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Variety of disciplines come together for dance recital

BY AUDREY DWYER | NOVEMBER 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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Passion, rage, ecstasy, humor, and beauty are embodied in this years’ Collaborative Performance.

Each fall, students and faculty from various University of Iowa disciplines come together for one conglomerate performance.

“What the audience is going to see is this incredible thing: all these people from various disciplines coming together to create a single entity, a single goal,” said Will Huff, a composer and second-year doctoral student in the UI Composition Department.

Through a “meshing of the arts,” dancers and choreographers portray personal experiences, push boundaries in dance, and reveal realities.

“The end result isn’t just some dream by an individual, it’s this aggregate from many people — our stage managers, our dancers — everyone contributed,” Huff said.

Months of collaborative work among dancers, musicians, and designers can be witnessed today through Saturday at 8 p.m. in North Hall’s Space/Place. Admissions is free for students with IDs, $12 for general public, and $6 for senior citizens and those 17 and younger. Tickets are available at the Hancher box office or at the door each day starting at 7 p.m.

“They are all working at what they do best. It has been a really exciting exchange of ideas, it’s quite an amazing group of artists,” said UI dance Professor Charlotte Adams, the Collaborative Performance instructor.

The three featured performances — “The Shape of Memory,” “Finding Home,” and “Till Death Do Us Part” — comprise different theatrical and dance characteristics from unique perspectives of choreographers, dancers, composers, and stage-crew members.

UI dance graduate student Zoe Bennett said expressing her vision through the dancers’ movement is a challenge she has undertaken as one of the choreographers for “Till Death Do Us Part.”

“How does my body communicate ideas and how can I try to get the dancers to embody that and grasp that, once that is overcome, then I can see what I am saying through their movement,” she said.

The piece, which details the relationship between two people, is a contemporary piece that includes modern dance techniques, theatrics, and gesturing.

“This work, in our opinion, is more accessible because there is text that everyone can understand or relate to in some way,” Bennett said. “For an everyday person, it is easier to hear something and then watch the movement and begin to see those two worlds weaving together — it becomes a clear picture.”

“The Shape of Memory” is based on the idea that memories are colored by time. It started with the dancers writing stories they remembered as kids.

“It is centered within things we remember as a kid that are magnified,” Adams said.

“Finding Home” is a piece UI graduate dance student Jennifer Harge described as initially being about revealing and concealing concepts logically and physically.

“Home,” she said, “can be wherever you feel safe or protected.”

The story line unfolded as a soloist’s journey in a new environment, and the audience follows the character through discovery of a new world.

“She finds herself surrounded by new people and must learn the language, ideas, and values of this new place,” Harge said.

She relates the performance by comparing the way humans deal with challenges throughout daily life.

“The concert itself deals with correlations between past present and future — the general concepts of memory, relationships, home, and life journeys, are very human experiences we all come in contact with at some point, and I think everyone can relate to it somehow,” Harge said.

Collaborative Performance 2012
When: 8 p.m. today through Saturday
Where: North Hall’s Space/Place
Admission: Free for students with valid IDs, $12 for general public, $6 for senior citizens and those 17 and younger


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