October 9, 2007

Students dance to ‘Nubian Visions’

Members of Sacramento Black Art of Dance rehearse Members of Sacramento Black Art of Dance rehearse for their upcoming concert, Nubian Visions in Movement. From left are Shani Alford, Nzinga Woods, Meggan McCall, Sarah Silva, Jenelle Taylor, and Jurusha Woods

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Finding inspiration in an ancient civilization that rivaled Egypt, Sacramento Black Art of Dance presents Nubian Visions in Movement at Sacramento State, featuring work by six choreographers—Nathan Elvin Jones, Sarah Silva, Nzinga Woods, Lisa Ross, Sheila Coleman and Linda Goodrich.

Performances are at 8 p.m., Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 2 and 3; at 2 p.m., Oct. 28 and Nov. 4; and 6:30 p.m., Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. All performances are in Dancespace, Room 1010 of Solano Hall at the campus, 6000 J. Street.

Nubia was a culture that thrived at the dawn of civilization along the banks of the Nile River. “In African-American culture we use the word ‘Nubian’ to mean the Black aesthetic,” says Goodrich, concert director and chair of the Theatre and Dance department.

The choreographers will interpret that vision in their own pieces, which can have up to three sections each, Goodrich says.

Her selection’s first part, “Lament,” is similar to a dirge and represents the loss of womanhood and identity of Sudanese women, Goodrich says. The second part, “Woman Warrior,” looks at how they pick themselves up and become strong again.

Silva uses personal experience to explore the loss of a family member or other loved one before having a chance to talk to them one more time. “You still see them there, and you want to connect with them again, but there’s no way you can physically do that,” she says.

Woods is a graduate student who also directs the Footworks Dance Company of Valley High School in Elk Grove. Her piece mixes styles such as jazz, modern, ballet, African and Afro-Cuban.

Jones choreographs his dancers in a tribute to working class people, using anthems out of the folk music tradition.

Sacramento Black Art of Dance was formed by Goodrich in 1993. She turned it into a student-run organization in 1996.

The choreographers are senior members of the group who have taken choreography and expressed an interest in it. “Most of them are veteran choreographers,” Goodrich says.

Tickets for most performances are $12 general admission, $10 for students, seniors and CSU employees; and $8 for children 11 years old and younger. Cost for the Nov. 14 and 15 performances are $8 general admission and $5 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the Sacramento State Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or at www.tickets.com.

For more information, contact the Theatre and Dance Department at (916) 278-6368 or www.csus.edu/dram. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.