Kinetics troupe leaving county Dance group moving to Towson school

June 20, 1996|By Patrick Hickerson | Patrick Hickerson,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

True to its name, Kinetics is in motion.

After 12 years in Ellicott City, Kinetics Dance Theatre's professional company, one of Howard County's prominent dance troupes, will leave its home for Towson and change its name.

The 10-member company will move in September from Howard County Center for the Arts to Carver Center for Arts and Technology, a performing arts magnet school in Towson where some of the dancers teach. The company will change its name to the Surge Dance Company.

A dance company and a school will remain at Howard County Center for the Arts under the name of Kinetics, but the company and the school will have to find new dancers, a new director and new teachers.

The move by the professional company comes less than a year after $450,000 in renovations to the arts center in Ellicott City, including improvements to the venue for Kinetics' performances. The center is at 8510 High Ridge Road.

In the past few years, the troupe has expanded its horizons, performing in Baltimore, Washington and New York City.

Theresa Colvin -- deputy director of Howard County Arts Council, which runs the arts center -- said that given the company's wider touring and increased fame, the move wasn't a shock.

"We were not surprised. We had seen a natural progression. They were performing more and more outside of the county," Colvin said.

"It's tough for any modern dance company today to expand their audience. They've been here over 10 years. It's just a natural growth for an arts organization such as Kinetics."

Ken Skrzesz, who is artistic director at Kinetics and will direct Surge in Towson, said the offer from Baltimore County public schools was too good to ignore.

"The Carver Center for Arts and Technology really made us a wonderful offer -- free rehearsal space, free performance space," he said. "I can't emphasize enough the sort of 'in' with the school system. It validates our works, not only as artists but as art educators."

In Howard County, the dance company didn't have as strong a connection with public schools. In Baltimore County, it will teach and perform before thousands of students. "We had a partnership with Howard County high schools," Skrzesz said, "but we were not housed in a Howard County public schools building, which made it a problem."

Skrzesz said Carver has twice the rehearsal space that Kinetics has now, that its performing hall has about 100 more seats than the main stage at the Howard arts center and that it offers such amenities as theater lights and a computerized light board.

Kinetics' board decided Tuesday night to hire Anne Alex Packard to replace Skrzesz as artistic and executive director of the new Kinetics company in Howard. She is a former chairwoman of the dance department at Connecticut College and recently was a tenured professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Janet Martinez, the longest-serving board member at Kinetics, said the group will retain the school and a dance company in Howard County.

Kinetics will hold an open board meeting at 7: 30 p.m. June 27 at Howard County Center for the Arts.

Pub Date: 6/20/96

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