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UW Spring Dance Concert Features Lights Along the Shore March 7-10

February 28, 2017
two dancers wearing lift harnesses
The UW Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Spring to Dance,” a mixed-bill concert featuring an array of dance styles, March 7-10 at 7:30 p.m. on the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts main stage. (Donald P. Turner Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Spring to Dance,” a mixed-bill concert featuring an array of dance styles ranging from jazz and modern to European release and vertical dance.

Choreographed by UW Department of Theatre and Dance faculty members Margaret Wilson, Jennifer Deckert and Maurice Watson, and also guest artists, “Spring to Dance” runs March 7-10 at 7:30 p.m. on the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts main stage.

Tickets cost $14 for the public; $11 for senior citizens; and $7 for students. Tickets are available at the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk, by calling (307) 766-6666 or going online at

The opening performance Tuesday, March 7, is a pay-what-you-can night (general seating), while Thursday, March 9, is Family Night, free for children ages 5 through 12.

The concert opens with “Shaping Sound,” a vertical dance piece choreographed by Wilson and Neil Humphrey, UW Department of Geology and Geophysics interim department head. Music is arranged by UW music Professor Emeritus Rod Garnett for the popular local music ensemble Lights Along the Shore, featuring Garnett; UW music faculty members Lisa Rickard and Blake McGee; and former faculty member Steve Barnhart -- back in Laramie for the performance.

Vertical dance features performers suspended in air, moving in three dimensions: up, down and across the stage. “Shaping Sound” highlights movement that accompanies the musicians on stage with the dancers, featuring four songs, including a composition from Laramie musician Brian Peel.

Following is Deckert’s piece, “A Perfect Thorn,” a humorous take on expectations, desires, fight for love and the pursuit of perfection.

Closing out the first half is Watson’s “We Want ANSWERS,” a choreographic response to current events within the country.

The concert continues with “Women, WeMen, WeMan,” a constructed female ensemble work choreographed by guest artist Jarek Cemrek, from the Czech Republic, that explores the strength of the female form in motion.

A solo performance follows with “Invisible Barriers,” choreographed by undergraduate dance student Avery Lux. The piece will be presented at the American College Dance Association Northwest Conference in Eugene, Ore., in March.

Watson’s “Teach Me How to Be Loved” explores individuals who are in a relationship for the wrong reasons, and the idea that “if you can’t have the one you want, you should love the one you’re with.”

The concert concludes with guest artist André Megerdichian’s piece, “Warm Hearts and Hot Feet,” a visceral, foot-stomping tribute to the voices that defined a generation.

“Spring to Dance” is dedicated to the memory of Margaret “Margie” Small Mains, a UW physical education associate professor. A contemporary of Marge H’Doubler and Martha Graham, Mains came to UW in 1948 to begin a dance program, and is considered to be among the pioneers of modern dance in the Western United States.

In addition to teaching, Mains directed Orchesis, a dance group that toured the state and conducted outreach programs in public schools from 1948-1976. She also wrote “Modern Dance Manual: Rhythmic Analysis as Related to Movement” in 1950.

Mains spent her sabbatical learning and teaching in Japan, and her international travels took her around the world to more than 20 countries. She received many awards, including the National Dance Association Lifetime Achievement Award; the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award; and the UW College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award. After retiring, she continued to teach dance and travel.

“Margie had a profound zest for life and love of dance,” Wilson says. “We are proud to dedicate this concert as a celebration of her life.”

For more information, call Wilson at (307) 766-5138 or email


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