Weekend forecast: lots of cutting-edge dance
Fans of modern dance are about to be treated to lots cutting-edge performances during the Faculty Dance Concert, which is scheduled for April 14-17 at the University of Colorado.
Onye Ozuzu, associate professor of theatre and dance at the University of Colorado, is working in collaboration with Frederick Peterbark of the College of Music to present “And They Lynched Him On A Tree,” a multi-dimensional production that brings awareness to America’s history of lynching and to “our ever-evolving struggle towards justice.”
“And They Lynched Him on a Tree” is scheduled April 14 at 7:30 p.m. and April 16 at 2 p.m. in the University Theatre’s Charlotte York Irey Studio.
Premiered in February in the Atlas Black Box theatre on the CU campus, this full-length work features choir, orchestra, dance, aerial work, installations and video projection.
The production challenges the audience to reflect on America’s past and become involved as active, informed citizens.
The musical composition “And They Lynched Him On A Tree” is a landmark 1939 work by black American composer William Grant Still and white poet Katherine Garrison Chapin. Performers will sing the parts of a white mob that lynches a black man–and the parts of his friends and family who mourn his passing.
Still’s composition becomes the centerpiece around which the performance, installations, film projections and dancing bodies blur the line between us and them, black and white, audience and performer, past and present.
“DanceWorks 2011” features a host of dance faculty and cutting-edge guest artists April 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17 at 2 p.m. in the Charlotte York Irey Studio.
Darrell Jones, 2011 Roser Guest Artist, premieres “Can I See”—a piece that investigates the poetics of voguing to explore how an art form specific to a minority sub-culture can also be a metaphor for global ideas of oppression, power and transgression. Utilizing his training in improvisation and post-modern dance, Jones delves deeply into the pluralism of ideas and forms conveyed by the voguing body.
Robert Sher-Machherndl, critically acclaimed artistic director of Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, presents “Blue on Black”—a new work for five female modern dancers that explores formation and human gesture with elements of his signature choreographic movement style.
Assistant professor Erika Randall, in collaboration with guest artist Teena Marie Custer, will premiere “burn cycle,” which investigates, through metaphor, the ways we can deplete ourselves with constant access to cell phones, Facebook and email if we don’t create clear personal boundaries.
The piece looks for balance in a land where “reach out and touch someone” can so easily turn into “reach out and deplete yourself.”
Guest artist Larry Southall will premiere “Menagerie”—a piece that combines dance hall, popping, modern, ballet, African and Afro-Cuban styles. This well-known local hip-hop artist, whose work has been seen all over the Front Range, was commissioned to create this new piece for DanceWorks 2011.
Refocusing the hip-hop language in collaboration with two video projection artists, Southall takes us on an exploratory journey that reflects the diverse movement languages of contemporary artists.
Jacob Mora, artistic director of Moraporvida, presents an excerpt from “On the Verge” which is based on the idea of borders and lines and the reasons why we cross them or cannot.
Taking inspiration from immigration laws and the way that U.S. borders and ocean borders are handled much differently, this excerpt explores the relationship between two perspectives.
These two evenings of dance promise to be both exciting and engaging. From high stylin’ hip-hop to full-out physicality, there will be something for everyone. Please join us as we celebrate the work of our esteemed faculty and welcome these artfully gifted guests.
For more information, follow this link.