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Faculty Dance Concert delivers versatile dance styles

The Faculty Dance Concert will feature innovative works – inspired by grief, love, Shakespeare and C.S. Lewis – choreographed by UNT teachers and students and performed by dance students.

The concert, sponsored by the Department of Dance and Theatre, takes place at 8 p.m. Feb. 11, 12, 13 and 2 p.m. Feb. 14 at the University Theatre in the Radio Television Film and Performing Arts Building.

The title of the concert is “Encapsulated in Space,” which captures the meanings, ideas and feelings the dances may conjure, said artistic director Robin Lakes, associate professor of dance.Dance

“Some dances are comedic, others thought-provoking,” Lakes aid. “Viewers can witness fascinating patterns on the floor and in space. And, because dance is an art form carried out by the human body, keen insights are offered into the human condition.”

Professor Shelley Cushman will present Cinematic Caricatures, which are modern dances set to algorithmically generated computer music composed by the late College of Music professor Phil Winsor. The performance also will show earlier dances in the Cinematic Caricatures catalogue that were filmed by Ben Levin, professor of media arts.

Lecturer Teresa Cooper created A Severe Season, a contemporary ballet based on images of the raw beauty and grace that can be found in disasters, some of which were inspired by her husband’s health. 

Dance senior Jazmine Taylor-Hughlett choreographed the modern dance, In the Eyes of Kora, based on her thoughts on love. Dance senior Joseph Stevens' modern dance, Through Altered Transparencies, took inspiration from a quote from writer C.S. Lewis. 

The concert also includes an excerpt from Agua Furiosa/Furious Water by guest artist Ana Maria Alvarez of the CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater in Los Angeles. Agua Furiosa/Furious Water incorporates Afro-Cuban, salsa, house and hip hop – and influences from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and the Afro-Cuban deity of storm, Oya – to portray the politics of water and race.

Eleven dance majors will perform the 20-minute piece they learned from two CONTRA-TIEMPO performing artists, including 2012 UNT dance graduate Isis Avalos, during their September residency.

“We always want to bring our humanistic quality to the work,” Avalos said. “Who we are in our community, who we are culturally has everything to do with how we move our bodies as dancers.”

Taylor-Hughlett echoed that idea, saying “the dancers are clear representations of the moving images depicted in the minds of the choreographers” – as reflected in the concert’s title.

“All of the pieces take you somewhere,” she said. “There is a clear emotional, unique tone of each piece, in which for that moment, I am encapsulated in the specific environment that the choreographer created.”

—Jessica DeLeón, University Relations, Communications and Marketing

Photo by Gary Payne/URCM

Posted on: Thu 14 January 2016

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