It was a short-lived retirement for Sac State Theatre and Dance Professor Linda Goodrich. The founder and artistic director of Sacramento/Black Art of Dance retired last year after 25 years guiding the troupe, but is back this fall as guest director to oversee S/BAD’s latest dance concert.
“Dancing the Spirit,” part of the University’s Arts Experience, will be presented at 8 p.m. Nov. 8-9, 11, 17-18; 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15-16; and 2 p.m. Nov. 11-12, 19 in Solano Hall 1010 Dancespace.
“ ‘Dancing the Spirit’ came from an ultimate feeling of what S/BAD is all about,” Goodrich says. Eight individual pieces – with a total of 23 dancers – illustrate that spirit in themes such as celebration of our ancestry, coming of age, and struggle within the black community.
Accompanying audio covers a wide range, including traditional hymns, Afro house beat, alternative music, and the spoken word.
Goodrich’s own piece, “Laissez Mûriel’s,” is a coming-of-age tale. “It’s about a young boy who emulates his father to become a man,” she says.
The concert features works by students, faculty and guest choreographers. This fall’s guests are James Wheatley, artistic director of Sacramento’s Celebration Arts, and Valerie Gnassounou, director of Dance at Delta College in Stockton, and one of S/BAD’s original members.
The department’s newest Dance instructor, Professor Bernard Brown, will present “Our Backs…” a piece that shows the resilience of spirit through cultural movements in revolution.
And Dance instructor Nicole Manker has choreographed “Resonating Mosaics: From There to Here.”
Manker’s piece utilizes the spoken word for background, with an intro by South African record producer and DJ Black Coffee, and another work, "The Journey," by philosopher and political activist Cornel West. Its story of people becoming empowered by acknowledging their ancestry and keeping their eyes open to the people in their daily lives complements the “Spirit” theme.
“It’s really about taking in whatever energy is around you and using it in a way that really helps you contribute not only to your own growth, but to the people around you as well,” Manker says.
Goodrich wants the audience to take that message to heart. “I hope people will be moved by the passion and energy of the dancers and feel like dancing their own spirits,” she says.
Tickets for 6:30 performances of “Dancing the Spirit” are $15 general admission, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for children. All other performances are $18 general admission, $15 students and seniors, and $12 for children. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, www.csus.edu/hornettickets or (916) 278-4323.
For more information on the Theatre and Dance Department and it’s productions, visit www.csus.edu/dram or call (916) 278-6368. For media assistance, call University Communications at (916) 278-6156. - Craig Koscho