Faculty Present: A Change of Pace – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Faculty Present: A Change of Pace

This year’s faculty dance concert, “Change of Pace,” is just that-a concert celebrating diversity of dance genres and media.  With hats on ballerinas, dancers with extension cords, a ladder solo, jump ropes, science professors, tap, and tango, this concert promises to be an experience not to be missed. The annual concert will be held in Winn-Seeley Gym Theater on Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a final performance on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m.

Kathy Diehl and Heather Acomb, visiting professors and dancers with the Bill Evans Dance Company, kick off the concert with “Orbit,” a dance that recently premiered at WAXworks in New York City. Diehl explores gesture, rhythm, and contact in this quirky, fun duet set to music by Bach. 

Next, “What We Play” by visiting choreographer Courtney World is a convergence of dance and play through rhythm, rhyme, tap dance, hand clapping and street games.

Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams’ duet, featuring Associate Professor of Dance Michelle Iklé and Diehl, explores the two voices in the Brahms Sonata in E Minor for Cello and Piano, where each instrument has a separate but collaborative role. The piece will be performed live by Meg Heaton and Ara McCorkle.

For a change of pace before intermission, “Where have all the hats gone?” is a lively and uplifting contemporary ballet piece choreographed in five sections: Feathered Parade, Garden Party Ballet, Flowered Fedora Tango, Wilting Wallflower Waltz and Blue Top Procession. Associate Professor of Dance Cadence Whittier’s choreography is a parade of distinct characters and personalities.  Each section showcases performers wearing unique hats and dancing to colorful music. “Where have all the hats gone?” features the performance of 11 William Smith dancers.

In “Plugged In” by Professor of Dance Donna Davenport, three polished performers, a film, and a score by Armadillo Dance Project generate an intense commentary on human experience with technology.

Then, Assistant Professor of Dance Kelly Johnson performs a powerful solo, “Just another RANT,” in response to the longstanding inequalities faced by women on a global scale. 

Davenport’s “An Other: In Proximity,” with a cast of seven Hobart and William Smith students, is topped by surprising cameo appearances at the end of the piece–children, an infant, a tango couple and HWS professors. This vibrant ensemble of duets, that includes salsa, tango and hip-hop, investigates personal space, connection and mutuality.  Jordan Youngmann ’10, known for his standout performances as an actor in Geneva productions of “Copenhagen” and “The Laramie Project,” returns to the stage in a duet with Davenport as the dance begins.

Whittier will perform her solo “Down to Bret Bohman’s exciting musical composition Shades of One Another.  “Down” investigates the word: down on one’s luck, down and out, down to business. Through highs and lows, successes and failure, “Down” negotiates a humorous and complex journey with an eight-foot ladder. Whittier’s and Bohman’s compositions were first commissioned for performance in the April 2011 Vision of Sound Concert series in Central New York. 

This rich concert ends with Johnson’s “Nine Ladies Dancing,” featuring a fusion of Afro-Caribbean and modern dance.  Johnson’s choreography honors the female: her body, her ingenuity and her perseverance.  General admission is $5, and $3 for students.