VCU Dance presents Un|Tide: A Senior Project Concert In Two Parts at the Grace Street Theater, 934 W. Grace St, Richmond, VA. Program A will run Wednesday and Friday, November 14 &16 at 8:00pm and Program B Thursday and Saturday, November 15 &17 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $15/$10 students with valid I.D. and are available now at Showclix (showclix.com) or by calling 804-828-2020.
Program A: Choreography by Chloe Bowman, Kelly Oakes, Beau Dobson, Rachel Brady, Kayla Beatty, and Alexandra Schools.
Program B: Choreography by Courtney Deel, Emma Stewart, Christina Carlotti Kolb, Kamali Hill, Ryan Rouland Smith.
Choreographed and produced by a diverse group of seniors in the 2012-2013 graduating class, Un|Tide premieres eleven new works varying in conceptual and stylistic content. The capstone of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at VCU Dance, the Senior Concert is a culmination of years of choreographic exploration, research, and artistic collaboration. These works incorporate non-linear narratives and cinematic motifs and express strong political sentiments celebrating individuality and exemplifying the choreographers’ diverse backgrounds.
No Exceptions choreographed by Kayla Beatty is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “Mask of The Red Death”. Complex athletic fight scenes exhibit energetic rhythms born of the struggle for survival. As death invades, the dancers confine themselves in an attempt to outlast the Red Death.
Chloe Bowman’s Dearest sister, inspired by letters her grandmother wrote to her sister from 1936- 1949, explores the need and desire for communication through the use of her observations, experiences and stories. Movement vignettes crafted from the letters, along with the grandmother’s desire to share, maintain connection and receive validation from her sister form the heart of this poetic work. With music by The New Friends of Rhythm, Dearest sister, weaves together intimate gestures along with revealing language to create a work reminiscent of the writing of the letters.
Intrigued by early German Expressionist film techniques, Rachel Brady manipulates the spatial relationships of dancers and the audience’s perspective in Nocturnal Shadows. By juxtaposing foreground and background with confined versus open space, Brady deftly controls the audiences’ point of view much in the manner of a cinematic camera. Doused with dark abstraction, heavy symbolism, and jagged imagery, Nocturnal Shadows transports the audience to another time and space utilizing dream-like, theatrical elements.
Courtney Deel‘s Sandskrit explores the concept of anitya, or “impermanence” by drawing on the transient imagery of sand and inspiring five female dancers to challenge the limits of their physicality. By emulating the subtlety of sand while embodying its physical state, Deel captures how humans interact with the ever shifting, highly variable matter. Much like sand, Sandskrit is a beautifully flowing, transient work that is never the same twice.
Creating movement through use of improvisation, Beau Dobson’s new work Bridges of Motion fabricates pathways for each dancer in relation to themselves, other dancers, and the space surrounding them. Inspired by the heart disease Atrial Fibrillation and the constellation Delphinus, Beau Dobson worked with his dancers to create contact phrases and a movement dialogue that captures their connectivity through tunnels of energy and radiant presence while keeping them moving as one sculptured unit.
Never Was There A People, choreographed by Kamali Hill, is inspired by the perspective of the African-American community during the Jim Crow South and the Great Migration. Through the use of subtle poetic imagery both stark and accessible, Hill takes the audience on a journey through the African-American plight that is deeply rooted in the America we know today.
In the(un)familiar choreographer Christina Carlotti Kolb investigates the idea of journeys as instruments of disorientation and inevitable change. Collaborating closely with her dancers, Kolb weaves intimate, interrelated vignettes using material mined from their different experiences of journeys. In a human landscape of twenty souls who create a living set of obstacles, pathways, vast open spaces and extreme confinements, Kolb plays with space and the themes of travel, disorientation and finding the (un)familiar.
Kelly Oakes’ Inevitable Instability examines the use of momentum and gravity to initiate movement and study the body’s response to impulses. Through complete physical commitment, three women create an off-kilter atmosphere that evokes tides in the ocean as they surrender to pure kineticism through shared weight and powerful locomotion.
Unconscious Inferences, choreographed by Alexandra Schools, is inspired by Salvador Dali’s painting The Mysterious Lips that Appeared on the Back of my Nurse. Viewers encounter a disorienting world through movement inspired by optical illusions. By exploring weight sharing and isolation, Schools’ dancers bring Dali’s imagery to stage.
Immolate, a work by Ryan Rouland Smith, examines the decisions and motivations behind Mohamed Bouazizi’s suicide, a catalyst for the Arab Spring. A psychological exploration of this poignant form of dissidence, Bouazizi’s choice is dissected into six fragments, each embodied by a dancer. Muscian Robbie Kinter created the original score that accompanies the dancers as they flow through cycles of subtle gestures, partner work and intense high-octane movement.
Emma Stewart’s work Ripcord is a fast paced energetic work inspired by the complex rhythms and drive of the Heavy Metal genre of music. As individuals and through the use of partnering dancers emulate flight by taking risks with speed, rhythm and weight. Stewart also pulls from the group mentality and culture of Heavy Metal, making reference to moshing and crowd surfing. The piece is set to an original score composed by Harrison Stewart, also a VCU student.
Un|Tide is the fourth event in the 2012-2013 VCU Dance season. Recognized by professional dancers and choreographers as “a place where things are happening,” Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Dance and Choreography offers a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere where students prepare for careers in dance. VCUarts is ranked the #1 public university arts and design program in the country according to US News & World Report.