Journeys SUU Faculty Dance Concert
A wonderfully eclectic and soulful evening of dance full of energy and athleticism
For Immediate Release: February 20, 2008
(Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah) The SUU Theatre Arts and Dance Department will present Journeys, a faculty dance concert, March 5-8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium Theatre on the SUU Campus. Choreographed by SUU faculty and visiting choreographers, and performed by SUU faculty and dance students, this concert offers an energetic, athletic, and wonderfully eclectic evening of dance exploring the complex and, at times, comical nature of the human experience.
Journeys includes a world premiere by the 2008 George S. and Doré Eccles Visiting Scholar and Professor of Dance at Ohio State University, Susan Hadley, and a well-loved classic from the American Folk Ballet choreographed by Burch Mann.
This evening of dance also includes a thoughtful piece about personal relationships, a rock 'n roll ballet, and a piece that investigates a new world of technology and dance. A more traditional character ballet, a whimsical look at childhood games, and a lighthearted tap solo will round out this delightfully diverse and entertaining evening of dance.
Hadley's Colony, set to the drivingly rhythmic Voces de la Huasteca by Swedish percussionist and composer, Anders Astrand, takes on our shaping of evolution through culture, primates to the Supremes. Throughout the piece, Hadley stretches the very language of dance pulling from African tribal rituals to post-modern dance, from the Miserlou to Bob Fosse. An orderly chaos develops as Colony explores a humorous juxtaposition between our primal nature and high-brow, fluff culture. Hadley's choreography maintains a spiritual and yet very human view that much of our destiny, however malleable, is out of our control and recognizes that we are the only animals truly capable of awe.
The brilliant, timeless work of Cedar City's beloved Burch Mann, is also featured. The Daughters of Michael Dongarvan was set by Lise Mills and Shauna Mendini. Balanchine meets de Mille meets Bournonville in this exhilarating snapshot of the pioneer West. With the intricacy and speed of tap dancing, clogging, and ballet's petite allegro, eleven gifted dancers from the SUU Theatre and Dance Department flutter across the stage with absolute swiftness and technical virtuosity all the while radiating whimsy and delight of young mischievous teenage women from the early years of the West.
Untitled (Regret) by world-renown choreographer Douglas Nielson explores an intimate relationship between a man and a woman. The piece depicts a relationship from two perspectives. The choreography is repeated twice; once with text, and again with music. The text is meant to objectify the actions and thought processes of the performers, while the music, by Astor Piazzolla, suggests a more reflective, heartrending partnership. Untitled (Regret) was originally inspired by a photograph by internationally acclaimed photographer Laurie Simmons. SUU Dance faculty Chien-Ying Wang and Paul Ocampo will perform the duet.
Wang's, Angel Food for Thought, will also premiere on opening night. With the help of a dance/video installation created by Wang and Ocampo, this piece takes an often humorous and thoughtful look at the modern day challenges of our daily human existence. Performed to powerful musical poetry full of wit and irony by Meryn Cadell, Angel Food for Thought is a clever yet gentle examination of the relentless nature of contemporary human conditioning and socialization.
Set to music by Queen, Ocampo's Why not? brings together true classics: classical ballet, contemporary dance, and classic rock. A nearly epic endeavor utilizing 27 dancers, Why not?, lightheartedly delves into the spectacular, poking fun at social customs while accentuating the more tender aspects of being human.
Wang and Ocampo also set an abridged adaptation of the ballet Don Quixote entitled Kitri & Basil on the SUU dance students. Set to the infamous music by Léon Minkus, this character ballet gives students an opportunity to present both their technical and performance skills as they interpret the poignant story by the renowned Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.
SUU dance faculty, Kay Anderson, offers two works for Journeys. The first piece, The Games We Play, is a lighthearted look at how we experience life through the games we played as children. Simon Says, Red Light, Green Light, and Chase take on new meaning as we experience them through adult eyes, realizing, quite possibly, that nothing has really changed, except, of course, that we are a little older.
Anderson also created a tap solo for SUU's well-loved, graduating senior, Rhett Guter. Made especially for Guter, this piece is guaranteed to be a fun, carefree study of tap technique and virtuosity.
Sponsored by the SUU College of Performing and Visual Arts and the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, Journeys: Faculty Dance Concert, will run March 5-8, in the Auditorium Theatre. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for General Admission, $8 for SUU Faculty and Staff, $5 for students/children, and free for SUU Students with a valid Student ID.