The HWS Dance Department will present the 2006 Faculty Dance Concert at 8 p.m. Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 30 in the Winn-Seeley Gym-Theater.
The annual performance features original choreography and performance by faculty and students, including several of the department’s Arts Scholars in Dance.
“Juice,” a contemporary ballet by Professor Cadence Whittier, will open the program. Choreographed for six William Smith dancers, “Juice” combines contemporary and classical vocabularies to create a casual, yet precise, movement style. Dancers wear tissue paper tutus as they bounce and groove to music from the Beastie Boys and St. Germain.
“Essere III” (To Be) is a duet choreographed by Professor Donna Davenport and performed with her colleague, Michelle Iklé, to music by Vivaldi. This duet has been on tour in the last year; the HWS performance will be the fifth venue since August 2005.
Iklé has choreographed a modern dance quartet to be performed by seniors Lennox Debra and Colleen Wahl, first-year student Salomé Donenfeld and junior Diana Carson. The piece is performed to the first movement of Peteris Vasks’ “String Quartet No. 4” and is an abstract dance of non-narrative fragments and fleeting moments of interconnection and aloneness.
Whittier’s second piece, “Forward and Upward in Love,” is a contemporary dance created for 11 men and women student dancers. Whittier explored metaphors in language as her inspiration for this piece, which uses a combination of spoken text and recorded music for its score.
“Residue Rocks Resolution” begins with a bluesy solo by Davenport and moves into a jazzy modern dance ensemble performed by eight William Smith dancers, including five Arts Scholars: Carson, Elizabeth Fleche ’09, Jessica Lambert ’06, Stefanie Novak ’08, and Wahl. The piece presents the dance of women’s lives as ongoing yet interrupted by lingering internal moments, when the residue from past struggles creeps into present vitality.
In her solo, Davenport will be accompanied by two local musicians — Rick Hoyt on acoustic guitar and Tom McClure on saxophone — playing “Willow Weep for Me.”
After that, Whittier will perform a solo created this spring that explores the movement themes in “Juice.”
The concert will end with Williams’ piece “Absent Presence,” created for six William Smith students. Performed to a minimalist score for cello and piano written by Arvo Part, the work is a meditation on light and its ephemeral and prismatic qualities. Williams designed the set and lights with vertical columns of prisms and mirrors as an integral part of the choreography; the dancers’ movement continues the theme of reflection and refraction.
Tickets for the Faculty Dance Concert may be purchased at the box office one hour prior to curtain. HWS student tickets are $3; HWS faculty and staff, $5; and general admission, $7. For details, call the Dance Department at ext. 3495.