Original works by University of South Carolina dance faculty will be in the spotlight for the UofSC Dance Company Spring Concert, February 9-12 at Drayton Hall Theatre.
Show time is 7:30pm, February 9-11 and 2pm, February 12. Admission is $15 for students, $20 for UofSC faculty/staff, military, and seniors 60+, and $22 for the public. Tickets may be purchased online at sc.universitytickets.com. Drayton Hall Theatre is located at 1214 College St., across from the historic UofSC Horseshoe. In keeping with university safety protocols, masks will be required of all audience members, dancers and crew, and seating will be limited to allow for appropriate social distancing between all patrons.
Works featured on the concert span a range of dance styles, from ballet to contemporary. Faculty choreographers include Associate Professor Jennifer Deckert, Assistant Professor André Megerdichian and Instructor Olivia Waldrop.
Deckert’s Frontiers is a joyful, ballet-focused work set to a Western-themed score that “brings to life images of the open sky and seeing beyond our current lives and situations.”
“I first created this piece when I was living in Wyoming,” Deckert says. “Something about the open space and big sky always made me think about the journey out west for so many people crossing the country. I think it also resonates with immigrants to our country who make a choice to journey to new frontiers. Who comes with you and who do you leave behind as you venture to new pastures and new adventures?”
Waldrop says her new piece, respond, was created in part as a contrast to Becoming Swans, her expansive reimagining of Swan Lake presented by the UofSC Dance Company last fall. Set to a mix of classic and modern orchestral music, Waldrop describes the work as an energetic but reflective contemporary ballet.
“After exploring narrative [with Swans], I knew I wanted to approach this work in a more abstract manner,” Waldrop says. “When I found these pieces of music, I couldn't help but move so I simply let them be the guide for both me and my cast in the movement creation process.”
Connection is Made, a contemporary work by Megerdichian, is described by the choreographer as being about “relationships and the different forms in which we find intimacy or connection.” Set to music ranging from avant-garde electronic to techno, Megerdichian says the piece covers a broad range of emotions that audiences will recognize in their own lives.
“I think the audience will see, in a non-linear way, their own musings and experiences,” he says.
“It’s something that has been brewing in my mind for quite a while. These images have been sort of haunting me. However, it hadn’t gotten any clearer until I started creating it with the dancers. In a way, the dancers are giving me the information. The piece is birthing itself.”
Collaboration between choreographer and dancers is key to Deckert and Waldrop’s works, as well.
“I love incorporating the dancers' input and movement vocabulary to create a work unique to the individuals in the room,” Waldrop says. “It's one of my favorite experiences.”
“It’s about discovering the importance of who they are,” Megerdichian adds. “Seeing that their technique exists as a medium to bring forth their own inner world.”
For more information on the UofSC Dance Company Spring Concert or the dance program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.