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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Performing Dance Company and School of Music to perform in Kingsbury Hall (SLC: March 9 - 10)

Performing Dance Company and
School of Music to perform in Kingsbury Hall

For Immediate Release
Contact Sara Pickett
Salt Lake City-- TheUniversity of Utah's Department of Modern Dance will be presenting a collaborative concert with the School of Music on March 9 & 10, 2012 at7:30 p.m. at Kingsbury Hall.  This sensational concert, under Co-Artistic Directors Associate Professor Sharee Lane and Assistant Professor Rob Wood, will feature new works from the Department of Modern Dance faculty members Satu Hummasti, Eric Handman, Steve Koester, I-Fen Lin and Sweet Fields by one of America's greatest choreographers, Twyla Tharp.  The School of Music’s University Singers, The Utah Philharmonia, Cello Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and featured soloists will provide live music for this spectacular evening event.

“This is an ambitious undertaking, to pair live music to new choreography,” said Lane of the work by Modern Dance Department faculty. “It gives our students the opportunity to truly engage with and work among students of another discipline. It has been a very rewarding experience.”  The one piece in the concert that is not a premier is Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields, brought to the University of Utah by Elaine Kudo, a renowned repetiteur for the Tharp Company. 
Kudo, who danced soloist and principal roles at American Ballet Theater from 1975-1989, has worked extensively with all major choreographers in the USA,Tharp Dance Company, and was Mikhail Baryshnikov's partner in Tharp's Sinatra Suite and Push Comes To Shove in the PBS Great Performances special "Dance in America: Baryshnikov by Tharp."   Kudo has staged Tharp works throughout the United States and Europe; most notably for American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Washington Ballet, Boston Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, National Ballet, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.  Dancers from the Modern Dance Department are the first students on which Kudo will have set Sweet Fields

Dr. Barlow Bradford will lead the University of Utah Singers, a cappella to ten early New England choral pieces to accompany the dancers.  These 10 pieces are either Shaker Hymns or early American Hymns, some were written by early American composers William Billings (1746-1800) and Jeremiah Ingalls (1764-1838), while others are traditional and their beginnings are unknown.  The Revolutionary War Hymn “Chester” is probably the best know of the group of melodies.  Within the various selections there is a wide variety of tempo and mood.

Stephen Koester Chair of the Department of Modern Dance will premiere Black, White, Red, set to Ravel’s Bolero.  The dance simultaneously presents three interpretations of Ravel’s classic score.  Black, a trio with the flavor of an Argentinean tango club, White, a duet for two odd birds, and Red, a solo danced by a crazed femme fatale, are all danced independently of each other until at the end they fatefully collide.  

Black, White, Red, accompanied by the Utah Philharmonia directed by Dr. Robert Baldwin, will perform Bolero by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937).   Bolero is a one movement orchestral work that has become widely known and appreciated.  It is based on a continuous Spanish dance rhythm and builds to an energetic climax.

In Associate Professor Satu Hummasti's this is what it's like to dance for you, four dancers explore questions of what it means to perform and live as a dancer. The artifice of the performing space and the dancers personal lives blur as the dancers reveal thoughts about themselves and the dance within the context of the performance.  Joining the dancers on stage will be the 8 cellists and vocal soloist Melissa Heath.  This piece for soprano solo was composed by Heitor Villa-Lobos in 1938 and is titled Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.  The ensemble is under the direction of Elliott Cheney.

Torch, the new quintet by Assistant Professor Eric Handman, is set to 3 short pieces by American composer John Adams: China Gates, Tromba Lontana, and Short Ride in a Fast Machine. The mood shifts from intimate to seismic over the course of the three pieces.  China Gates will be performed by pianist Aiting Gao of the School of Music and the second two pieces will be performed by the Utah Philharmonia under the direction of Maestro Jong-hun Bae.

Instructor I-Fen Lin has created Duck Pond, a rhythmical, playful, vividly detailed work. I-Fen says of the work, “The idea for the piece originally came from my ownexperience. I was sitting on a park bench one Sunday afternoon, watching ducks swim and waddle past me, listing to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s "Swan Lake" and daydreaming. In that brief moment I felt a feeling of serenity that inspired this dance.”  Duck Pond will beperformed to the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), which has been arranged for a marimba quartet.  The four marimba players will be on stage and will be directed by Douglas J. Wolf of the faculty of The School of Music.

Don’t miss this exciting concert event full of innovating dance and invigorating live music in the Nancy Peery Marriott Auditorium in Kingsbury Hall March 9th and 10th, 2012 at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $20 general, $10 for U of U faculty and staff, and U of U students free under the U & the Arts Program.  Tickets are available at KingTix.com, by calling 801.581.7100, or at the Kingsbury Hall box office.   

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