Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

UGA department of dance to present its 2015 Spring Dance Concert

Naked, a solo created and performed by UGA assistant professor Tamara Thomas for the 2015 Spring Dance Concert

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia department of dance will present its 2015 Spring Dance Concert April 9-11 at 8 p.m. and April 12 at 2:30 p.m. in the New Dance Theatre in the dance building on Sanford Drive.

The 2015 Spring Dance Concert will bring together Franklin College of Arts and Sciences faculty, guest choreographers and UGA undergraduate students-many of whom are completing their Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts or minors in dance-for a performance of pieces that choreographers have been rehearsing with dancers since the beginning of the fall semester.

Guest choreographers include Alexandre Munz of Paris, a Willson Center Short-Term Visiting Fellow who is using his S.A.F.E. Project-spine advanced functional empowerment-methods for choreography; Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder of Urban Bush Women, who recently performed at UGA; and Virginia Carver, an associate professor emerita of dance.

The concert will premiere staged works by dance faculty Joan Buttram, director of the UGA Ballet Ensemble, Elizabeth Osborn-Kibbe and Tamara Thomas. It also will include a piano performance by Hyorim Lee, a doctoral student in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

“We are excited about the variety of guest choreographic works by artists from as far away as Paris, France and New York City to right here in Athens,” said Buttram, who is an associate professor of dance. “This concert will embrace the many dance forms from the classical to the contemporary, providing a multifaceted evening of dance in performance for all to enjoy.”

A few of the concert’s highlights:
• Buttram’s “Perceptions” brings together classical ballet and contemporary design in a montage driven by Steven Sharp Nelson’s interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude.”
“Naked,” a solo created and performed by Thomas, explores the process of internalizing, searching and shedding of the naked soul. Thomas also created a trio, “Flock (Secrets),” that reflects the emotional gnawing of unspoken realities.
“Infinite Possibilities” is comprised of five improvisational poems for cello and dance, which Carver conceived and arranged. The music and movement is improvised and performed with cellist Karen Michelle Bergman and UGA dancers.
“Chalabati” explores the journey, memory and ritual retelling of a shared history. Inspired by the Gnawa people of Morocco’s music culture, Zollar’s choreography explores a community coming together to remind itself of its strength, power and generosity. The piece was staged for UGA dancers by Urban Bush Women company members and guest artists Tendayi Kuumba, a 2014 Franklin Visiting Scholar, and Courtney Cook. The piece is supported in part by the President’s Venture Fund through the gifts of the University Partners program, the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the Franklin Visiting Scholar Program and the Dance Repertory Project.
• Osborn-Kibbe’s “(mis)connection” explores the dependence on electronic devices and social media and how the addiction to virtual relationships diminishes human interaction.
“Defocus,” by Munz, was made possible by support from the Willson Center. The piece contradicts the hyper-intellectualization of the creative process by leaving space for the audience to perceive different levels of expression in the manner of abstraction.

Tickets are $16 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors and children ages 6 to 12. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office or the Tate Student Center cashier’s window, by calling 706-542-4400 or online at Tickets will be available at the door one hour before each performance. Discounted ticket rates are available to student groups who make a one-time purchase of eight or more student tickets.