Power crackles through performances of Sacramento State’s Dance Sites 2015 concert, staged by the University Dance Theatre Company. The concert will be performed at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 8 p.m. Dec. 11-12, and 2 p.m. Dec. 13 on the main stage of the University Theatre, 6000 J St.
It’s another part of the University’s Arts Experience, and is directed by Professor Lorelei Bayne and co-directed by Professor Linda Goodrich. About 45 dancers perform in eight works created by faculty and guest choreographers. Music and dance styles run the gamut from contemporary to folklorico, and from the jazz sounds of Sac State alumnus Bobby McFerrin to the contemporary classical work of Ensemble Resonanz.
This is the one concert where Sac State dancers get to strut their stuff on the main stage of the University Theatre, as opposed to the smaller, more basic performance area called Dancespace. The larger venue brings a new dimension to the performances, such as different backdrops that can be dropped in and out, and facilities for set pieces. “We have three choreographers using large set pieces in their works,” Bayne says.
“There’s so much more depth,” Goodrich says. “The students have the opportunity to really pull out the performance quality that the smaller spaces don’t offer.”
“It definitely challenges their performance artistry,” Bayne adds.
Dancer Ashley Gonzales relishes the chance to expand her moves on the larger stage. “I think it’s awesome,” she says. “I feel like a rock star.”
There’s another factor for the choreographers to consider. This year, Sac State’s One World Initiative, a program that explores one topic across all disciplines, has chosen “Power” as its area of focus, and that will be reflected in this year’s Dance Sites.
“We’re using ‘power’ as an inspiration or jumping-off point for many of the works,” Bayne says. “For the choreographer, that’s been an interesting lens through which to create new works.”
Guest choreographer Lori Bryhni’s piece is titled “The Grid.” While it certainly relates to power grids, Bryhni says there is even deeper meaning. “It can be any kind of connecting points linked to one main source,” she says. “Also, the collaboration between people connecting to each other to make something more powerful and stronger.”
Bryhni is a professor emeritus of dance from Modesto Junior College and produced a piece for a Sac State concert three years ago. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to come back,” she says.
The other guest choreographer is Pepper Von, co-owner of Sacramento’s Step I Dance & Fitness, and an international fitness educator and motivational speaker. In addition to Bayne and Goodrich, the faculty choreographers are Philip Flickinger, Nhan Ho, Osvaldo Ramirez, and Lisa Ross.
The University Dance Theatre Company is a diverse group of approximately 40 performers that works closely with esteemed faculty and special professional guest choreographers.
Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. performances are $8 general, $5 for children. All other performances are $12 general, $10 for students and seniors, and $8 for children. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or www.csus.edu/hornettickets.
For more information, visit the Theatre and Dance Department at www.csus.edu/dram or call (916) 278-6368. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho