LAWRENCE – This fall’s University Dance Company concert will feature works from two renowned guest artists and debut part three of an interdisciplinary arts collaboration and three new pieces from dance faculty master choreographers. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19-20 at the Lied Center.
“Training with professional choreographers challenges our dancers to meet the changing demands of the field,” said Michelle Heffner Hayes, chair and professor of dance. “We pride ourselves on building versatile dancers who can move seemingly effortlessly — from ballet to hip-hop and contemporary dance.”
Melissa Thodos founded Thodos Dance Chicago to promote contemporary dance as a cultural activity in the local communities and throughout the United States through performance, creation of new works and education. “Subtle Passages” was set on the University Dance Company in a collaborative residency with the Lied Center of Kansas. The piece features 10 dancers in fluid, athletic movement that explores change, transition and hope.
With more than 30 years of hip-hop dance experience, Rauly Dueñas’ work, “Street Styles,” features 30 dancers in a collage of Old School and New School hip-hop techniques like breaking, popping, locking and hyphy.
“Human, Next” is the third phase of collaboration between James Moreno, assistant professor of dance, and Benjamin Rosenthal, assistant professor of visual art. The work uses dancers, mobile monitors and video projections to perform the convergences and differences between virtual and physical bodies, offering new perspectives on the 21st century hybrid condition.
Master faculty choreographers also include:
Muriel Cohan with “Seascape/Vortex,” a perilous voyage and a struggle to survive is set to Czech composer Jan Jirasek’s “Miss Propria"; Patrick Suzeau with “Seascape/Reflets sur l’Eau,” which probes the luminosity and fluidity of the human experience; Jerel Hilding with “Fantasy,” a ballet for three men and 13 women on pointe capturing the nostalgic and turbulent quality of dreams; and Willie Lenior with “Journie to Iskander,” where eight dancers map a trek to a mythical city from the imaginary universe of fantasy/science fiction author Robert E. Howard.
Tickets are on sale now at the Lied Center and Murphy Hall box offices: $15 public, $10 students, KU faculty and seniors, $8.50 children. Tickets bought before 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, will be $11 for the public, $8.50 for students, for KU faculty and seniors, and for $8.50 children.
The Department of Dance is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.