Sac State’s dance students are digging deep into their own feelings and personal experiences for their inaugural show of the season, kicking off the 60th anniversary of the University’s Theatre and Dance (csus.edu/dram) programs.
Directed by Dance Professor Philip Flickinger, Choreographers Collective 2016: Boundless Existence has performances at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 and 15; 8 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17; and 2 p.m. Sept. 18, in Solano Hall Dancespace 1010.
This year’s edition, which is the 10th anniversary of the production, features nine pieces with more than 30 dancers, all choreographed by dance students.
“They have pieces dealing with things they are going through or that they feel very strongly about,” Flickinger says, adding that topics range from personal challenges to causes such as environmental issues and dealing with a world that may currently be viewed as in chaos.
“Infinite Tides” features seven dancers moving to music that includes “In the Deep Shade” by The Frames and “Beyond this Moment” by Patrick O’Hearn.
Senior Ty Harry is the choreographer. He says the piece examines emotions such as sadness, anger, and panic that surround loss and grief. It springs from her own experience dealing with the death of her grandfather seven years ago.
“I reflected on what emotions I have felt over these seven years and how that’s changed, how it’s progressed,” Harry says. “It’s still really hard for me, but it’s different.”
She adds that the work speaks to any challenging change someone might face. “I hope the audience takes away that you can overcome change and that everybody goes through it,” Harry says. “So I hope they can find their own story within it.”
For senior Louis Moreno, his experience as a musician inspired “Modality,” featuring three female dancers and minimalist classical composer John Adams’ “Phrygian Gates” as the music.
“When I was a musician, I sat in the back of orchestras and ensembles, and was inspired by the movement of pianists as they played,” Moreno says. “So for a lot of this piece, you only see the dancers’ backs, because that was my viewpoint.
“I hope the audience sees how a dance performance can be captivating without having to use expressive emotions through the face or gestures.”
Staging the first dance concert of the fall season always is difficult since rehearsals have to be arranged around dancers’ and instructors’ summer vacation plans.
This year was a bit different, with the creation of more formal and detailed schedules worked out ahead of time. “We’re really trying to streamline the process, and this summer has been incredibly fruitful in that way,” Flickinger says. “This particular group of choreographers has been very prepared for what they had in front of them.”
Tickets for the 6:30 performances of Choreographers Collective 2016: Boundless Existence are $8 general admission and $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 csus.edu/hornettickets.
For more information about the Theatre and Dance Department’s productions and programs, visit csus.edu/dram or call (916) 278-6368. – Craig Koscho