Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Mother Tongues

Core Project Chicago

From Chicago

Created by Core Project Chicago

Producer's website


Contains Adult language

For ages 12+

Mother Tongues is a multi-media, contemporary dance work exploring the kinetic genetics of mother-offspring relationships. Featuring original movement, sound and video partnered with contemporary artists' explorations of Mom.

Megan Beseth
Role: Executive Director/Principal Artist
Megan Beseth is delighted to embrace her new role as Executive Director of Core Project Chicago which just finished its 2010 tour with performances in Arizona, Tennessee, California and Colorado. A native of Ohio, Megan is a graduate of Ohio University, where she obtained a BFA in Dance and was captain of the Ohio University Dance Team. She has performed works for Mark Haim and Lisa Ford Moulton and is a former company member of Marquez Dance Project, Irreverence Dance & Theater and Nicole Gifford Dance. Megan’s choreography has been featured in Chicago’s Around the Coyote Arts Festival, Dance Under Construction at the University of California and previous Bonesbare concerts. She is passionate about teaching a variety of dance forms and has recently had the pleasure of teaching as a guest artist at the American College Dance Festival. In addition to her creative pursuits on stage, Megan is an associate attorney at a local tax law firm.

Justin Bourdet
Role: Principal Artist/Administrative Assistant
Justin is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he earned a BS in Theatre Performance and a minor in Dance. While attending MTSU Justin performed in such shows as The Country Wife, The Rocky Horror Show, Mother Courage and Her Children and Fathers. As a theatre major, Justin has been nominated twice for the Irene Ryan National Award for acting for his performances in Oklahoma! and Ramona Quimby. His professional work includes performances in Underwear: A Space Musical (World Premiere) at the Michael Schimmel Theatre in New York City through the 2008 Fringe Festival receiving rave reviews, and also Jesus Christ Superstar, Sunday in the Park with George, and Urinetown! at The Boiler Room Theatre in Franklin. Justin danced with MTSU Dance Theatre since the spring of 2007 where he had the privilege to work with such artists as Ivan Pulinkala, Ursula Payne, Stephanie Batten Bland, and E.E. Balcos. He has traveled extensively, performing at The American College Dance Festival, Breaking Ground in Tempe, Arizona, The Minneapolis and Boulder Fringe Festivals, and most recently with Core Project in Chicago.

Julie Edwards
Role: Principal Artist/Secretary
Julie Edwards is thrilled to continue to dance with Core Project (Chicago) and Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre (Nashville) after a wonderful touring experience with both companies this summer. Julie attends Middle Tennessee State University where she is completing her B.S. in Theatre and Dance. As a member of MTSU's Dance Theatre Company since 2008, she has taken master classes and danced with guest artists: Stephanie Batten Bland, E.E. Balcos, Claire Porter, Wendy Allen, and Holly Handman-Lopez, and Sara Semonis. While at MTSU, Julie performed in Spring and Fall Dance Theatre Concerts, 2008 and 2009 ACDFA National College Dance Festivals, and Breaking Ground Choreographer's Showcase in Tempe, AZ, Ragtime, Summer and Smoke, and Appalachian Roots, an original children's production that she helped collaboratively write and toured in Ireland May of 2010.

Matthew Frazier-Smith
Role: Principal Artist
Matthew Frazier-Smith | Principal Artist
Matthew Frazier-Smith recently obtained his degree from Middle Tennessee State University majoring in Theatre with a minor in Dance. Matthew has performed in several productions with MTSU’s Theatre and Dance department including Seussical the Musical, Romeo and Juliet, and This is Family Money, as well as receiving Irene Ryan Award Nominations for his work in Underwear: the Musical and Kid Icarus. Matthew was an active member of MTSU Dance Theatre from 2007-2010, and performed in eight of the company’s concerts including Freed Voices, Holding Patterns, and several fall and spring productions . His professional work includes Lend Me a Tenor at Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre, I’ll Be Seeing You at Millworks Theatre, It‘s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Tennessee Shakespeare Festival. In the summers of 2008 and 2009, Matthew worked in Germany, where he performed in a musical revue entitled Die Amerikana Musikshow. He also travelled to Honduras in 2009 where he toured a collaboratively written, original work entitled A Better Way, which focused primarily on the use of rhythm and physicality as tools for breaking down language barriers. Currently, Matthew is a member of Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre and Core Project. He will be touring with both companies during the summer of 2010.

