Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Swirl:Wells College Faculty dance Concert

Photo/design: Steve Stull

Wells College Presents the Annual Faculty Dance Concert

Four performances by students and faculty will be accompanied by live music

The Wells College Theatre and Dance Program is pleased to present their annual faculty and guest artist dance concert, on Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9 at 7:30p.m., in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall. This year's concert will feature choreography by faculty member Jeanne Goddard and guest artist Elizabeth Wilmot Bishop, with live music by baritone Steven Stull and four-piece band.

This year's concert promises an eclectic mix of new dances performed by the Wells College Dance Ensemble of students and faculty. The four dances are entitled "Blizzard," "Surface," "Never Give Up" and "That's Amoré!" Focusing on the bonds among lovers, friends, community and strangers, this work brings out the complicated, yet often humorous and uplifting, moments in relationships through the use of narrative and reflection. On stage, dancers create juxtaposing images, playfully wrestling with pillows and stealing glances at each other over drinks in light-hearted romantic vignettes, while achingly dividing themselves from one another in pulsating narratives that speak of a darker, distant past. Musical accompaniment ranges from songs by Judy Collins and Yolanda Adams to classical/African fusion from the Kronos Quartet. Jazz, pop, music theatre tunes and Italian art song will be performed live by Steven Stull and an ensemble of professional and student musicians, with a chance for the audience to sing along. The performances are complimented by simple, yet aesthetically striking, set and lighting design by resident designer Joe Deforest.

Here's what the choreographers say about their work:

"Blizzard" evokes the turmoil of the human heart-an inner "storm" that needs to be quieted. We realize that our lives can sometimes feel as variable and uncertain as the weather, with periods of turmoil and periods of calm.

"Surface" is really about what goes on below the surface-the layers of life and meaning that maintain their own reality despite being hidden from the outside view. There are suggestions of past generations, the movement of time, cycles of life and loss, memory and constant change. The underlying energy is always ready to break through and spill into the present.

"Never Give Up" encourages us to believe in ourselves and your dreams. Trust what you have been given to do with your life and follow that path, whatever obstacles or stumbling blocks you may encounter along the way.

An old Dean Martin recording reminded me of the perennial appeal of the love song. "That's Amoré" celebrates love in all its crazy, confusing, confounding and exhilarating aspects, its various and changeable moods: excitement, sensuality, longing and entanglement. A live band with singers will heat up the theatre with such popular tunes as "Let Me Go, Lover," "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On" and of course the title song, "That's Amoré," during which the audience will be invited to sing along.

The Wells College Dance Program seeks to offer diverse, vibrant concerts of both new and repertory works that communicate to a wide audience. Many of the performers are not dance majors but share a deep and abiding dedication to the art form of dance.

Ticket prices are $5 for students and $7 for adults, and can be purchased at the door or by calling the Phipps Auditorium Box Office at 315.364.3456. Children are admitted free. For information, contact Professor Jeanne Goddard, 315.364.3213, or email jgoddard@wells.edu