The annual fall performance of Alma College Dance tests both the physical and emotional limits of the performing members. Audiences will experience six works—five of which will make their debut—as choreographed by five faculty members and performed by approximately 30 dancers.
Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 in the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall.
Tickets are $15 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.
The performance will feature four contemporary pieces along with traditional Brazilian and hip-hop dance works. The first half of the show centers on pieces that reflect a heavy emotional or political tone. The second half features three lighter dances.
“All of the works are very technically demanding and challenge our dancers’ stamina and skill,” says Ben Munisteri, director of dance. “I think that this year the dancers find themselves pushed to their physical limits.”
Munisteri’s work is titled Luke Skywalker and the Wampa, a piece that incorporates three musical selections written in a challenging-to-count 7/8 time signature. Used within the piece are recordings from several of Munisteri’s voicemail messages.
Guest artist Amanda Benzin, a professor at Colorado Mesa University, has worked intensely with 12 students to craft an original work as well. The piece utilizes a mix of social and street dance forms, including house, breaking and hip-hop party dances.
“This is my kinesthetic tribute to the creative process that backs the art of graffiti,” says Benzin. “I hope it inspires people to research more about hip hop cultures.”
A contemporary piece created 10 years ago by Kristen Bennett will make its way back to stage. The piece explores weighty material with its concentration on the soldiers of the Vietnam Conflict.
“The dancers have worked hard to make this a meaningful dance that will honor those who fought and those who lost their lives,” says Bennett.
Rosely Conz uses cinder blocks as props in her work, which is performed by 13 dancers. The blocks add an additional layer of meaning to a piece about borders and walls.
“In the face of the political climate and immigration policies, I hope that the piece will raise questions and make audiences reflect on the concept of borders,” says Conz.
Conz also will have a traditional Brazilian piece performed by the Michigan State University group Orchesis. Additionally, adjunct instructor Lynn Bowman will explore the theme of education in her group dance.