Whether it’s the classroom, the campus, the audience, or the world at large – Sacramento State dance students are celebrating “Community” in Dance Sites Spring 2018.

Presented by the University Dance Company, the concert features works choreographed by dance faculty and guest choreographers on the big stage of the University Theatre. Performances are at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22; 8 pm. Feb. 23 and 24; and 2 p.m. Feb. 25.

“Being on the larger stage is a lot of fun for our dancers,” says concert director Professor Philip Flickinger. “This particular stage configuration offers a lot of different dynamic ideas. We’re able to use the aisles, to have dancers move from the aisles onto the stage, and we’re able to dance on the apron, which extends beyond the main stage.”

Student dancers, from left, Miles Meckling, Laura Fisher, Jacob Bailey, and Gwen Brown rehearse for Dance Sites Spring 2018. (Sacramento State/Craig Koscho)

Thirty dancers, including current students and select alumni, will perform eight pieces that cover a range of dance styles, from Mexican Folklorico to Afro-Caribbean, as well as Contemporary to the music of Imogen Heap, Meredith Monk, and Room Full of Teeth, among others.

The choreographers include two guest artists. Professor Emeritus Linda Goodrich, founder of Sacramento/Black Art of Dance, returns to create a piece. Another is by Angela Rosenkrans, a dance professor from Arizona’s Scottsdale Community College.

The theme of “Community” is part of Sacramento State’s One World Initiative and is included with the UDC performance for the fourth year.  Each year, the One World Initiative designates a different topic as a focus for events across all University disciplines.

“Everything we really do is about community,” Flickinger says of the dance world. “Classroom is about building the community of the technique. Being in performance is about building community with the audience, and a lot of the pieces are about how we build and sustain communities.”

Gwendelynn Brown, a double major of Dance and Spanish, performs in “Los Bailes de las Picotas en Villa San Carlos,” choreographed by Osvaldo Ramirez Vidales.

The music is provided by clarinet and drum, and symbolizes the clashing of Spanish settlers in Mexico with the traditional indigenous people, who were often shamed and humiliated by the settlers.

“So what the indigenous people decided to do was kind of turn that around and make fun of the Spanish traditions,” Brown says.

She invites everyone to come and experience her community of dance.

“Watching all the dancers work their hardest and give their all in each piece they do is amazing to come and watch,” Brown says. “We want people to just come be a part of the experience.”

Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. performances of Dance Sites Spring 2018 are $15 general admission, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for children. All other performances are $18 general, $15 students and seniors, and $12 children. Tickets are available at the Sac State Ticket Office or (916) 278-4323.

For more information about the Theatre and Dance Department’s events and programs, visit csus.edu/dram or call (916) 278-6368. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s University Communications at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho