Faculty Dance Concert – This Weekend – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Faculty Dance Concert – This Weekend

Following a long-standing HWS tradition, faculty members from the Colleges’ Dance Department will leave their audience awe-inspired during the 2009 installment of the Faculty Dance Concert, held in Winn-Seeley Gym Theater at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, and on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m.

If you would like more information about this concert, please contact Cadence Whittier, associate professor of dance, at 315-781-3949 or whittier@hws.edu.

Admission for HWS students will be free courtesy of HSG and WSC. Tickets for faculty and staff are $5. General admission tickets are $7.

The following are the eight dance pieces in this year’s event:

“Try Backbone,” a solo by Donna Davenport, professor of dance and associate dean of faculty, has been performed twice before as an experimental merging of Davenport’s dancing of theatrical solos and her writing on choreography pedagogy. This piece is about composition. It represents an attempt to say in movement what has already been written in words and to compare modes of communication within an academic environment. Which mode says more or says what to whom?

Assistant Professor of Dance Michelle Iklé’s visually stimulating “Landscapes: Explorations with Fabric and Glass” uses large panels of fabric and music by Phillip Glass to transform the performance space into a kind of Utopia: a place where the water is always fresh and clear, the breezes are warm and the earth is soft and fertile.  New walls and pathways are created as performers dance among the panels of fabric. Iklé’s choreography features the performance of seven William Smith women: Rebecca Borsuk ’11, Kathryn Bowering ’11, Lauren Budd ’10, Salomé Donenfeld ’09, Rebecca Fry ’11, Bethany Fagan ’10, Caitlyn Schrader ’10 and Marissa Willsey ’10.

“Replay,” choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance Missy Pfohl Smith, explores memory and interpersonal relationships in the midst of war. Soldiers form bonds when they experience times in life that are like no other. Friendship, pride, confusion and wounds become exaggerated and obscured.  How many times do we replay the past in our minds to make sense of it and to what end? “Replay” is set to music by renowned composer Marc Mellits, who lives in upstate New York and has received major commissions from Kronos String Quartet, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars and many more.  The dance features Karen George ’09, Katie Taylor ’09, Caitlyn Schrader ’10, Brittany McAllister ’11 Samantha Dighton ’12 and Rachel McKeon ’12.     

Disconnected.  Over-connected.  Re-connected.  How do portable communication devices impact the way we “connect” to each other?  Whittier and her cast of twelve dancers explore the answer to this question in “[dis]connect,” a satirical and theatrical modern dance ensemble featuring a performance of Iklé, Pfohl Smith and ten William Smith students: Nina Andrews ’12, Alexandra Berger ’09, Gabrielle Brigida ’10, Caroline Dosky ’12, Justine Gabreski ’12, Sarah Gummoe ’09, Meghan Ignatosky ’10, Annie Lindenhovius ’09, Fagan and Taylor.

Whittier will also present a second piece in the concert: “PDQ deja vu,” a contemporary ballet piece set on William Smith students Lila Feldman ’10, Mara O’Keeffe ’11, Ignatosky and Dighton. “PDQ deja vu” was inspired by the Romantic ballet Pas de Quatre (1845). Choreographed for four of the most renowned prima ballerinas of the Romantic Era, Pas de Quatre featured the delicate, demure and coquettish demeanor of the Romantic ballerina. Similar in structure to the original ballet, “PDQ deja vu” is choreographed in eight sections and includes Romantic styled tutus and theatrical play between the dancers. The choreography, however, explores the onstage persona of the four ballerinas in a more contemporary light.

Anne Harris Wilcox’s “Let’s Go Out for Lunch” was created in 1998 in response to a poem from Patricia Wilcox’s collection, titled “A Public and Private Hearth.” The poem celebrates the deep bond of friendship of two female artists.  Their mutual admiration is expressed by their genuine delight in each other’s company, and the quiet peace of sharing time with a dear friend.  The dance is set to the piano music of Abdullah Ibrahim, providing a jovial yet intimate tone for the piece and features the performance of Whittier and Iklé.   

Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams has restaged “Canticle in Darkness and Light,” a piece from 2003. Choreographed to the solo violin Chaccone in Bach’s Sonata No. 4 in D minor, the piece is a meditation on time, loss and hope. The cast of seven features William Smith seniors: Sarah Borup, Berger and George; sophomores Nichole Geary ’11, Borsuk and Brigida; and first-year Rachel Carnahan.