Celebrated choreographer Brad Garner has created "Ice Floe" for seven members of UAA Dance Ensemble. Inspired by the sparkling ice floes riding the surface of Cook Inlet, this premier reflects a collection of solid geometric forms connecting and breaking apart while rushing in a common direction. Garner toured extensively throughout the U.S. with JAZZDANCE! by Danny Buraczewski. He serves the Dance Department at the University of Oregon as an Assistant Professor and is a founding member of Harmonic Laboratory (www.harmoniclab.org), an interdisciplinary arts collective based in Eugene. His choreography has been awarded support by The Jerome Foundation, The Arizona Commission for the Arts, The Lane Arts Council, and several commissions across the U.S.
UAA Dance Program faculty Leslie Kimiko Ward offers "Rapture". Riding the wave of viral video, social networking, flash mob, and wii fit, this explosive work by Ward seeks to harness the burgeoning power of our collective frivolity, while tossing an emoticon sized wink to heavy hitters in the arena of belonging, namely Christianity, corporate America, the NFL, and Justin Bieber. UAA faculty Brian Jeffery spins a playful new work with the upbeat "Released.7". Danced to dynamically percussive music by Club des Belugas, UAA Dance Ensemble are featured in this work which received national attention when it premiered in March at the East Central Region American College Dance Festival at the University of Akron, Ohio.
UAA Department of Theatre and Dance will present "Ice Floe", "Rapture" and "Released.7" by these three veteran choreographers along with seven other premiers by UAA student and local choreographers in "New Dances 2011" April 8-17 at the Mainstage Theatre in the UAA Fine Arts Building. Forty five performers go bounding forth into spring with diversity in both choreographic styles and ideas in these ten dance premiers.
Several UAA Dance Ensemble alumni are among this year's featured choreographers. Stephanie Wonchala, Pulse Dance Company artistic director, explores the many different roles women play in "Strange Little Girls" to the haunting melodies of CocoRosie. "Don't Be So Serious" is a bubbly, energetic dance for 5 performers by Laura Bleicher. Miriam Grisham is inspired to use dance as a release, a comfort, and a source of strength in "Revive" with 14 dancers moving to the driving music of local artist AJ Carino. Collaborators Michelle Steffens and Jake Peterson are on a playful voyage emphasizing percussive body rhythms in "Acoustic Action"
"Sæglópur" choreographed by Karlyn Grotts to the ethereal chords of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós reflects the flowing and churning movements of the sea. Supported by the music of Bela Fleck and the Flecktone's, choreographer Ellie Miner investigates the many ways we might become caught or frozen in our bodies and actions in "Stuck". Joanna Figueroa's 10 dancers stay pliable as they keep
rebounding through "Amorphous Forms" to Uruguayan funk music by Martin Buscaglia and supersonic horns by Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.