Elliman adds steps to Shakespeare's opus
Michele Elliman, of Darien, whose theatrical biography in dance spans 30 years and three continents, is the choreographer for Shakespeare on the Sound's production of "As You Like It" at Pinkney Park in Norwalk from June 13 to 30.
Elliman is creating two set dance sequences and two smaller selections supporting the vision of transformation that director Claire Shannon Kelly, of New Canaan, is imparting to the Bard's pastoral comedy.
In a play where all of the 14 parts call for some level of singing and dancing and even a degree of musicianship, only one cast member has formal training in the discipline of dance.
"The approach is different working with actors, rather than dancers," Elliman said. "But everyone in this cast is willing to throw themselves into it."
Elliman's choreography enhanced "Wise Women Speak," a documentary nominated for an Academy Award in 2012. In New York, she was a co-founder of Neo Labos Dance Theater.
She performed with the Creation Company avant-garde troupe, with which she originated numerous roles, and toured nationally and internationally as a featured soloist with the New York-based Nina Wiener Dance Company.
She has also lectured at the University of Tokyo in Japan and her work has been presented in Mexico, Canada and the dance centers of Europe.
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In addition to Elliman, Emily Bryan, the theater's director of education, is also a Darien resident, as is Kristina Lew, a member of the theater's apprentice company, who is studying stage management.
Admission is free, but donations of $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and students are suggested. Reserved seating is also available for $50. The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. nightly, but the theater is closed on Mondays.
For information, call 203-299-1300 or visit www.shakespeareonthesound.org.