The Dance Program of the Department of Drama at the University of Virginia presents its Fall Dance Concert on December 2 and 3 at 8:00 p.m. and December 3 at 2:00 p.m. in the Culbreth Theatre. The fall concert will showcase the works of student, faculty, and guest choreographers for an evening of inventive and inspiring dance.
The Dance Program is pleased to present the work of guest choreographer Jessie Laurita-Spanglet. Ms. Laurita-Spanglet holds an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland and is on the faculty of Wake Forest University. Her piece, In the Rift explores and amplifies forgotten or overlooked moments of inbetweenness. Originally created in silence, the arc of the work sweeps, falls, and subtly shifts its way through a musical landscape of layered violin with original music by composer/musician David Schulman. Ms. Laurita-Spanglet worked with UVA dancers during a residency on Grounds. “This is the third iteration of the piece and each version has been co-created and shaped by the experiences and movements of the particular cast involved,” said Laurita-Spanglet. “While teaching and rehearsing with UVA students this semester, I used improvisational structures to facilitate movement invention that was subsequently included in the work, creating a dance that is both particular to this cast and reminiscent of the versions that have already been made. In this way, In the Rift serves as a living history of the dancers who have contributed to its making.”
From exploring the idea of breaking off from the familiar and embracing the call of the void to inquiring after the sources of true fulfillment, UVA students tackle a variety of themes in their choreography. Julia Ruth Holland’s piece, After the crater., was created from physical memories, “a hand on my back, a chance meeting, a play at proximity,” Holland said. “I was thinking about evolution, about life ‘after the crater.’ In moths, choreographer Vivien Fergusson
explores the hedonistic tendencies of human desire and the consequential susceptibility to lust after an ideal. Fergusson stated that she “hopes to inquire after the sources of true fulfillment; perhaps our communal quest for beauty need not be as destructive as a moth consumed by flame.”
Dance Program Lecturer Dinah Gray’s work Aperture is a music-drive piece that considers the effects of external forces on an individual’s attitude and performance. Ms. Gray holds a B.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from Goucher College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University. She has danced with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, The Baltimore Opera, and Prospect Dance Group where she also served as founder and director. Her recent choreographic credits include NO WAKE (The Bridge P.A.I.), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (UVA Drama), and Bright Days of Little Sunlight (Charlottesville Ballet).
In addition to showcasing strong technical, creative, and articulate dance artists, the fall concert reflects each choreographer’s creative interests – resulting in an evening of eclectic, provocative, and engaging performances.
Tickets for the Fall Dance Concert can be purchased online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu, by calling 434-924-3376 or in person at the UVA Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the UVA Drama Building, open Monday through Friday from noon until 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, UVA Faculty/Staff, and UVA Alumni members, and $5 for students. Full-time UVA students may receive one free ticket if reserved at least 24 hours in advance of their desired performance date.
Free parking on performance nights is available in the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, located next to the Drama Building.