The Department of Theatre & Dance is ready to close its “& Dance” season – a celebration of the addition of “Dance” to the department’s name – with this year’s dance concert, “...And Dance!” We wanted to share with everyone the concepts, ideas, and inspiration behind each dance piece to help our audience connect with the dancers and choreographer’s vision at a greater level.
Here’s what our talented choreographers have to say about our nine dance pieces:
Awakening – Jeri Dickey
“This piece is about many types of awakening: spiritual awakening, literal awakening from a coma or other type of debilitating illnesses, getting back into the world after being isolated by depression, a period of anxiety or agoraphobia, and other awakening moments that the dancers may share and want to express. My goal for this piece is to create a safe space to share – a place to tell our stories through movement and to find healing and peace during the process. I know that the audience will relate at some level because we live in a broken, fallen world and we all need to be picked up from time to time. Isolation can be comforting, then it can become debilitating. We need each other.”
Sassy’s Blues – Bill Evans
“SASSY'S BLUES (2018/2023) is an homage to the brilliant jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan, whose nickname was Sassy. Bill Evans combined vernacular jazz from the 30s, 40s and 50s with his unique style of contemporary dance in this two-part work. He substantially revised the original to suit the personalities of the Auburn dancers. Part one is performed to Vaughan's recording of SASSY'S BLUES and part two to her recording of an earlier work, SHULIE A BOP.”
Static – Mackenzie Worden
"If a person is static, they are lacking in movement or progression. My piece represents how people can sometimes be 'stuck' or are unable to feel comfortable in their own skin."
Othering – Adrienne Wilson
“Othering is based on the concept of how there is so much 'othering' going on all over the world. For the choreography, it is a metaphor for how dance is the least recognized of the performance arts, and tap dance is the least recognized of the dance forms in comparison to ballet and modern dance. Othering attempts to bring tap dance and modern dance together, finding common ground though the joy of collaborative dance.”
Roll With It – Courtney World
“’Roll with it’ is a restaging of a lighthearted trio that premiered in October 2020. Created in response to the toilet paper shortage at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the performers take on the role of zany toilet paper salespeople competing with one another for business.”
Even You – Olivia Beland, Abbey Godfrey, Melissa Henry, Morganne Svoboda, MacKenzie Worden, Molly Yoder
“Mental illness does not discriminate. Anyone can have their struggles, even you. 'Even You' raises awareness of mental health and how the pandemic has especially affected it across the globe.”
Interwoven – Samantha Briggs
“Interwoven resembles the way all forms of life are connected, and with that connection comes a strength that is powerful enough to build but is strong enough to destroy.”
Don’t Fear the Plastics – Jeri Dickey
“I chose this piece because I feel that learning Broadway repertoire is essential for musical theatre and dance students. The dancers were challenged with adding an acting element to portray different characters, and with the distinct hip hop element throughout the piece, which is another reason I chose to do it.”
Los Ritmos Calientes – Bill Evans
“This suite of four rhythm tap dances was created by Bill Evans for his own professional dance company, with numerous quotations from the iconic Black rhythm tap pioneer Leon Collins. Part one is performed to a Latin jazz recording by the great Black jazz musician Horace Silver. Part two is performed without accompaniment. Parts three and four are performed to a live vocalist singing George and Ira Gershwin's SUMMER TIME and BYE BYE BLACKBIRD by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon. The piece displays the expressive variety of rhythm tap dance.”
We hope you enjoyed reading about each piece performing in “…And Dance!”. For an opportunity to see our choreographer’s visions come to life in movement, be sure to purchase your tickets for AUTD’s final show of the season today!
Tags: Theatre and Dance