Dance troupe Bodiography mixes and matches art forms in its annual showcase Multiplicity. | Dance | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Dance troupe Bodiography mixes and matches art forms in its annual showcase Multiplicity.

When it comes to Bodiography Contemporary Ballet's Multiplicity program, the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies.

Bodiography artistic director Maria Caruso says that for the ninth incarnation of this popular annual program, the company is sticking with the original formula of showcasing the choreographic talents of its company members, plus collaborations with artists in the community.

The 90-minute program, Nov. 6 and 7 at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, features nine dance works, three poetry readings and a performance-art piece, living up to the title that means "a large number or variety."

In past "Multiplicity" productions, the company has collaborated with local dance troupes like Zafira as well as with choirs and musicians. (In fact, on Fri., Nov. 5, at the Kelly-Strayhorn, Bodiography presents one such collaborator, Cello Fury, in a concert previewing the band's upcoming CD.)

This time around, poets from Autumn House Press and artist Philip Rostek do the honors. The poets will read between some of the dance works. Rostek appeared in last season's Heart (Function vs. Emotion) show, painting an improvisational portrait about his feelings about his heart transplant, which then inspired a dancer's movements. This time he'll team with Caruso for a performance about the pitfalls of creative passions.

Of the dance works on the program, company member Kirstie Corso describes her five-minute solo "Undercurrents," for fellow company member Amanda Fisher, as "depicting a moment in time when unresolved, unexplored or uncontrollable emotions wash over a person." It's set to music by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

"I wanted to explore more emotive and artistic aspects of myself," says Corso. "I [tend to] compartmentalize emotions until life forces me to confront them." 

Another work dealing with self-discovery is Meghan Dann's large ensemble piece "On a Sunny Day," set to a score by several world-music artists. The contemporary dance work touches on the perception, says Dann, that "when everything in your life seems to be going great, you hit unexpected obstacles you have to overcome." Dann says she was inspired by a brief rain shower that once spoiled an otherwise perfect sunny day.

For her 10-minute work "Intrinsic Resolve," Nicole Cerilli says she looked to her past and to a traumatic life experience involving a family member. Set to music by Yann Tiersen, it's a collection of four solos, one of which Cerilli created at the outset of that traumatic experience, while a student at Mercyhurst College.  

"I was inspired by how even though something life-altering may happen quickly and suddenly, the feelings that overcome you don't disappear right away," says Cerilli. "They continue to evolve and, in some cases, grow stronger and more real over time."  

Rounding out the eclectic program are works by company members Joshua Sweeney, Kelly Basil and Kaitlin Dann, and company trainee Alex McGee. There are also two repertory works by Caruso: 2007's "Mentality Toiled Empathy" and an excerpt from 2006's "Reflections."


Bodiography Contemporary Ballet presents Multiplicity 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 6, and 2 p.m. Sun., Nov. 7.  Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $15-20. 412-521-6094 or

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