Denison Alumna Molly Shanahan '90 Presents Mad Shak Dance Company
Date of Event: March 1, 2002
Posted: February 18, 2002
GRANVILLE - Denison alumna Molly Shanahan '90, artistic director and founder of the Chicago-based Mad Shak Dance Company, will return to campus next month as part of the Provost Alumni Scholar Series and as a Vail Artist-in-Residence. Shanahan and the Mad Shak dancers will present a concert titled "The Days of Pandora" at 8 p.m. on Friday (March 1) and Saturday (March 2) in the Doane Dance Center. The concert also features alumni Martha Mulligan '96 and Michael Estanich '95, who were both honored with President's Medals, the University's highest award. The concerts are sponsored by the Denison department of dance and the Provost Alumni Scholar Series and are free and open to the public. Seating is limited, please arrive early. For more information call (740) 587-6712 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mad Shak Dance Company
"The Days of Pandora" is a dynamic and abstract choreographic work that takes a purely symbolic look at the myth of Pandora (the young bride whose curiosity unleashed all the world's ills in one lapse of judgment) and extracts from it the core ideas of chaos and order, innocence and accountability, and community and the individual. The pacing of "The Days of Pandora" is relentless, which is why, Shanahan says, there is no intermission or pause to break up the hour long work, with athletic group sections folding into smaller duets and trios characterized by intricate gestural movement. The Chicago Reader describes the program as "a work with a strong emotional arc and lots of kinetic texture, but no story whatsoever." "The Days of Pandora" features an original score by Mad Shak founding member and composer Kevin O'Donnell, lighting design by Elizabeth McGeehan and body art by Maja Radovanovic.
Founded in 1994 by Shanahan, the Mad Shak Dance Company creates and presents highly physical, intricately crafted contemporary modern dance through the collaborative development of unique movement vocabulary, original music, and theatrical concepts that intellectually engage and entertain audiences. Recognized as one of the most prolific forces in Chicago dance, Shanahan and Mad Shak have premiered 40 dances, including six evening-length works, the majority featuring original music by O'Donnell. In August, the Company was invited to apply to, and subsequently was accepted into, the 8th Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis, an international modern dance choreography gathering sponsored by the French government. Since 1997 all of Mad Shak's concerts have been selected as The Chicago Reader's "Critic's Choice."
Shanahan's work has been seen in New York and Chicago and was commissioned by The Repertory Company, a professional dance company in Cleveland. Her work also has been hailed as "both intelligent and beguilingly lean," "articulate and engaging" and "full of fierce metaphors." Shanahan currently teaches at Northwestern and the University of Chicago.
Shanahan will teach in the Denison dance department over the course of her two week-long residency under the auspices of the Vail Artist-in-Residence program which brings outstanding artists to campus to work with students. In addition, Shanahan visited in November and selected, through a week-long audition process, five dance majors/minors who spent 10 days in Chicago over the winter break. While in Chicago, these students took class and rehearsed a new work that Shanahan choreographed for them during this time. This work, titled "Gentle Ironies, Forcefully Dealt," will be presented for an Honors Program Chowder Hour on Thursday (Feb. 28) and also in the April 18-20 spring dance concert.
A Mad Shak dancer since 1998, Mulligan graduated from Denison in 1996 with a triple major in dance, mathematics and education. She is co-founder of MOTIVITY: A Choreographers' Festival and has presented choreography with Estanich at Links Hall, The Dance Center and the Athenaeum Theatre. Mulligan currently teaches math and dance at Northside College Preparatory High School.
Estanich graduated from Denison in 1995 with a degree in dance and theatre. He has been dancing with Mad Shak since 1998, serves on the company's board of directors, and administers the company's programming and marketing efforts. He is a co-founder of MOTIVITY, with Mulligan, and presents work at various venues throughout the city. During the week, Estanich works in the accounting department at Frankel, a marketing and promotions agency.
For press inquiries:
- Barbara Stambaugh
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- Director, Media Relations
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- (740) 587-8575