Dancing her way from Geneva to Argentina and back, Katherine Marino ’12 will perform with the PUSH Physical Theatre at the Smith Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. Marino recently returned from her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Mendoza and began working as a trainee with the Rochester-based dance studio. Her performance in Geneva will be her first with the company.
“I’m thrilled that I will be returning to Geneva for my first performance with the company,” says Marino, who majored in dance and environmental studies. “Geneva will always be one of my homes, and I am excited to share this new, exciting part of my life with the people and places there.”
The highly physical and athletic performance will be a mix of mime, movement, acrobatics, illusions and theatre. “The things we do at PUSH don’t translate into spoken or written language,” Marino explains. “It runs deeper than that, which is why the work is so powerful and why you have to witness it to understand it.”
Marino’s initial connection with the company came in her sophomore year at HWS when PUSH gave a performance and provided a master class to dance students. After that, Marino auditioned for a show with PUSH and was given a spot as a soloist in the performance, “Arch of Ages.”
It was that connection with PUSH, along with her study abroad experience in Argentina that inspired Marino to pursue similar training throughout her Fulbright experience.
Marino was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship position for the 2013-2014 year in Mendoza, where she taught and assisted with courses at the university in the city. She worked with students who were becoming English teachers and translators, and says her classes covered a wide range of topics such as classic literature, U.S. history, current social issues, campus life, slang, popular Internet memes and knock-knock jokes.
“The best part was that I learned just as much, if not more, from my students as they learned from me,” Marino says. “The richness of the experience comes from the fact that it truly is an exchange of language, culture, and knowledge.”
When Marino wasn’t teaching or assisting her students, she was pursuing Argentinian culture through her passion for dance. After seeing how popular circus and acrobatics are in Argentina, Marino says she decided to start taking aerial acrobatics classes in her free time. For her, dance was a cultural experience, but also a way to connect with the people of Argentina.
“The amazing thing about taking acrobatics classes is that it is all built on trust, it’s terrifying and amazing,” says Marino. “Dance is also an incredible way to connect with people, since movement is its own language that goes beyond the use of words. It provided me with a way to make friends and connections in a less formal atmosphere with like-minded individuals.”
Marino credits her professors at HWS and the interdisciplinary approach of the liberal arts education provided at the Colleges for inspiring her not just to apply for her Fulbright position but also for influencing her to pursue a career in dance.
“Attending HWS exposed me to so many amazing opportunities, incredible people, and helped me understand the world a little bit better,” says Marino. “All the amazing professors at HWS taught me the importance of finding connections between seemingly different disconnected disciplines and understanding the same concept from different perspectives. This is the core of liberal arts, and it is such an important concept yet so often overlooked. In short, I have a lot to thank HWS for.”
Tickets for the PUSH performance are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and are available for purchase at http://thesmith.org/event-calendar/push-physical-theatre/