Megan Hall
Role: Associate Artist/Outreach Coordinator
Megan Hall has studied dance education in Seattle, Washington with renowned dance educator Anne Green Gilbert and studied technique and performance as a Vanderbilt University Dance Studies candidate in Nashville, TN. In Nashville, Megan also performed with Vanderbilt Dance Theatre and Epiphany Contemporary Dance Company. She has worked as a dance instructor in public school systems and inner city community centers in Tennessee and Virginia and held Tennessee Association of Dance membership from 2004 " 2009. Currently she is working towards her B. S. in Speech and Theatre with a Dance Cognate at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. Megan has been a company member of MTSU Dance Theatre performing student and faculty works since 2009 as well as working with guest artists Wendy Allen, Teena Marie Custer and Alberto Del Saz. As an MTSU Dance Theatre member she has performed works at Breaking Grounds Choreographic Showcase in Tempe, AZ in 2009 and performed both student and faculty works at the American College Dance Festival in 2010. Megan was also awarded the Anne Holland Dance Scholarship for the 2010-2011 year. During the summer of 2010, she enjoyed assisting Core Project in Boulder, CO as the company performed their touring work “Hint of It” at the Boulder Fringe Festival. A part of MTSU Dance Theatre, Megan is honored to perform “Pond” by Alwin Nikolais, as part of the centennial celebration of his life, performing in the fall and spring MTSU dance concerts, Chicago and New York for the 2010-2011 year. She has
also had the privilege of performing with Heritage Dance Project based in Murfreesboro, TN. In addition to her passion to grow, love and communicate through movement, she is a certified Pilates mat instructor and is excited to be involved in Core Project.

Ramah Jihan
Role: Guest Artist
Ramah seeks to create sound for non-traditional media pairings. In doing so, he tends to look for ways in which sound informs or alters the context of an expression to captivate my audience. Thus, collaboration continues to sharpen his interdisciplinary practice. Ramah has been the sound designer for many Core Project events including: Feeding the Moon Fish, Milkweed, Mother Tongues, and Mother Tongues II. He has recently acquired his MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts-Media from Columbia College Chicago and teaches “Music Theory” and “MIDI” at The Illinois Institute of Art.

Callie Johnson
Role: Associate Artist
Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Callie Johnson attended the Center for Creative Arts (CCA), and has been dancing for thirteen years. She is currently a student at Middle Tennessee State University pursuing her B.S. in Theater as a Dance Cognate and expects to graduate in May of 2012. As performer with the MTSU Dance Theatre, Callie has danced with a number of guest artists including Alonzo King, Zephyr Company, Avant Media, Stephanie Batten Bland, T. Lang, Teena Custer, and Alberto del Saz. Some of her notable performances include the Gangnueng Youth Arts Festival in South Korea, Breaking Ground Festival in Arizona, and the ACDFA Southeastern Regional Gala. She is also a part of the Sharing the Legacy Tour where she is d
ancing in the reconstruction of Alwin Nikolais' Pond for which she received the Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity Assistant Grant. Callie thanks Core Project for giving her this amazing opportunity

Darby O'Conner
Role: Apprentice
Darby O’Connor, originally from Knoxville, TN, began her dance training at a young age at Studio Arts for Dancers under Lisa Hall McKee. During her time at Studio Arts she attended numerous master classes with Helen Starr, former director of the Louisville Ballet, and David and Anna Marie Holmes. She has also gained teaching experience as a substitute teacher and teaching assistant at Studio Arts for Dancers. Darby is a founding member of GO! Contemporary Dance Works, a pre-professional company based in Knoxville under the direction of McKee. She has worked with Circle Modern Dance for eight years in their annual production, Modern Dance Primitive Light, and is also a founding member of Fre3fall Collective, a professional aerial dance, entertainment and production company. Currently Darby lives in Murfreesboro, TN where she is an undergraduate of Middle Tennessee State University. She is earning her degree in Theater with a concentration in dance and will graduate in spring of 2012. She has performed in the work of Laurie Merriman and Teena Marie Custer and has received master classes from Stephanie Batten Bland, E.E. Balcos, T. Lang and Alberto del Saz. Darby teaches ballet with In-Body-Meant Dance Academy in Lebanon, TN.

