Dance, film ‘Power’ at Strom

Mar 26, 2014
Among those getting set for “Power Performance: Legacy Rising” are, front from left, Lucy Heal, Kylie Fong, Connor Hedstrom, Quinn Buntin, Kayloni Hall, Randy Mercer and Haley Simmons; behind them, Kea Tesseyman, Carrie Hedstrom, Carla White and Jenn Ames; and, in back, Kathryn Matlack, Eric Verite, Meg MacMillan, Tara Wagner, Kari Luehman, Marlee Luehman, Isabel Macomber, Susan Thiem and Liam Coyle.

Rockport — “Power Performance,” an exhilarating multi-media event Friday and Saturday nights, April 4 and 5, will present a series of short film documentaries and live dance performances woven together into stories of personal triumph, inspiration and motivation on the Strom Auditorium stage. Two dozen Midcoast dancers ranging in age from teens to nearly 60 will take part in this major production.

On both evenings, complimentary hors d’oeuvres prepared by Stephanie Shershow of SwingChef Private Catering will be served from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Seating will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the performance starts at 7 p.m. Free treats created by Hillary Bousum, also known as the Camden Cake Lady, will be served at intermission. Strom Auditorium is the performance center at Camden Hills Regional High School, off Route 90.

The program, subtitled Legacy Rising, is the second annual “Power Performance” choreographed, produced and presented by Camden’s Kea Tesseyman, founder/director of Kinetic Energy Alive Productions. It employs a broad spectrum of music, from Michael Jackson and James Blake to folk, hip-hop and classical. One young man will dance to music he has composed himself.

The event will address head-on some of the toughest and most important challenges of today’s society. A short video will introduce each challenge, and the dance that follows will express success over it. In the first presentation, 11 teens share the sheer fun of dancing in a traditional hip-hop number. This will be followed by a series of what Tesseyman calls Power Performances in which individual dancers express their struggles and successes with such life obstacles as seasonal depression, Lyme disease and economic hardship.

Act Two will address addiction and bullying, not only from the perspective of the victim, but also from the perspective of how anger and feelings of isolation can turn a person into a bully. The entire troupe of 13 adults and 11 teens will join together for the uplifting finale. After the conclusion, members of the audience will be offered an opportunity to have their reactions and thoughts videoed.

The event’s short films were produced by videographers Brian Goding of Bridge to Shore Films; and Kathryn Matlack. In addition to interviews with members of the dance company, these mini-documentaries include discussions with Kay Stephens, whose book “Cyberslammed” offers ways to combat cyber bullying; and Chuck Nyugen, bullying counselor, licensed therapist and professional martial arts instructor, who speaks at schools throughout Maine. Nyugen also will dance with Tesseyman.

Tesseyman is passionate about encouraging teens and people of all ages to grow from their troubles by seeking healthy outlets for self-expression and self-affirmation. She said she hoped audience members will come away with a heightened awareness of the importance of asking for help from friends, family and mentors.

“I see myself in my teen students. When I was their age, I was bullied, too. Dance allowed me to overcome all of that and learn to believe in myself. It’s wonderful to watch these teens discover their own personal power through dance. I also have students in their 40s and 50s who find new freedom to express themselves through dance. It’s an honor to witness such transformations,” she said.

Tesseyman offers dance and fitness classes throughout the year at High Mountain Hall in Camden. The fall and winter classes focus on putting together the annual spring Power Performance event, while the spring and summer classes are all about fun.

Tesseyman, who has trained and performed in Portland, Boston, New York City and California, has been teaching and directing dance shows locally for 12 years in collaboration with other groups. “Power Performance: Legacy Rising” marks the culmination of her company’s fourth year. Advance tickets are $15, available at HAV II in Camden and directly from Tesseyman, 975-4450 or kineticenergyalive@gmail.com. Tickets will be $17 at the door.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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