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School of Dance Presents Days of Dance

Dancer, Anna Patsfall. Photo by Meagan Helman.

Dancer, Anna Patsfall. Photo by Meagan Helman.

As the year’s performance season comes to a close, the School of Dance prepares to showcase the talent of its faculty and students in its annual Days of Dance concert series. The concert features a variety of pieces by both graduate and undergraduate students who have been working intensely with their casts over the course of several months to prepare for these performances. Students work with faculty mentors who offer guidance and advice throughout the choreographic process. The works are then adjudicated for selection in the concert. Additionally, the concert features choreography set by School of Dance Faculty and Visiting Artist.

Rick McCullough, Artistic Director for this year’s concert, is one of the faculty members presenting a work. McCullough joined the School of Dance in 2004 and is retiring at the end of this semester. His new work is titled Voices and uses music by an award-winning women’s choir, The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices Choir, specializing in acapella traditional and contemporary Bulgarian folk music. The piece features eleven students from McCullough’s dance repertory class.

Jawole Zollar has restaged excerpts from her Bessie Award winning piece, Walking with Pearl…Southern Diaries, on the students. Originally performed by Zollar’s company Urban Bush Women in 2005, the work includes original choreography by Pearl Primus staged by Kim Bears, as well as choreography by Zollar. The work was commissioned by the American Dance Festival through the Doris Duke Awards for new work, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts and was developed via a creative residency at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at FSU. Zollar restaged the work for FSU students with rehearsal assistance from current Visiting Faculty and FSU alumnus Darrell Jones and current graduate student Cheri Stokes.

Working collaboratively with her dancers, Ilana Goldman created a new piece set to music by Steve Reich called Cello Counterpoint. Goldman and her dancers used short choreographic phrases and manipulated them using simple compositional tools to create the work. The music is composed for eight cellos but is most often performed by one live cellist with seven recorded cello tracks. Each of the seven dancers represent one of the recorded cellos. School of Music professor Greg Sauer will perform the eighth cello live. Goldman says, “while each dancer does not represent each of the cello lines exactly, they demonstrate how various voices can work simultaneously to create a larger complex sound while still maintaining their individual statements.”

During her time-in-residence at the FSU School of Dance this Spring, Visiting Faculty member pearl ubungen, a widely-acclaimed interdisciplinary artist, developed a new work inspired by Ed Mock—her mentor, experimental choreographer, and a performer. After viewing performance footage of Mock, who was known for his use of improvisation and love of music, ubungen worked with the dancers to find precision and playfulness in their musicality through improvisation. ubungen, along with a group of students, also created an outdoor site specific pre-show work which will begin 45 minutes before each performance. The piece stems from ubungen’s studies in Tibetan Buddhism and is centered around one of the five Buddha families, Padma. Padma is represented by the season of Spring, the color red, the direction west, and the element of fire.

Days of Dance runs as two separate full-length programs in order to present the breadth of creative talent stemming from the School of Dance. Program A will be performed on April 21 and 29 at 8:00 pm, and April 22 at 2:00 pm. Program B will be shown on April 28 and 22 at 8:00pm and April 29 at 2:00pm. The outdoor pre-show work starts 45 minutes before each show. All performances will be held in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre in Montgomery Hall, located on the FSU campus.

Tickets for Days of Dance performances are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and non-FSU students with ID, $10 for children and $5 for FSU students with ID. All seating is general admission. For ticket information, contact the Fine Arts Tickets Office at 850-644-6500 or online at www.ticket.fsu.edu. Tickets may also be purchased directly before each performance at Montgomery Hall. The Box Office closes 15 minutes after the start of each performance. For more information, call La Toya Davis-Craig at 850- 645-2449 or email at ldavis3@fsu.edu, or check online at dance.fsu.edu. The School of Dance is within the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University.