LAWRENCE — Drawing on themes that contrast the classical and posthuman digital age, the University Dance Company fall concert will showcase six works choreographed by two guest artists and KU faculty members. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20-21 at the Lied Center.
“This moment in the careers of our dancers is one of breathtaking athleticism and artistic growth. It is exciting to watch their development as professional artists,” said Michelle Heffner Hayes, professor and chair of the Department of Dance. “Just as you see someone like Perry Ellis in Allen Fieldhouse, these dancers are coming of age on the Lied Center stage.”
New York-based guest artist Lane Gifford was on campus for an intensive, two-week residency with her company, LaneCoArts. During that time, Gifford set “The Garden/Adam Eve Tree Snake Apple Exit” for members of the dance company.
James Moreno, assistant dance professor, will follow up the success of his multimedia collaborative project with Ben Rosenthal, assistant professor of visual art, with “human next: Phase 2.” The performance uses dancers, mobile monitors and video projections to perform the convergences and differences between virtual and physical bodies, offering new perspectives on the 21st century techno-hybrid condition.
Donna Jo Harkrider, dance alumna and community teaching artist, has created a large-scale, three-part work, “Elemental,” to music by Zoe Keating. The dancers represent the classical elements of earth, water, fire and air as they battle for space and power, then work to restore harmony.
Master faculty choreographers also include Muriel Cohan with “Groove,” a piece for 10 dancers set to a haunting sound collage that hurls glimmers of dream substance into the gears of industrious activity; Jerel Hilding creates a refreshing new vision of classical Russian ballet variations in Raymonda Divertissement danced en pointe by six soloists and ten corps de ballet, the choreography revisits the grace and precision of the Imperial Russian ballet; and Willie Lenoir offers his signature combination of Baroque music and whirling, dense movement drawn from modern dance, jazz and African traditions set to a cello concerto by Andrea Zani.
Tickets are on sale at the Lied Center: $15 public, and for $10 students, senior citizens 62 and older, and group sales. KU students are eligible for a $5 advance purchase price before the opening day of the show. Call (785) 864-2787 for tickets.
The Department of Dance is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.