This year’s Department of Dance Faculty Concert is a rich and varied program that features diverse dance techniques, esteemed guest performers, multimedia presentation, and live music. For the performances, which take place September 15 and 16 in the Anne R. Belk Theater in Robinson Hall, the dance faculty welcome colleagues from the UNC Charlotte departments of music and art, as well as members of the local dance and music communities and guest artists that include current and former principal dancers from the Martha Graham and José Limόn Dance Companies.
The program opens with a multimedia presentation funded through a grant from the College’s Digital Arts Center. Conceived and produced by Assistant Professor of Music Jessica Lindsey, Assistant Professor of Art Erik Waterkotte, and Music Director for Dance Shamou, With Signs Following is a series of improvisational vignettes integrating music, video, and movement. With Signs Following is inspired by concepts of transfiguration and ritual and features Associate Professor of Dance E.E. Balcos as a mythic “Charon,” or guide.
Visiting dance professor Kaustavi Sarkar will perform Mahari Meenadanda: “She is a Bad Dancer,” an original work in the Indian classical dance style of Odissi. She will be accompanied by sitarist Hans Utter, an ethnomusicologist and Indian music specialist. Sarkar comes to UNC Charlotte from The Ohio State University, where she recently completed her PhD. in dance studies, and is artistic director of an India-based organization dedicated to Indian classical dance. This piece is a work in progress for an evening length collaborative new media piece scheduled for May 2018 at The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, The Ohio State University, under the artistic direction of Professor Norah Zuniga-Shaw.
Accompanied by Brazilian percussionist Luciano Xavier, Assistant Professor of Dance Tamara Williams will perform I.RUN.mole, a contemporary work that she has choreographed using traditional Afro-Brazilian movement vocabulary. Williams will also present her dance film, Shouting Echoes: A Reconstruction of Ring Shout Traditions, during the concert intermission.
Four works choreographed to new music by local composers make up the second half of the concert program. Three of the pieces were created in partnership with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in response to works in the museum’s collection. Accompanied by the Bechtler Ensemble, with conductor Alan Yamamoto, these works are choreographed and performed by Movement Migration, a new dance collective led by UNC Charlotte Associate Professor Kim Jones. Dancers include Associate Professor E.E Balcos; local dancers Amy Claugus, Jacque White, and Dominique Willis; and current Martha Graham principal dancer Abdiel Jacobsen, former Graham principal Masha Dashkina Maddux, and former José Limόn principal Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba.
The musical compositions Spectacle Machine, by Winthrop University composer Leonard Mark Lewis, and Speed Limit, by Craig Bove, chair of the music department at Central Piedmont Community College, were both inspired by Jean Tinguely’s kinetic sculpture, Santana, and premiered with dance in a performance at the Bechtler Museum last May. Lazarus, by UNC Charlotte Professor of Composition John Allemeier, was inspired by the Niki de Saint Phalle Firebird sculpture that stands in front of the Bechtler Museum. This is its first performance with dance.
Allemeier has also composed the music for Sacrum Terram, which has been choreographed by E.E. Balcos and will be danced by Tamara Williams and Johnson C. Smith University professor Jaclyn O’Toole. The most recent in a series of works that Allemeier and Balcos have created collaboratively, Sacrum Terram is scored for a quintet that includes UNC Charlotte music faculty Mira Frisch (cello), Jessica Lindsey (clarinet), and Elizabeth Sullivan (oboe), with guests Anna Cromwell (violin) and Lisa Nelson (viola).
Performances take place at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $18, $12 for UNC Charlotte faculty and staff, $10 for seniors, and $8 for all students.