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New dance works at the Firehouse Center for the Arts

Exit Dance Theatre presents “Reverse Retrograde” at Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport Friday and Saturday.Handout

TAKING NEW STEPS: The art of dance, in many styles, is the focus of performances at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport Friday through next Sunday.

Exit Dance Theatre, whose work is rooted in theater techniques, improvisation, and collaboration, presents “Reverse Retrograde” Friday and Saturday.

A new piece by Exit Dance co-founder Cheryl Fisher delves into the dream world with its random and disconnected images, mixing humor and terror.

Jen Steeves’ new work — performed to a layered piece of music by Kimmo Pohjonen, Kronos Quartet, and Samuel Kosminen — addressed the effects of war and conflict.


Wendy Hamel partners with guest dancer Karl Granoth for a duet exploring impulses that arise from being, or just feeling, trapped in a space with someone else.

Exit, founded in 1987 by Fisher, Susan Atwood, Fontaine Dollas Dubus, Stephen Haley, and Linda Lazarro, works collaboratively and shares choreographic duties so each piece offers a fresh twist on traditional movement.

Performers include Steeves, Dubus, Granoth, Hamel, Darlene Doyle, Nicole Duquette, Tricia Piacentini, Edward Speck, and Erin Staffierre.

Shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $19, $16 for students, senior citizens, and Firehouse members.

Next Sunday, Joppa Dance Company presents “While We Float,” new works in a range of styles from ballet to hip-hop.

The program includes many student-choreographed pieces.

Company directors Dubus, Fisher, and Steeves play with a variety of themes including curiosity, artistic masterpieces trapped in a museum, pirates, and saucy Latin attitude.

Musical selections include songs by Regina Spektor, The Dropkick Murphys, and Sam Sparrow.

Joppa, established more than 20 years ago, offers students from grades 4 to 12 an opportunity to learn several dance methods while developing their own creativity.

The company creates performance pieces throughout the year.

Performances are at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $12.


For all shows, call 978- 462-7336 or visit

THE BUSINESS OF ART: Sidney Hutter, a world-renowned glass sculptor, is the inaugural speaker in the 2013 Agganis Forum presented Monday by The Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University.

Hutter speaks about understanding the business of art and the interconnecting roles of artists, galleries, and collectors.

A graduate of Illinois State University and Massachusetts College of Art, Hutter has taught at Boston University and Massachusetts College of Art and has offered workshops around the country.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and his works are included in museum, corporate, and private collections.

Hutter has also been involved in international interior design projects in Hong Kong, Australia, and elsewhere.

He is the owner and president of Sidney Hutter Glass and Light Inc. in Newton.

The forum is made possible with funding from the Michael Agganis Entrepreneurship Fund, established by Madeline A. (class of 1979) and Michael J. Agganis (1966) for the benefit of the Bertolon School of Business.

The event begins at 6 p.m. in the recital hall on Central Campus.

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Call 978-542-2426 or e-mail

AUTHOR’S CORNER: David Ira Rottenberg joins with ballerinas from the Hamilton-Wenham School of Dance to present the story of “Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig” at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday. Gwendolyn longs to dance ballet and Omar wants to join the football team. With a little help, they make their dreams come true. Children are encouraged to dress up in tutus, leotards, and football jerseys. The program is for all ages and free.


IN LOCAL GALLERIES: Paintings by Paul Pedulla are on display at the

Ocean Edge" is among the paintings by Paul Pedulla on display at the Chelmsford Public Library throughout April.Handout

Chelmsford Public Library throughout April. An opening reception with the artist is 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. A native of Chelmsford and a 1977 graduate of Boston College, Pedulla went on to a career in advertising. He returned to art seven years ago, for the first time since the eighth grade, and his emergence as an artist has since been rapid. His acrylic on canvas, contemporary paintings offer fresh ideas about space and place . . . “Mindscapes III: In the Eyes of the Beholders,” an exhibit of paintings by Susan E. Schur, is at the Somerville Public Library throughout April. An opening reception is 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Schur uses various techniques of applying oil paint on paper and board to create works that provide a multi-layered visual experience. The images formed in her paintings range from subtle and mystical to bold and dramatic.

Items can be sent to