Middle Tennessee State University dance students and faculty will whisk winter away this Thursday through Saturday, April 21-23, when the MTSU Dance Theatre’s 2022 Spring Dance Concert breezes into Tucker Theatre.
Tickets for each 7:30 p.m. performance, set inside the university’s Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium at 615 Champion Way, are $10 general admission and $5 for K-12 students and are available at https://mtsu.edu/theatreanddance/currentseason.php and at the “tickets” link at https://mtsu.edu/mtsuarts. A campus map is available at http://bit.ly/MTSUParking.
MTSU students, faculty and staff can attend free by presenting a current university ID at the Tucker Theater box office.
Guests are encouraged to wear masks and follow social distancing measures inside Tucker Theatre. The venue is fully accessible for people with disabilities, including those with hearing, vision and mobility impairments.
The evenings’ performances by MTSU’s pre-professional company include faculty-choreographed dances exploring themes ranging from the pandemic, marches and protests for social justice and equality, and the many complexities of life as we grow up and face challenges, plus a piece by this spring’s guest artists, Cherokee and Monica Ellis of Chattanooga.
MTSU Dance Theatre members worked with the Ellises this semester with help from the university’s Distinguished Lecture Fund.
Monica Ellis, a dance performance alumna of Southern Methodist University, is an American Ballet Theatre teacher focusing on children, while Cherokee Ellis, who learned breakdancing from VHS tapes, has performed with hip-hop dance groups and began seriously studying capoeira in Atlanta.
The dance they choreographed for MTSU Dance Theatre performers, “Energized Monotony,” is a blend of their talents using traditional capoeira movement and music that they composed.
This spring’s dance concert also features a new collaboration between the Department of Theatre and Dance and the MTSU School of Music, “The Hope Effect,” created by Meg Brooker, associate professor and Murfreesboro Cultural Arts Laureate Program dance laureate, that premiered in December 2021.
The School of Music’s Stones River Chamber Players will provide live musical accompaniment for “The New Hope Effect” during the Saturday, April 23, performance. The dance explores the endurance of hope during the isolation of the pandemic and emphasizes the resilience of the natural world.
MTSU alumnus and dance lecturer Aaron Allen Jr.’s “This is America” also is a collaboration, this time with students in Department of Communication Studies professor Roberta Chevrette’s Communication Studies 3740 course, “Critical Methods in Communication.”
Their artistic partnership, created in response to the March on Selma, Black Lives Matter protests and police brutality, aims to challenge the audience to take a closer look into itself and answer, “How far have we really come?”
Additional works in this spring’s event include:
• Adjunct professor Alexandra Winer’s “recombobulate,” which explores how to put oneself back in order.
• Production coordinator Kim Holt’s “How do we move on?”, which explores the complexities of relationships.
• Adjunct professor Windship Boyd’s “The Circle Game,” which demonstrates the nostalgia of childhood while navigating adult life.
More details about the dances, plus a complete cast and crew listing, are available here in the event’s digital program. The Spring Dance Concert concludes the 10th season of the College of Liberal Arts’ “MTSU Arts” brand for the university’s fine arts programs.
MTSU offers the only full Bachelor of Science degree in dance at any public university in Tennessee, guiding students in dance technique, history and theory alongside kinesiology, anatomy and healthy training for the body. One course of dance study focuses on performance and choreography, while the other track concentrates on teaching and practice.
For more information about MTSU’s dance program or the MTSU Dance Theatre, which are part of the Department of Theatre and Dance in the university’s College of Liberal Arts, call 615-904-8051, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.mtsu.edu/dance.
For details on MTSU Arts events and supporting its student arts programs in the Patrons Society, visit www.mtsu.edu/mtsuarts.
— Gina E. Fann (email@example.com)