Michelle Heffner Hayes
Department of Dance

University Dance Company brings performance and classes to Salina

Mon, 04/08/2013

LAWRENCE – Movement drives the University Dance Company of the University of Kansas. This month the company’s movement will take it all the way to Salina.

The Salina Community Theatre will present the University Dance Company for performances and community workshops April 27. The 7:30 p.m. performance at the Salina Community Theatre, 303 E. Iron Ave., Salina, will feature diverse works as a celebration of women.

Furthering the collaboration with the community theater, members of the University Dance Company will teach two master classes for the public at 10:30 a.m. that day. The company will host a hip-hop class for fourth- through seventh-graders and a modern class for eighth-graders through adults. The classes are free to Salina Community Theatre students and $10 for the public.

Tickets to the performance can be purchased at the theater box office between 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. by calling (785) 827-3033 or at Tickets are $15 for the public and $8 for students. To pre-register for the master classes, call (785) 827-6126.

The concert at the Salina Community Theatre will feature a rich tapestry of diverse works, including choreography by James Moreno, a new faculty member in the Department of Dance. Moreno has choreographed for Repertory Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City, as well as for many independent groups and projects. He holds a doctoral degree in performance studies from Northwestern University. Moreno was a 2011-2012 Fulbright Fellow at the University of Panamá in Panamá City and a Visiting Guest Artist at the National School of Dance of Panama. 

The performance includes:

  • “Fives” – Presenting a powerful community of women who push, acquiesce and ride the intense music. Choreographed by Moreno to music by contemporary Romanian composer Alexander Balanescu.
  • “Tír na nÓg” – Featuring 15 women and one man as ethereal creatures dancing and making merry in a mystical setting. Choreographed by Jerel Hilding to Maurice Ravel’s introduction and allegro for harp, string quartet, flute and clarinet.
  • “Short Stories” – A suite of solos featuring series of poetic kinetic images woven through the text of the music. Choreographed by Patrick Suzeau to French songs sung by Barbara, George Brassens and Jaques Brel.
  • “Womansong” – Six dancers portray the raw power and earthiness of women. Choreographed by Muriel Cohan to music by Hedningarna, a Swedish vocal group.
  • “Movement Centric” – Quirky jazz movements of six women infuse this high-energy choreography. Choreographed by Willie Lenoir to a score by Austrian composer Parov Stelar.
  • “Anthem” – A large group work that sets athletic partnering and silhouettes of teen ennui with women supporting each other as they roll, launch and attempt to fly. Choreographed by Michelle Heffner Hayes to The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” and “Love Reign O’er Me” from The Who’s opera “Quadrophenia."
  • “Éclaircie” – Performed by members of the University Dance Company after an intensive two-week residency in January of choreographer Meggi Sweeney Smith. Smith, a KU dance alumna, is a professional dancer and choreographer in New York with CorbinDances and the New York Baroque Dance Ensemble, among others.

The University Dance Company is an auditioned pre-professional ensemble of faculty and student performers in the Department of Dance, which is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

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