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Professor Hopes To Blow Audiences Away At Kennedy Center

May 6, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Tara Lestarjette

 

Noble's "Kinky Kool Fan Blowing Hard," a modern dance piece, uses industrial fans to "propel dancers through space." —Photos by Becky Finley

From the sweat of the studio to the glamour and spotlights of Washington, D.C., Sam Houston State University assistant professor of dance Andrew Noble is gliding to the rhythm of success.

“Kinky Kool Fan Blowing Hard,” a modern dance choreographed by Noble and performed by SHSU students, was chosen at the South Central Regional American College Dance Festival for the gala concert at the National College Dance Festival in Washington, D.C. His piece will be the final performance in the May 29 concert.

“This is a very big honor, and it gets pretty competitive, as you can imagine,” Noble said. “I see this festival as a wonderful opportunity to expose our students to new ideas and to network. Historically, Sam Houston does really well at these festivals.”

The presentations at the John F. Kennedy Center highlight the outstanding quality of choreography and performance being created on college and university campuses, according to Noble. Dancers include Catherine Nysveen, Brittany Thetford, Jared Doster, Brittany Barnett, Tristin Ferguson, Jesus Acosta, Sarah Peterson, Shohei Iwahama and Alexis Anderson.

“‘Kinky Kool Fan Blowing Hard’ is a daring theatrical dance that uses industrial fans to propel the dancers through space,” Noble said. “From cigarette addiction to rock star icons, the work uses fierce partnering and high-energy theatrics to comment on modern themes in pop-culture.

“The piece was selected by my colleagues at SHSU to go forward and represent the University in the South Central Regional Conference, which took place at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.,” said Noble. “The panel of juries at the conference then selects the top 10 pieces to perform at the Kennedy Center.”

Dance graduate student Amy Llanes’s piece,” Strong Moves Slow,” was also a part of the regional festival in April, and both her and Noble’s works were met with “glowing reviews,” according to College of Arts and Sciences associate dean Dana Nicolay.

“The SHSU performances at the adjudication concerts created quite a buzz among the dancers at the festival and the adjudicators seemed to agree,” he said.

At SHSU, Noble teaches courses in modern dance, choreography, dance and technology and career resources. In his short time at the university, he has taken students to compete successfully nationwide.

Noble has a Bachelor of Arts degree in modern dance from the University of South Florida and a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in dance technology from Florida State University. Before joining the dance department at SHSU, he taught at the University of South Florida and Western Washington University.

With six years of experience in repertory dance theatre and performances with many noted artists, Noble has received numerous grants for his choreography and is currently the co-artistic director of NobleMotion Dance. Many of his works and accomplishments can be viewed at www.noblemotiondance.com.

“The real revelation of what NobleMotion is capable of came with ‘Kinky Kool Fan Blowing Hard,’ a piece for 10 dancers and five large, industrial fans,” said Dance Source Houston critic Neil Ellis Orts. “The choreography alternates between the expected (dancers struggling into the wind) and the novel (some really inventive ways to fall), and even when one section feels out of place (the soundtrack becomes punk/metal and the movements look lifted out of a rock video), it never fails to hold the attention.”

As a date of the gala approaches, Noble and the SHSU dancers anticipate sharing ‘Kinky Kool Fan Blowing Hard’ with those at the Kennedy Center.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity for our dancers to perform in a nationally recognized venue,” said Noble. “Most of them have never been to D.C. before. It will be a memorable moment in their career, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

 

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