Department of Dance Presents Faculty and Senior Thesis Concert
The Brenau University Department of Dance presents its spring faculty and senior thesis concert Transcend Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10. The event features 15 works by 10 choreographers, covering genres as diverse as West African dance and classical ballet.
“Some things are difficult to put into spoken word,” said Brenau Professor Jolie Long, whose full-movement piece, Rose of Sharon, opens the show. “Some of us find it easier to express our feelings through dance. It touches close to the human condition – grief or great joy is tied into our body language.”
Long will be joined by fellow faculty members Madia Cooper-Ashirifi and Diane Callahan, who are presenting new and restaged works exemplifying the joy and finesse of the art form. Guest choreographers Kristy Nilsson of Atlanta and former Brenau University Department of Dance Chair Vincas Greene will also present works showcasing the vitality and versatility of the medium.
The performances cover a wide spectrum of ideas and topics. Greene’s piece, for example, is inspired by Brenau University Galleries’ John Heliker: The Order of Things exhibit from last fall, while Cooper-Ashirifi’s piece Kumpo is a rite of passage narrative about a “spirit chaser” born out of Senegalese mythology.
Five senior thesis dance students will also present their works. Patrick Condon (Jupiter, Florida), Brittany Daniel (Americus, Georgia) Paris Hawkins (Lawrenceville, Georgia), Rachel Lange (Alpharetta, Georgia) and Shanik Moore (Loganville, Georgia) have each choreographed two performances, group and solo pieces, that encompass topics such as anxiety, a woman’s longing for love and a vision of a world built on peaceful coexistence.
Condon pulls triple duty for the concert, appearing in Kumpo in addition to presenting his two choreographed pieces. He described his group performance Requiem as a lyrical, existential commentary on the fleeting nature of mortality.
“One dancer portrays Death and leads each dancer off stage, symbolizing each person’s passing,” he said. “It’s about leaving your mark on history, doing something that is fulfilling to your life before your time is up.”
Transcend will also include an excerpt from Beauty and the Beast performed by members of The Gainesville Ballet Company.
The concert consists of two rotating programs. Program A performances are scheduled April 8 at 7:30 p.m. and April 9 at 2 p.m. Program B performances are scheduled April 9 at 7:30 p.m. and April 10 at 2 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the door. General admission is $7, while tickets are $5 for seniors, children under the age of 12 and students with high school or college IDs. Admission is free for students, faculty and staff with Brenau IDs.
All performances will take place at the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts’ Hosch Theatre, 428 Academy St. NE, on the Gainesville historic campus. For more information, call 770.538.4757.