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Monday, October 15, 2012

Performing Dance Company; Department of Modern Dance (SLC: Oct 18-27)

Performing Dance Company: an evening of poignant premieres 
  • Performing Dance Company, Department of Modern Dance
  • Oct. 18- 27, 2012
  • With Guest Artist John Beasant III
  • Marriott Center for Dance, University of Utah
  • www.kingtix.com
  • 801.581.7100 

The University of Utah Department of Modern Dance presents the Performing Dance Company in the Hayes Christensen Theatre, opening October 18, 2012. Insightfully addressing the intricacies and complexities of human relationships, this moving concert features works from Department of Modern Dance faculty members Juan Carlos Claudio, Pamela Geber, Satu Hummasti, Sharee Lane, and a piece by New York-based choreographer and guest artist John Beasant III.

Performances run October 18 and 25 at 5:30PM and October 19, 20, 26 & 27 at 7:30PM in the Hayes Christensen Theatre at the Marriott Center for Dance on the University of Utah Campus.  U of U faculty and staff may purchase a special 2-for-1 ticket for Thursday night performances and all performances are FREE to U of U students with valid UCard.  

John Beasant III is an independent dance artist regularly teaching, performing, and presenting his own work across the country and has made numerous appearances as an actor and singer for the stage, television, and film.  John was a former member of Doug Varone and Dancers (2001-2010), and has also served as a guest artist with The José Limón Dance Company (2008-2011).  His most recent choreography consists of commissions by The José Limón Dance Company Choreographer’s Collective (NYC, NY), Cawthra Park School for the Performing Arts (Canada), The Modern American Dance Company (St. Louis, MO), and the Juilliard School for the Performing Arts (NYC, NY). We are excited to bring John back to campus to work with our students for the first time since completing his MFA coursework in 2009.

The concert opens with Associate Professor Pamela Geber Handman’s, Life Raft.  Oceanic and sweeping, awkward and urgent, Life Raft surges across the space with intensity and subtlety set to music by Loscil, Nico Muhly and Ben Frost.  With adept choreographic craft, Handman guides the cast of twelve dancers through a stark world with jagged and rough movement juxtaposed with expansive and smooth extremes. 

Next is Professor Sharee Lane’s An Otherworldly Landscape. Inspiration for the work came from the music and the locale in which it was recorded, Silfra, Iceland.  The breathtakingly beautiful music by Hilary Hahn and Volker Bertelmann embraces a range of qualities from tranquil to powerful and hypnotic to evocative. Lane used the sculptural nature of the music to create a movement style of abstract fluid forms combined with strong sharp forms. 

Associate Professor Satu Hummasti presents Little Storms.  The piece, created in a collaborative process with the dancers, explores tiny connections, miscommunications, and failings between three humans as they navigate a series of dance vignettes.  As the dancers relate to one another’s news stories from their home countries (France, China, and the USA), they work to create understanding in their own multi-cultural world on stage.  Hummasti’s expertly guides the dancers through the piece as they tackle the realities of storms big and little in our world.

Assistant Professor Juan Carlos Claudio takes the audience on creative journey of the darkness of the theatre and the light of the imagination in his West of Ordinary. In the creative process, Claudio and the dancers use shadows and artifice as a common thread that tethers the absurdity that unconsciously identifies us as humans. We ask the audience to join in finding and fighting their own shadows alongside with the dancers. West of Ordinary features original music by University of Utah staff member Brenton Winegar.

Beasant’s work titled, Impetus for pausing, which will close the concert was set on seven dancers over a two-week residency in August and September 2012.  During the creative process, Beasant gave each dancer a unique personal journey to travel through intimate and environmental spaces, to ultimately find a common ground as a community of people.  Although the work's content was designed to have emphatic undertones, the result offers discoveries of a brighter human nature and ultimately, a celebration of the work and play of artists.

Stunningly performed and produced in the Hayes Christensen Theatre at the Marriott Center for Dance on the University of Utah campus, PDC's concerts are always innovative and electrifying.  Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30PM and Thursday shows begin at 5:30PM with a special 2-for-1 ticket offer for University of Utah faculty and staff.  The show runs October 18-27, 2012.  Visit www.kingtix.com for tickets or call 801-581-7100.  Tickets are $12 general admission and $8 for faculty, staff and non U of U students and free for U of U students under the Arts Pass Program.  

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