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Department To ‘RADIATE’ For Spectrum Concert

April 22, 2014
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt, Dionne Sparkman Noble

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The Sam Houston State University Department of Dance will present the Spring 2014 Spectrum Dance Concert “RADIATE” April 24–26 in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theatre.

Performances, featuring two guest artists, will begin at 8 p.m. each day, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee.

Visiting professor Gregory Nuber, formerly of the Mark Morris Dance Group, will present new work, “Danse Macabre,” or the dance of death.

Radiate posterSet to a score by Camille Saint-Saens, Nuber’s work is based on the artistic genre of late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the “Dance of Death” unites all, according to Dionne Sparkman Noble, assistant professor of dance.

Stefanie Nelson, of Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup in New York City, creates a dance that is a meditation on the cycle of life from an individual perspective.

In “I Ride the Ride,” each individual is traveling on their own journey within a community of individuals trying to make the most of their short time on earth, Sparkman Noble said.

Department chair Jennifer Pontius will showcase a new ballet, “Ballet Suite,” that evokes the feeling of the "village" scene of many full-length ballets.

“This brief ballet pays tribute to the traditions of ensemble and pas de deux pointe work, with the music of mazurkas and a tarantella, and delightful costumes that allude to both European folk heritage and the elegant lines expected in classical dance,” Pontius said.

Professor Dana Nicolay will bring back a crowd favorite, “Alone, Again, Anew,” created in 2009, that explores relationships within a small community.

The dancers pass through various encounters and engage one another on an intimate level throughout. The music, by Glen Hansard and Irketa Marklova, creates an emotional atmosphere that brings out the vulnerability and support that we all experience day-to-day, Sparkman Noble said.

With a cast of 25 dancers, “Einstein’s Letter” by assistant professor Erin Reck fills the stage with a rush of energy and drama.

To create this work, Reck was inspired by a series of letters Albert Einstein wrote to Franklin D. Roosevelt detailing the magnitude and danger of the atom bomb, and later to philosopher Erik Gutkind debating God and religion.

“The letters are different in context, yet remarkably similar in content. The creations of the bomb and of religion are regarded as products of human weakness,” Reck said. “I became fascinated with the amount of thought it must have take to formulate such strong debates, and with the composition of his handwritten letters.

“I created phrases of movement and choreography using Einstein’s actual script, and allowed his thought-provoking ideas to drive the intent behind the work.”

Assistant professor Andy Noble and Sparkman Noble explore technology and stage-altering effects for each of their new works.

A mirror-covered floor, a little fog, and mysterious lighting effects set the stage for Noble and collaborator David J Deveau’s “The First Day.”

The dancers unite in their approach to create a liquid, transcendent experience in an exquisite atmosphere to explore the birth of something anew, according to the choreographers.

Sparkman Noble collaborated with mass communication film major Jonathan Kinsey for “a CrB,” which utilizes four projectors, large floor screens, surround sound, and the projection design program Isadora to immerse the audience in an interstellar atmosphere.

The title refers to the star constellation “Corona Borealis,” or The Northern Crown, which is a constellation of seven twinkling stars grouped in a semicircle. The brightest star in the constellation is labeled “a CrB” in star charts, Sparkman Noble said.

Returning professional graduate student Jennifer Mabus will present her new work "Hearts Do Roar,” in an ensemble of 11 women explore feminine spirituality and power.

For this work, Mabus collaborated with costume designer Barry Doss and was inspired by early-18th-century polyphonic music, as well as contemporary music selections.

“Passionate Savage,” by senior Bachelor of Fine Arts student Cordarrel White, and “One Day at a Time,” a solo work by graduate student Tawnya Kannarr, round out the evening.

Both works represented SHSU at this year’s American College Dance Festival, and White’s work was selected as one of 10 out of 50 works for the gala performance.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for senior citizens and students.

To purchase tickets, contact the GPAC Box office at 936.294.2339 or visit shsu.edu/boxoffice.




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