University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance presents Ensemble Dance Works
Houston, TX – University of Houston School of Theatre & dance presents Ensemble Dance Works, an annual showcase featuring original dance theatre by faculty and guest artists as performed by the pre-professional dance company; The UH Dance Ensemble. Ensemble Dance Works premieres April 28-29, 2017 at 7:30PM and April 30, 2017 at 1:30PM at the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theater, University of Houston Central Campus. The University of Houston dance program highlights the professionals of tomorrow in works created especially for by faculty John Beasant III, Teresa Chapman, Leslie Scates, Sophia Torres, and Becky Valls, and guest choreographers Paul Appleman and Dorrell Martin.
John Beasant III, Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Houston, presents “Cold Space Between Planets,” a modern dance work inspired by and dedicated to the “Mothers of the Disappeared,” a powerful group existing in both Argentina and Chile. The 'disappeared’ is the name given to those who were abducted and murdered under military regimes in Argentina and Chile in the 1970s and 80s under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet’s regime was responsible for the deaths through execution of 3,000 people; 27,000 more people were incarcerated and many of those were tortured. The Mothers of the Disappeared, a women’s human rights movement, started in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in April 1977, when four mothers demonstrated to draw attention to the plight of their children, who had disappeared. This work aims to bring awareness through a contemporary lens on this historical period.
Associate Professor Teresa Chapman presents two short solos for two of UH Dance Program's "powerhouse" dancers, CeCe Jessie and Elyssa Vega. Both Jessie and Vega bring their drive for technique, passion, and dance to deliver explosive movement in "Surge" and "Spinning Top.”
“Shells in the Incubator,” a premiere by Leslie Scates, highlights Scates’ talent for performance improvisation. “The title means that we have done all of the work of forming the dance inside an incubator (rehearsal and choreographic processes),” comments Scates, “Performances are the final growth stage for the work. Performances are a laboratory in which we leave the incubator and deal with our choreography, and ourselves as performance artists in real time, outside of the creative incubation in which we made the initial dancing.”
Psophonia Dance Company Artistis Director, Sophia Torres, presents, “Public Spaces,” an excerpt from “Memory Web,” her evening length collaborative work created between PDC and UH AURA Contemporary Ensemble. “Memory Web” premiered at MATCH in March 2017. “Public Spaces” reflects the connected and disconnected nature in which people move through open places. While they may appear to be together, they also appear unaware of each other and simply in the same place at the same time. “Public Spaces” is set to original music by HyeKyung Lee.
"Tensity" by Becky Valls opens with the voice of Emma Kirby singing “I Saw the Lady Weep” as dancers shudder and thrash in isolated solos. The dance evolves into more energetic groupings and couples to the textural cello music of Gabriel Prokofiev, titled “Jerk Driver.”
Guest Choreographers Paul Appleman form Houston Ballet and Dorrell Martin from New York’s Leon Dance Arts round out the evening. Appleman presents a trio based on a quote from Winston Churchill: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Martin showcases forgiveness in a large ensemble work.
The University of Houston School of Theater & Dance presents Ensemble Dance Works on April 28-29, 2017 at 7:30PM and April 30, 2017 at 1:30PM at the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theater, University of Houston Central Campus. Ticket prices are $10-$20. For tickets, contact the box office at 713-743-2929 or http://www.uh.edu/cota/theatre-and-dance/buy-tickets/2016-2017 For more information, contact UH Dance Production Faculty member, Toni Valle at 713/409-2838.