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Kathrine G. McGovern College of The Arts School of Theatre & Dance presents Ensemble Dance Works

UH School of Theatre & Dance presents Ensemble Dance Works April 27-29, 2018

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The Kathrine G. McGovern College of The Arts School of Theatre & Dance presents Ensemble Dance Works, an annual showcase featuring original dance works by faculty and guest artists, as performed by the pre-professional dance company, The UH Dance Ensemble. Ensemble Dance Works premieres April 27-28, 2018 at 7:30PM and April 29, 2018 at 1:30PM at the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theater, University of Houston Central Campus. On April 27th, Friday evening, audience members are invited after the performance to join UH in a celebration in honor of Judy & Walter Jones who have endowed a new dance student scholarship:  The Tommy Tune Dance Scholarship.

Ensemble Dance Works showcases inventive choreography created by faculty John Beasant III, Teresa Chapman, Karen Stokes, Toni Valle, Becky Valls, and guest choreographers Corian Ellisor and Jennifer Wood.

Guest choreographer and alum Corian Ellisor graduated with a B.A. in Dance from the University of Houston in 2008 and then relocated to Atlanta to dance with Core Dance. Ellisor premieres Divided We Fall, an exploration of the feeling of being isolated within a group.  He comments on his work, “I strive to make art that builds a community, one that shares a common appreciation of the ties that bind people together as a human race.”

Guest choreographer Jennifer Wood is the Artistic Director and Founder of Suchu Dance, which is celebrating its 20th season in 2018.  Wood premieres a work to original music by Fescennine, incorporating 11 dancers to create one of her signature large-scale works. Wood, who has choreographed for UH in the past, expresses that she enjoys getting to know each dancer and experience their movements. Wood states that the message being conveyed in this piece is simply “None. There doesn’t need to be.”

The other works for the evening include choreography by celebrated UH dance faculty.  John Beasant III presents his piece Calligraphy, a contemporary dance piece that explores the joy of unification through the idea of beautiful writing, yielding to a creative fire. Set to music written and performed by Sinead O’Connor, the dance highlights two dancers in a tight, lush, and sensual choreographic structure. The piece is “audience-friendly” in that allows the viewing eye to saturate itself in a pleasing and unchallenging way. “This piece is an example of the voice the art of dance can have,” states Beasant. It also pays homage to Beasant’s classical roots as a young mover and those who he studied with him in graduate school.

Teresa Chapman explores the invasion of personal space and the creation and decay of physical intimacy through her piece titled Place. “My happy place is in your personal space,” remarks Chapman. Place is performed by ten Ensemble members with music by Radiohead and costume design by UH alum Ashley Horn Nott.

Karen Stokes is de-constructing a work from 2008, with a working title of Rearranging the Furniture.  Come to the show and find out which furniture went where!

In Never Again: The Texas CircusToni Valle uses dark music selections from Circus Contraption and Vermillion Lies to reflect the theme of the circus agenda in Texas politics.  Never Again: The Texas Circus comments on current political landscapes and Texas’ hostile bills towards women.  Valle states, “It highlights the key players in the Texas Legislation that work against women’s autonomy, and the women and men who have found a voice through dark wit and humor as opposition to the government.”

Spotless, choreographed by Becky Valls, is a “spoof on the American obsession with house cleaning.” This satire battles “war on grime” equipped with household cleaning supplies and the misconception of it being a woman’s watch post. Set to poetry and music, this dance will take the audience through the everyday household chores people encounter.

The Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts School of Theatre & Dance presents Ensemble Dance Works on April 27-28, 2018 at 7:30PM and April 29, 2018 at 1:30PM at the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theater, University of Houston Central Campus, 3351 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX. 77204-4016. Ticket prices range from $10-$20. For tickets, contact the Box Office at 713-743-3388 or kgmcaboxoffice@uh.edu or visit
http://www.uh.edu/kgmca//theatre-and-dance/buy-tickets/2017-2018/dance-works/.  For more information, contact UH Dance Production Faculty member, Toni Valle at (713) 409-2838.