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University Dance Company presents new work for spring concert

Thursday, April 16, 2015

LAWRENCE – Focusing on themes of exploration, movement and relationships, the University Dance Company spring concert will showcase six works choreographed by a guest artist, a student and KU faculty members. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 23-24 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

Tickets are on sale now at the Lawrence Arts Center: $15 public, $10 students and seniors. KU students are eligible for a $5 advance purchase price before the opening day of the show. Visit http://www.lawrenceartscenter.com/ or call (785) 843-2787 for tickets.

“This is an exciting moment in the lives of our dancers as they prepare to launch into their professional careers,” said Michelle Heffner Hayes, professor and chair of the Department of Dance. “They are explosive and athletic, truly stunning to watch. This is the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice.”

This spring’s Choreographic Fellow was Regina Klenjoski, creator, performer, educator, advocate of contemporary dance and founder of Long Beach, California-based Regina Klenjoski Dance Company. Klenjoski’s work, “Emoticons,” boldly explores how technology is influencing today’s social fabric and interpersonal connections. Her work asks the audience to determine if technology is enabling or disabling humans’ ability to connect.

One special feature of the spring concert is a work choreographed by student Natali Diaz-Yepes. “House of Blues” is an eccentric, athletic, sexy work inspired by George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ song, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” The piece explores rhythm, pattern, and tempo through the energetic and expansive movement of the music. 

Master faculty choreographers also include Muriel Cohan and Patrick Suzeau with “Breaking Point,” an exploration of protest at its edges and its depths with a percussive score; Heffner Hayes with “Circulo de Mujeres/Circle of Women,” a fusion of popular Latin dance and contemporary dance theatre where dancers commiserate about lost love and celebrate the bonds of friendship through rumba, salsa and hip-hop; Jerel Hilding with “Ever Free,” a ballet with an orchestrated version of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” providing the inspiration for a party and romantic intrigue set in the early 19th cCentury; and Willie Lenoir with “Emerald Pools,” a lyrical work featuring seven dancers in overlapping solos.

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.