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Works from Dance Theatre of Harlem Featured in UW Performance Dec. 1-3

November 28, 2017
man talknng to a line of dancers
Guest choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie works with UW Department of Theatre and Dance students for “Fall for Dance” Dec. 1-3 on the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts main stage. (Sydney Edwards Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance closes the semester with “Fall for Dance,” featuring works by Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) repertoire Friday-Saturday, Dec. 1-2, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. on the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts main stage.

Works presented as an outgrowth of the company’s Eminent Artist residence this semester also will be showcased during the dance concert.

Tickets cost $14 for the public; $11 for seniors, faculty and staff; and $7 for students. Tickets are available at the Wyoming Union information desk and the Performing Arts box office, by calling (307) 766-6666, or going online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

“Fall for Dance” is choreographed by DTH artists Charmaine Hunter, Tai Jimenez and guest choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie. Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company artistic Director Daniel Charon and UW dance faculty member Jennifer Deckert also choreographed parts of the production.

The concert opens with “Holberg Suite,” a piece choreographed early in the history of DTH by founding director Arthur Mitchell. Current DTH artistic Director Virginia Johnson recommended the piece as ideal for UW dance students to perform.

“We went forward with this plan enthusiastically, but an unexpected outcome came about,” says Marsha Knight, UW professor of dance and rehearsal director.

She says the work was set in early September on UW dancers by Hunter, the DTH’s former principal dancer, who has performed in the piece.

“When the full DTH company was in residence in late September, Johnson held several coaching sessions with our dancers, as she’d danced the original pas de trois,” Knight says. “The most recent DTH teaching residency was with Tai Jimenez, who had danced the pas de deux. The coaching for the piece has been from masters, and the process has been quite extraordinary.”

Following will be Deckert’s “Flora in Flight,” which explores the relationship between flora and the movement of nature.

“Simple repeated gestures are balanced by large sweeping movements -- mimicking the flight of leaves,” Knight says of the performance.

Next is “Corporate Storm,” a tap piece created specifically for UW dancers by Charon.

“This piece combines Charon’s modern dance background with complex rhythm structures to create a unique tap experience highlighting the strength of the dancers and their relationship to each other,” Knight says.

Pieces, titled “Yin” and “Surfaces,” also will be performed.

“Yin” is a piece by Jimenez that explores how hip-hop and current movement vocabularies are weaved into classical balletic movement. “Surfaces” is a modern dance work by Charon, specifically designed for UW dancers as part of the 2017 Snowy Range Summer Dance Festival, which evolved during Charon’s UW fall residency.

“This haunting piece explores the relationship between the dancers and the space around them,” Knight says. “Driving music by Philip Glass molds the piece into a complex structure balanced by strong lines and repeated waves of movement.”

Moultrie, who was tapped by Johnson to create “Harlem on My Mind” for the DTH Company and also to create a masterwork for UW students, presents “CONNECTIONS of the Illuminated.” The piece will be presented at the American College Dance Association’s Northwest Conference at the University of Colorado in March.

The concert ends with the “Fosse Finale,” a work based on choreography by Bob Fosse from the musical “Chicago,” staged on UW dancers by Hunter as an outgrowth of her DTH teaching artist residency.

“Charmaine suggested this piece as a great closer to the concert, and we are going with that,” Knight says.

For more information, call Knight at (307) 766-6122 or email mfknight@uwyo.edu.


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