San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 24th, 2011
Merge Dance blends multicultural social political art with German influence



The Merge Dance Company, a touring student ensemble from Texas State University, presents student and faculty work at its concert “Merge and Emerge” this Thursday and Friday, March 3 and 4 and 7:30 p.m. in Evans Auditorium on the Texas State campus.

Ana Baer, assistant professor in the department of theater and dance and the director of “Merge and Emerge”, worked alongside many students, including Sarah Sanchez, a certification in dance junior. Sanchez and Baer choreographed her solo that represents the stereotypes and misunderstandings of Hispanic women.

“Merge is about our dancers bringing social and political issues to light in the form of dance,” Baer said. “There are many collaborated pieces choreographed between us and our students.”

“Merge and Emerge” features multimedia performances weaving social and political art with a sense of humor and clarity of aesthetic. The concert will feature the work of Michelle Nance, Shay Ishii, Kaysie Brown, Pat Stone, Ana Baer and  Tarek Assam.

Last fall, Tarek Assam, internationally-recognized choreographer from the German-based company Tanzcompangie Gissen, visited the Merge Company at Texas State during his residency from Oct. 11-16, 2010.

During his short week training the Merge dancers, the company rehearsed new dance numbers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekend.

“Assam was unfamiliar about dance education in the United States,” said Baer, who met Assam over five years ago while she was choreographing a piece for his company in Germany. “After a few rehearsals, however, the students understood Assam’s direction and broke out of their shells to contribute their own styles.”

The Merge Dance Company is a student modern dance company founded in spring 2009 at Texas State. The company members were selected by the Dance Faculty based on their artistic and academic accomplishments with the intention of recruiting populations who reflect Texas State’s multicultural goals.

Merge consists of Texas State University’s ethnically diverse dance students. The company is committed to presenting, on and off campus, multimedia performances with an aesthetic that weaves social/political art with quality entertainment. Merge and Emerge was funded by The City of San Marcos Arts Commission and the Merge Company is under the direction of Ana Baer and Pat Stone. For information, please visit the company’s website here.

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