‘A Force of Nature’ Feb. 7

An evening with Kirstie Simson, renowned improvisational dancer and 2012 Marcus Artist

Acclaimed British dancer and 2012 Marcus Artist Kirstie Simson will present a free informal concert Feb. 7 in the Annelise Mertz Dance Studio.

Described as “a force of nature” by The New York Times, British dancer Kirstie Simson is internationally renowned for creating virtuoso improvisational performances.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, Simson will present a free, informal concert in the Annelise Mertz Dance Studio at Washington University in St. Louis.

The event will include a performance of Simson’s solo Somewhere and a screening of excerpts from Force of Nature, a recent documentary about Simson and improvised dance by Scottish director Katrina McPherson.

In addition, the evening will feature the debut of a new improvisational work, created in collaboration with David Marchant, professor of the practice in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences’ Dance Program.

The Annelise Mertz Dance Studio is located in Room 207, Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

An informal Q&A with Simson will follow the performance. For more information, call (314) 935-5858.

Simson, the PAD’s 2012 Marcus Residency Dance Artist, will be in residence with the Dance Program Feb. 6-8. In addition to the public performance, she will conduct a series of master classes with intermediate and advanced dance students.

Simson is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance” (Time Out London). Over the past 30 years, she has collaborated with Julyen Hamilton, Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith and other dancers, choreographers and musicians who share a common interest in improvisation.

Currently on faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Simson has led workshops on improvisation around the world, most recently for Scottish Dance Theater; Sasha Waltz & Guests, Germany; and Cloud Gate Theater Company, Taiwan.

The Marcus Residency is funded by a gift to the Performing Arts Department by the late Morris D. Marcus, MD, a dermatologist and professor emeritus of Washington University School of Medicine. Marcus established the annual residency in memory of his wife, Margaret, who was a dancer, teacher and choreographer.