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Birke Fine Arts Fest to feature Troika Ranch Friday, Saturday

On February 6, 2014

Troika Ranch, the internationally known theater and dance company, will be performing its innovative work, “SWARM”, this Friday and Saturday at Marshall University’s 2014 Birke Fine Arts Festival at 7 p.m. in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse.

The renowned theater and dance company from New York City is known for its artistic platform of the collaborative works of the company’s founders, choreographer Dawn Stoppiello and composer/media artist Mark Coniglio.

Troika Ranch creates a diverse and contemporary artwork through a full examination of the moving body and its relationship with technology makes the theater and dance company a perfect fit for the festival entitled Trending Now: Artists and Audiences in the Information Age.

Nicole Perrone, festival committee chair, said the committee is pleased to be able to include Troika Ranch in the festival, as its work explores the festival’s central theme.

“We are interested in a dialogue about how the arts are responding to an audience that has grown accustomed to pop-ups, tweets and status updates; not only how we experience the arts, but where we experience them,” Perrone said.

SWARM, the latest piece from Troika Ranch, will be an immersive, multimedia performance in which the movements of the audience allow them to collaboratively compose the music, visual materials, theatrical lighting and the actions of the performers themselves.

Stoppiello and Coniglio are spending this week prior to the performance at Marshall rehearsing with theater and dance students and faculty, who will also perform in the piece.

“The Birke Fine Arts Festival enables us to bring world-renowned artists and a contemporary, cutting-edge performance experiences to our students,” Perrone said. “It will be unlike anything they’ve ever seen; and we hope for the audience too.”

Breckin Wells can be contacted at


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