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The U Dance Theatre's Dance Revolution will be presented December 10-12 at Rarig Center in the U's West Bank Arts Quarter.
U Dance Theatre: Transforming ideas into physical beauty
Transforming ideas into physical beauty
By Rick Moore
Published on December 7, 2004
As the fall semester winds down and the winter holiday season approaches, there are ample opportunities to sample the arts on and around the Twin Cities campus. This weekend offers a great chance to check out student dancers as the University Dance Theatre presents its annual concert--Dance Revolutions--December 10-12 at Rarig Center in the U's West Bank Arts Quarter. (And if you have never attended a modern/jazz dance concert, see the tips below, written by a University dance alum, for enjoying dance performances.)
The concert will showcase dozens of University dancers performing pieces by four guest choreographers--Hannah Stilwell, Merce Cunningham, Tere O'Connor, and Carl Flink.
Promotional materials for the concert give a flavor of the individual dances. "Hannah Stilwell's celebration of cross-cultural movements in her world premiere Relished, gives classic jazz dance sizzling Afro-Cuban accents. Inlets 2 by Merce Cunningham combines virtuosic movement with chance operations. Personal identity and social disorder collide with poignant wit in the world premiere of Frozen Mommy As a Boy by Tere O'Connor. And Carl Flink sends dancers flying through space in his lush and sensuous This Bleeding Heart...."
The performances will be at 8 p.m. on December 10 and 11 and at 2 p.m. on December 12. Tickets can be ordered by calling 612-624-2345 or by visiting www.northrop.umn.edu.
Tips for watching and enjoying modern dance
Trying to understand modern dance can be a bit like trying to catch a butterfly on the wing. Unlike with some ballet programs, there are rarely printed story lines accompanying the pieces, which leaves each audience member on his or her own in trying to decipher the dances.
Tamara Ober, a University dance alum and current member of Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis, has compiled the following tips for watching modern dance.
- The key to watching modern dance is to relax your mind, like you would on the first day of vacation or a work-free Saturday evening. Modern dance gives you a chance to slow down and be a part of the process--to take in information at different levels and through a variety of different senses.
- As you watch the performance, you will notice what is actually there--not what you expect to see--and certain aspects of the dance will unfold before your eyes. Try to notice the various elements of the performance: the physicality of the dancers (flexibility, fluidity, and strength), how music and lighting enhance individual pieces, and how the dancers interact with each other and with the audience.
- Finally, the most successful choreographers tend to be those who care deeply about the truths of the human condition, and they are processing these through dance. After the show ends, note what feelings may have come to the surface. Then you can take what you have felt during the performance and form your own artistic opinion.