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PREVIEW: The Town Crier

Luminarium Dance Company to present ‘300 Years’ at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn


The Town Crier

July 7, 2016

SUDBURY — Luminarium Dance Company will present 300 Years at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. July 24 at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, 72 Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury. The event was originally scheduled for July 10, but bad weather is expected.

The event will be an afternoon of dance and live music celebrating the Wayside’s tricentennial, featuring outdoor performances by Boston’s award-winning Luminarium Dance Company and composer Mali Sastri. This 40-minute performance of contemporary dance and live music is free and family-friendly, and everything from the choreography to the music was created specifically in honor of the Wayside’s 300th anniversary.

The performance opens with a three-minute comedic piece choreographed by artistic director Merli V. Guerra, illustrating through pantomime the 300-year history of the Wayside Inn. From George Washington passing by, to Henry Ford purchasing the Inn, this piece offers viewers a brief timeline of the Inn’s development over the years.

The next piece is choreographed by Luminarium’s other artistic director, Kimberleigh A. Holman, and is a site-specific work honoring the land. The company performs alongside the creek, producing imagery inspired by their surroundings.

The final piece in the performance is a full-length work created by Guerra and Sastri. Set on four dancers, one singer and one cellist, the dance progresses across generations, honoring all who have lived, worked, and visited the Wayside Inn over the years. A central character finds herself guided through time, beginning in hoop skirts, moving on to 40s-style attire, and ultimately returning to modern day. This work was created after researching both the history of the inn, as well as reading Henry Ford’s “Hostess Diaries” which provided insight through journal entries.

Guerra also produced a new short film for this event, which will be on view indoors on the site. The film features dancers performing with flour in honor of the Wayside’s grist mill.

300 Years is Luminarium’s 2016 Cultural Community Outreach Project, an annual event dedicated to celebrating an historical community establishment through the integration of dance and the arts.

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