Spring Dance Concert Features Varied Choreography
Slavic character dancing, a neo-classical work that recalls memories of the tragedy of Sarajevo, and a performance by guest artist Nic Gareiss are among the highlights of the Alma College Dance Company’s spring concert.
The ACDC performs at 8 p.m. Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24 in the Remick Heritage Center. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
A member of the dance company rehearses.
The concert will feature multiple types of dance, including traditional ballet, neo-classical pointe, modern, jazz, tap and clogging, including pieces choreographed by Alma College students Devon Brisbon, Camden, N.J. junior, and Maggie Donley, St. Joseph junior, as well as Alma College dance instructors Kristen Bennett and Jenifer Sarver.
It also will feature a piece set by Maureen Laird, a guest artist from the University of Utah; a tap and lyrical collaboration by Gareiss and Bennett; and “an incredibly upbeat” piece choreographed by Bennett and set to music by Prince.
“We are extremely fortunate to bring in such wonderful guest artists to work with our dancers,” says Bennett. “Nic Gareiss travels the world teaching percussive dance. We are life-long friends but never have had the opportunity to choreograph together. Our suite is set to music by Chris Thile and centers around love lost and longing with a very haunted feeling to it.”
The program also includes “The Happy Young Pioneers,” a new five-movement work in the style of socialist realism, an artistic and political style that was popular — and required — in the Soviet Union during the 1930s and ‘40s, according to Sarver, who choreographed the piece.
“To my knowledge, this is the only entirely socialist realist piece ever created in the United States,” says Sarver. “It explores the ‘lighter side of communism,’ illustrating the summer activities of the Soviet Union’s communist youth group.
“It is both humorous and historically accurate, featuring Slavic character dancing, classical ballet and acrobatics,” says Sarver. “It blends historical analysis with dance to create a fun and joyful romp into the past.”
Another highlight of the show is a solo dance by Weston, Fla., sophomore Cassie Haley titled “Sarajevo: May 27, 1992,” choreographed by Sarver to Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor, as played by Vedran Smailovic, known worldwide as the Cellist of Sarajevo.
“During the siege of Sarajevo, Smailovic was known for playing in the streets and at funerals for his fellow civilians who were killed,” says Sarver. “On May 27, 1992, twenty-two civilians were killed while waiting to buy bread in a downtown Sarajevo bakery. Afterward, Smailovic sat outside the remains of the bakery everyday for 22 days in the midst of sniper fire and played Adagio in G minor for each of the civilians who had been killed.
“The story of Smailovic and the citizens killed in Sarajevo has haunted me for years, and I have wanted to create a dance work based on this story for a long time,” says Sarver. “It is a reminder that we should never forget the innocent victims of war.”
Posted: Wed, March 13th, 2013 at 8:31AM