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'Danceworks 2011' Hits the State and Blogosphere

February 21, 2011 | by Judy Moore

Danceworks 2011 centers on themes of community, connection and celebration.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- High-stepping cowboys, scatting jazz tappers and ethnic dance will provide “Danceworks 2011” with theatrical flair centered on themes of community, connection and celebration. Presented by the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University, the show is a mix of old standards and world premieres.

For the first time, a special “Danceworks” blog at http://danceworks2011.tumblr.com/

has been set up to encourage a dynamic exchange between the artists and audience.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25; 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27; 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3; 8 p.m. Friday, March 4; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6. They will be held at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. A post-show discussion with the creative team will follow the Feb. 27 matinee and the March 3 evening performance.

Under the artistic direction of award-winning Northwestern dance faculty member Annie Beserra, the annual concert will feature the original works of Northwestern’s renowned faculty choreographers and performances by up-and-coming student dancers.

Audience members and dance enthusiasts can visit the blog to view rehearsal photos and video clips to learn what goes into the creation of new dance works. The blog also provides the public with a better opportunity to prepare for the show, connect with other audience members and comment on the dances after they have seen them.

The concert is a dramatic and evocative celebration of modern, classic jazz, contemporary, Jump Rhythm tap, classic ethnic dance and dance theatre. “Danceworks 2011” will feature the choreography of Beserra, Joel Hall, Kristina Kasper, Munjuli Rahman, Molly Shanahan, Joel Valentin-Martinez and Laura Wade.

Beserra’s “King of the Wild Frontier” salutes Davy Crockett’s “heroism.” Hall’s awarding-winning “Y2 Day” (2000) recalls the communal chaos of New Year’s Eve 1999. For the first time, Kasper brings her signature funk-filled femininity to the Northwestern stage in her Jump Rhythm tap-inspired choreography. The lush spirals of Shanahan’s work and the stark lines of Valentin-Martinez offer contrasting visions. Wade’s dance meditates slyly on love and longing, accompanied by ever-changing versions of “You Are My Sunshine.” Department of performance studies doctoral candidate Munjuli Rahman also will premiere a new work based on her ethnographic research on Bangladeshi urban folk dance.

”Choreographers and student dancers alike are excited about documenting the ‘Danceworks 2011’ rehearsal process and opening it up to new audiences,” said Beserra. “Each performance will move seamlessly from the familiar to the forward thinking, offering audiences a chance to experience the full spectrum of creative excellence practiced by our faculty and students.”

“Danceworks 2011” has a running time of one hour and 45 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission.

Ticket prices are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Tickets can be purchased through the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.
Topics: Campus Life