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A Tour de Force of Dance Talent in Theatre 1

The 2015 Spring Dance Concert introduces the exciting choreography of legendary dance greats Alonzo King and Robert Moses and works by USF’s talented dance faculty and students.

By Barbara Melendez
      USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (March 18, 2015) – The choreography talent and skill are undeniable making the 2015 Spring Dance Concert a must see for dance fans as well as those who are new to the art form. Two world-renowned stars of dance, four USF faculty members and three students have contributed original works to the program.

The opportunity to see the work of two of San Francisco’s most celebrated choreographers, Alonzo King, founder of LINES Ballet, and Robert Moses’ namesake Kin is a rare treat.

Described as a “visionary choreographer,” King was in residence at USF at the end of January (see sidebar). Arturo Fernandez from LINES re-staged King’s work “Koto Excerpts” for this production. It features original music by renowned composer and musician Miya Masaoka, original costume design by Robert Rosenwasser and Colleen Quen, and original lighting design by Axel Morganthaler. Ballet-based, the work is abstract. The Los Angeles Times described how the piece weds “mystery and even mysticism to powerful classical technique.”

The San Francisco Chronicle describes Moses’ work, “Speaking Ill of the Dead,” as “Intense and moving,” going on to say that “Moses blends his text and soundscape judiciously, combining an innate sense of musicality with the cadence of poetry and offering ritual repetition of both words and movement.” It has been re-staged by USF Dance faculty member Bliss Kohlmeyer who also has an original piece in the program, “Infinite maybes before an arrival.”

To give a sense of her piece Kohlmeyer quotes Deepak Chopra, "You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment or our existence, we are in the field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices."

Andee Scott’s work “She Runs,” commissioned by Texas Christian University, utilizes video projection and lighting design by Scott. The work itself combines improvisational structures she created that inspired creative input from the dancers and so “the actual movement material is unique to each cast,” Scott said. “My deepest gratitude goes to these dancers who worked with such patience, openness and professionalism.”

Paula Nuñez’s “It’s happening anyway,” centers on characters attempting to live vicariously through a fabricated existential lie, a parallel reality reached through madness, dreams and fiction,” she explained. “They cling to their lies, sometimes absurd, as they afford them a sense of dignity and greatness that so-called ‘reality’ does not.”

She went on to say that “This piece is a metaphor on social desperation and isolation and an ode to the lives that many of the world’s youth are forces to lead in their war for human rights.”

USF students Laura Mobley (March 19, 21, 26 and 28) and Gabriella Olsen (March 20, 22 and 27) take turns performing “Tremor,” Dance Professor  Jeanne Travers’ original work that was premiered at the Joyce Soho in New York City in 2010. It has also been performed at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange there and at the Performing Arts Center in Point Loma, San Diego, CA.

The works of three School of Dance students, Sarah Walston, Hannah Luckow and Breanna King (pictured below left to right), each have two nights of performance. Each work spotlights their training in a program that is notably rigorous and athletic.

Luckow’s “Crippling Sentiments” (March 20 and 26) “…is an extension of a solo I created during the USF Dance in Paris Program this past summer. The piece is a self-portrait. It gives the audience a peek inside the vulnerable inner workings of my mind, while creating a tactile experience that lingers beyond the performance,” she said.

Walston explained about her work “Semblance” (March 21 and 27) “…, is a response to Alphonse Osbert’s painting “Vision”, which I viewed at the Musee D’Orsay this past summer. It investigates themes of hysteria, paranoia, mental conflict and fluctuating between being in and out of control. The piece provides the viewer with a sense of observing a private incident.

And King’s “Individualis” (March 22 and 28), “…is based around the idea of the individual and how the individual relates to others dynamically, whether the relation is positive or negative, supportive or combative, to conform or differentiate. The structure of this piece is inspired by these ideas and expressed through movement meant to convey these concepts and showcase the unique expressivity of each dancer,” she said.

Dates for the Spring Dance Concert in Theatre 1 are March 20, 21 8 p.m.; March 22, 3 p.m.; and March 26 - 28, 8 p.m.  For tickets, purchase by phone at (813) 974-2323 or visit boxoffice.arts.usf.edu; $10 for students, seniors and active military, $15 general admission.

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563

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