Keithley Syers, and Sara Smith, and is currently in process with Shakia Barron, developing “Concourse” in collaboration with Five College Dance alumnae. Her academic research focuses on considering embodiment, queerness, and disability as companions in anatomical study. Diewald holds a BFA in Theatre from Millikin University and MFA in Dance from Smith College.

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