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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 23,
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Sanctuary for Dance: Grounds for Sculpture
If a visit to the expansive, park-like Grounds for
in Hamilton makes you want to spread your wings and dance, you can
watch professionals do just that this weekend. On Sunday, June 27,
at 3 p.m., Hunterdon County’s Terpsichore SAND dance foundation
an hour-long concert of dances integrated with the park sculptures,
featuring five dance companies, soloists, and live music and vocal
The concert takes place in the 22-acre landscaped sculpture park on
the former state fairgrounds site, that is also home to a
10,000 square foot museum, and renovated Domestic Arts gallery
Produced by Terpsichore SAND’s founding director Tommy Flagg, the
program opens with a ceremonial visit from the muse herself, portrayed
by Suzanne Goldman, formerly of American Repertory Ballet, accompanied
by nymphs of the Princeton Ballet School. Featured dancers and
include Makiko Oka, a dancer and choreographer born in Japan and
in a family of classical Kabuki musicians. She has studied traditional
Japanese dance and contemporary Butoh, graduating with a master’s
degree from NYU in 1997.
Also featured are the Errol Grimes Dance Group of New York; Middle
Eastern dancers Ayshe and Nadia and musicians Ismail Butera and
Hess; the American Jazz Dance Ensemble; and the New York-based
Dance Legacy, an Isadora Duncan-inspired company directed by Therese
"One of our goals here is to integrate other arts disciplines
into the park and into our programing," says Grounds for Sculpture
director Brooke Barrie. "We have had music integrated with all
our openings, but this will mark the first time we’ve integrated dance
with the sculpture." Among the choreographers creating works
specifically for the setting is Errol Grimes, who will present
"Parade" for four dancers and a steel-pan drum musician. The
Duncan troupe has created the work "Sirens," on and around one
of the park’s large installation sculptures, "The Nine Muses,"
Dorrien. The large gray granite pieces, set on its own floor, will
serve as the setting for the dance that culminates the hour-long
Founded six years ago by Tommy Flagg, Terpsichore SAND is based on
150 acres, one mile from the Delaware River, near Frenchtown, designed
as a perpetual sanctuary for art, nature, and dance. Terpsichore
terp-si-kor-ee) was the Greek mythological muse of dance and choral
song, and SAND is an acronym for "Sanctuary of Art, Nature, and
Dance." It launched its first, four-performance subscription
Under Flagg’s leadership, Terpsichore SAND, which has in its
plan housing for retired dancers, is active throughout the region
as agent and manager for a dozen dance artists and companies. He
produces 50 shows a year, the majority in off-site locations that
include New York’s Joyce Theater, Kingwood School, Bucks County
College, the Hunterdon Art Museum, and the Trenton Avant-Garde
Interdisciplinary outreach is constantly evolving at Grounds for
In February, the organization celebrated its fifth anniversary with
a Valentine’s Day dinner, featuring music by the Beau Soir Ensemble,
a Connecticut-based trio, led by Tamar Witkin (daughter of sculptor
Isaac Witkin), and a reading of romantic poetry by Princeton actors
Mary Greenberg and Michael Walker. Founder, sculptor, and
J. Seward Johnson Jr. was among those in attendance who were well
pleased with the arts friendly evening.
Drama is next on the list of guest arts. On Saturday, October 30,
in the spirit of the Halloween weekend, the park will host a Mystery
Dinner produced by Ruth Markoe and R&R Productions.
18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, 609-586-0616. The 3 p.m., one-hour
concert performance is free and open to the public. Also offered is
a 5 p.m. performance followed by cocktails and dinner, $50;
required by June 23. Sunday, June 27, 3 p.m.
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