Tiffany Philpot
Role: Principal Artist/Secretary
Tiffany, originally from Atlanta, GA. She began her movement training with Drum Corp International and Winter Guard International, where she performed with Boston Crusaders, Chimeras, and others. Tiffany will graduate Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Theatre and concentration in dance performance in the Fall of 2010. Since her enrollment at MTSU, she has been an active member of MTSU Dance Theatre. This company has provided her with opportunities working with guest artists such as Ivan Pulinkala, Travis Gatling, Katie Elliott, Mary Jo Irbe, Stefanie Batten Bland, Paula Frauz, and many more. Through MTSU, Tiffany has attended American College Dance Festival (2006-2009). In Spring of 2010, her choreography Empowered by Legacy represented MTSU Dance Theatre at ACDF. Tiffany has had the honor of performing professionally during her collegiate career with Heritage Dance Project, which she co-founded in 2008, Core Project, and Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre under the direction of Kim Neal Nofsinger. She has been a member of SRDT since 2005 and has performed with the company in Nashville, TN, Lacrosse, WI, and Chicago, IL. Tiffany is passionate about the world of dance and is grateful for the opportunities she has received

Matthew Pierce
Role: Founder/Principal Artist
Matt Pierce graduated from William Jewell College in 2003 with a B.A. in Communication + Theater. There he was honored with the college’s Playwrights Corner Award for Knocking: An Original, Multi-Media Performance. Pierce also studied modern theater at Oxford University and through the Foundation for the Advancement of Intercultural Resources studied traditional Balinese Dance and mask making in Southeast Asia. In 2009 Pierce received his MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts + Media from Columbia College Chicago where he assistant taught Digital Video Editing, Performance Media + Independent Producing. He also presided over the department’s student run arts collective, Image Unit and served on the college-wide Curatorial Review Board. Matt’s video work has been showcased at Around the Coyote, Fieldtrips Annual Performance Festival, Full-Circle Danztheater Festival, artXposium and the Boulder Fringe Festival. In March 2008 Pierce joined the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance company as guest performer in Chapel / Chapter at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL. In 2007 Pierce and choreographer Erin Rehberg partnered to found Core Project Chicago. He served as Artistic Director of Core Project from 2007-2010 at which time he shifted his role to Marketing Director and Principal Artist. Pierce has worked for National Geographic Films, MTV/Nickelodeon, Komenich Films, artistic circles: non-profit media and Legacy Marketing Partners. He currently serves as Communications Manager for World Bicycle Relief, a non-profit organization providing access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles. Examples of his work are found online @: mattdpierce.com

Erin Rehberg
Role: Artistic Director/Founder
Erin Rehberg, M.F.A. is Founder and Artistic Director of Core Project Chicago, a movement-based, interdisciplinary performing arts collective. The company, now in its 5th season, pushes the boundaries of storytelling through artistic collaboration with dramatic, sound, media and text artists. Ms. Rehberg attended Western Illinois University, during which time she performed in the 1998 and 2000 ACDFA National College Dance Festivals. In 2001, she became a founding member of and rehearsal mistress for Kim Nofsinger’s Shelter Dance Repertoire and is now the Associate Director. In 1998, she studied technique and choreography at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, where she was later hired the Director of Press and Marketing for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Ms. Rehberg teaches and fuses multiple dance styles and has set work on dancers attending WIU, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Southern Illinois Dance Center and Prep Dance School and in schools all over the Chicago area including the Beverly Arts Center, where she directed the Summer Arts Experience-interdisciplinary arts camp. She helped found Suite 132 Dance Company as the company manager and choreographed three premiere works on its dancers. Recently she has performed the choreography of Stefanie Batten Bland and E.E. Balcos, and has danced with Jay-Son/Tisa Dance Company, Nicole Gifford Dance, Jennifer Sandoval and others. Her choreography has been seen in Beyond Boundaries (Grand Junction, CO), Dance Chicago, Breaking Bounds Dance Festival (Phoenix, AZ), Art Exposium (Chicago, IL), The American College Dance Festival Featured Concert (Murfreesboro, TN), Manifest Urban Arts Festival (Chicago, IL), Boulder International Fringe Festival (CO) among others, and she has produced site-specific work throughout the Chicago area. Through Core Project she has curated a variety of inter-arts happenings, working closely with artists across the country regarding common themes. She looks forward to performing with both Shelter and Core Project this summer in Tennessee, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado and Chicago. Ms. Rehberg earned her M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago in 2009 where she expanded her creative horizons by pursuing dance for the camera surrounding creative process and live performance. She has been on faculty at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Minneapolis Public Schools Outreach Programs, is currently adjunct faculty at Middle Tennessee State University and is looking forward to her first summer on faculty for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts in 2011. Ms. Rehberg was a 2010 recipient of a Chicago Cultural Center DanceBridge Residency.

