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U.Va. Dance Program to Present Annual Spring Dance Concert April 3-5

Everyday life, from memories and expectations to relationships, will be examined by University of Virginia students, faculty and guest artists in an eclectic combination of dance, staging, original music and improvisation that make up this year’s Spring Dance Concert April 3-5.

Presented by the Dance Program of the Department of Drama, the concert features 12 pieces that investigate and reflect real-world topics through the language of dance. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. each night in Culbreth Theatre.

The concert will highlight the work of guest artists Kristin Clotfelter and Katie Faulkner, whose residencies were made possible by the U.Va. Arts Council and the offices of the Executive Vice President and Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts. Clotfelter and Faulkner have taught throughout the country and have performed on national and international stages. 

Clotfelter, a guest artist from the Susan Marshall & Company, a dance company based in New York City, described the development of her new piece, “My Claw is Sharp,” as a “collaborative investigation into memory, imagined landscapes and the embodiment of storytelling. By translating recurring memories from our past into movements to share with others, our stories intertwined into a collective experience of chaos and pattern, playfulness and growth, individuality and companionship.”

Cellist Kevin Davis, a U.Va. graduate music student in composition and computer technologies, will perform his original composition for “My Claw is Sharp” live on stage.

Faulkner – a choreographer, performer, filmmaker and teacher from the Bay Area of California –  said of “wishbone,” her current piece to be presented in the dance concert --“The piece we created during our week together is in many ways a reflection of the process of our getting to know each other. Since creating ‘wishbone’ was a joint effort between the dancers and myself, we became acquainted with each other, which allowed the process to be more unified and balanced.”

“I like to work collaboratively, to let the images, ideas, personalities and movement styles of the dancers inform the material. The final product feels to me to be a series of these conversations, illuminating the awkward, graceful, truncated and surprising ways we can and can’t know one another in short periods of time.”

From nuances in relationships, how we experience the mundane, to American teenage mythology, U.Va. students tackle a vast array of issues in their choreography. Erika Choe, whose piece “We, Rhythms in a Canvas” from last fall’s concert was recently selected to be performed in the Gala concert at the Mid-Atlantic American College Dance Festival, describes her new work, “Small Memory,” as an “investigation into the meaning of a quartet relationship and its evolving nature.”

Fourth-year student Tara Bonanno’s “Shifting Lines” moves to an exercise that analyzes everyday movement, from the interesting or dull to the nonsensical. “By looking at what is familiar, the work questions the expectations of the norm and the lines we have drawn between one another in regard to space and time,” she said.

Second-year student Sage Tanguay transitions into the everyday of the past, focusing primarily on the high school structure and experience. Tanguay uses her piece, “Prompera,” to analyze the American mythos of high school and high school proms.

The concert also will feature an improvisational work, led by Brad Stoller, a U.Va lecturer in dance. Stoller’s work, “Ahh-Some,” will have a relaxed structure, created spontaneously and freely each night. All three improvisational performances will be different, with their own unique movements and elements.

Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 434-924-3376 or in person at the U.Va. Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the U.Va. Drama Building. Tickets are $10 ($5 for U.Va. students, children, faculty, staff and Alumni Association members). Free parking is available in the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, located next to the Drama Building.

By Alexandria Wishy

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