This year's Faculty Dance Concert will feature the choreography of four dance department faculty members in works performed by dance faculty and dance ensemble students. Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. in Winn-Seeley Gym-Theater.
The program begins with “Suite for Bill,” Professor Cynthia Williams’ choreographic tribute to her long-time dance mentor, Bill Evans. Set to the music of cellist Eugene Friesen, the dance is performed by seven William Smith students and incorporates the movement vocabulary of Evans's technique in an affectionate nod to his influence.
Assistant Professor Michelle Ikle contributes “Wrought,” a solo which premiered last June in Murfreesboro, Tenn. and has since been performed at the Rochester Contemporary Dance Collective Concert, at SUNY Brockport's Alumni Dance Concert in N.Y., and at the American College Dance Festival Association's faculty concert in March. “Wrought” explores physical and emotional tension and restrictions and features an original music score by Rochester-based composer David McGuire.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Missy Pfohl Smith performs her duet “Absent Presence” with Associate Professor Cadence Whittier. Originally choreographed in 2004 and performed with Philippa Kaye in N.Y., the work was set to new music composed by Samuel Pellman. Pfohl Smith's duet investigates the contradictions inherent in our desire to shut out those who need us most and disallow the intimacy we need and crave.
“Guzzle (The Politics of Inconvenience)” is Pfohl Smith's multi-disciplinary collaboration involving 10 William Smith students, original music composition by David Homan, video by Washington, D.C.-based filmmaker Matt Costanza, and text by Pfohl Smith. From the greed of “Big Oil” to the brainwashing of Americans, this work discusses this nation's need (or is it desire?) for oil and energy. Through movement, text, imagery and sound “Guzzle” asks pointed questions about our current behaviors in a culture of mass consumption.
Ikle has also created a theatrical jazz dance for five William Smith students. Fats Domino music provides the backdrop for vignettes that reveal the five different women's characters and the diversity within jazz dance movement. Also in a theatrical vein, Whittier presents “BeMused,” a contemporary ballet solo that features local visual artist John Lord. “BeMused” explores a dysfunctional relationship between an artist and a muse.
Pfohl Smith brings “Bull,” a solo from 2007, to the concert. In this abstract and metaphorical piece a woman struggles with a bombardment of pressures while attempting to listen to her inner voice, despite societal expectations and a cacophony of outer voices.
A contemporary ballet piece created by Whittier concludes the program. “Passing” explores fleeting pathways, momentary encounters and shifting relationships among the nine dancers.
Tickets for the concert are available at the Winn-Seeley box office at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets are $7; Hobart and William Smith Colleges' faculty and staff are $5, and students and children are $3. For further information contact Cynthia Williams, chair of dance at (315) 781-3495 or Williams@hws.edu .