Students in Tennessee’s only full dance degree program will celebrate a season of rebirth by displaying their talents on three successive nights — Thursday-Saturday, April 18-20 — with a performance that includes work from a top New York professional.
The MTSU Dance Theatre’s Spring Dance Concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 18-20 in Tucker Theatre, located inside the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building at 615 Champion Way.
A campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking.
General-admission tickets for the Spring Dance Concert 2019 are $10 for adults and $5 for K-12 students and seniors and are available at www.mtsuarts.com. MTSU students will be admitted free with a valid ID.
The pre-professional company of more than 30 artists will perform faculty and guest choreography with themes as wide-ranging as psychological turmoil and the love of dogs.
The program’s spring guest artist, Daniel Gwirtzman, restaged his eponymous dance company’s hit “Encore” for a group of 12 dancers, allowing the MTSU troupe to present his lively blend of postmodern concert dance and contemporary musical theatre set to a score of classic jazz recordings.
Gwirtzman, a producer, director, educator, filmmaker and dancer described by The New Yorker as a choreographer of “high spirits and skill,” is celebrating 21 years as New York company director.
The magazine praised Gwirtzman when “Encore” first opened in 2007, lauding his “tricky syncopations and intricate patterns at breakneck tempos” that ensured the “dancers can’t help but smile.”
Contributions from the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund and the College of Liberal Arts made Gwirtzman’s weeklong residency possible earlier this month.
Additional performances in this spring’s dance concert include:
• MTSU dance professor Marsha Barsky’s “Sumac,” an exuberant celebration of dance through the unique musical stylings of Yma Sumac.
• Dance professor Meg Brooker’s “Fragments,” which uses spatial relationships to explore line, shape, space and form.
• Dance lecturer Chell Parkins’ “pathological,” an exploration of the psychological turmoil a woman experiences while recovering from a destructive relationship with a narcissistic sociopath.
Adjunct faculty members also are contributing their choreography.
Jennifer McNamara’s “every dog’s story” is a light-hearted celebration of the late poet Mary Oliver’s deep love for the dogs in her life.
Laurel Walker’s “Honey, Just Smile” looks at our current cultural fixation on being “pretty” in contrast to the work of women of the 1950s and ’60s work for equality and civil rights.
Student choreographer Sisomvong Phrommala’s “Here: Lost in the Right Direction” will tell personal stories about the struggles of life and acceptance of the here and now through text, song and movement.
MTSU offers the only full Bachelor of Science degree in dance at any public university in Tennessee.
The degree track, launched in fall 2017, allows students to study a combination of different levels of technique classes, dance history and theory, theories around kinesiology, anatomy and healthy training for the body, as well as choreography and improvisation. One course of study focuses on performance and choreography, while the other track concentrates on pedagogy and practice.
For more information about MTSU’s dance program or the MTSU Dance Theatre, call 615-904-8051, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.mtsu.edu/dance.
— Gina E. Fann (email@example.com)