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Hard to pick an overall theme
by Suzanne Sharrock Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Good modern dance mixed with spoken word - left me just...a little waiting for it to end after about 15 minutes.

Obvious Talent, Needs Editing?
by Sophie Kerman Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
These dancers are obviously really talented and came up with an interesting concept for the show. Unfortunately, some of that talent and inspiration fails to come across, because the music choices (particularly one long Philip Glass track) fail to inspire, and the relationships in the dances don't always connect well to the relationships in the audio segments.

I noticed in the program that there was video in the original piece, that was absent for the Minnesota Fringe (presumably because of technical issues with the space). I wonder if the video was that missing link?

This group shows a lot of potential - the comedic bits were especially good. I expect great things from them in the future!

Motherly Touch
by Wesley Brainard Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Beautiful, tender, compelling! I'm willing to bet that this group of dancers spends a lot of time together and that they love every moment. That friendship translates into beautiful movement and ensemble work. If they come back to fringe, I'll be the first in line.

by Stephanie James Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Loved this. Loved the concept. Gorgeous and fun execution.

Fine dancing, unclear concept
by Scott Pakudaitis Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I couldn't quite see how many of the dances were inspired by the voiceover texts. My favorite parts of the show were the group pieces; the solos and duets were too long and repetitive. I enjoyed the unique staging (for dance) of keeping all the dancers on stage for the entire show.

Sum less than the parts
by Aseem Kaul Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Let me start by saying that Mother Tongues included some of the most witty and inventive movement I've seen in this year's fringe. The show includes a number of really strong dancers, some brilliant duets, and a series of voice recordings of people talking about their mothers that are fairly interesting in their own right.

The trouble is that none of this really fits together. The dances have little connection to the voice recordings (that I could see) and the gestures of the dancers seem disconnected from the recordings. I assume this is the point, but the end result is a multimedia performance where every part is exciting on its own, but each part detracts from the others.

by John Munger Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
This trained and well-rehearsed Chicago ensemble offers an earnest and thoughtful exploration of ways young adults might approach the relationship with their mothers. The piece breaks into solos, small groups and occasionally the full cast. Those not dancing at any given time sit on chairs or benches and watch the active performers with thoughtful and supportive attention. The sound-score incorporates music and what seem to be very natural and unrehearsed interviews or conversations. There’s a lot of ambient sound. The dancers are skillful and deliver with conviction. I have serious problems with the sound score –way too often it’s crucial but unintelligible. Also, the various solos, duets, and other sections often deliver their artistry, but then continue for twice to three times as long without further development. Doris Humphrey once said, “All dances are too long.”

Nobody's mother is perfect
by Carl Franzen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
In many ways this is the perfect Fringe show. There's no pretense about it—–from pre-show warm-ups in front of the audience to everyday, ordinary costuming. The sweat, almost immediate. The quirky, fast-tempo interviews about their mothers tell more about the performers than the mothers. The movement of the dancers: raw, strong. It was fine tonic for me personally. First, a relaxing moment after being behind the wheel of my car all day. Then, and I think this is what I liked the most, the genuine way the dancers shared themselves with each other and the audience. Personal and real. Yes.

saturday at the lab #7
by Mark Browning Milner Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
okay, it was the end of a long day and i was starting to poop out a bit. these were young, obviously talented and attractive chicagoan dancers. i liked the ensemble numbers far more than the solos, duets, trios, et cetera. some of the music was quite nice, but the soundscapes got a little tedious after a while (again, maybe i was tired, but if you're going to dance to talk it helps if it's funny talk.) i liked them staying onstage watching when they weren't performing, as well as the seamless nature of the work with no artificial stops for applause - one number flowed effortlessly into the next. i'd give them another half kittie if that were possible, just in case i'd like 'em better earlier in the evening. if you check 'em out you'll definitely find something to like.

by Gonzo Group Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Fresh, invigorating, at times heart-breaking, at times hilarious, as good a modern dance piece as you will see. Some of the dancers were stronger than others, but all were committed and full of passion. GO.

Mother Tongues
by Karen Lee Rosar Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This multimedia dance production was entirely engaging. I could hear traces of my mother and others I have known in the production. The dance motion was well interpreted into the theme. The dance group was well coordinated and highly talented.

Good parts, bad parts
by Eric Carlson Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Some of the numbers were very clever; others were just bad.

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Thursday, 8/45:30 p.m. 
Friday, 8/58:30 p.m. 
Saturday, 8/610:00 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/72:30 p.m. 
Tuesday, 8/98:30 p.m. 

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700 N 1st St

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