New Dances 2010

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Run dates: April 8-18
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 6 p.m.

UAA Harper Studio Theatre

"New Dances 2010" fills the UAA Harper Studio Theatre with 35 performers in 10 eclectic dance premieres. This popular annual event features dance works by both internationally acclaimed and homegrown choreographers.

Celebrated jazz and tap choreographer Katherine Kramer has created "Pause, Facing West" to music by Tin Hat Trio for eight members of UAA Dance Ensemble. Reflecting upon the spaciousness of the American West, Kramer's work is full of inviting imagery with its sweeping movements and playful interactions.

Kramer has been a vital presence in the resurgence and evolution of classic jazz and tap dance since the 1970s. She is grateful for having had the opportunity to work with the finest of tap masters and innovators. Kramer currently lives in Bozeman, MT, where 10 times since 1996 she has produced "Rhythm Explosion," an interdisciplinary summer festival workshop featuring tap. In 2007 she received a Creation Fund Grant from the National Performance Network to create the evening-length work "Stop Look Listen," which features an original score and a blending of tap and contemporary dance with musicians who move.

In 2008 a Fulbright Grant allowed her to collaborate and perform with both classical and jazz musicians in Prague and will take her to South America in 2011. Kramer was chosen to work with the late tap legend Charles 'Honi' Coles in America's first creative residency for tap at The Colorado Dance Festival in 1989 and was a featured soloist at the 1996 Tap Extravaganza in New York. She has been commissioned to create works for companies including Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Montana Transport Company and at many universities. Katherine has been featured in UAA's annual Jazz Week a dozen times since 1992 and has enjoyed creating numerous choreographies for UAA Dance Ensemble over these years.
UAA Theatre and Dance professor Brian Jeffery's "Interference in This Room" urgently pushes onto the stage in this dynamic and fast-paced dance to music by The Notwist. UAA Dance Ensemble is featured in this work that received national attention when it premiered in March at the Northwest Regional American College Dance Festival at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

In addition to "Pause, Facing West" and "Interference in This Room" the UAA Department of Theatre and Dance presentation of "New Dances 2010" showcases 35 performers and will be performed on weekends April 8 through 18. Diversity in choreographic styles and ideas is a strong attribute of the eight different "New Dances" by the following local and student choreographers.

UAA Dance Program faculty member Leslie Ward's "Uncanny Valley" is an exploration of liquid movement and detailed isolation work as seen in both hip-hop and tribal fusion belly dance styles. Intricately nuanced and overtly articulated this dance for eight performers undulates to electronic Asian underground sounds by Quarta 330.

Big and bold defines Melissa Jabaay's "Funhouse," 12 performers are off on a wacky and weird journey to a place that serves as a refuge for those wishing to escape reality.

Ryan Nixon and Chris Branche have collaborated on "Not Yet," a work for three men performed to haunting piano melodies by Clint Mansell, this trio interprets the psychological interactions of the id, ego and superego.

In Becky Kendall's "Passing Faces," set to selections from Bach's Cello Suites, five dancers carve a path through a crossing of strangers. Swooping and arching up and around the stillness of their surroundings, the dancers exalt in their own individuality before they are again, lost in the crowd.

Hannah Gauthier is both choreographer and soloist in "Chosen Thrill," inspired by life's lessons learned the hard way, this passionate performer is supported by the intense percussive music of Santogold.

Miriam Grisham premiers "Ashes" with six dancers lyrically exploring a physical journey of contrasting emotions to compelling music by David Lanz and Mark Mancina.

It's another day on the job in Michelle Steffens percussive piece "Work Whistle." Join five dancers, two tappers and percussionist Jake Peterson on the set of a painters' worksite as they use common objects to create a tapestry of sound, rhythm and motion. Ragtag drum sets, whooshing paint brushes and flying paint cans combine in a dynamo display of the lighter side of 9-5.

All seats are general admission, with the same prices for all shows. General admission is $12 and UAA students are $10. Tickets are available through the UAA Fine Arts Box Office at (907) 786-4TIX.

Creative Commons License "New Dances 2010" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.