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

Colleges Faculty Dance Concert

Faculty and students from the dance department will be joined by guest artists to present the annual Faculty Dance Concert, in styles ranging from classical ballet to modern dance.

April 16, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—The dance department of Hobart and William Smith Colleges will present its annual concert of dance faculty choreography at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, in the Winn-Seeley Gym Theater on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. Admission is $3 for HWS students, faculty, and staff, and $5 for the general public.

The concert will feature choreography by Donna Davenport, associate professor of dance, Richard Haisma, a visiting professor from Rochester, Cadence Whittier, assistant professor of dance, and artist Kim Nofsinger, from the University of Minnesota at Duluth.

The concert is the culmination of months of intense work by the students and faculty under the auspices of the course “Dance Ensemble,” which involves the creation and rehearsal of original choreography performed by students and faculty. Each year dance department faculty and invited guests create diverse choreography to be performed ranging in style from classical ballet to contemporary modern dance. A brief description of each piece follows:

Roundelay is a contemporary ballet choreographed by Whittier. Set to music of Antonio Vivaldi (Concerto in C) the ballet features six dancers in various groupings including a solo, a duet, a trio, and an ensemble section. Performed on pointe, the ballet showcases the talents of some of the department’s Arts Scholars in dance.

Do Animals Meditate was created by Haisma with a newly composed original musical score by musician Paul Walters of Waterloo. A group work, it features 12 Colleges dance students who were guided by Haisma in the recreation of his piece, which was originally staged by a professional dance company in the Netherlands.

Davenport choreographed The Dancer for Whittier to perform. According to Davenport, “this solo explores both the plight of the professional dancer about to enter the stage, forced to rise to the occasion, and the extraordinary range of Whittier as a technician and performer.” The music used is Keith Jarrett’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Dance movements.

Pie in the Sky is a modern dance work that investigates the paradox of the working woman in the early 1900s in America. Choreographer Whittier chose selected works by singer-songwriters Utah Phillips and Ani DiFranco to create a piece that “seeks to reveal the power, compassion, and unity” present among these women laborers as they struggled to establish their rights and defend their humanity under poor working conditions.

Nofsinger created The Sum of Faith for eight Hobart and William Smith students. This contemporary piece fuses the powerful songs of South Africa’s Sweet Honey in the Rock with abstract movement and silence in a piece inspired by the emotions and events in the aftermath of September 11.

Essere II, a solo choreographed and performed by Davenport is a continuation of a piece created in Rome, Italy, last year with three students on the Colleges’ Rome off-campus program. Davenport describes the solo version as “a reflection of the human struggle that is life, which is especially poignant in the music and faces of the homeless.”

The concert concludes with Davenport’s piece Outstretched Arms, a contemporary modern dance/jazz work for nine William Smith students. Choreographed to a song by a Mali composer, the piece is dedicated to the idea of overcoming oppression and poverty through education and generosity. The abstract and kinetic images resonate with the Bambara lyrics as a plaintive call for ameliorating the problems of communities world-wide.

Tickets may be purchased at the box office one hour before curtain in the lobby of Winn-Seeley. For further information, please contact Cynthia Williams, chair of the dance department, at (315) 781-3495.

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