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'Retrospective' To Look Back At Award-Winning Works

Oct. 26, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt


From Andy Noble's "Photo Box D" —Submitted photo.

The SHSU dance program will present a concert featuring four award-winning works that have been performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Wednesday through Saturday (Nov. 3-6).

Performances for the “Kennedy Center Retrospective” will begin at 8 p.m. each evening, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, in the Performing Arts Center Dance Theatre.

The show will also include three other works honored by the American College Dance Festival Association and the New York Dance Gallery.

Opening the concert will be “Fairy Rainbow,” a traditional Chinese ribbon dance choreographed by Master of Fine Arts degree alumna Mei-Ling Chen, which was selected for the National College Dance Festival in 1996.

“The work presents an explosion of color with delicately refined grace,” said Dana Nicolay, dance professor and associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. “The dancers have risen to the challenge of mastering beautiful silk ribbons up to 25 feet long in a dance that is technically similar to ballet but with a special sense of style and poise that clearly identifies its Chinese origins.”

“Sabachthani,” a dance for six men performed to Samuel Barber’s famous “Adagio for Strings,” was choreographed by Nicolay, and performed at the Kennedy Center in 1998.

“The work explores Christian imagery evocative of the Easter story,” Nicolay said.

Recent MFA alumna Marian Hart’s “One Step Closer” is a “humorous and sometimes frustrated look at the trials of completing graduate school” that was selected for the ACDFA south central regional gala performance in 2008.

“Ms. Hart is a superb tap dancer with what would not be described as the typical dancer’s body, working in a world of ballet and modern dance,” Nicolay said. “She delivers an immaculately timed comic monologue filled with commentary on the different styles of dance and the special challenges she has encountered.”

Closing the first half of the program will be an ACDFA National Festival selection in 1992 by former faculty member Kris O’Shee.

“‘Choral Stance’ is inspired by bas-relief and ceramic figures from early Greek culture and set to music by the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Women’s Chorus,” Nicolay said. “It is a powerful ensemble work that evokes a strong sense of ancient mythic ritual.”

After intermission Andy Noble will continue the program with “Photo Box D,” a “starkly radiant piece that uses aggressive lighting design and subtly rendered movement to explore concepts of intimacy, weight and space in surprising and unconventional ways,” according to Nicolay.

The dance was recently selected for the dance gallery performance at the Alvin Ailey Theatre in New York.

The program originally included Andy Noble’s “Kinky Kool Fan Blowing Hard” that was performed at the Kennedy Center last May; however, key performer, Jared Doster, was recently cast in the world famous Pilobolus Dance Company’s coming European tour so the work cannot be performed.

“This is a wonderful problem to have, and we all wish Jared the greatest success in his exciting new opportunity,” Nicolay said.

“Afterimages,” choreographed by dance professor Cindy Gratz and performed at the Kennedy Center in 1994, explores the stages of grief and recovery from childhood abuse.

“Using a variety of music ranging from Kurt Weill’s ‘Mac the Knife’ to chanting by Tibetan throat singers, Dr. Gratz uses a wide variety of movement qualities and relationships to express the compound and lasting effects that traumatic events can have on the lives of young people,” Nicolay said.

Finally, assistant professor of dance Jonathan Charles will close the program with “The Red Socks.”

“Using Benny Goodman’s ‘Sing, Sing, Sing,’ Charles fills the stage with dynamic energy in a jazz/tap performance that brought down the house at the 1999 ACDFA South Central Regional Gala,” Nicolay said.

“All in all, the evening promises to be a cornucopia of outstanding choreography and performances that will take full advantage of the beautiful new Dance Theater in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center,” he said.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for seniors, students and those with an SHSU ID.

For more information, call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 936.294.2339.


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