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U of U Performing Dance Company Presents A Provocative Evening of Dance

April 9, 2004 — Join Performing Dance Company for an evening of contemporary dance and an exploration into the exciting new genre of dance-for-camera, April 16-17 and 23-24 at 7:30 p.m., at the Marriott Center for Dance on the University of Utah campus. The concert features new works from Department of Modern Dance faculty and guest artist Hope Clark.

Several of the works on the program were inspired by other art forms, including a new work from Pamela Geber, who took the enthralling vases and paintings of Pablo Picasso and canvases by Juan Gris as her inspiration. Weaving these sources into the music and culture of southern Spain, she has created a new work that exposes a collaborative, yet competitive, nature to relationships while crossing the traditional gender roles of flamenco. The work is set to a moody score performed by Miles Davis.

The vast expanse of the Bonneville Salt Flats provides the backdrop for a new dance film by Eric Handman. Exile examines a solitary man attempting to relate with his natural surroundings. A quiet desperation and sense of absence speak to the relationship between identity and one’s sense of place.

In her new work, Waltz, Satu Hummasti captures the final, quiet exchanges that end an evening of dance once midnight has passed and only a few lingering couples remain. The score, waltzes, Portuguese Fado, and Fado-inspired instrumental pieces, sets a nostalgic tone to contrast with a bare stage and relations revealed in raw gesture. Languid, intimate duets within the group disclose the interstices, loneliness, and desires in any social gathering.

Stephen Koester will premiere Half-Life, a solo amidst ghosts and dreams. With recorded text providing a narrative, the subtle swelling of recollection is propelled by the Ahn Trio’s music and the ghost figures that inhabit the stage space. In an introspective reflection of a life half lived, the resigned looks back at a past, present, and future-all filled with empty space.

In her new work, Drift, Donna White creates a shifting interplay between the natural elements, motion, and formation. The dancers bring to stage Theodor Schwenk’s concept of “the unformed, indeterminate element, ready to receive definite form.” With music by Jon Scoville and images of sand, water, snow, and earth, Drift gracefully explores the relationship between the process of form and forming.

Guest choreographer Hope Clark selected 21 dancers for her new work, Search. Performed without music, the acrobatic feats of the large cast create a quirky, abstract landscape in which dancers launch, dive, and fly through space. The contemporary choreography redefines movement and shape; while some dancers hurl their bodies into daring aerial turns, others provide accompaniment by replacing music with abstract vocals.

Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5.50 for University of Utah students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available at the door one hour prior to the concert. They can also be purchased at all ArtTix locations, including on campus at Kingsbury Hall and the Student Union, or by phone at 581-7100 or 355-ARTS.