The Florida State University School of Dance will culminate this year’s concert season with two weekends of exceptional performances featuring work by faculty and student choreographers. The Days of Dance performances will also mark the farewell of two long time faculty members in the School of Dance. After over twenty years as Artistic Director of the Tallahassee Ballet, Joyce Fausone joined the School of Dance in 2003, and has also worked extensively with the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. Fausone serves as coordinator of the General Studies Dance Program for non-majors, oversees the graduate teaching assistants, coordinates the Summer Dance Intensive as well as the FSU Dance in Paris study abroad program. She also works as the liaison for Friends of Dance activities including planning the annual Young Dancer’s Workshop. Professor Fausone’s integral presence in the School of Dance will be greatly missed.
Also retiring after ten years of service to the School of Dance is Professor Gerri Houlihan. She is serving as the Artistic Director for this year’s concert and is restaging four excerpts from her work Between Angels set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. Houlihan says, “I wanted to end my time here at FSU with a piece that is joyful and celebratory. With a cast of eight wonderful dancers, the work is physically demanding and full of the intricacies and humor of Bach’s gorgeous score.”
The concerts will also include a number of works created by graduate and undergraduate students. Many of the student choreographers have been working with their casts since last fall and have dedicated countless hours of rehearsals to these projects. Students work with faculty mentors who provide guidance and advice throughout their choreographic process. Prior to selection for Days of Dance, student choreography is subject to an adjudication process during which a panel of faculty members views each work-in-progress with fresh eyes and provides feedback to the choreographers.
Days of Dance will also present works by five other School of Dance faculty members. Ilana Goldman has choreographed a new work titled Out of Site with music composed by jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and played by the contemporary string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Goldman says, “I took the lead from the music, which is inspired by James Brown. I played with elements from his and his back-up singers’ dancing, integrating those moves and their qualities with the vocabulary of contemporary ballet.” Gwen Welliver has been working with six dancers on an excerpt from a preexisting evening length work. Their process together has developed a new work, Glen, Girl. The original sound score is by composer and experimental percussionist Jake Meginsky with Vic Rawlings.
Tim Glenn will be presenting a twentieth anniversary restaging of his work Ride, which involves, trench coats and fedoras, umbrellas, and clotheslines filled with underwear, performed to Richard Wagner’s score Ride of the Valkyries. Produced as part of the coursework in his repertory class, Rick McCullough has created a new work Scenes, set to music by Michael Galasso. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar will be showcasing excerpts from her work Walking With Pearl . . . Africa Diaries with text by Pearl Primus and music by Toumani Diabate and Ballaké Sissoko.
In order to showcase as much work as possible from the wealth of talent in the School of Dance, Days of Dance will be presented as two separate full-length programs. “Program A” will be performed on April 15 and 23 at 8:00 pm, and April 16 at 2:00 pm. “Program B” will be shown on April 16 and 22 at 8:00pm and April 23 at 2:00pm. 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 $18 for adults, $16 for senior citizens, $12 for children and non-FSU students and $10 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. For more information call Joyce Fausone at 850.645.2449 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check online at dance.fsu.edu. The School of Dance is within the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University.