Welcome to Grace Street Theater
Virginia Commonwealth University's Grace Street Theater is a little known but successful example of renovation and adaptive use of a historic property. The building originally opened in 1935 as the Lee Theatre, a neighborhood movie theater showing second-run films. It served for a brief period in the late 1950s/early 1960s as an art house theater. In 1965 it became known as the Lee Art Theatre and began presenting adult films along with burlesque style dancers. VCU purchased the property in 1993 and after extensive renovations the building re-opened in 1996 as VCU's Grace Street Theater. The theater is now the primary performing venue for VCU's Department of Dance and Choreography which operates the building and the box office. VCU's Department of Art History and Cinema Program also uses the building for many of its classes and screenings. In addition to its University uses, the 225 seat theater is available to the Richmond community to rent for dance performances, films, lectures, and other events.SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Cinematheque Presents: “Kuroneko”
November 12th, 2013
Directed by Kaneto Sindo (Japan – 1968)
“As it slides between realism and extreme artifice, using cinematic and theatrical devices, “Kuroneko” becomes increasingly, pleasurably difficult to predict. It’s alternately abstract and down to earth, recognizable and strange, and consistently surprising. Gintoki’s relationship with the two spirits brings its own twists to the film, as do the continually shifting tones and moods. Using spare dialogue (the soundtrack is likely monaural), Mr. Shindo creates a supernatural story that combines folkloric elements with social commentary and a touchingly sad love story. In one scene a spirit somersaults through the pitch-dark night, in another peasants rob the body of a dead samurai, a reminder that while Mr. Shindo certainly took evident delight in visiting with the dead, his thoughts were never far from the living.
- Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES
For more information about Cinematheque or the VCUarts Cinema Program please visit:
VCU Dance & Choreography Presents ERGO SUM:
The Fall Senior Project Dance Concert in Two Parts
Program A: Wednesday and Friday Nov. 20 & 22 at 8:00pm
Program B: Thursday and Saturday Nov. 21 & 23 at 8:00pm
Admission $15/ $10 students with valid ID.
“As the twelve choreographers approach graduation having dedicated four years of hard work to their art form, they spent the fall semester molding these choreographic works that portray portions of their life experiences. By combining countless studio hours with the many skills and tools they have learned while earning their BFA in Dance & Choreography from VCU Dance, ERGO SUM reveals the choreographer’s personal convictions in a series of performances that will relate to audiences of all ages.
Catherine Faszewski captures the hidden images within Michael D. Edens and brings his portraits to life. Obscura takes the audience into a transcendental place where the six dancers create a world through moving pictures and designs.
Amanda Campbell‘s Thing of Beauty delves into the female psyche; confronting the issues of conformity, internal conflict and self- destruction. This piece reveals the inner struggles encountered in the journey towards self- love and acceptance in a superficial society.
Johnnie Mercer, Jr.’s “/house of riˈvēl/” is inspired by his personal journey as a gay- African American male in search for acceptance. An autobiographical work, “/house of riˈvēl/” throws its spectators into a psychological sensorium that follows the process of finding personal identity, stability, and unconditional love.
Inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, The Ice Palace, Emily Todd’s “attractive nor particularly otherwise” explores the social change women encountered during the 1920’s. Six dancers examine Fitzgerald’s conflicting relationships through a powerfully delicate movement vocabulary, in which four women vulnerably reveal an emotional frenzy brewing beneath a polished exterior.
Christie Klach’s Cover It Up investigates the literal and symbolic manipulation of coats through the marriage of pedestrian movement and virtuosic gestures. The coat symbolizes a person’s attempt to fit into society at the expense of their individuality. Through the use of cohesive, yet versatile movement scores, Cover It Up will celebrate the confidence the individual demonstrates in finally removing their coat.
Rachel Rinehardt‘s pulling up the weeds! is a whimsical work about the troubles of conformity. Inspired by a Shel Silverstein illustration, she presents a peculiar journey in which eleven dancers each have a moment to peer into their own individuality, and in turn, shows the different ways in which society may react to those individuals.
All T No Shade fuses old school hip-hop movement with basic modern principles. Based on the documentary Paris is Burning, choreographer Julius Elegido embodies the enticing and mesmerizing elements of voguing through avant-garde imagery to capture the lives of eight female dancers in an underground ball scene.
Molly Rae Pearl ventures into a surreal world in Facades, where three people transform into animals. Using a bench to suggest a public environment, they deconstruct norms of social behavior. This piece pulls aside the illusion of our difference from other animals, and asks how similar we are under the surface.
Shawna Lee’s Intolerable Isolation, dives into the mind set of how violence between women develops, thus addressing insidious psychological issues that can lead to devastating consequences. The work takes you through a situation where three dancers and a vulnerable young woman are put into a situation that is impossible for her alone to handle.
Nikolai McKenzie’s Fidalgo is a kinetic exploration of gender role extremes and how they can lead to the disintegration of a relationship. A sensuous and intensely physical multimedia movement tapestry, Fidalgo explores how humans deal with gender extremes, choosing to include or exclude ourselves from the mold we were cast in at birth. Fidalgo is a re-etching of the self, an etching of one’s perception of gender essence within the fold of a culture of moving, feeling bodies there to nurture the etching to its fruition.
Brooke Armstrong brings the historically rich and vibrant culture of New Orleans, epitomized in Jackson Square, to Grace Street Theater in her work La Belle Facile. Six women inspirit the vernacular and tradition of NOLA in an exciting work performed to the classic blues and jazz of Champion Jack Dupree and Jelly Roll Morton.
Distilling the spiritual belief of Karma into a physical exploration, Amy Perkinson’s Pivotal illustrates how a persons every action externally directed, rebounds to the self. Subtly portraying this perplexing aspect of human experience and interaction, this work, activates the space as the course of the dancers is dictated and charted by the physical accumulation and propulsion of movement.
ERGO SUM is the eighth event of the 2013-2014 VCU Dance Season. VCU Department of Dance & Choreography is a community of highly motivated, disciplined and creative dancers who are interested in shaping the future of the field. We are committed to building and enlightening dance audiences in the University and Richmond communities while providing opportunities for artists to present and create work. Recognized by professional dancers and choreographers as “a place where things are happening,” VCU Dance offers a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere where students prepare for careers in dance. For more information, please contact VCU Dance at 804-828-1711.”
VCU Dance Presents: “Student Concert”
Friday and Saturday, January 24 & 25, 2014
8pm Admission $15/$10 students with valid I.D.
This professionally produced concert features new work choreographed and performed by talented dance majors from freshman to seniors.
VCU Dance NOW
Thursday-Saturday, February 20-22, 2014
8pm each night and 2pm Saturday matinee $20/$15 students
For 2014, this concert features new works by guest artist Nathan Trice as well as by VCU Dance faculty members, all performed by VCU Dance majors.
VCU Dance Department Presents: “Spring Senior Project”
Wednesday – Saturday April 23-26 2014
8pm $15/$10 students
The Senior Project concert serves as a capstone experience in both performance and choreography for graduating Dance majors.