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Home » News » FSU School of Dance to present an evening of ‘incredible athleticism and artistry’

FSU School of Dance to present an evening of ‘incredible athleticism and artistry’

Published October 21, 2022

FSU’s School of Dance will present an Evening of Dance Nov. 4-5 in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre

Florida State University’s School of Dance will present “An Evening of Dance,” an annual event to showcase the inventive choreography and diverse performance talent of the university’s students and faculty.

FSU School of Dance Alum Bennalldra Williams works with the cast of “Women’s Resistance” during a week-long residency. (Photos by Meagan Helman)

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 4-5 in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre in Montgomery Hall, located on the FSU campus. School of Dance Associate Professor Hannah Schwadron will facilitate a pre-show discussion.

“We are very excited to present this eclectic evening of work, including two premieres,” said Anjali Austin, chair of the School of Dance. “Each of these pieces showcases the incredible athleticism and artistry of our dancers.”

The diverse program features four live works and a selection of dance films, spanning a wide range of dance genres from a classical masterwork to post-modern explorations of current events.

School of Dance Krafft Professor Suzanne Farrell, an internationally recognized New York City Ballet principal dancer, a 2005 Kennedy Center Honoree and the founder of Suzanne Farrell Ballet, will stage a classical ballet piece with a cast of 17 students. With assistance from former Suzanne Farrell Ballet company members Kristin Gallagher and Michael Cook, Farrell is restaging an excerpt from “Serenade,” a Balanchine ballet.

“Serenade” was choreographed by New York City Ballet Company founder George Balanchine to Tchaikovsky’s 1880 “Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48.” This historic ballet is noted as one of Balanchine’s first works created in America. “Serenade” is presented in arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust, and produced in accordance with the Balanchine style and Balanchine technique service standards established and provided by the Trust.

Filmmaker, choreographer and assistant professor Tiffany Rhynard is presenting a new work featuring a feisty and ferocious cast of student performers. “B-Word” is a large ensemble piece exploring a volatile word, the memories it imprints, the scars it creates and the camaraderie that is possible. Part rock opera and part spoken-word testimonial, the work is created with the embodied stories and experiences of the cast.

School of Dance students rehearse for “An Evening of Dance.” (Photos by Meagan Helman)

A call to collective action, “Women’s Resistance” embodies women’s power, resilience and relentless pursuit of liberation and justice. This iconic work especially resonates today, fusing power and grace around truths that bind us all. “Women’s Resistance” is excerpted from the evening-length work “Les écailles de la mémoire” (“Scales of Memory”) choreographed by Professor Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder of Urban Bush Women, and Germaine Acogny of Senegal’s Compagnie Jant Bi. A highly physical and athletic 11-minute work, “Les écailles de la mémoire” explores women’s historical resistance to oppression. School of Dance alumna and former Urban Bush Women company member Bennalldra Williams (BFA, 2005) will restage the piece with a cast of nine during a week-long residency.

Visiting Assistant Professor Kara Wilkes is joining the School of Dance for the academic year and will premiere a new work. She is an interdisciplinary choreographer, educator, dancer, visual artist and filmmaker with a 20-year professional dance career. Wilkes has performed works by Alonzo King, Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, Nacho Duato, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Darrell Grand Moultrie and others. Her choreographic process involves exploring various societal topics through the foundations of ballet and modern techniques.

Tickets for An Evening of Dance performances are $20 for adults, $17 for senior citizens, $12 for children and non-FSU students and $10 for FSU students with ID. All seating is general admission. Masks are encouraged.

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The School of Dance is part of the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University. Florida State University’s School of Dance was established over 80 years ago, offering a professional dance major for more than fifty of those years. As one of the top dance programs in the nation, FSU Dance is known for being a pioneer and leader in college dance. The School has a reputation as a center for the creation, reconstruction and production of outstanding dance repertory, ranging from traditional classical choreography to contemporary original works.