Today@Sam Article

Coming Up In CAM For February

Feb. 8, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

The Sam Houston State University Department of Dance is proud to present thesis choreography by four MFA in Dance students this month. Each work is a cumulation of a year-long research process, and the resulting choreographic creations explore the individual’s respective areas of investigation.

Travis Lake, Amy Fitzsimmons and Shohei Iwahama will present their dance works in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater, and Keeley Dunnam will present her choreography as a site-specific performance at Union Ranch in New Waverly, Texas. All of these performances are free to attend. Please direct questions about these events to the Department of Dance at 936.294.1875.

Avalanche_Poster“Avalanche” by Travis Lake

Feb. 11–12 at 8 p.m. each evening, GPAC Dance Theater
No ticket or registration is required to attend.

Travis Lake’s “Avalanche explores Lake's ongoing fascination with the symbiotic relationship between conflict and storytelling. Anchored by profound personal struggle, the piece directs viewers through episodes of terror, shame, loss, and survival with unflinching honesty. Five virtuous movement artists bring to life a high-tension script driven by Lake's unrelenting sound score in a game of back-and-forth that refuses to let the debris settle. Narrated by a voiceover, the piece shifts wildly from movement to text, echoing the tormented character's thoughts. Each movement expressed by Lake's physical language resembles a series of stress signals with startling clarity through frame-by-frame exactitude.


“Telephone: A Collaborative Experience” by Keeley Dunnam

Feb. 19 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m., Union Ranch Event Venue
Registration is required to attend. Admission is limited.

After researching the way that artists can draw inspiration from one another, Dunnam created this collaborative project using dance as a catalyst for creation. To generate this mixed media gallery performance, artists were presented with Dunnam’s choreography and asked to create, in their preferred mediums, a work that was influenced or inspired by the dance. Dunnam then created more choreography in response to their artwork. After several exchanges, “Telephone” was created — a unique event that will showcase all of the art works generated by this one-of-a-kind creative process.

The collaborators in “Telephone” include Delanie Molnar, Susanne Slade, Sarah Vickery, Joshua Martinez (Jam), Brandi Hawkins, Marc Van Patten, Jesus Lopez, Lexie Newell, Danielle Shaw, Karlee Havelka, Sonya Lopez-Orr, Julie McLemore, Lacy Wilkinson, Amanda Frazier, Marisa Jacques (MJ), and Rachelle Elise Norris. The dancers include Jacob Regan, Viviana Moreno (Ve), Karlee Havelka, Danielle Shaw, Joselyn LaForte, Hadley Dills, Aniya Wingate, and Meghan Billey.

The Union Ranch Event Venue is located at 5855 Mt. Zion Road, New Waverly, Texas 77358. To register for this event, visit the event website.\

In Reel Life_Poster“In Reel Life” by Amy Fitzsimmons and – Nen –“ by Shohei Iwahama

Feb. 25–26 at 8 p.m. each evening, GPAC Dance Theater

No ticket or registration is required to attend.

Choreographers Amy Fitzsimmons and Shohei Iwahama will present their individual dance works in a shared concert.

What would happen if our online behaviors materialized in the real world? Imagine a realm where posts, comments, and likes occurred not behind a screen, but face-to-face. Amy Fitzsimmons’ “In Reel Life” showcases the border between cyberspace and the real world. The performance embodies these familiar online interactions onstage, ensuing in a humorous and absurd display of theatrical dance. This piece utilizes universal scenarios to peer inside and behind the screen revealing themes of deception, exclusion, and loneliness. The retro costume and sound design juxtapose the modern content, prompting viewers to consider now versus then. The relatable, yet harrowing subject matter causes audiences to question “Are we In Reel Life?” 

In a shared evening with Amy Fitzsimmons, “然 – Nen –”  is presented by Shohei Iwahama. Does a choreographer “create” or “unveil creation”? Inspired by Eastern philosophy, Iwahama explores how creativity can emerge in an environment where artists embrace spontaneity by trusting simplicity, patience, and compassion. A photographer does not "create" when capturing an image of birds flying in the sky reflected upon the water. However, they "capture" the beauty of spontaneity created by nature, allowing their eyes to invite the creation that already exists. As humans are part of nature, Iwahama believes there are aspects of dance where the choreographer and dancers can approach dance-making in the same manner. In “然 – Nen –,” the audience will witness the dancers be in the moment and unveil the creation through their bodies as they simply breathe, walk and dance. 

Click here for a full list of events coming up from CAM

The School of Music also has performances lined up in the coming weeks. These events will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Payne Concert Hall in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

Concert Band and Symphonic Band Concert – Feb. 17
Wind Ensemble Concert – Feb. 22
Chorale Home Concert – Feb. 25

Tickets are available on the Box Office website for $12 in advance and $15 on the day of the event. SHSU faculty and staff can get one free ticket when booking online. SHSU students can obtain one free ticket the week of the show when booking online. For ticket information, please contact the Box Office at or call 936.294.2339.

Art Exhibition Spotlight:

The following events are free and require no ticket reservation. For gallery locations and viewing hours, please visit the respective links or reach out to the Department of Art at 936.294.4311.

University Gallery

62nd Annual Faculty Exhibition — Jan. 18 – Feb. 26

Satellite Gallery

Student/Alumni Exhibition — Jan. 27 – Feb. 12
Senior Preview Exhibition — Feb. 17 – Feb. 26

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