Dance Program to Present Annual Spring Concert

March 20, 2012 — The University of Virginia's Dance Program will present its annual Spring Dance Concert on March 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and on March 31 at 2 and 8 p.m. in the Helms Theatre.

The concert will feature original contemporary dance works by U.Va. student and faculty choreographers, and two more by visiting choreographers Danah Bella and Susan Wiesner. It reflects the collaborative spirit of dance and challenges U.Va.'s student dancers in new and exciting ways, said Kim Brook Mata, interim director of the dance program, which is offered as a minor in the College of Arts & Sciences.

She called the work of the visiting choreographers "inspiring."

"It is so important that our students have the opportunity to engage with and learn from artists outside the U.Va. community," Mata said. "It is absolutely vital to their creative and artistic development as dancers."

Wiesner, who received her Ph.D. in dance studies from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, has performed and choreographed throughout the U.S. and the U.K. She is a critic and scholar, has worked as a librarian for dance and taught at several universities and colleges. A visiting scholar at U.Va., Wiesner uses motion capture to study intersections of language, metaphor and movement.

Bella is a choreographer, dancer and educator. Her work has been presented in festivals throughout the U.S., Mexico and Italy. She is the artistic director of d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks, a contemporary dance company based in Southwest Virginia, and is on the faculty of Radford University's Department of Dance.

"This concert is very much inspired by the onset of a new season," Mata said. "As evidence of life and vitality re-emerges with the coming of spring, the dancers and choreographers have asked themselves how we as people also re-emerge from our winter cocoons. These dance compositions reflect a reawakening of the spirit, evoking a range of emotions from joy to desperation."

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

For information on the Spring Dance Concert or the U.Va. Dance Program, click here.