FARMINGTON — Sonia Plumb Dance Company recently announced the premiere of two nights of modern dance entitled “Duos & Trios,” to be performed on the grounds of the historic Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, on Friday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. The performances will feature original choreography by Artistic Director Sonia Plumb, a corps of professional dancers, and highlights from the SPDC repertory, a new devised work to be viewed on the phone during the show, as well as a sneak peek of the company’s next full-length work, according to an email from organizers.
With pandemic restrictions quarantining many individuals by themselves, “Duos & Trios” summons the beauty of human interaction and interplay essential to our existence. Included in the program are works from previous SPDC performances such as “Too Close to the Light,” inspired by the work of Loie Fuller, a pioneer in theatrical stage lighting and dance; “Displaced,” an excerpt from the environmental work Water Wars (2012) with original music by local composer Cory Gabel; “Vitruvian Man/Woman” and “Elephants” from “The Dance of da Vinci 2.0,” which premiered this summer at Hill-Stead; and a first look at the work-in-progress, “Penelope’s Odyssey,” making its digital premiere in December 2020. The dance corps features Katie Garcia, JoJo Rodriguez, Olivia Passareili, and Andy Santana.
In addition to the aforementioned live pieces, “Duos & Trios” attendees will be given access during the evening to a devised work entitled “Touch” that will be viewed on audience phones. Plumb said, “‘Touch’ was created during Quarantine with London dancer Richard Pye; I was here in Connecticut and he was in London. The music is by Elinor Speirs from Cuatro Puntos. I was asked to dance with her during one of their quarantine sessions. She was in South Africa and I was holed up in my house. I then asked Richard to create his response. He edited it and our performances are shown on split screen. The idea came from the fact that we weren’t allowed to ‘touch’ anyone. I love the thought that our audience at Hill-Stead will be watching the performance separately on their phones, but at the same time.. We’ll be together in spirit, but physically distanced and separated.”
“Duos & Trios” is part of Hill-Stead’s new multicultural performing arts series “From the Porch,” a diverse and dynamic showcase featuring music, dance, theater, and more. Building on the success of Hill-Stead’s indoor events and nationally acclaimed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the inclusive programming will take place around the museum’s 152-acre campus. The experiential events will happen several nights per week and be open to audiences of all ages. Hill-Stead kicks off the inaugural series with a venerable celebration of the Year of the Woman to coincide with the centennial of women’s suffrage.
To ensure the safety of the audience and the performers, audience size will be limited with viewers socially distanced from each other and the performers. Plumb states, “We are excited to be able to dance together again. I’m even more thrilled to be outside this summer on the beautiful lawn of the Hill-Stead Museum. It has been a long quarantine and we are eager to be at the forefront of bringing live performance back to Connecticut audiences.”
Guests are invited to arrive early to explore the breathtaking grounds, enjoy the stunning architecture of Theodate Pope Riddle’s country estate, and descend into the house museum’s beloved sunken gardens. The perfectly-preserved home interiors — including one of the finest collections of Impressionist art and period furnishings — is only available to tour on a by-appointment basis. More information on the Hill-Stead Museum can be found at www.hillstead.org. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic or order beverages online through The Wise Old Dog .
Tickets for each performance are $30. Tickets can be purchased at www.SoniaPlumbDance.org. With limited seating for each performance, interested parties should purchase tickets as soon as possible. There is ample on-site, free parking. Hill-Stead Museum is located at 35 Mountain Road in Farmington, and can be found online at www.HillStead.org.