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Overlapping dance pieces ‘Merge’ to form message

Artistic inspiration can come from the unlikeliest places.

While waiting for a bus stop one day, choreographer Marsha Tallerico observed two people trying to light each other’s cigarettes. She ended up using the interaction as the basis of a dance piece called “13 Stolen Moments.”

That piece, along with seven others, will be performed at the Kimo Theatre in a multimedia performance called “Merge.” Tallerico said the individual pieces will be performed back-to-back, with no breaks in between, and several of them will even overlap. She said it will be difficult to tell when one piece ends and the next one begins, hence the title, “Merge.” She also said the individual works contain elements that might not be expected to occur in the same performance, but the disparate images and ideas end up intersecting.

“I wanted to use a title with multiple layers of meaning,” Tallerico said. “Something that would also seem relevant to my audience. Like it or not, a big part of everyone’s life right now is the Big I project — traffic, delays, re-routing plans, dangerous on-ramps and general lack of turn signal usage. Everyone has … to be flexible and always prepared to merge …”

Tallerico choreographed five of the individual works, and the performance features guest artists Lise Brenner and Chris Dohse, who are both from New York, and Eric Hall, from Albuquerque. Brenner, Dohse and Hall will each contribute one work to the evening’s performance. Tallerico said she chose to work with them because their work is “quirky, unusual and striking…” She said one of the highlights of the performance is Hall’s “Plum,” in which a lip-synching angel silently narrates a naked man’s courtship of a clothed woman.

Tallerico said her artistic training was mostly rooted in drawing and painting. She has studied dance and choreography and has been making performance art since 1991. She said her work comes from hat she is experiencing and what she sees happening around her “every day in any given situation.”

“There’s movement everywhere,” she said. “It’s all dance.”

Newspapers all over the country have reviewed Tallerico’s work. The Weekly Alibi once called her “The wonderful wizard of odd.” The Baltimore Sun said her choreography is “Compelling and challenging … like being in an art gallery and someone suddenly turning off the lights.”

If that sounds like fun, be at the Kimo Theatre, 419 Central Ave. N.W., Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and are available through Ticketmaster by calling 883-7800.

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