The University of Southern Mississippi Repertory Dance Company will present its annual Spring Dance Concert showcasing new choreographic works by faculty, students and recent guest artist Christal Brown of INSPIRIT, a Dance Company.
The concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 15-17 in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center. A Sunday matinee performance begins at 1 p.m. on April 18 with a choreographer pre-show talk.
Meredith Early, assistant professor of dance at Southern Miss, is directing rehearsals for Brown’s piece titled, “Lace” which was choreographed this spring. Southern Miss dance majors were handpicked by INSPIRIT, a Dance Company to perform “Lace,” which is based on Brown’s dance technique called Liquid Strength and the elaborate patterning of lace on clothing.
“She set a work on eight of our students, including myself,” Early said.
Early describes Liquid Strength as focusing on “how water has different qualities, a sense of fluidity, also a sense of ebbing and flowing and being aggressive. Just the different ways that can be encompassed and translated through movement.”
Southern Miss faculty and student works will illustrate a range of emotional and personal relationships through artistic movement. Assistant professor Julie White’s dance, “Strength in Numbers,” is a celebration of the power of friendship, as well as the energy and the spirit of Bela Fleck’s banjo music. This light-hearted and exuberant dance also explores the Southern pasttime of “visiting” and how sharing and responding to a good story can be the best form of entertainment.
Patty McCarthy, a junior dance education major from Baton Rouge, La., will present “Mind’s Limitations” to the sounds “Morning Passages” by Lyric Quartet, Michael Riesman and Nick Ingman. The audience will experience a world created by fears and learn how a journey to get over personal fears affects a human’s actions and emotions.
In “Softly Tailored,” Early will use full-bodied movement and partnering “to bring to the stage what we truly feel inside versus what we showcase on the outside.” The piece will investigate the duality of internal and external experiences, as well as alter the physical environment of five females and one male dancer with layers of fabric, old shoes and vintage costumes.
Stacy Reischman, associate professor and director of the dance program, will present a selection from “Sol to Soul,” the eighth and final installment in a series of dances. Each dance in the series traces the stories and transformations of people as they experience new worlds and characters. This piece is a simple, yet dramatic, retelling of the classic “good versus evil” myth, where celestial beings battle for a young soul in the form of a moth. The movements alternate between fierce and manipulative, tender and supporting. The performers include two dance program graduates who have come back to share their talents with the audience.
“We spent a lot of time in rehearsal exploring all the different ways that a battle could be portrayed,” Reischman said. Her work will be presented in its entirety in the fall 2010 semester in honor of the 2010 University’s Centennial celebration.
Elaina Walker, a junior dance education major from Brandon, Ms., debuts “We Owe Our Existence,” which exhibits a resonating power to captivate audiences with intricate and detailed movements. “It will take you on a journey, and it may even leave you wondering to whom you owe your existence,” Walker said.
Other works featured in this concert are choreographed by associate professor Shellie Nielsen and assistant professor Kelly Ferris Lester.
Tickets are $15 for general public admission, $10 for faculty, staff, seniors and military; and $6 for students. To purchase tickets in advance, visit southernmisstickets.com or they can be purchased at the door.
The University of Southern Mississippi Repertory Dance Company
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.