Speed Dating Mates Choreographers And Composers

It's been called "Hammer and Nail" for six years and no one remembers why.

three dancers

Photo: courtesy of Indiana University

Contemporary dance majors from the School of HPER rehearse 'One of Many' for Hammer and Nail.

Event Information

Hammer and Nail

contemporary dance program pairing student choreographers and composers Donations of food and/or cash contributions accepted for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

Buskirk Chumley Theatre

April 13 and 14 Program A at 6:30 and Program B at 8:30, 2012

Free admission

Hammer and Nail is in its seventh year of pairing IU student composers from the Jacobs School of Music and student choreographers from the IU Contemporary Dance Program.

Twenty Composers And Choreographers

“We began with a sort of speed dating session with twenty composers and twenty choreographers,” said Benjamin Wegman  with the  Dance Program.

Two To Three Minutes

Senior Sarah Mattingly was one of the choreographers at this dance and music mixer. “We had just two or three minutes with each composer. I was looking for someone who was very willing to listen to what I wanted, but I waited to talk. I wanted to hear what they would say first.”

Open To Ideas, Outside The Comfort Zone

“I wanted a composer who was open to my ideas and ready to take the intent that I had for my piece and add their own personal views and transfer them into music. I also wanted a collaborator who was willing to venture outside of a comfort zone, to explore new ways to compose for modern dance.”

A Jack For Every Jill

Wegman, a visiting lecturer in the Kinesiology Department was one of the overseers for the process. “There were the twenty choreographers. These were students that I knew quite well from classes and then the composers many of whom were as much a mystery to me as they were to the choreographers. It really was pretty amazing to see how many pairs developed naturally so quickly.”

Well Almost

“There were a few that we had to pair up, but working with people that you didn’t necessarily choose is very much a part of both dance and music, so we were not at all disappointed with the final results.”

Mattingly’s Jack: Composer Aron Frank

Mattingly’s choice for an open minded and creative collaborator was composer Aron Frank and together they’ve produced “clouds the distant sky.”

Hammer and Nail will be at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14 with the A Program at 6:30 and the B Program at 8:30. Admission is free, and donations of food and/or cash contributions will be accepted for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.


George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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