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Arcos Dance to Present THE WARRIORS: A LOVE STORY, 9/11-12

On September 11 and 12, ARCOS Dance debuts its award-winning multimedia dance theater production, The Warriors: A Love Story. Inspired by the lives of Director Eliot Gray Fisher's maternal grandparents, the production chronicles his intimate search for their legacy against the immense backdrop of war. Performances will be held Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, September 11 and 12, 2015, at the Rollins Theater, 701 W Riverside Drive. Ticket information will be available in early August, including discounts for veterans and military.

ARCOS Dance, established in 2011 in Santa Fe, NM by its Creative Directors Curtis Uhlemann, Erica Gionfriddo, and Eliot Gray Fisher, relocated to Austin in 2013. In a span of less than two years, the company has garnered a presence and reputation bringing to the local scene a cutting edge, contemporary performance aesthetic and rigorous work ethic. Pushing traditional boundaries not only through performative practice, ARCOS and its directors generously share their process of experimentation, offering emerging and established artists opportunities to cultivate a broad set of essential skills. ARCOS provides the local community with classes in dance technique, repertoire, composition, and relevant cross training, as well as workshops in constructive feedback methods, professional development, and harnessing accessible technologies. In March, ARCOS granted its first annual Dance Artist Development Award, designed to provide financial support to dance professionals to enhance their personal practice. While the company has performed extensively in the Southwest and abroad, this will mark ARCOS' first full-length production presented in Austin.

"Mirrors," a scene inspired by an entry in J. Glenn Gray's personal wartime journal. Evoking the actual lives of Ursula and Glenn Gray, maternal grandparents of Director Eliot Gray Fisher, The Warriors: A Love Story combines choreography, original music, expressive sound design, archival footage, actual family heirlooms, a diverse array of texts, and interactive video projections, blurring the lines between artistic disciplines and exploring history as mythology. The fast-paced show received rave reviews at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, earning Mervyn Stutter's "Spirit of the Fringe" award as well as accolades from national publications. Personal journal excerpts and ideas from Glenn's Gray's philosophical memoir, The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle, serve as inspiration for scenes in ARCOS' production. Ursula's love of movement and the power of beauty makes dance an especially fitting vehicle for this intimate family portrait, set against the immense experience of war and its profound ongoing impact on our daily lives. Fisher himself narrates the production, openly grappling with the complexity of his heritage, as dancers bring to life significant moments from Glenn and Ursula's story. From this personal perspective, ARCOS encourages the audience to contemplate how the ripples of warfare have touched their own lives, and what small actions they can take each day to work toward peace. As Mary Brennan of The Herald Scotland notes: "The Warriors asks important questions: can we love our enemies-or even understand the losses we inflict on them? Can art-dance in particular-do more than words?"

View the trailer for The Warriors: A Love Story ARCOS has embraced such questions beyond the production itself, with an initiative to engage with local military and veteran communities as vital audiences for the production. "A key part of our mission to create new models for the performing arts is immersing diverse groups of people, as well as art forms, in our performances," says Eliot Gray Fisher. Erica Gionfriddo adds, "With The Warriors we aim to increase consciousness around the complexity of warfare; veterans and military offer an essential perspective." The production will be presented on September 11 by design, to coincide with one of our nation's annual moments of reflection. At a time when global conflicts abound, ARCOS turns to the arts to spark a dialogue about how the significant and complex philosophical questions Glenn and Ursula faced are relevant in our daily lives. ARCOS invites the audience to consider the intricacies of their own lineage and bring their personal experience with them to the theater.

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