Windy Kahana and Gawzong “Emily” Vang rehearse “Stop Shrill.”
An elaborate mélange of music, styles, choreography and stagings awaits at Dance Sites 2013 – The Faculty Dance Concert, running Dec. 11-15, at Sacramento State’s University Theatre, and will include a special night dedicated to local high schools and community colleges.
Five faculty choreographers and two special guest artists will lead the students through seven dance pieces, with music ranging from Nina Simone and Idris Ackamoor to traditional Mexican folk music and original music by Sac State student composer Nick Micheels. Film studies student Kaely Mullins is producing documentary footage to be shown in between the works.
Some of the pieces draw inspiration from the University’s One World Initiative topic of migration.
Concert director, Professor Lorelei Bayne, with Professor Linda Goodrich and guest choreographers Raissa Simpson, who is a visiting scholar from San Francisco’s PUSH Dance Company, and Kim T. Davis of Kim T. Davis Dance in Modesto, are using the theme in their pieces.
Simpson’s piece, “Stop Shrill,” is the story of the search for water and was inspired by the drought in East Africa. It uses original music by jazz composer Idris Ackamoor.
“There are a lot of patterns that intertwine,” Simpson says. “It’s a very exciting piece and I’ve been looking forward to working with the students.”
Bayne says that contemporary dance, by its nature, encompasses migration with its impact on cultural exchange. As examples, she points to Osvaldo Ramirez’s folklorico piece, and one by Philip Flickinger that combines break dance movement with modern dance and ballet ideas. “There is a continual cultural melding of forms in dance today,” Bayne says.
Performances are at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12, 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14, and 2 p.m. Dec. 15. Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. performances 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 www.csus.edu/hornettickets.
To make the event more accessible to the community, the Theatre and Dance Department is holding a special dance celebration.
High school and community college students will get the chance to learn dance moves from Sac State’s talented faculty choreographers on Saturday, Dec. 14, when members of the dance program present “Celebrate Theatre and Dance Day.”
It begins at 3 p.m. and will include master classes on modern dance and break dancing at 3:30 and ballet at 5. Pizza will be provided at 6:30, followed by the performance at 8 and, at 10 p.m., a special question and answer session with the choreographers and dancers following the dance concert.
The special day is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Registration must be completed by Saturday, Dec. 7. Call (916) 278-3569 to reserve a spot.
For more information on the Dance Program, call the Theatre and Dance Department at (916) 278-6368 or visit www.csus.edu/dram. For media assistance, call the University’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho