Fall Dance Concert is Underway

Tampa, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2009) – The USF School of Theatre & Dance will present a captivating mélange of dance styles in its Fall Dance Concert Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-7 at 8 p.m., with a matinee Nov. 1 at 3 p.m., in Theatre One on the Tampa campus.


Advance tickets for the production are: $12 general admission, $8 students/seniors. Day of show tickets are: $15 general admission, $10 students/seniors. Tickets for all performances are available through the College of The Arts box office or by calling 813-974-2323.


Tampa based choreographer Elsa Valbuena is originally from Cali, Columbia, where she founded Gaudere Danza, producing work in international dance venues and festivals. Her modern piece, “To the Hills,” is a collaboration with her dancers, and is inspired in part by the work of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.


USF professor Jeanne Travers’ “Flamenco-Fusion” is the latest in a series of collaborations with Tunisian composer Mohamed Chaari. For the past two years, Travers has taken USF student dancers to Tunisia to perform her dances at the invitation of the American Embassy. Combining North African rhythms and Spanish flamenco music, this lyrical choreography fuses contemporary modern dance with traditional flamenco to produce an exciting hybrid form.


“El Diario,” a ballet in three short movements, is the creation of Paula Nuñez, visiting faculty at USF this year. Set to music by Vivaldi and Gluck, the nine-minute piece features nine student dancers in an affirmation that “unity is strength, attitude is everything.”


John Parks, DanceUSF faculty member, has choreographed a swing dance, “Lindy Hop,” as a tribute to the late Frankie Manning. Manning, one of the founders and the unofficial ambassador of the Lindy Hop, died in April of this year. Parks, who had previously worked with Manning, had been planning to do a creative project based on Manning’s life: “The plan was to bring Frankie, his son, and his dance partner (Norma Miller) to talk about his life. Unfortunately, Mr. Manning passed away on April 27, one month before his 95th birthday.” The performance is dedicated to his memory.


“Poeme” is the title of USF professor Sandra Robinson’s new ballet, an exploration of the personal relationships of family, friends, and acquaintances during life’s journey. Set to music by Massenet, balloons sustain this ballet, both literally and figuratively, as dancers travel on a spiritual journey toward serenity. Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla provides the music for Robinson’s “Noches Argentinas,” a fast, strong, and sensual tango for ten dancers.


The ensemble dance “Come Here to Me,” which closes the concert, looks at interpersonal relationships from a nostalgic viewpoint. Inspired by a box of old photographs found in his mother’s home last summer, USF professor Michael Foley choreographed this piece based on the photos’ unifying gesture: someone always had an arm around someone else. Says Foley, “The Irish have a phrase they utter when they want someone they love to listen closely to what they are saying: ‘Come here to me.’”


USF’s Day of Dance began in 1992 as a way to allow students from magnet schools and community colleges throughout the state of Florida to experience a day of dance. This year’s activities on November 5, will include creative contributions from Florida magnet school and community college students from Ocala to Fort Myers. The event will also include intensive interactions between visiting students and USF dance majors, faculty, and advisors, and will include a panel discussion about the preparation needed to be accepted to USF, the dance program, and the value of a dance degree for future employment.