Christopher K. Morgan Residency

The Dance Program of Swarthmore College enthusiastically welcomed Tiffanie Carson, Assistant Director of Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM/A), onto campus over a three-day period. CKM/A is one of the Department of Music and Dance’s Featured Guest Artists for the 2018-2019 season.

CKM/A is a professional contemporary dance company founded by Christopher K. Morgan and located in Washington D.C. The company is unique in its mission to explore social and cultural issues through dance as well as its intention to demystify contemporary dance. They do so by holding community dialogues and uploading online video content.

During her stay on campus, Carson taught the choreography of In the Cold Room in three classes that were attended by student, faculty, and community members. In the Cold Room premiered at American Dance Institute in 2014. The piece features a trio of women who explore reactions to light, dark, and temperature to create an abstract examination of isolations and connections. The fast-paced energy of the performance coupled with the large-scale movements of the original dancers of the piece was said to leave the audience breathless, because the expressions of the piece are at once primal and poetic.

Students auditioned for this piece and were selected by CKM/A during the weekend. Emma Dulski, Lia D’Alessandro, and Katie Knox will perform In the Cold Room as part of the Swarthmore Fall Dance Concert.

“In the Cold Room is both really beautiful and really difficult to dance, and I was excited to see the student dancers tackle the tough choreography, which they spent over 20 hours learning during the intensive weekend of rehearsals” Prof. Olivia Sabee said.

In the spring, CKM/A will return to campus to present Pōhaku as part of the Unexpected Homeland programming, co-sponsored by the President’s Office Mellon Grant and the Department of Music & Dance.

“Alba Newmann Holmes came to me with the idea of writing a grant last spring based on the idea of Unexpected Homeland” Prof. Sabee said. “I had been interested in bringing CKM/A to campus for a number of years and when I realized that his new work Pōhaku fit Alba’s theme, it seemed like a perfect match.”

Pōhaku pairs hula kahiko (traditional hula) and modern dance styles together to express the conflict that Christopher K. Morgan feels as a mixed-race person who grew up in California.

David Chan ’19