Jan 252013
 

reflector

There will be something for every dance lover at the East Carolina University dance concert, “Dance 2013,” which opens Thursday and continues through Feb. 5.

By NATALIE SAYEWICH

Friday, January 25, 2013

There will be something for every dance lover at the East Carolina University dance concert, “Dance 2013,” which opens Thursday and continues through Feb. 5.

The program includes eight ballet, modern, jazz or tap dances, two of which are choreographed by guest artists.

Frank Chaves of River North Dance Chicago created “Grusin Suite,” a jazz dance that the audience can take in at both Dance 2013 and on Feb. 28, when River North Dance Chicago will perform at ECU as part of the S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series. John Magnus of the Portland Festival Ballet is responsible for “Tango,” a dance which melds the Tango into ballet.

Both of the dances were set in the fall of 2012 and left to rehearsal director Teal Darkenwald to perfect.

Marcus Hardy, who graduated in December, will dance in five pieces during the program. His favorite is “Consumption,” choreographed by John Dixon.

“It’s just gritty and gutty and not necessarily technical, but it’s more about just the movement and the emotion of the dance,” he said.

In addition to making sure that the dances by Magnus and Chaves are performed at a high caliber, Darkenwald has been working with dancers on “Falling Together, Falling Apart,” a modern/contemporary piece she choreographed that combines a dance and projected film.

The dancers shot the film in October at River Park North, working with student cinematographer Erich Keil. For the dancers, it was a new experience.

“The process of creating this piece was really as important as the product because the dancers were able to be part of a film and understand what it’s like to be involved in dance film.”

The dance is meant to make people think about interracial relationships and was inspired by observing the interaction of ECU students and others in the South, said Darkenwald, who has spent most of her life in New York, Montana and Arizona.

“There’s a very clear racial division in the South that I’ve never experienced before,” she said.

“There’s a lot of contemporary issues surrounding the idea of interracial relationships. In talking to my dancers a little bit further, we wanted to uncover both what it’s like now to be in an interracial relationship and also what it was like during slavery.”

Set in the mid-1800s in Louisiana, the piece tells the story of a slave-owner’s daughter and a married slave falling in love. The story features an interesting twist when the slave’s wife seeks out witch doctors to fix the issue.

Taylor King, a dancer who plays one of the witch doctors, feels particularly tied to the story.

“My great-great-grandmother was a healer,” she said. “So as soon as we had the audition, I was like ‘I have to do this,’ maybe because of the connection, but maybe just because it’s a taboo of society I find really interesting.”

Darkenwald emphasizes that it is not a linear piece, so a portion of the story is left to the audience’s imagination to fill in the blanks.

“Hopefully it will get people thinking about the idea of interracial relationships,” Darkenwald said, “not only today, but a long time ago, and, certainly, how difficult that was during that time period.”

Contact Natalie Sayewich at 252-329-9596 or nsayewich@reflector.com

via The Daily Reflector.

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